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Old 07-11-08, 11:50 AM   #1
PirateJim
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Michelin Krylion vs. Conti Gatorskin / 700x23 vs. 700x25??

I知 planning to buy some new tires. With less than 900 miles on the new bike I致e had three puncture related flats and I知 still nursing several nasty patches of road rash and a bruised hip from the one on Monday afternoon (which is no doubt at the root of the decision to shop tires). The bike came with 700x23 Bontrager Race Lite tires. I知 thinking of going to a 25mm tire and after weighing the Michelin Krylion Carbon and the Continental Ultra Gatorskin I think I知 going to go with the Michelins.

I have read a lot of good comments (BF search is my friend :-) about both, and interestingly, a few negative comments about both that were pretty similar, mostly centered around sidewall issues. I am leaning toward the Michelin because they are a bit lighter and, to my eye, a bit more attractive

My reasoning for going to 25mm is mostly for a somewhat softer ride and I知 sorta hopeful that a slightly higher volume tire will provide a bit more of a 鍍ell as it is going flat. (I took the spill when heading around a corner on what I now believe to have been a fairly rapidly deflating tire. I had picked myself and the bike up and was standing on the side of the road wondering what was going on before I found the tire to be flat.)

Would anyone care to talk me out of this, validate the decision, or offer an alternative suggestion?
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Old 07-11-08, 12:08 PM   #2
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Jim,

Are those flats on your Pilot 5.0? I have an '06 Pilot 5.2 with probably the same tires (except mine are 700x25) and with 2700+ miles have yet to have my first flat with them (knock on wood).

I bought some Conti GP4000 tires to replace the Bontragers, but the Bonti's just won't quit... yet. The rear is starting to look a bit squared off, but I think I have a lot more miles left in them.

Maybe I'm just lucky. If so, I'll take lucky over skill anytime.
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Old 07-11-08, 12:11 PM   #3
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I'd get the Michelin Krylons, 25. I run a set of those and they are fine tires.
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Old 07-11-08, 12:43 PM   #4
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I do not have any experience with the michelins, but am running 700 x 28 ultra gatorskins at present. Lots fewer flats than I had with Vittoria Zifferelli's in the same size on the same riding conditions. If that can be considered helpful at all....
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Old 07-11-08, 03:46 PM   #5
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I've run both, and find the Gatorskins a bit tougher, The Krylons look better to me to, but the way a tire looks ranks dead last in my book when it comes to avoiding road rash. Oh, yeah,,, I also found the Gatorskins to be a bit more supple in freezing weather.
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Old 07-11-08, 04:29 PM   #6
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I have had both. The Gatorskins are trial to get on the first time and are slow, but they're almost puncture-proof. The Michelins (at 120 PSI) are even slower (softer, mushier, no fun) and are just as prone to puncture as the original stock Bontragers (race lite) that came with the bike. Even "tire liners" made of kevlar didn't make any difference. I have Vittoria Rubinos now (700x23 - 130 PSI) - no flats, fast, light, and much more fun.
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Old 07-11-08, 04:40 PM   #7
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Our bikes also came with Bontrager Race Lites and we got 4 flats in the first three weeks we rode. We replaced the tires with the Michelins and have 2400 miles each on two bikes with only one flat, and that wasn't even discovered until the following morning. The tire is a bit of a rough ride - we have been going 20PSI in the front and 10PSI in the rear under what Michelin recommends to soften the ride.

I've also used the UltraGatorskins with similar results but only went about half the mileage before I sold them (and the bike they were attached to).
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Old 07-11-08, 05:00 PM   #8
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Going to a 25 will soften the ride but only if you drop the pressures a bit. I only use 23's- because that is what I like but then again- I do not use any of the tyres you have mentioned.

I use Michelin Pro Race 2's at 130 to 140 psi. Most run them at around 100 to 120. Depends on your weight but a heavier rider will need more pressure to stop Snakebites. I am only 150lbs but still run the higher pressures.

If you want a "Performance" tyre then it appears that there is a popular choice of 2 Mich PR2's and Conti 4000s (The s is important) The ride of both of them is good and puncture resistance occurs with both.
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Old 07-11-08, 05:35 PM   #9
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The brakes are large enough for Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 27c tires. If the frame
has the room, they are a great choice. They are big enough for low pressure, light enough to keep up.

http://chicogino.blogspot.com/2007/0...ffy-tuffy.html
scroll down for a brief review

I ran the tires for 4 years and loved them.
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Old 07-11-08, 06:52 PM   #10
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I vote gatorskins. I totally disagree with the post that said they are slow, I run them on my Simoncini and they are not slow! I am going to switch to them on my Tarmac at the end of this season when the stock tires are shot - and thats my sprinting bike. What makes a tire "slow" is when you can't trust it at speed, around a fast turn or in questionable conditions, I find the Gatorskins rock solid.
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Old 07-11-08, 07:05 PM   #11
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I vote gatorskins. I totally disagree with the post that said they are slow, I run them on my Simoncini and they are not slow! I am going to switch to them on my Tarmac at the end of this season when the stock tires are shot - and thats my sprinting bike. What makes a tire "slow" is when you can't trust it at speed, around a fast turn or in questionable conditions, I find the Gatorskins rock solid.
They are slow.
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Old 07-11-08, 07:34 PM   #12
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Pardon my ignorance, but how is a bicycle tire fast or slow? Is it a feel issue.. or does it really affect the speed?
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Old 07-11-08, 07:55 PM   #13
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A person who gets many flats with any tire is either very unlucky, or is riding too close to the edge of the road where all the debris and tiny glass shards are lurking. One thing about road bikes is that unless you've got a van with spare wheels following you, you have to pay attention to where you're riding.

I'm in the camp of people who say that really flat resistant tires tend to be slow because they have more rolling resistance. They just seem sluggish to me. But it may or may not matter to you. 23 or 25... not sure I would sit here and say it makes that much difference to the ride. And I can almost guarantee that for any given model of tire, whether it's a 23 or a 25 is going to make ZERO difference in terms of the number of flats you get.

All in all, mention any tire, and you will find people who have never flatted with theirs, and some who have flatted a lot and will swear off that model or brand forever. It's like saddles. My best advice, I think, would be to buy a good quality, "training tire" and go with that. If you want a nice ride, ignore the naysayers and get a tire with a 127 tpi casing.

And then, don't inflate it any harder than you have to for your weight.

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Old 07-11-08, 08:04 PM   #14
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+1
What Longfemur said.
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Old 07-11-08, 08:17 PM   #15
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+1
What Longfemur said.
+2
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Old 07-11-08, 09:21 PM   #16
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I am currently riding the Michelin 25 tires. I will buy another set just like these. Working great for me.
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Old 07-12-08, 05:57 AM   #17
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+2
+3

As far as one tire being "slower" than another - it's all about rolling resistance and weight. The weight differential is negligable for a ruggid tire like the gatorskin (they weigh the same as the Vittorios mentioned) and the rolling resistance although slightly more for a kevlar belted tire is also negligable and can be offset with a few extra lbs pressure if you choose (and I don't). If these two items do make a difference to you then go get lighter wheels as well. I would rather have a ruggid tire on a fast descent or in a paceline and there are several out there that give you a good tradeoff and are considered good training tires - the gatorskin being one of several. I use to run GranPrix's which are more of a performance tire but they don't hold up as well. I could not see any speed difference on my standard training rides when I switched to the gatorskin - maybe I am just slow on everything. I have not tried the Vittorios but may when need new tires.
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Old 07-12-08, 07:36 AM   #18
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I am riding the Michelins in 23. I am very happy with them.
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Old 07-12-08, 12:55 PM   #19
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I used Gatorskins for years with great results. Fewer flats and 2500+ miles. I got 5000 on a front. The Michellins I had years ago got cut up easily. I just switched to the Conti GP 4000 S, on the recommendation of a local bike guru. After 1400 miles, I like them fine. They are supposed to roll better than the Gators because of their little beads.
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Old 07-12-08, 02:02 PM   #20
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Do they make the GP4000S in 25mm size? I couldn't find that size so got the std GP4000 instead. (at ProBike). I may have missed it. But I wanted to stay with the 25 size.
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Old 07-12-08, 02:45 PM   #21
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Observing all tires mentioned above on two 3,000 mile tours. All these tires will have flats. Just some have fewer. The Michelin seemed to have fewer than most with Continental close behind.

Bontrager may have fine qualities. Long lasting life is not one of them. The Bontrager Hard Case tire lasted less than 1,000 miles as were as the Michelin and Continental lasted the whole tour.
When I say Bontrager do not last I mean that the rubber starts flaking off and frequent flats occur.
BTW, I had the same experience with the Bontrager Race Lite tire as well as the standard Schwalbe Road tire. My complaints to the LBS were answered with: Yeah, they are good for racing but not long distance touring. Our touring was no load touring at 120 miles/day.
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