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  1. #1
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Why I Don't Use Expensive Tires

    Second of all, I'm from the poor side of the tracks! I do put GP4000's on Gina's bike but as far as my roadies, I don't get much mileage at all out of more expensive tires. Is it my weight? I can't say it's my mileage as too many tires don't make it through the first thousand. I had luck with GP 2000's ($20) but they are discontinued. Now the Ulta Race from what I was told by a shop owner. GP4000's are the way to go he said, smoother ride. One thing I have noticed is that the GP is .100 wider than the Ultra Race. So sure it's going to be smoother. They didn't improve the GP, they cheesed ot on the more affordable model. A scam I say!

    So I try a Specialized S-Works. Nearly $40 a tire but I try. 200 miles later, the thing is toast! I can't believe it, all that money for 200 miles, they suck! I didn't do anything out of the norm, a few rides on the trail and a ride up into the mtns. Where in the heck did I lose a chunk of rubber?

    Then the Gatorskins on the tandem, nearly 40 bucks each but after 600 miles, the threads are showing through and 5 flats? Ditch that junk! I put the tandem front tire onto the rear of my single roadie, same results, on a single????

    SO I read a few threads on the tandem forum. A rider rec's Serfas tires and says $22 at REI. I have nothing to lose so I pick one up and slap it onthe tandem. Holy smokes, about 400 miles and there are NO signs of wear! About half the price of the Gatorskin which would just about be worn out now! So I figure I'd try one on my roadie, $22 for the wire bead and $26 at the shop for the foldable. Gimme the wire! Lost 20 lbs while training for a mtn ride last June so what the heck is a few grams going to make? I'd rather have the wire anyways!

    Put about 200 miles on the tire and no signs of wear or splits! Tag on the tire says if there are any unusual signs of wear on the tire within 30 days, return it for a refund. Sounds good but the tires I've been using, don't show ANY signs of wear! 200 miles and 400 miles aint a whole lot but they are doing much better than the more expensive tires I've tried!

    The current back tire on my roadie is a big fat Armadillo (25). Yes, it's just about as heavy as a car tire but I'm just racking up miles. If I do an event, I put on a lighter tire for the day, but everything thing else is just beater miles! I've got about 4200 miles with no flats onthe Armadillos (went back and checked my records, I was wrong about 5000).

    What I found funny was that back in 05, I did 7300 miles that year. I picked up a couple of cheapo tires ($10 each) at a shop. "Specialized Sport". I got about 4000 out of each tire. I'm thinking it was a discontued model that might have hurt sales on the $35 Armadillo! I rode these tires till the red layer showed through. I was worried about the tires at that point but never got a flat till about 4000. After the first flat, I just installed the second cheapo for another 4000.

    Only thing I'm not real crazy about on the Sefas Seca's is that the 23 is also about .100 more narrow than the GP 4000's and old model of Ulta 2000's. IF I had known, I would have gone with 25's (next time for sure). Might not be a big deal for other riders as I've seen reviews of tires being compared to the GP 400's with good comments when they too were about .100 narrow.


    Well I don't know about other riders but racking up big miles on cheapo tires has never hurt me while training. Plenty of my buds rave about high end tires but I just don't see or feel it! Some say the Armadillo is too slow, but hey, it's the workout that counts! If I want speed, I'll slap on a narrow race tire for the day.



    Specialized S-Works...$37 lasted only 200 miles


    Gatorskin $37 for 600 miles


    $10 Specialized Sport for 4000 miles


    Serfas Seca ($22), not too many miles but no signs of wear, still look new where others haven't.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Specialized S-Works...$37 lasted only 200 miles
    You claim that you wear out a tire after 200 miles? I find that difficult to believe with any tire.

    Looks to me like that damage was done by skidding on the tire.

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I get 4 to 5 K from $10 tires.

    I look for sales and buy way before I need them.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    How could you do that to a Gatorskin in 600 miles???
    I just changed out a Gatorskin that looked like that two weeks ago.
    It had ~3000 miles on it.

  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    How could you do that to a Gatorskin in 600 miles???
    I just changed out a Gatorskin that looked like that two weeks ago.
    It had ~3000 miles on it.
    Might have been that it was on a tandem? I know lots of people that use 'em on tandem, but they don't work for us. I did try the one off the front on my roadie, same results, Who knows? I did do some long climbs on the roadie though (20-40 milers, 5-7000 ft) I dunno if that has anything to do with it.

  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCoastPeddler View Post
    You claim that you wear out a tire after 200 miles? I find that difficult to believe with any tire.

    Looks to me like that damage was done by skidding on the tire.
    Nope, after a 5000 ft descent, I thought I saw gum on my tire. Believe me, I don't skid down the mtns!

    BTW, I've read in other forums of ridrs using the same tires and losing chunks of rubber. Why would I lie, not like I'm returning it for a refund?

  7. #7
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I have been using the secas too and found them to be very good tires.. I bought mine on ebay and they included 4 tubes for $64.00 total shipped price...

    I have had good luck with Conti Gators, not the cheapest tires but had good luck over the years with the wire bead models.. I have heard of people having issues with the folding models..

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=120433958348

  8. #8
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    I'm with 10Wheels, I find tires and tubes on sale and pick them up even if I don't need them. Eventually I will. Same goes for things like bar tape, cables, and the occaisional chain.

  9. #9
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    I expect at LEAST 2,000 on my rear, 4,000 on the front.
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Gatorskin $37 for 600 miles
    Don't use the foldables. A few guys with my rando club have had bad luck with them and stick with the wire bead. They're using a GP4 Season folder for a backup tire. (Same setup I use.)

    I get about 3500mi from a 28mm Gatorskin before it's just too flattened for me to deal with (not worn to threads though) and I swap it out. I could probably get another 500 miles from them if I pushed to the failure point.
    Last edited by CliftonGK1; 10-16-09 at 05:01 PM. Reason: added tire size for clarification
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  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCoastPeddler View Post
    You claim that you wear out a tire after 200 miles? I find that difficult to believe with any tire.

    Looks to me like that damage was done by skidding on the tire.
    The reformulated Schwalbe Ultremo apparently has a very short lifespan if subjected to conditions worse than a wood-floored velodrome. I don't recall if it was a manufacturing/QC issue, but lots of people had problems with them wearing out or (even worse) blowing out/blistering. Maybe this tire suffered a similar problem with the tread compound?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Nope, after a 5000 ft descent, I thought I saw gum on my tire. Believe me, I don't skid down the mtns!

    BTW, I've read in other forums of ridrs using the same tires and losing chunks of rubber. Why would I lie, not like I'm returning it for a refund?
    That being the case, I'd be inclined to return them for a refund. That's a ridiculous mile per dollar ratio.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Saltybeagle's Avatar
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    2500 miles on 23 rear wheel gatorskin, first flat last night, tire is thinner than before. I pump it before every ride, 120 psi rear and 110 front. I use a 25 front due to hand numbness probably from work, keyboard, mouse etc.

  14. #14
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    Ok, don't ride at all, then they'll never wear out.

    Back to a serious response. To some degree the heat of rims from excessive braking will cause a tire to wear faster by heating the rubber too far, thereby softening it. The heavier the system is (bike+rider) the more heat will be generated as the force required to slow is higher. And the more heat that will be generated just from contact with the ground, made significant on descents.

    Skidding, bunny hops, etc. will also cause significant premature tire wear.

    Looks like it's time for you to try a different brand of tire. And yes, the Specialized brand tires are crap.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  15. #15
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Nope, after a 5000 ft descent, I thought I saw gum on my tire. Believe me, I don't skid down the mtns!

    BTW, I've read in other forums of ridrs using the same tires and losing chunks of rubber. Why would I lie, not like I'm returning it for a refund?
    How hot do your rims get on long descents? Are you wearing out brake pads too?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
    I'm with 10Wheels, I find tires and tubes on sale and pick them up even if I don't need them. Eventually I will. Same goes for things like bar tape, cables, and the occaisional chain.

    All the smart guys do this!...Heck I have about 7 tubes, 4 tires and lots of other stuff waiting around for their turn. The Lemond I ride is my backup bike!

    I once found a Deep V for $25, it's on my Cannondale now. I picked up some DA parts at good prices then slapped them on when I needed them.

    Still got a DA derailleur in case I ever need it. But doesn't seem like I will anytime soon!..$64 ata no tax sale, picked up 2

  17. #17
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    That Specialized S-Works does seem to have suffered from a particularly poor rubber compound. But I agree with the general point that there's little evidence that a higher price gets you significantly better performance or durability in bike tires. With only a few exceptions I've gotten decent mileage (4 - 5 kmiles) out of quite inexpensive tires such as Nashbar's Prima2 (unfortunately they seem to only carry the belted version now and have raised the price) and Performance Forte GT2 and I haven't seen much difference between those tires and models like Michelin Pro Race and various Contis.

    Of course even a $10 bike tire cost seems pretty steep in comparison to the last set of car tires I bought at $25 each which lasted for over 40 kmiles while carrying a much heavier load.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    The reformulated Schwalbe Ultremo apparently has a very short lifespan if subjected to conditions worse than a wood-floored velodrome. I don't recall if it was a manufacturing/QC issue, but lots of people had problems with them wearing out or (even worse) blowing out/blistering. Maybe this tire suffered a similar problem with the tread compound?
    If you are talking about the Ultremo R, there is a recall:

    http://www.schwalbetires.com/ultremo_warning_home

    Afflicted tires get an obvious bulge.

  19. #19
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    That Specialized S-Works does seem to have suffered from a particularly poor rubber compound. .
    I only bought the tire after rec's from a friend. "Dude, you gotta get these tires, they are fast and tough!". SO I flat on the first ride. SO our next conversation is, "I know, they suck, I've flatted 5 times!" Friends, what are they good for?



    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    and Performance Forte GT2 and I haven't seen much difference between those tires and models like Michelin Pro Race and various Contis.
    I have about 30 friends riding high end tires and one riding Performance brand tires. Guess which one kicks my arse on the bike!

  20. #20
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
    How hot do your rims get on long descents? Are you wearing out brake pads too?
    I rarely brake on a descent! But the day the S-Works pooped out on me, it was near 100 degrees that day. But the brakes last me forever!


    On a ride like this, 35 miles long descent, up to 45 MPH, I may have hit the brakes twice for maybe 10 seconds. So it's not from braking. Don't believe me, ask Homey, he did the same ride and I'm sure he was pounding his 56 chainring the entire time while descending! He's not a downhill fraidy cat!

    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 10-16-09 at 05:49 PM.

  21. #21
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    And yes, the Specialized brand tires are crap.
    Now you tell me!

  22. #22
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    If you are talking about the Ultremo R, there is a recall:

    http://www.schwalbetires.com/ultremo_warning_home

    Afflicted tires get an obvious bulge.
    That was the one I was thinking of. Thanks for finding that.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I use Conti GP 4000's and Michelin Pro Race tires and usually get around 1000 miles out of them. We're about the same size Beanz, I would think you should get about the same. I think their performance in grip and ride is much better than lesser tires.

    Regarding the Bear, yeah I don't think there is much reason to touch the brakes for most of the last 35 miles or so.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  24. #24
    Senoir Membre Rosso Corsa's Avatar
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    Weight is definitely a huge factor. On my commuter with rear panniers weighing about 35 pounds on average my rear tire becomes completely squared off while the front is at less than half that wear.
    As long as I breathe, I attack.
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  25. #25
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    I use Conti GP 4000's and Michelin Pro Race tires and usually get around 1000 miles out of them. We're about the same size Beanz, I would think you should get about the same. I think their performance in grip and ride is much better than lesser tires.
    .

    If I did more timed events/rides, I'd prolly use the better tires. But since I'm usually puttin' around, I use the cheapos! I'd have a hard time ditching a tire after a grand!... I use a GP on events, then back to the cheapos.

    But to be honest, I tried the new Hutchinson Kevlar 2, GP 4000 Black Chili compound, and the Serfas. I really can't tell a difference eventhough I really try to feel what the others talk about when making claims of cornering, gripping. Flying down GMR at 40 with switchbacks, I don't feel a dern difference. The tires either roll, or they don't! ON a 100 miler, I don't feel a difference in subptleness (I can't spell)that some claim!

    To me, I feel that it's a new tire or an old tire.

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