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Greenbelt
07-26-2011, 10:55 AM
So after a relatively flat-free winter, I've had 5 flat tires in the last 4 months. I don't know what the difference is, or if it's just a coincidence. Almost all were caused by tiny nails or tacks (one was caused by a broken earring :mad: ).

284

So last night I finally put on the kevlar. After the earring flat, I ordered some Armadillos, and got them on the bike last night. A little harder to install for me (they're quite stiff), but so far I'm very pleased. The ride is definitely firmer and less grippy, though, so I'll have to be more careful on the gravely or sandy spots. The new tires are more of a touring style than a knobbier CX style like I had been using -- mostly slick with little rain channels. They're nice and wide though -- I got 700 x 35, which just barely fits the clearance on the commuter bike. (If the rear wheel goes slightly out of true, the 35 tires will start to rub the seat stay. But I like as wide as possible for handling the bumps and road creases along the way.)

Hoping for a flatless rest of summer and fall.

americancyclo
07-26-2011, 11:03 AM
I've been running the All Condition Armadillos for the past 9 months and been pretty happy with them. Particularly now that they come in all black, so I don't have to look at that ugly brick colored sidewall they used to use. Some people say the ride is too harsh, but they get me to work and back without a lot of grief.
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=58015

Greenbelt
07-26-2011, 11:05 AM
Yep, I got these guys: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=57258

Expensive, though. Hopefully, they'll be worth it. They have a reflective sidewall, which I like.

Joe Chapline
07-26-2011, 11:20 AM
I have the same tires as americancyclo, 700x28. I'm happy with them, but I have gotten one flat from a little piece of fine wire.

Dirt
07-26-2011, 01:46 PM
I put over 10,000 miles on a set of All Condition Armadillos and got ZERO flats. After 5000 miles or so, I was kinda surprised that I hadn't got any, so I did a 70 mile ride in DC and swerved to hit every bit of broken glass I could find for the entire ride. I ran over DOZENS Of broken bottles and remnants of bashed out car windows. No flats. A week later I looked at the tires and picked 40 or 50 bits of imbedded glass out of the tires. Still no flats.

I'd still be riding them today if there had been any rubber left on them.

Expensive, but worth it.

Pete

Joe Chapline
07-26-2011, 06:01 PM
I put over 10,000 miles on a set of All Condition Armadillos and got ZERO flats. After 5000 miles or so, I was kinda surprised that I hadn't got any, so I did a 70 mile ride in DC and swerved to hit every bit of broken glass I could find for the entire ride. I ran over DOZENS Of broken bottles and remnants of bashed out car windows. No flats. A week later I looked at the tires and picked 40 or 50 bits of imbedded glass out of the tires. Still no flats.

My spin: I accomplished something in cycling that Pete tried and failed to accomplish.

creadinger
04-04-2012, 08:25 AM
So everyone would recommend Armadillos for excessive glass??

I think it is time for me to pick up a pair. I got about 1/2 mile into my ride in this morning and realized that the squishy feeling in my rear tire I felt two days ago was back again. So I turned around and drove in. Maybe the wrong place to ask - Where did all the traffic go? Spring break?

Anyway, the reason for the squishy feeling is that there is SO much F*&$KING glass in SE DC. What the F*&K! Do they do any street sweeping down there?! Or have DC administrators decided that it would be easier to just let that area devolve into a pile of rubble and start again? I have been riding Panaracer tires for years and once the kevlar starts showing I may get a flat or two, then I swap them for a new set. This pair has probably 300 miles on them and you know there's dozens of pieces of glass already stuck in them working their way in toward the tube. Dirt's ride a few posts up where he purposefully hit all the glass he could see is basically my commute, even though I'm trying to avoid it!

Is there anyone I can write to about all the trash and glass down there? If you're east of the Anacostia you will see tons of it. I figure it's a combination of a couple of things - No street sweeping.... ever, a lot of recycling trucks losing too many bottles(?? maybe?) and people who just don't give a shit tossing bottles everywhere. If the big three, piss making beer companies completely eliminated glass bottles, it would make my ride so much easier.

KLizotte
04-04-2012, 09:58 AM
Greenbelt, mind if I ask what tires you were originally using that gave you so many flats? I'd like to avoid them in the future.

Creadinger, if you go with the Armadillos, check out this page that describes the differences between their various levels of protection:

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEquipCyclo.jsp?ecid=1099

jrenaut
04-05-2012, 08:42 AM
Another +1 for Armadillos - I've put maybe 1000 miles on mine, and almost all of it in downtown DC. The only flat was that nail that went through my rim, too, so I don't fault the tires.

SpokeGrenadeSR
04-05-2012, 08:51 AM
I'd like to spread love for gatorskins. I've had them on 4 bikes and the only flat I've had in 3 years was because the psi was too high on a really hot day and the pressure blew it out.

off2ride
04-05-2012, 10:23 PM
I also use Armadillo's on my beater. I've been using them for about 2 years now and no problems whatsoever. I have another set on my TCR for open road rides to Potomac via Mc Arthur and same thing. No problems. I did notice a cut on the sidewall on my rear tire when the ride was done but I still made it back to my car with no problems. A former co-worker uses Gatorskins and I remember he came in late a few times because he had to fix a flat while riding on Annandale Rd. So thumbs to the All condition Armadillo tires.

creadinger
04-11-2012, 10:12 AM
I just remembered that I have a giftcard to REI that I want to use up. They sell gatorskins, but not armadillos. When you throw in the convenience of a gift card, the difference between these reptile skins won't make THAT much of a difference right? I usually ride 32s so a 28 should fit fine right?

ronwalf
04-11-2012, 12:31 PM
They sell gatorskins, but not armadillos. When you throw in the convenience of a gift card, the difference between these reptile skins won't make THAT much of a difference right?

Get what you want, but it's hard to claim those armadillos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armadillo) will lay an egg on you!

jrenaut
04-11-2012, 12:34 PM
They sell gatorskins, but not armadillos.
That's my one knock on the Armadillos - Specialized will only let authorized dealers sell them. So it can be a pain to find them, and restrictions like that just leave a bad taste in my mouth.

creadinger
04-11-2012, 01:08 PM
Get what you want, but it's hard to claim those armadillos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armadillo) will lay an egg on you!

Great point... guess I was a bit confused as to what an armadillo actually was. Whoops! Haha. And thanks for weaving it into the thread of which tire you think is better too.

creadinger
04-26-2012, 12:38 PM
So I put the Gatorskins on. They're nice! Thinner than my other tires too, so they may even be a tad faster/easier.

I also picked up a set of Vittoria Randonneur tires for my touring bike. I'm tired of riding 32s and I wanted to switch down to a narrower 28. They're wire rim tires and OMG they are hard to put on and take off! I'll need at least 2, maybe 3 tires levers to get them off if I get a flat. The Panaracers I had on there I can take off without even using a lever. I guess I'm used to folding tires but are all wire rim tires usually that difficult to work with? My wife also has wire rimmed tires on her new road bike and knowing how to fix a flat won't be at all useful if you can't even get the bloody tire off.

bikesnick
04-26-2012, 01:00 PM
So I put the Gatorskins on. ... They're wire rim tires and OMG they are hard to put on and take off! I'll need at least 2, maybe 3 tires levers to get them off if I get a flat. ... and knowing how to fix a flat won't be at all useful if you can't even get the bloody tire off.

getting them off is not that difficult, but getting them back on is; have strong hands.

jrenaut
04-26-2012, 01:43 PM
In my somewhat limited experience, I find that brand new tires are the worst - once they've broken in a bit, it gets a lot easier to take them off and put them on.

Dirt
04-26-2012, 01:55 PM
There's no real consistency to wire tires or folding tires being tighter. Some tire brands are tighter than others. Some rims are tighter than others. Specialized have a reputation for being pretty tight on some rims. Salsa rims have a reputation for making even tight tires feel loose (in a bad way). Many modern rims are designed with a groove at the center of the rim that make it easier to install and remove tight tires. Basically sliding the tire bead into the center portion of the rim allows tight tires to be installed easily. Then when the tires are aired up, the tube pushes the tire bead out to the edge of the rim where the bead fits the rim much tighter. It is a nice design feature.

Some tire/rim combinations are brutal. There are a few Vittoria touring tires that were so tight on my Julian rims that when it came time to remove them, I cut them off. I was happy that I almost never got flats on those tires.