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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 05-12-11, 04:53 PM   #1
JohnA42
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Time for new tires?

Had another flat today. Same as every other time: I've got my riding clothes on, shoes clacking on the garage floor. I air up the front tire because it's closest to me. It's fine so I move to the rear and... it's flat.

That's 4 -- all on the rear -- in the last, say, 500 miles. It's always a slow leak. MUCH easier to find the offending debris than it is the puncture in the tube. This time it was a piece of metal that looked sort of staple-like. It's also been glass and gravel in the past.

I ride this bike pretty much strictly on the road. (Occasional rail-trail, but not for weeks.) To be fair, some of the roads I ride on are in serious need of some TLC, and they've all got crap all over them. Still... I'm over it.

Suggestions? Tire liners? Brand/model of tires?

FWIW, the tires are what came with the bike, Specialized "All Condition" 700x25 with a total of about 700 miles on them.
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Old 05-12-11, 05:29 PM   #2
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Continental Gatorskins or Schwalbe Marathon Supremes.

If tire weight is not a concern, I put over 5000 miles on a set of plain Marathons with no flats.
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Old 05-12-11, 05:36 PM   #3
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I'm not a big fan of Gatorskins, but their flat resistance is somewhere from ok to good. A lot of people love them.

I like Vittoria Rando Cross tires on my CX bike. They're heavy, but grip very well, and are very flat proof. I don't know whether you can get them in 25 mm or not - I have a set of 28s.
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Old 05-12-11, 05:52 PM   #4
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Continental Gatorskins.
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Old 05-12-11, 07:33 PM   #5
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i have read tons of good things about Continentals. the Gatorskins for those that always get flats from debris, but also the "gp4000 S", even if it is lightweight, low rolling resistance, etc. most peoples reviews on them say they last for thousands of miles and are worth the $60/per tire. that's what i'm going to purchase next for my bike.
i have no previous experience with the Continentals, just that i've never read a bad thing about them.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:37 PM   #6
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I myself buy wire bead 25's at REI for $24. I've tried Conti gators and had bad luck as well as Conti GP's as far as flat protection.

As far as great flat protction. I used Armadillos (original,no race stuff). I did 5000 miles one year with not a single flat. Lots of rides through the mountains. A ride partner said they were too heavy but heck, I was training.
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Old 05-12-11, 09:25 PM   #7
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Specialized Armadillos - heavy, and you will feel the inertia when you accelerate; but low rolling resistance, and very resistant to punctures.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:19 PM   #8
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I like my Armadillos so far.

I have a regular Armadillo on the back, and as of this week have an Armadillo Elite on the front. I really like both in the time I've had them.

I have had 1 flat on the rear Armadillo so far though, but there aren't many tires out there that are going to stop a 1-inch staple. There's a good chance it would've flatted my car tire too, I believe.
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Old 05-13-11, 06:28 AM   #9
JohnA42
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Hmmm. Armadillo and Gatorskin both sound good.

I found an online special (today only) where I can get a pair of Gatorskins, shipped, for $85. Sounds almost too good to pass up...
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Old 05-13-11, 06:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JohnA42 View Post
Hmmm. Armadillo and Gatorskin both sound good.

I found an online special (today only) where I can get a pair of Gatorskins, shipped, for $85. Sounds almost too good to pass up...
That's 5 bucks more than I paid in the shop for my ultra gatorskins last season. I happen to like them quite a bit. I will say this, order them a size bigger than you actually want. If you want 25s, order 28s. They run small for some reason.

700 miles and your tires are worn out? That's bologna, I'd see if Specialized would warrant them out before I shelled out the money for new tires. It's worth asking unless you really want something different. Here is a tip for finding a tiny hole in a tube. Take a bowl and fill it with soapy water, dish soap works great for this. With a rag, wipe the soapy water across the tubes in a thin coat, watch for bubbles to form. To help with finding really fine debris puncturing your tire, take a cotton ball and fray one end of it as fine as you can. Very gently wipe the frayed cotton ball along the inside of the tire. The cotton will snag on whatever is poking through, look for the fibers and you'll find the little SOB that has been plaguing your inner tubes.
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Old 05-13-11, 06:50 AM   #11
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700 miles and your tires are worn out? That's bologna, I'd see if Specialized would warrant them out before I shelled out the money for new tires. It's worth asking unless you really want something different.
It's not that they're worn out -- I just keep getting flats from debris.

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Here is a tip for finding a tiny hole in a tube. Take a bowl and fill it with soapy water, dish soap works great for this. With a rag, wipe the soapy water across the tubes in a thin coat, watch for bubbles to form. To help with finding really fine debris puncturing your tire, take a cotton ball and fray one end of it as fine as you can. Very gently wipe the frayed cotton ball along the inside of the tire. The cotton will snag on whatever is poking through, look for the fibers and you'll find the little SOB that has been plaguing your inner tubes.
Trust me, I've gotten pretty good at this the last couple hundred miles.
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Old 05-13-11, 11:53 AM   #12
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i have read tons of good things about Continentals. the Gatorskins for those that always get flats from debris, but also the "gp4000 S", even if it is lightweight, low rolling resistance, etc. most peoples reviews on them say they last for thousands of miles and are worth the $60/per tire. that's what i'm going to purchase next for my bike.
I'm going to try the Grand Prix 4000s when the tires on my road bike wear out. Front one is a Vittoria Rubino with about 2,700 miles on it, but the back is a much newer Gatorskin. I've had the front tire since I got the bike, but this is the second Gatorskin I've put on the rear wheel.
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Old 05-13-11, 11:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JohnA42 View Post
Hmmm. Armadillo and Gatorskin both sound good.

I found an online special (today only) where I can get a pair of Gatorskins, shipped, for $85. Sounds almost too good to pass up...
The Armadillos roll like bricks but are even more flat resistant.

The Gatorskins are tough enough, roll well, and are long lasting. I like them.

GP 4 seasons are tough, might roll a little better, have higher measured wet traction (I've yet to have a problem with a Gatorskin), and wear much faster. I might stick to Gatorskins after I've figured out how much faster.
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Old 05-13-11, 01:40 PM   #14
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I have the Panaracer RiBMo's on my LHT. I also heard the T-Servs are also pretty nice.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:50 PM   #15
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Vote for Gatorskins!
I have both Armadillos and Gatorskins.
Both are good but the Gatorskins ride much nicer.
No flats on either.
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Old 05-15-11, 04:01 PM   #16
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Last year my bike also came with Specialized "All Condition" 700x25 and I had 6 flats in 400 miles. I switched the rear to Armadillo Elite all condition and have not had a flat since. I also changed the way I ride a bit. Whenever I see any kind of debris or gravelly crap that I can not get out of I rise off the saddle ever so slightly which I'm sure makes a big difference to a tiny object looking to do damage to my tire.
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Old 05-15-11, 06:03 PM   #17
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Last year my bike also came with Specialized "All Condition" 700x25 and I had 6 flats in 400 miles.
Good to know.

I'm going to head to my LBS tomorrow and see what they think.
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