View Full Version : Durable but FAST rolling road bike tires?

05-29-2006, 02:24 PM
I have some great wheels but here in San Diego area the bike lanes are full of thorns, debris and such and I keep flatting I want a new tire and am
considering the Armadillos which I hear are almost unflattable but wonder if
anyone rides on them and finds they roll well or not. I am spoiled with very sweet rolling tires but getting fed up with flats. I'd appreciate any ideas from you roadies out there.

Thanks, Jpbayarea

05-29-2006, 03:03 PM
I'm a big Kenda fan. I've been riding the Calientes for the past three years (winter and summer) and I can count the number of flats I've had on one hand. I'm a big girl, but I get about 3,000 miles out of them too! I'm sure I've jinxed myself now by saying that.....

05-29-2006, 03:09 PM
I've used both Specialized Armadillos and Continental Gatorskins and they're both great---slick but strong.

05-30-2006, 06:06 AM
DH put a pair of Gatorskins on my bike in October because I was flatting all the time. I refused to ride by myself because I flatted so much. The area around us has a lot of construction debris and trash. At the risk of jinxing myself I have not flatted on the road since getting the Gatorskins. I have had one or two slow leaks that went flat overnight.

I recently replaced the front tire because the sidewall had a bulge. They probably aren't the fastest tires, but then again they are faster than zero mph to change a flat. Honestly my old tires were nothing special (just factory on a entry level bike) so I couldn't tell a change.

The guys at the LBS back in College Station swore by Armadillos for training. The girls (I love it here- women in the shop) at the LBS in Austin said many of them use the Gatorskins for training.

05-30-2006, 12:42 PM
A definite fan of Gatorskins. I used to ride with Continental 3000's (23) but switched to Gator 25's and now am almost flat free. The tires are easy to change as well. Comment I've heard about the Armadillos is that they are difficult to get on and off (they just aren't all that flexible). I don't think there is most difference in the road feel and roll between the 3000's which are "fast" tires, and the Gators. Nice price break as well as the 3000's run around $50 and the Gators around $35 - 40.

05-30-2006, 01:27 PM
I also switched to Gatorskins and they (knock on wood) appear to be every ounce durable as they claim.

I also put about 1500+ miles on Michelin Carbons without fail - just typical wear. I went with the Gatorskins to try something new.

06-01-2006, 03:47 PM
Thanks everyone. I have written the recommendations down and am off
to go shopping for new tires. I didn't know about the Gatorskins but do hear the Armadillo's are really durable but hard to get on and off. Thanks

06-01-2006, 05:27 PM
I use Armadillio's on the rear wheel of my Terry touring bike that I use for daily commuting. I've never had any problems getting them on or off, I put them on once and they don't come off until I replace them 3000 flatless miles later. Unfortunately, since Specialized uses 700 wheels on their WSD, they don't make them in 650 or 519 for my other bikes.

06-03-2006, 06:37 AM
I'm ready to replace my tires with either Gator Skins or Armadillos. I've decided that I don't like fixing flats! :p

06-05-2006, 06:43 AM
Can't speak to the Armadillos, but I just put Gatorskins on one of my bikes and had no problems getting them on the rims. Had them on another bike for ~1000 miles with no flats.

06-05-2006, 06:49 AM
Leaning toward Gatorskins because I have a $100 Performance gift cert burning a hole in my pocket and they carry them!

06-05-2006, 07:05 AM
Hi Brandy,

My BF uses Gatorskins, too. Something to help defray the cost- when the rear tire is worn out, switch the front back there, and buy a new one to put on the front. The fronts wear _WAY_ less.

I've had good luck with both the Bontrager Race Lites (4000 miles!!) and Michelin Pro2 Race Roads (600 and counting, but no problems, yet, although I think I prefer the Bontragers...) Neither is puncture resistant, but I was amazed to find that light racing tires lasted so long!!