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.