No more cheap tires for me. Had a Hutchinson Excel 700x23 wire bead on the rear with about 1,000 miles on it. Bought it from Nashbar when they had it marked down to $9.95. Was using it for commuting and training rides so I thought it was a good deal.
Two days ago was riding along, in a straight line, and without warning the rear goes PFFFFffffPPFFFFFffff flap flap flap... I thought, what the heck. I pull the wheel off and there's a hole in the tire sidewall! The cotton threads of the casing broke off at the wire bead, allowing the tire carcass to separate from the bead. Once the hole developed then the tube blew right through it.
I can't blame Hutchinson. The tire was only rated for 100 psi and I had 120 psi in there. Pretty dumb, huh?
Switching to Vredestein Fortezza's. Cost more, but rated at 145 psi and a much higher thread count. The Vred's have a thread count of 120 turns per inch versus 33 for the Hutch's. We'll see how the Vreds do.