After 3 months and just under 1,000 miles, the factory tires (Kenda 700x38) on my Giant Cypress DX developed bulges--in both the sidewall and the tread. You can see the tread shift side-to-side in those areas, and they started vibrating something fierce today. Definately something messed up with them.
The LBS where I bought the bike offered to replace the tires under warranty with another model from the same brand. That's cool, but I don't trust the brand, and the only ones they have in stock are even uglier than the already ones on it. So, I'll buy new tires.
Where I bought it, the guy recommends Specialized Armadillo for its puncture resistance and durability, which are both important to me. At another LBS, they carry Bontrager and recommend the Hardcase for the same reason. Same size (700x32) and price at both places. I'm going for somewhat narrower in hope of reduced rolling resistance. There is a difference in max PSI rating, 100 for the Armadillos and 80 for the Hardcase. I run the current tires at their max of 85.
I ride nearly 100% on the street (many potholes and more glass than Corning). I'm concerned with grip in the wet, since I don't have a choice whether or not to ride in the rain--I have to. I know that on car tires, high-mileage rating usually means no grip in the wet. Winter isn't an issue because I'll run proper winter tires then.
Can anyone with experience with either (or preferably both) of these recommend one or the other? Or is the difference not worth worrrying about? Or should I be considering something else? (All I can afford right now is about $25-$30 per tire.)