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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-18-09, 02:23 PM   #1
dlester
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Gatorskins

After all reading everything I could find about what the best puncture resistant tire is to ride, I ultimately decided upon the Gatorskins. This wasn't a trivial decision since there is a generous amount of feedback about high rolling resistance and the feeling of a rough ride.

I picked up the ultras, and I have only put one commute on them so far, but I have to say that I personally found all the negative feedback I had read to be unfounded. I am sure they aren't as light as race tires, but the ride was better all the way around from the tires I replaced (some other Continental variety that originally came with the bike when it was new). I had a much smoother ride, felt better in the corners, average speed was close enough to the same that it really didn't matter, and still had the comfort of knowing they were not as susceptible to punctures as what I had been riding.

I kept the tire liners I had been using from the old tires. If I get a puncture with these I will try putting those back in as well and be double protected.

Anyway, to make a long story longer, unless you are some high-performance racer type that is worrying about every single ounce, these tires are great.
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Old 05-18-09, 02:35 PM   #2
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I think the GP 4 seasons is the gatorskin for the "racer" type. I have gatorskins on one bike, 4 seasons on the other. Strangely, the gators are on the fast bike, the 4 seasons on the slow one. Ah well.
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Old 05-18-09, 07:24 PM   #3
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Gatorskins definitely have a higher rolling resistance but are pretty much bombproof.
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Old 05-19-09, 04:02 AM   #4
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I hate Gaotrskins. I had them on my bike and within 3 000 miles, I had about 10 flats. Specialized Armadillos are much better when it comes to flat protection., They are heavy but a great training tire. I use them on my training rides then slap on some Conti's for the events. Armadillos are so heavy and stiff they stand in the center of a room by themselves!
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Old 05-19-09, 07:20 AM   #5
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I did have a single gatorskin tire a few years ago, which seemed somewhat susceptible to flats. No problem with the 4 or 5 other gatorskins. Could be just chance or manufacturing inconsistency.
But the ride is soo much better than with the Armadillos. The latter felt always like dragging an invisible trailer, although it got a lot better after a few hundred miles.
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Old 05-19-09, 07:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
I hate Gaotrskins. I had them on my bike and within 3 000 miles, I had about 10 flats. Specialized Armadillos are much better when it comes to flat protection., They are heavy but a great training tire. I use them on my training rides then slap on some Conti's for the events. Armadillos are so heavy and stiff they stand in the center of a room by themselves!
I loved my armadillos when I first got them. Sure they are like riding with steel wheels on a bumpy road but they didn't get a flat. They didnt' even flat out when the tread started coming off in chunks after about 1,000 miles which made it an even bumpier ride. Did specialized or the bike shop I got them at care? nope.

My LBS (not the specialized store) had gatorskins so I put them on and gave it a go. So far so good. No flats, no noticeable speed loss, smoother ride and grippier when cornering so I'm pretty happy with them.
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Old 05-19-09, 07:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
I hate Gaotrskins. I had them on my bike and within 3 000 miles, I had about 10 flats. Specialized Armadillos are much better when it comes to flat protection., They are heavy but a great training tire. I use them on my training rides then slap on some Conti's for the events. Armadillos are so heavy and stiff they stand in the center of a room by themselves!
I had a very different experience. Armadillos were horrible for me. No grip in the wet, heavy, uncomfortable, and I kept flatting.

I've always assumed specialized tires are punishment for that horrible thing I did as a child, about which I told no one.
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Old 05-19-09, 08:56 AM   #8
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I got a flat on my one of my gatorskins a couple weeks ago. I pulled out the chunk of glass and that's when I noticed how thin they'd gotten after however many thousands of miles. They also showed the wear from skipping and skidding on my fixed gear. I'm just waiting for pbk to get 28's in before I order them again. Maybe 3 flats among both tires over the last few years. Not too bad for a tire that's used practically everyday in all weather.
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Old 05-19-09, 09:08 AM   #9
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I've done tens of thousands of miles on Gatorskins over the years...they roll fine, ride fine, rarely flat.
I use GP4000s 's for racing
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Old 05-19-09, 09:08 AM   #10
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Gatorskins, FTW! I love 'em for my commuter/brevet bike. The 28mm version is cushiony enough for really long rides (300k) over bad roads, but still rolls with a quick enough feel that I'm not struggling to maintain pace.
Armadillos are bombproof, and they're so stiff you can almost use them as run-flat tires if they do ever get punctured. But the tradeoff is a ride quality that feels like rolling bare rims on chip-seal. Numb hands and a numb backside aren't things I want during a 200 - 300k brevet. Heck, I won't even make that sacrifice for my 30mi r/t commute.

Another heavy, puncture resistant, quick rolling tire which has crept its way into my stable is the Vittoria Randonneur Cross. Lower pressure, higher weight, stiffer sidewalls... but I've ridden a pair of 700 x 28s over a few miles of large chunk construction gravel (The stuff they use for truck driveways at build sites and power lines) and didn't have any problems.
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Old 05-19-09, 09:09 PM   #11
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Armadillos are so heavy and stiff they stand in the center of a room by themselves!
Are you sure you aren't talking about my jersey?
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Old 05-19-09, 09:17 PM   #12
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Are you sure you aren't talking about my jersey?
eewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

You know you can wash jerseys, see the tags inside for instructions
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