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hencio
09-16-2011, 08:42 AM
Need to replace my balding tires, and I am curious if anyone has an recommendations for commuting. My criteria is as follows:
700 x35 or 32, flat resistent, durable, somewhat light and less than $35 each. I've been riding and loving some lightweight Ritchey cross tires, but they tend to wear out quicker than I'd like. Any words of wisdom appreciated.

jabberwocky
09-16-2011, 09:04 AM
I've been a fan of Panaracer Pasela TG tires. A good all-rounder for commuting. I generally get five thousand or so miles out of a set, they have a kevlar liner for flat resistance and are reasonably light and fast rolling.

PrintError
09-16-2011, 12:04 PM
I've been a fan of Panaracer Pasela TG tires. A good all-rounder for commuting. I generally get five thousand or so miles out of a set, they have a kevlar liner for flat resistance and are reasonably light and fast rolling.
Funny story about those. I put about 4k on a set of those before the rear simply wore through. ZERO flats their entire lives. I saved the front since it was still usable as a spare, and "upgraded" to Gatorskins.
Within a thousand miles, my rear Gator failed at the sidewall, and I put the 4k old Pasela TG on the back. The front Gator had a pretty regular regiment of flats, but the rear Pasela was untouchable.
Until the rim exploded. I have photos somewhere, but the sidewall of my rim failed dramatically. It was worn too much and literally snapped, shredding the tube like an angry Wolverine and forcing my first ever need for a tow home. I got home, took the back tire off, and the now 9k mile old Pasela WAS UNTOUCHED!

Saved that sucker in the garage as a spare!

I chucked the Gators out of frustration and put Armadillos on, having heard endless good reviews. 4,500 miles and ZERO flats later, a Kia put my rear bike fender through the rear tire earlier this year and destroyed it. Long story short, his insurance bought me a new bike, and I put zero miles on the OEM tires. Instead, I put Armadillos on the day I got it, and they have 2k on them with, you guessed it, ZERO FLATS.

Pasela TG = DAMN GOOD TIRE, indestructible, I swear they're made of Unobtanium lined with Kevlar.
Gatorskin = Crap. Will not recommend. Will not buy again.
Armadillo = I'm pretty sure this is what they make tank tracks out of. Good luck puncturing these suckers!

Dirt
09-16-2011, 01:29 PM
I've never seen a tire last as long as the Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elite. They're a little slippery in the wet when they get worn down, but I literally rode a set until the rear tire was into the threads all the way around* (no rubber left) and never got a flat. They come in 700x23, 25 and 28. They are silly expensive ($65 each).

*Makes for an almost interesting story. I had these fenders that wrapped way around the tire. I always thought that when a tire got to the end of its life, it would start getting flats. I never checked under the fender because I never got flats. One day I wondered why the bike felt so slow. I flipped it and looked at the tire to see that I'd been running on cloth for a while. I can only guess how many miles I actually had on the tires. That guess would be in the 13-15,000 mile range though.

What is super annoying about these tires, is that I actually was kind of feeling like I wanted to compare some different commuting tires and bought the next set to try out. The Armadillos lasted so long that by the time I got around to replacing them, I'd already given away their replacement (about a year earlier) to someone who needed them much more than I did. That person actually wore out the tires I'd given them BEFORE my Armadillos wore out.

I actually still have them in the shop if you want to try and get a few more thousand miles on them. ;)

OneEighth
09-16-2011, 04:10 PM
If you aren't wed to a 32 minimum, consider Vittoria Zaffiros. They are high pressure, dirt cheap ($15) and are better all around than the Gatorskins I had before---and I liked my Conti's.
The only 32's I've used again and again because I really like them are Vittoria cross tires, but they wear fairly quickly and aren't cheap. Trying Grifos this winter.

Riley Casey
09-17-2011, 01:08 PM
I bought these to make my commute / general urban riding more bullet proof and for the reflective stripe on the side.

http://www.michelinbicycletire.com/michelinbicycle/index.cfm?event=city.view

pfunkallstar
09-19-2011, 02:33 PM
Once upon a time I loved the Michelin Krylion Carbons, but those days, like gas, have passed. The new Carbons are far too tight on the rims and the sidewall blew out on my front wheel after 500 miles. I switched over to Continental Grand Prix 4000s and they are amazing - not a single flat, easy to put on, and grip like molasses to pancakes (if that is even a saying). That said, the Armadillo Elites might actually be bullet proof.

WillStewart
09-19-2011, 03:05 PM
Surprisingly (at least to me), Schwalbe has low rolling resistance balloon tires called Big Apples (http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires/big_apple) for $25 to $30 that absorb quite a bit of road/trail shocks without slowing one down, giving close to the effect of full suspension. I switched to them and am so pleased that I'm not looking back...

Note the reviews at MTBR.com (http://www.mtbr.com/cat/tires-and-wheels/29er-tire/schwalbe/big-apple-29er/prd_415431_1564crx.aspx) and bikeforums.net (http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-442581.html).

PrintError
09-19-2011, 03:41 PM
I bought these to make my commute / general urban riding more bullet proof and for the reflective stripe on the side.

http://www.michelinbicycletire.com/michelinbicycle/index.cfm?event=city.view
I have these on my wife's hybrid in 26x2.1 size, they are basically indestructible steamrollers. LOVE em!

jrenaut
11-01-2011, 07:34 PM
How do I know what size tires to get? I'm getting sick of the flats, and I'm thinking about upgrading to the Armadillo Elite. Currently I have 25s. I assume I can do a 23 or 28? Why might I do that? Would my fenders still fit with 28s? I'll probably be at my LBS this week and can ask them, but I don't think they carry Specialized, so they won't be able to talk as much about the Armadillos.

DismalScientist
11-02-2011, 08:04 AM
I've been a fan of Panaracer Pasela TG tires. A good all-rounder for commuting. I generally get five thousand or so miles out of a set, they have a kevlar liner for flat resistance and are reasonably light and fast rolling.

I use the non-kevlar. Of course, It's the only inexpensive thing I can find for 27 inch rims!

jrenaut
11-02-2011, 08:21 AM
So, my LBS doesn't recommend the Armadillos. They like the Panaracer T-Serv. This does not come as a big surprise, as they have these tires on the rack, and don't stock Specialized. But they also recommend the Gatorskins that PrintError derided so vehemently.

I hate to go in to the LBS, ask for advice, then come back in with something they recommended against, but I also never want to change a flat tire again.

PrintError
11-03-2011, 11:23 AM
Solution: Check another LBS. A-1 carries the Armadillos, so does Spokes.

jrenaut
11-03-2011, 11:54 AM
It's not that I can't get the tires, it's just that I'll be back to my LBS because they do free lifetime maintenance, and because they're right on the way from home to work. And they'll judge me for defying them.

invisiblehand
11-03-2011, 03:40 PM
Panaracer Pasela TGs are my standard. If you're really flat adverse, go with a Schwalbe Marathon or one of its variations.

Schwalbe Big Apples are awesome tires. But you need to fit at least 50 mm wide tires and if you're commuting in all weather, you might want fenders.

PrintError
11-04-2011, 06:44 AM
if you're commuting in all weather, you want fenders.

ftfy

invisiblehand
11-04-2011, 08:45 AM
ftfy

:D

I'm with you bud; but I figure everyone can pick their poison.

hencio
11-04-2011, 12:18 PM
I've had a rash of flats lately. I think I'm gonna try the Pasela TGs in 35. Thanks for the responses.

jrenaut
11-04-2011, 03:27 PM
I've had a rash of flats lately. I think I'm gonna try the Pasela TGs in 35. Thanks for the responses.
Me, too! Another one today. That's the second this week. I think I'm getting something this weekend, just have to decide between Panaracers from my LBS or going somewhere else for the Specialized.

jrenaut
11-16-2011, 08:38 PM
As I was leaving the house this morning, already late, I found that I had a slow leak from the night before that turned into a totally flat tire. Rather than change another [expletive deleted] tube, I took Metro today and then put on the new Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elites when I got home. They're 23s, instead of the Kenda 25s that came with the bike, and they seem to have a little more clearance for the fenders, which makes sense.

I'm totally pumped about riding in tomorrow.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6232/6351511517_4475f86e54.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thetejon/6351511517/)
New tires (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thetejon/6351511517/) by thetejon (http://www.flickr.com/people/thetejon/), on Flickr

KLizotte
11-26-2011, 06:01 PM
Today I replaced my OEM Botranger Hard Case tires for Borough CX Armadillo Elites (http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=65019) and was delighted to find out that I would be going from 80 psi to 100 psi as a result. I didn't know I could increase the psi on hybrid tires. Going home I enjoyed an immediate 2 mph increase with the same amount of pedaling effort. If only I had known a year ago.....

While slow, the hard case tires only gave me one flat in 2,700 miles and that was totally my fault: a pinch flat caused by going over a sharp curb with a heavy commuter load on the rack (I was distracted watching the tourists by the Jefferson Memorial).

I changed tires to be better prepared for the upcoming winter weather but will probably keep the armadillos on permanently.

I didn't think ahead how to get the old tires home and didn't have anywhere to put them on the bike so I ended up sticking them over my head and wearing them across my body like a big, awkward sash. The people in my apartment building think I'm really weird.

off2ride
12-01-2011, 07:30 AM
I use Specialized Armadillo Elite's 700x23. I'm 135 pounds and they haven't failed me yet. A little pricey but worth it. Good luck.

Certifried
06-01-2012, 11:00 AM
Was just about to put my CC information in to the Specialized page for the Armadillo Elites when I realized I could save $15 shipping. Unfortunately, my LBS doesn't have them, but they do have the Bontrager Hard Case tires.

Are the Bontragers decent? I've only seen a few other comments about them. Or should I search all the local LBSs for an Armadillo?

Dirt
06-01-2012, 11:09 AM
90% of my commuting this year has been on carbon fiber wheels with tubular tires. The riding has been fast and awesome, but ultimately the prospect of flatting costing $75/tire and taking 3 days to completely fix would cause me to NOT recommend this to others.

The good news is that Stan's sealant in the tubes lets loose a really cool plume of aerosol latex when you do flat with 130psi in your tire. Ultimately it does its job by slowing the flat JUST enough so that you can come down to a safe speed before the tire goes completely flat. Who knew that Stan's tasted so good?

(Yes. I know this post has absolutely ZERO real-world value. I just couldn't resist.)

Certifried
06-01-2012, 11:17 AM
For some reason, that makes me think of Batter Blaster 1136

OneEighth
06-01-2012, 11:41 AM
All it took was flatting my tubulars back to back a few times for me to kiss the lovely ride goodbye. I kill enough brain cells what with all the WD40, concussions, and whatnot. No need to be sniffing tire cement regularly, too.
Except when I ride with Pete or Tim, I've found that $15 Vittorias do just fine. Ride with either of them and you'll flat for sure on the Vittorias.

eminva
06-01-2012, 11:56 AM
Was just about to put my CC information in to the Specialized page for the Armadillo Elites when I realized I could save $15 shipping. Unfortunately, my LBS doesn't have them, but they do have the Bontrager Hard Case tires.

Are the Bontragers decent? I've only seen a few other comments about them. Or should I search all the local LBSs for an Armadillo?

I have the Bontrager Hard Case tires on my erstwhile commuting bike. I can only compare them to the stock tires that came with that bike, because those are the only two sets I have had (well, up until Wednesday, when I picked up my new bike). I find they are a bit slower than the original tires, but I haven't had a flat in over 3000 miles so at least there's that.

Liz

Dirt
06-01-2012, 12:40 PM
Except when I ride with Pete or Tim, I've found that $15 Vittorias do just fine. Ride with either of them and you'll flat for sure on the Vittorias.
More documentation of my superpowers:
1) Cause OneEighth to get flat tires
d) Cause destruction of all Toyota Priuses
9) Make beer disappear.

mstone
06-01-2012, 12:45 PM
I've been pretty happy with the Continental Contacts.

Certifried
06-01-2012, 12:55 PM
More documentation of my superpowers:
1) Cause OneEighth to get flat tires
d) Cause destruction of all Toyota Priuses
9) Make beer disappear.
f) cause Certifried to consider carrying Batter Blaster to 1) fix flats, 2) serve as powergel

vvill
06-01-2012, 01:13 PM
My stock road tires are some sort of Vittoria slicks and I've been pretty happy with them. Of course, I've had nothing to compare to really.


More documentation of my superpowers:
1) Cause OneEighth to get flat tires
d) Cause destruction of all Toyota Priuses
9) Make beer disappear.

A Prius parked in front of Swing's this morning got a parking ticket before you showed up.

I flatted twice this week. (First one was due to me being stupid and leaving my bike out in the heat which blew a sidewall in my tire. Second one was due to me being stupid and not checking the sidewall before putting in a new tube and riding off.)

I don't think there were any undrunk beers left last night.

:eek:

KLizotte
06-01-2012, 01:22 PM
I flatted twice this week. (First one was due to me being stupid and leaving my bike out in the heat which blew a sidewall in my tire. Second one was due to me being stupid and not checking the sidewall before putting in a new tube and riding off.)

Newbie question: Could leaving your bike parked out on the sidewalk in the hot sun potentially cause the sidewall/tube to burst? I've never thought of that before....

consularrider
06-01-2012, 01:44 PM
I have to admit I'm cheap and that I have been running the Nashbar Prima 2 Plus tires on my road bikes (a 700x25 on the Salsa and a 27x1 1/4 on the Raleigh). At anywhere from $10 - 15 they've been good for 5000 miles with no flat issues for me, but then I'm usually riding in the opposite direction from Dirt. I ride these bikes mostly for longer rides on paved trails, city streets, and country roads/highways.

On my commuting bike I run a 700x32 or 35 and have tried different tires. Right now I have some Michelin PiLot Sport tires with 5700 miles and only one flat, a nasty brass screw in the rear tire. I got these for about $35 each. Before that I had Continental City Rides for about the same price and changed them at 4600 miles, but had a number of flats after 3000 miles. This bike is my do everything bike for rides under 40 miles with some packed trail riding as well as paved trails, city streets, and some country roads/highways.

Certifried
06-01-2012, 05:56 PM
thanks for all the new responses and letting me hi-jack the thread. I ended up with these:
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb/road-tires/enduranceroadtires/roubaixarmadilloelite
from FreshBikes ($60), so saved the shipping costs and was able to get them immediately.

not sure if there's any difference, but these were the ones I thought I was supposed to get:
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb/road-tires/training-allseasonroadtires/allconditionarmadilloelite

I don't see a whole lot of difference between the "endurance" and "training" tires, except (I guess) the tread pattern. The all condition might've been better for the rain, the bike shop pro said he preferred the roubaix. I probably wouldn't have noticed any difference lol

jopamora
06-03-2012, 10:48 PM
I've been pretty happy with the Vittoria Randonneur line.

DaveK
08-08-2012, 09:43 AM
I've been pretty happy with the Vittoria Randonneur line.

That's what I have on my commuter. Reflective strips and all.

jrenaut
08-08-2012, 09:47 AM
That's what I have on my commuter. Reflective strips and all.
Please don't feed the spammers.

Dirt
08-08-2012, 09:48 AM
My only complaint about the Vittoria Randonneur series is that on some rims, they fit REALLY tightly... like "they are so tight they will break any plastic tire lever if you get a flat" tight. It isn't a problem with all rims. I had it with a set of Velocity rims and a set of Mavic CX33s. Others seemed to be okay.

jopamora
08-08-2012, 11:35 AM
My only complaint about the Vittoria Randonneur series is that on some rims, they fit REALLY tightly... like "they are so tight they will break any plastic tire lever if you get a flat" tight. It isn't a problem with all rims. I had it with a set of Velocity rims and a set of Mavic CX33s. Others seemed to be okay.

I had that problem with the Randonneur Cross tires on my old bike. I think I broke a finger or two in addition to a few tire levers. The install/removal of Randonneur Pros on my current bike has been really easy. Not sure if it is the tire or different wheels that made the biggest difference.

GuyContinental
08-08-2012, 11:48 AM
I had that problem with the Randonneur Cross tires on my old bike. I think I broke a finger or two in addition to a few tire levers. The install/removal of Randonneur Pros on my current bike has been really easy. Not sure if it is the tire or different wheels that made the biggest difference.

Make that three of us- I use Vittoria Diamantes (not durable enough for commuting!) and Rubinos- the Diamante's were, bar none, the hardest tire I've ever had to mount. Ended up having to leave one stretched across the rim for 48 hours and then using a soap lubricant on the rim. Went through 6 tubes too... the second trip to Revolution was kind of embarrassing. The Rubinos went on with *only* a busted lever and a bloody finger.

On a side note, I'm amazed that the Vittoria internet trolls found this thread that quickly! That's an amazing social media response... too bad they came off sounding like the bot that they probably are...

DaveK
08-08-2012, 11:53 AM
I had that problem with the Randonneur Cross tires on my old bike. I think I broke a finger or two in addition to a few tire levers. The install/removal of Randonneur Pros on my current bike has been really easy. Not sure if it is the tire or different wheels that made the biggest difference.

I've had the same issue with the Rando Cross on my bike on two sets of rims. Solution is hopefully not to flat..

jrenaut
09-25-2012, 04:25 PM
After about 1200-1400 miles on my Specialized Armadillo Elites, the rear tire was wearing through in patches. It seemed kind of sudden, though when I looked up the mileage, I realized that I probably should have rotated them somewhere in there. To the credit of the tires, they still didn't flat, even with the rubber completely gone in two dime-width patches. I had exactly two flats on those tires. One was a poorly installed tube - the stem - whatever the heck you call the thing that you put the air in - sheared off when I hit a bump. The other was the nail through the rear rim. So, I would absolutely heartily recommend these tires for flat resistance.

However, I've replaced them today with Continental Gator Hardshells. I'm a little disappointed in 1200 miles, and my LBS doesn't stock Specialized. So I'm trying something different. I will keep everyone posted on how they do.

ronwalf
09-25-2012, 07:22 PM
After about 1200-1400 miles on my Specialized Armadillo Elites, the rear tire was wearing through in patches.
I've had chains last longer than that! Is tire worn all over and just worse in these spots? If not, is it from skidding while braking?

I've got 2800 on my Vittoria Randonneurs, and they're just starting to show the second layer of rubber (it's red). But then, I'm relatively light and only occasionally haul one kid and he's on the front.

jrenaut
09-25-2012, 08:38 PM
The actual holes in the rubber are probably from hard braking, but I ride 80-90% of my mileage in the city. Skids happen. But the tires, the rear especially, are worn all the way around. The front probably has some life left, but not a ton.

Greenbelt
09-26-2012, 08:29 AM
I'm over 6k miles on Schwalbe marathon 35s -- pretty rough duty too, give my weight and route

mstone
09-26-2012, 08:40 AM
I'd suggest braking more on the front and less on the rear. :)

I've been happy with the Continental Contacts (not the Top Contact or Travel Contact or Sport Contact, etc. -- their naming system is terrible). About 2.5k on them so far, some tread wear in the back but not near replacement levels.

thecyclingeconomist
09-28-2012, 01:54 PM
Surprisingly (at least to me), Schwalbe has low rolling resistance balloon tires called Big Apples (http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires/big_apple) for $25 to $30 that absorb quite a bit of road/trail shocks without slowing one down, giving close to the effect of full suspension. I switched to them and am so pleased that I'm not looking back...

Note the reviews at MTBR.com (http://www.mtbr.com/cat/tires-and-wheels/29er-tire/schwalbe/big-apple-29er/prd_415431_1564crx.aspx) and bikeforums.net (http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-442581.html).

I have ridden gatorskins, armadillos, and then about 25 others in the "road" category from fortezza to EVOs to sewups to STANS. For commuting, I must say that the schwalbe big apples in a 29X2.35 are about the coolest commuter setup I've ever had. Super plush, yet low enough rolling resistance that I can ride along at nearly my road pace once up to speed. They are HUGE, but run at a high enough PSI that they give a fast ride while allowing you to run over just about anything... including those random 6" potholes...with no chance of a pinch flat.

The only flats I've had on these (now at about 1500 miles on this set) have been from a full sized roofing nail and a 2" screw... can't blame the tire on those.

They come in 26", and 29" (the same as a 700c)...

birddog
09-28-2012, 02:28 PM
Gatorskins are the best!

vvill
09-28-2012, 05:38 PM
I have ridden gatorskins, armadillos, and then about 25 others in the "road" category from fortezza to EVOs to sewups to STANS. For commuting, I must say that the schwalbe big apples in a 29X2.35

How many frames will fit a 29x2.35?! Even my hybrid only goes up to maybe a 33mm. 2.35 inches is almost 60 mm!

Rod Smith
09-28-2012, 07:27 PM
2+ inch wide tires for commuting? No thanks, my usual route is fully paved. Unfortunately no sandy beaches or snow covered mountains between home and work. :(

I'm using 26 x 1.5 Schwalbe Marathons and 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskins on my commuters. 700 x 28 Schwalbe Duranos on my weekend ride. The Marathons and the Gatorskins have performed well for me. Not enough miles on the Duranos yet to pass judgement.

Rod Smith
09-28-2012, 07:31 PM
The only flats I've had on these (now at about 1500 miles on this set) have been from a full sized roofing nail and a 2" screw... can't blame the tire on those...

Perhaps not, but a contact patch three times wider than normal tire might be three times more likely to pick up nails and screws. :confused:

thecyclingeconomist
10-01-2012, 01:21 PM
Surly's can take them... "Fatties Fit Fine"...Or, you convert 29ers into a beastly all terrain commuter...

But that's not why I wrote the recommendation... as I said: they have numerous sizes. There are TONS of different studies out there that show that rolling resistance and tire-width specs aren't necessarily correlated. Some of which have been done with pretty rigorous scientific methods. Running a larger tire at a slightly lower PSI can improve power transfer. In fact a Vittoria Open Corsa EVO in a 700X25c running at 110psi is faster than most 700X23c at 130psi. In fact, picking the right tire can mean a difference of over 20 watts in sustaining 19mph. (Brandst and Morse have some good data out there on this stuff).

In addition the contact patch on my 2.35's isn't noticeably bigger that on my former 700X32c Vittoria Randonneur's or other 32+ width commuters; and these roll significantly faster, especially when compared with some of the other's referenced (Armadillos are NOTORIOUSLY slow). The nice thing is; because of the size and pressure, the contact patch remains constant on these, even when in deep turns... you never feel unstable in corners.

The only thing that might add to puncture rates is the fact that I actively ride much more aggressively through areas that I would never take my road bike. Also, you're telling me that in the last 1500 miles of riding; you've had less than 2 flats? And if so... you're time is coming... we all know that flats come in bunches.

:)

jrenaut
10-01-2012, 01:29 PM
Also, you're telling me that in the last 1500 miles of riding; you've had less than 2 flats? And if so... you're time is coming... we all know that flats come in bunches.

What I wrote above - 1200-1400 miles on my Armadillo Elites:

I had exactly two flats on those tires. One was a poorly installed tube - the stem - whatever the heck you call the thing that you put the air in - sheared off when I hit a bump. The other was the nail through the rear rim.

And that's almost entirely in downtown DC - 14th Street and the Neverending Construction Bikelane Closures, the cycletracks on 15th and on PA Ave, etc. After using the Armadillo Elites, I simply don't expect flat tires. I carry a spare tube, but at this point it's old enough that I'm probably going to replace it, unused.

jabberwocky
10-01-2012, 01:43 PM
Surly's can take them... "Fatties Fit Fine"...Or, you convert 29ers into a beastly all terrain commuter...Their roadie and road-ish frames will definitely not take a 2.3" tire. The Cross Check will clear a 45mm (1.75" or so) without fenders, and the pacer/steamroller will take a 32/38 respectively. The long haul trucker will take a 2.1 in 26er guise, but only a 45mm in 700c. Running a 2.3 tire pretty much locks you into converted MTB frames. Though I did once mount my DJ wheel (2.4 Holy Roller on EX729 rims) on my Soma Saga, and it just barely fit.

thecyclingeconomist
10-01-2012, 03:00 PM
I never said that these would fit on a road bike...

The thread was started with a question of the best commuter tire. So, as to not start another needless debate that has nothing to offer for anyone reading: for anyone NOT riding a road frame, the Schwalbe Big Apple is the best I have run. Insofar as Surly... if you use the LHT platform, you're good to go with a 26X2.0. The rest of their road line; or any road commuter, I'm still a fan of vittoria's... either their Randonneur or Voyager lines. I've had very good luck with the Randoneeur Pro. It's sticky enough to feel comfortable cornering, but hard enough to give pretty good life.

jabberwocky
10-01-2012, 03:20 PM
Sorry, I thought you meant run the Big Apples on one of their roadish frames (since pretty much any MTB frame will clear a tire that large). Sure, almost all MTB frames will clear a tire that large, but MTBs have lots of drawbacks as commuters IME (unless your commute is fairly short or over really rough terrain). I have a touring bike (a Soma Saga) running 1.6 Marathon Supremes, and while the larger tires are indeed comfortable, they certainly aren't as quick as the 28mm Paselas I run on the fixie (and not even close to the 23mm Pro3s I run on the road bike).

It comes down to preference, of course.

thecyclingeconomist
10-01-2012, 03:49 PM
Agreed... preferences are huge in the tire market in general.

For non-commuting purposes on my road bike, I now only prefer to run Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX. I alternate between the 700X23c and 25c depending on the best deal I can get online (these things are stupid pricey). But, they are wicked fast, sticky and reliable. If I simply can't get a good deal on the EVOs, then I run their Rubino Pros. That all being said, I did pick up a pair of Michelin Pro 4's for a steal ($24.99 each) online, and they do feel good, but I tend to prefer 25c's for a bit plusher ride (even on the road bike).

Rod Smith
10-01-2012, 05:39 PM
Weight and aerodynamics are the reasons I prefer to commute on 700 x 28 and 26 x 1.5 tires. I'm kinda lazy. I use 28s for recreational riding too. It seems odd that when you're not riding tires that are too fat for me, you'r riding tires that are too narrow for me. I guess I prefer tires that are more all-purpose while you seem to prefer tires designed to perform well in a narrower range of applications. I'm not saying I'm right or you're wrong. In fact, your approach makes more sense, really.

OneEighth
10-01-2012, 09:18 PM
Frankly, there's nothing wrong with Vittoria Zaffiro's, especially at roughly $15 a tire. I commute on them almost year round (the exception being snow or other freezing precipitation). They run high pressures and are typically good for a season barring any nasty, sharp debris. But at that price, switching out a compromised tire is no big deal.
Every bit as good as the Conti's I used to use. Better, even. Certainly better than my experience with Michelin's.
Sometimes you get what you pay for...sometimes you just get taken for a ride.

thecyclingeconomist
10-02-2012, 07:03 AM
Sorry, I thought you meant run the Big Apples on one of their roadish frames (since pretty much any MTB frame will clear a tire that large). Sure, almost all MTB frames will clear a tire that large, but MTBs have lots of drawbacks as commuters IME (unless your commute is fairly short or over really rough terrain). I have a touring bike (a Soma Saga) running 1.6 Marathon Supremes, and while the larger tires are indeed comfortable, they certainly aren't as quick as the 28mm Paselas I run on the fixie (and not even close to the 23mm Pro3s I run on the road bike).

It comes down to preference, of course.

I commute 100+ a week on my frankensteiner-29er... only been Cat-6'd twice in the last 12 weeks... and they were "Elites" whose egos couldn't handle being passed by a guy with 2.35" balloon tires... Mwhahaha. I don't ride a MTB... I ride a full-suspension road bike... LOL!

vvill
10-02-2012, 08:44 AM
I haven't really had bad enough experiences with any of my tires to have a preference other than price! In over 5000miles (well over half commuting) on 700x23s or 25s I've ridden on a pair of Vittoria Rubino 25s (2 flats - one pinch flat from hitting a small pebble, one from a bad crash in the wet), a pair of Hutchinson Fusion 23s (1 pinch flat hitting a pothole in the wet), and now I'm on one Panaracer RibMo 25 up front and one Continental Gatorskin 25 on the back (0 flats). Both those pinch flats should've been avoided (I didn't pump up the tires for quite a few days beforehand). My folding bike has Schwalbe tires (Durano and Marathon Racer) and has had two also avoidable flats. Number one from being left out in the sun, and the next was the following day because the sidewall was already compromised.

I don't see too many commuters on bikes that could fit 29x2.35s!

mstone
10-02-2012, 10:19 AM
I don't see too many commuters on bikes that could fit 29x2.35s!

"In my day we pedaled uphill BOTH WAYS!"

thecyclingeconomist
10-02-2012, 11:49 AM
I don't see too many commuters on bikes that could fit 29x2.35s!

If you'd read: I never said that 2.35s fit a road bike, they are the best commuter tire for my current rig and anyone out there than can handle a 26X2.0 or larger IMO. I then went on to write what I recommend for a roadie commuter, and finally I wrote what I recommend for a clincher tire on a race bike.

Maybe we don't see too many bikes that handle 2.35s because they are on the wrong commuter bikes... :p Once you put function over form, things change dramatically... it's taken me 15 years and dozens of personal bike builds, on top of all the builds in the shop, to come to my own take on what what really works, and what doesn't for: commuting, fun-rides, family-rides, touring, club-rides, racing, endurance (randonneuring and brevets: see rusa.org), single-track, CX, and downhill. Each requires its own tools, and tires are simply another tool.

vvill
10-02-2012, 01:02 PM
If you'd read: I never said that 2.35s fit a road bike, they are the best commuter tire for my current rig and anyone out there than can handle a 26X2.0 or larger IMO. I then went on to write what I recommend for a roadie commuter, and finally I wrote what I recommend for a clincher tire on a race bike.

Maybe we don't see too many bikes that handle 2.35s because they are on the wrong commuter bikes... :p Once you put function over form, things change dramatically... it's taken me 15 years and dozens of personal bike builds, on top of all the builds in the shop, to come to my own take on what what really works, and what doesn't for: commuting, fun-rides, family-rides, touring, club-rides, racing, endurance (randonneuring and brevets: see rusa.org), single-track, CX, and downhill. Each requires its own tools, and tires are simply another tool.

Yep, I read your posts. I've had good experiences with Vittorias as well. I was just saying there aren't a ton of people on bikes like that.

I know what you're saying. A bit after a year of commuting on my road bike I found myself wanting to ride a more dedicated commuter bike. Suddenly my older clunkier bikes seemed like great commuter options again. But not everyone has space/budget for a bike in every bike category. My road bike is still going to be my most efficient and lightest bike (and until recently the only one that cost more than $300 new), so there isn't a good reason for me to buy a bike and put 2.35 tires on it. My commute is most of my riding miles and most days I enjoy a more "sporty" ride (and I have ELITE brand bottle cages). That said, I have read about Big Apples before and I'm sure they are comfortable, have relatively low rolling resistance, etc. :)

thecyclingeconomist
10-02-2012, 01:30 PM
I definitely get the budget thing... and I guess I should keep that in my head more. I have a bicycle sickness, and have had up to 13 bikes ranging from folders to racing recumbents to commuters to my road bike; all in the garage at one time...

I had to sell 9 just to be able to downsize to 5 between my wife and I before moving here... For a single, do-it-all, I've now settled on my frankensteiner-29er. It's not pretty. But it's fast, comfortable, and I can technically ride on just about any terrain out there.

This is a picture of the ugliness that is my go-to: 1772
When the suspension is loaded, it mimics the geometry of my road bike, and having the TT bars drastically cuts the wind for 80% of my commute...

:D

jabberwocky
10-02-2012, 02:16 PM
Maybe we don't see too many bikes that handle 2.35s because they are on the wrong commuter bikes... :p Once you put function over form, things change dramatically...I dunno, tires that large aren't even that common on mountainbikes, where tire volume is a huge benefit. Hell, thats what I run on my DH bike, and thats a bike I do 10'+ drops on (granted, those tires are over 3 pounds apiece...)

I totally get that 23mm race tires aren't always the best tool for commuting duties, and larger tires certainly have advantages, but I don't think I'd ever run tires that big on a commuter unless I was trying to deliberately make my commute harder than it needed to be. :p

thecyclingeconomist
10-02-2012, 07:26 PM
I dunno, tires that large aren't even that common on mountainbikes, where tire volume is a huge benefit. Hell, thats what I run on my DH bike, and thats a bike I do 10'+ drops on (granted, those tires are over 3 pounds apiece...)

I totally get that 23mm race tires aren't always the best tool for commuting duties, and larger tires certainly have advantages, but I don't think I'd ever run tires that big on a commuter unless I was trying to deliberately make my commute harder than it needed to be. :p

What pedal system do you use/how tall are you? You can test ride mine, and I'll be you'll convert...

:p

JorgeGortex
10-18-2012, 01:08 PM
Beep beep!

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/moonlander

You could ride over a SmartCar during your commute, and not flat, on one of these babies! ;-)

jrenaut
11-08-2012, 10:28 AM
However, I've replaced them today with Continental Gator Hardshells. I'm a little disappointed in 1200 miles, and my LBS doesn't stock Specialized. So I'm trying something different. I will keep everyone posted on how they do.
After about 300 miles on the Continental Gator Hardshells, some observations.
1) No flats yet.
2) They seem to hold air better than the Armadillo Elites, but I'm thinking that has to just be coincidence, right? I'm using the same tubes - do the tires have anything to do with keeping the pressure up?
3) They're a little slicker than the Armadillos. I imagine that means they're faster, but it also means the rear tire is more likely to spin when I start out of the saddle.

So far, so good.

JimK
11-08-2012, 11:23 AM
FYI: Amazon is running a sale on the Conti GP 4000S, about 35 percent off the list price. I have used the 700x23 a number of times. They handle well and are durable.

Dirt
11-08-2012, 11:46 AM
I totally get that 23mm race tires aren't always the best tool for commuting duties, and larger tires certainly have advantages, but I don't think I'd ever run tires that big on a commuter unless I was trying to deliberately make my commute harder than it needed to be. :p
I live to deliberately make my commute harder than it needs to be.

jabberwocky
11-08-2012, 11:55 AM
I live to deliberately make my commute harder than it needs to be.Yes, I know. I was actually thinking of you when I made that statement. ;)

Dirt
11-08-2012, 12:01 PM
Yes, I know. I was actually thinking of you when I made that statement. ;)
Awwwwww... that's cute. :D I knew there was a good reason why I rode my cargo bike today.