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Old 02-16-05, 07:06 PM   #1
G4teamG
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Specialized Tires...Nimbus

OK I had enough. Recently purchased a set of WTB Slickasaurus tires for my bike (26x1.5). Since it's been raining off and on here in SoCal I havent had a chance to put a lot of miles on them. But, when I have had the chance to ride I got 3 flats in less that a 100 miles riding. I'm done with them. A friend said to go with Specialized Nimbus Ex tires. He never complains about flats so I figured I'd call the LBS and get a quote. They are an authorized dealer so I figured this guy knows what he is talking about. Turns out this guy says go with the Bontrager tires instead. When I mentioned the flak jacket protection with the Nimbus he said it really doesn't help much if anything. What gives? Any suggestions? Need something that will not puncture or pinch so easily. Also, I will run about 80 psi on them. Thanks
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Old 02-16-05, 07:12 PM   #2
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Get armadillos.
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Old 02-16-05, 07:14 PM   #3
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Flak jacket helps with pieces of glass that would normally puncture in 1 go. An armadillo might hold off for many pieces of glass. The rubber compound used in my armadillo tires seem to fend off glass getting stuck in there. Like it's more resilient and doesn't allow glass to "sink" into it though I do end up picking 10-15 pieces out each month.

Keep in mind though, if you get a piece stuck in there and it consistently grinds it's way through the threading, nothing will keep you from getting a flat.

I've noticed though that the armadillo's feel about 25% less "lively", it feels like I'm riding on flat tires even though they're not flat and pumped to the max PSI. The ride feels more sluggish to me but hey, they're only on my commuter bike.
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Old 02-16-05, 07:31 PM   #4
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Right now I have the specialized tri sport with flak jacket. I dug 3 peices of glass that were in prety far in the tire. No flat.
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Old 02-16-05, 07:47 PM   #5
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All my flats were a result from glass getting in the tire. The Armadillos sound cool. I went to the Specialized site and I like what I read. Thanks guys.
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Old 02-16-05, 08:02 PM   #6
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I've been commuting on armadillos since last fall and have not had a flat. I ride almost everyday. The tire rides a little harsh. I put in 90-95psi. Can't be beat for commuter tire. I'd ride something else for a century though.
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Old 02-16-05, 10:55 PM   #7
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Been on the Nimbus EX's for four years never had an issue with them. I've hit almost anything you can think of on the road and cmae through smiling. Original tubes too.
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Old 02-16-05, 11:23 PM   #8
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I think they're meant as exactly that... a tough commuter tire, not a tire for long distance riding at high speeds.
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Old 02-17-05, 05:16 AM   #9
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That's exactly my experience of the Nimbus Armadillo: tough, but a bit wooden in riding. Skiddy on smooth ironwork. As an everyday commuter tyre they're pretty good. Last summer I switched to the Conti Sport Contact which (so far) has been flat-free and a lighter, more lively ride.
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Old 02-21-05, 12:49 PM   #10
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I rode the Nimbus Armadillo's last year and have to say that it was a pretty tough tire...but no feel. This year I have switched to the Nibus Ex with the Flack JAcket protection and and pretty pleased with the ride. So far I have been flat free ecxept for a pothole that took out my rear wheel.
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Old 02-21-05, 01:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
Been on the Nimbus EX's for four years never had an issue with them. I've hit almost anything you can think of on the road and cmae through smiling. Original tubes too.

Me too. three years, probably 6-7k on those suckers, the only flats I've ever had was pinch flats when I took knobbies off and on. I think I changed one tube because of a pinch flat. Ridden over glass, metal, rodents, etc. Now that they're bald they're a little slick on wet or muddy surfaces though. geez I want a refund
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Old 02-21-05, 03:22 PM   #12
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Unless the pics on the Specialized website are wrong, the Nimbus EX and Nimbus Armadillo have the same tread pattern. The Armadillo might feel "rougher" when riding because of the stiffer sidewall they tend to have.
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Old 02-21-05, 06:20 PM   #13
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I have Specialized infinity armadillo tires (700x32) on my tourer/occ commuter. Guestimate would be about 3K miles with only one flat, from a wire off a car/truck tire (somewhere in Romania or Bulgaria over the summer). These only come in 700c, but its the same "technology" I suppose as the nimbus armadillo, just a different tread pattern.

Notes: They're heavy. My rear tire seems to be wearing flat, increasing the road/tire contact area (patch). About half of my miles on this set were from a self contained tour (so the load on the tires was considerable). I accidentaly cycled through broken glass (a lot!)-and waited for the pfffft-didn't happen. Also, I usually keep my tire pressure rather high (>100psi), so this may increase tread wear as well.

I could see how the stiff sidewall would help prevent pinchflats if running lower pressure-I had to deflate in Istanbul to fly, and was still able to roll the bike without bashing the rims.
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Old 02-21-05, 08:34 PM   #14
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I have to put in a good word for the Conti sport contacts. Best tires I've ever ridden on. They ride at a high PSI and are thick enough that they pretty much crunch any glass they roll over. I'll seriously miss those tires, since my new bike uses 700cc's and the SC's don't come in 700 x 38 or 700 x 40
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Old 02-21-05, 08:49 PM   #15
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I've picked glass out of a flak jacket Mondo (23c, totally slick road tire) tire that had been there a while. It had worn smooth and flush with the rubber around it, but it didn't reach the tube. I've had Nimbus tires and never had a flat, but I did tear the sidewall, so I'd go with the armadillo version. They're heavy, but the sidewalls are pretty beefy. I've been riding flak jacket road tires for a couple years now and only one long fat thorn has made it through. I've had other flats with them (pinch), but only one puncture that I can think of.
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Old 02-21-05, 11:03 PM   #16
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there are also bonganger race lite hard case are pretty tough.
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Old 09-22-16, 03:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by G4teamG View Post
OK I had enough. Recently purchased a set of WTB Slickasaurus tires for my bike (26x1.5). Since it's been raining off and on here in SoCal I havent had a chance to put a lot of miles on them. But, when I have had the chance to ride I got 3 flats in less that a 100 miles riding. I'm done with them. A friend said to go with Specialized Nimbus Ex tires. He never complains about flats so I figured I'd call the LBS and get a quote. They are an authorized dealer so I figured this guy knows what he is talking about. Turns out this guy says go with the Bontrager tires instead. When I mentioned the flak jacket protection with the Nimbus he said it really doesn't help much if anything. What gives? Any suggestions? Need something that will not puncture or pinch so easily. Also, I will run about 80 psi on them. Thanks
I switched from the nimbus tires (flak jacket) to schwalbe mondial due to puncture resistance. Limestone chat and small pebbles here like to stick in the soft rubber of the nimbus and work their way in. I'm a huge specialized fan but really dislike the nimbus. Also they are quite heavy, the good thing is the low price compared to higher end tires ($30 compared to $40 for what I replaced them with.)

Oddly the tires I replaced them with are faster due to weight and I'm assuming a harder compound, or at least they seem harder. Average speed went up 1-2mph. Puncture resistance is insanely better. If you like the nimbus I would only use the armadillo not the flak or sport.
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Old 09-22-16, 07:41 PM   #18
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I have a set of 26" X 1.5" Nimbus Armadillos that I rotate on and off the bike. I prefer the much fatter Schwalbe Big Apples that I'm using now, but the Nimbus tires are faster and really tough. After riding on balloon tires, they feel kind of stiff, though.
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Old 09-22-16, 08:51 PM   #19
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Specialized Armadillo tires are the only tires I buy anymore. They're the only tires tough enough to stand up to the challenge of a regular Oakland CA commute. I'm pretty sure Oakland is the Broken Glass capitol of the world.

Nimbus rolls fast as does Infinity. I prefer the tread pattern on the Infinity. Neither tire is light or supple, but that's not what I buy them for. I've worked my way through just about every major brand and none of them can match the Armadillos for flat protection and durability. The Armadillos tend to mount easy too.

Run your pressure as low as you feel comfortable for the best ride. When they start to get thin you'll start to get flats. After a flat or two I start prepping for replacements. For ultimate flat protection run Specialized "Airlock" tubes. They are filled with proprietary flat sealant which (supposedly) never dries out. I don't wanna start a Slime debate, but I've never had any problems with the Airlocks.

If I had to complain about anything it's that Specialized isn't always the best when in comes to keeping the less than popular sizes in stock. If you get a notion you want to run 38's or 42's you'd better buy extras. When the rear wears out faster than the front and you wanna replace it... they don't have any of that size available. Anywhere. Not even the warehouse. I do 5500-6500 mi/year so I go through about a set a year (I'm a Clyde and roll pretty heavy). I buy them three or four at a time now.


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Old 09-23-16, 11:58 AM   #20
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Flats are caused by so many different things, and it's very difficult to know how likely any tire will be at resisting punctures. You can roll over a piece of glass, and it might not puncture the tire. And then you can roll over a similar piece and get a puncture. Conditions are always changing, and I don't even know if there has ever been a controlled test to measure puncture resistance. Even if there is such a test, anecdotes from forum members each represent tiny sample sizes compared with all the tires on the road and on bike shop shelves. If I get no punctures in a year, is it because of my tires or because of my luck? I have no idea. If I get three in a day, same question, same answer.

There is usually a tradeoff between puncture resistance and ride quality, and you have to decide how much to compromise each parameter. There are recent breakthroughs where today's puncture resistance tire rides as well as yesterday's protection-less tire. These new tires cost extra, and I would recommend them. I would not use a tire that makes the ride worse just because of the protection, but I'm just one person. Some people will tolerate a horrible ride just because the protection is there.
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Old 09-23-16, 02:16 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
There is usually a tradeoff between puncture resistance and ride quality, and you have to decide how much to compromise each parameter. There are recent breakthroughs where today's puncture resistance tire rides as well as yesterday's protection-less tire. These new tires cost extra, and I would recommend them. I would not use a tire that makes the ride worse just because of the protection, but I'm just one person. Some people will tolerate a horrible ride just because the protection is there.
I have run Specialized Nimbus and Hemisphere Armadillos. Lasted a long time, excellent flat protection, rode like bricks. About 10 years ago that I rolled these tires. A lot of other options out there with better ride quality, IMO.
I prefer 26 inch tires around 2.0 width.

I have had several sets of the Continental Travel Contacts in 700c. Most recent purchase was 26X2.0's. Very nice ride. Perform very well in nearly all conditions and most surfaces, except ice and deep mud. Flats are few and far between. Sidewall construction makes a difference with these tires.
continental bicycle Travel CONTACT

Friends and BF members rave about the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme. I would definitely roll these if I had the chance and need of new tires.
Marathon Supreme - Schwalbe Professional Bike Tires

Loved my Schwalbe Big Apples, RaceGuard. New Big Apple Plus has added puncture protection and still has supple sidewalls.
Big Apple Plus - Schwalbe Professional Bike Tires

Panaracer TServs and RibMo's are both nice tires with flat protection.
Ribmo PT ? Panaracer Bicycle Tires

All available in 26 inch size.

We have had two sets of the WTB Slickasaurus and they did not meet my expectations for flat protection. Neither did the Continental Town and Country tires. Both have nice ride quality, though...

Added:

Also, based on my experiences, much more likely to have glass flats in the rain. Harder to see and perhaps semi-consciously avoid the sparkle, compounded by glass sticking to wet tire and then getting rolled and drilled through the rubber. Big slicks seem even more likely to flat in the rain than tires with more tread.

Last edited by AusTexMurf; 09-23-16 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Added comment
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Old 09-24-16, 08:29 PM   #22
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...A friend said to go with Specialized Nimbus Ex tires. He never complains about flats so I figured I'd call the LBS and get a quote. They are an authorized dealer so I figured this guy knows what he is talking about. Turns out this guy says go with the Bontrager tires instead. When I mentioned the flak jacket protection with the Nimbus he said it really doesn't help much if anything. What gives?
Specialized is one bike brand. Trek is another bike brand - Bontrager is a Trek brand (basically Trek). What sounds like happened is that you called a Trek shop, they don't sell Specialized, so they told you that Specialized sucks and to buy the Trek (Bontrager) tires that they sell.

If speed is a priority, I think the best wider tires are Schwalbe Marathon Supreme's. Fastest tire you can get for it's size, comfortable, good flat protection, and excellent grip including grip in the wet. The drawback is that their price reflects that they are premium tires. In 700c I can find them for $50/tire, but in 26x1.6 the cheapest I found was $70/tire (which is admittedly a bit yikes):
https://www.amazon.com/Schwalbe-Mara...hon+supreme+26

This is what **I** get, but I like to invest in more expensive tires.

But I think the reason they told you what they did is that you called a Trek shop and asked for Specialized tires, and they don't sell Specialized tires so they told you those tires were bad. Personally I've not had the best luck buying Bontrager stuff, it can be fine or it can be awful, I've had better luck with Specialized branded stuff.
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Old 09-24-16, 10:02 PM   #23
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If price is a factor and you don't mind a somewhat heavy tire I can recommend Michelins, especially the Protek Cross Max. Costs about half of a comparable Schwalbe, and a third less than the Armadillos. Bike Tires Direct and others sell 'em for about $20-$25 apiece.

Good most-terrain chevron pattern tread for rough pavement, gravel trails and light off-road. Grips like Velcro on any reasonable terrain for an all purpose tire.

The 5mm puncture resistant shield is very effective. I've ridden a set for a year this month, and just this week had my first flat. But it wasn't due to a puncture. The tube lost air for some reason I can't find -- no punctures, no bubbling when submerged in water. Maybe the valve stem was loose so I snugged it back up. But in the process I examined the Michelin tread very carefully and while I found a few small shards of glass that reached the puncture resistant shield, nothing penetrated. And the tires still have plenty of life left in 'em after at least 1,000 miles on mostly rough pavement and gravel. I rotated the tires, putting the less worn front on the back which took most of the wear over the past year.

At 1,100 gr for 700x40, they are heavy. But they're reasonably quiet and smooth rolling for a heavy tire with pronounced chevron tread -- quieter than my lighter weight Specialized Hemispheres, and much more puncture resistant. I run 'em at 50-55 psi front, 60-65 psi rear, well below the 75 psi Michelin recommends for my weight (160 lbs), and much more comfortable than at maximum pressure. The sidewalls are very stiff and the tires feel harsh above 70 psi.

I'm satisfied enough to consider another tread pattern Michelin for mostly smooth pavement, although I'm leaning toward balloon tires for my rigid fork Unibagel.
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Old 09-25-16, 08:54 PM   #24
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Oh ya

Forgot to mention the conti gator skins, better puncture resistance than the normal nimbus, locals here like them better than the armadillo nimbus also. I think the main benefit of this tire that people really like is the rolling resistance, which is excellent.

Downside: price but whatever... Good tires don't get replaced for ages
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Old 09-25-16, 09:09 PM   #25
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One of the oldest zombie threads I've seen!
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