Get the stick.
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes: 12 Y.O. Litespeed MTB, IRO Jamie Roy fixie, Custom Habanero Ti 'Cross, No name SS MTB, Old school lugged steel track bike (soon)
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I think it is not worth it to cheap out on tires. I went through 3 of those conti 2000s in a couple of months from sidewall cuts. It is way too easy to do it to those tires-even a pothole can cut the casing-now that is poor quality. Plus, I got flats a couple of times a month. I kept thinking, "yeah, but they are so cheap", but in the long run they cost me way more than buying a decent set of tires right off the bat. Look for a tire that has a high # of TPI in the casing. A good tire will have a relatively flexible casing, instead of trying to use the rubber as a structural element.
It's a little too early to tell, but the Specialized Turbo kevlar tires I scored off ebay have been really good. I've smacked some potholes really hard with them, and run over tons of glass, and even riden some MTB trails on them, and no flats yet. They are also quick.
My favourite tires were Michelin axial(?) 28c kevlar's-they were actually really 28mm, and as a result, couldn't fit in a modern road frame. Lasted a long time, and were comfortable and surprisingly fast. Not sure if they make them any more. For low budget, I've had good luck with IRC tires, in various varieties as well. Avocet is good too.