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Old 01-06-09, 05:15 PM   #1
Robert Foster
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Anyone try specialized Armadillos

It is about time to get some now tires and I am thnking about some specialized Armadillos. I have read some good things about them but wanted some input from other 50+ riders before I drop the hammer.
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Old 01-06-09, 05:39 PM   #2
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In what way are your armadillos specialized? Do they squirt poison? Have big nasty teeth?

Oh, you are referring to the bike tires. I've never used them on a bike that I own, but I have taken test rides on a few bikes with them. I found them to give a harsher ride than other tires, significantly more road vibration into my hands. I know they are very flat resistant, but I would never use them because I hate harsh rides. YMMV.
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Old 01-06-09, 05:41 PM   #3
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I've used 'em and liked 'em. But I think there are comparable tires. Gatorskins come to mind. I'm sure there are others. Being a tightwad, I would pick the one on sale.
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Old 01-06-09, 05:47 PM   #4
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Armadillos sacrifice nearly everything else in favor of better puncture protection. If you have been frustrated by frequent punctures, Armadillos may be a good choice for you.
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Old 01-06-09, 05:52 PM   #5
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I found the Gatorskins a little faster

Averaged almost 1 mph faster when I replaced the Armadillos with Gatorskins (15.8 mph vs. 16.6 mph). Had 2 flats in 1478 miles with the Armadillos, no flats in 1353 miles on the Gatorskins.

Of course, the Michelin Pro 3s are even faster (17.6 mph) and no flats (yet) in 350 miles -- but they're expensive!
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Old 01-06-09, 05:53 PM   #6
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I used to use Armadillos but found Gatorskins easier to mount. I have enjoyed the ride and performance of Gatorskins for commuting and have not switched back.

The Continental 4 Seasons is lighter than the Gatorskins and is supposed almost as puncture resistant; I like those as well.
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Old 01-06-09, 06:03 PM   #7
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I guess I am in luck then. I have a friend that has a set of Armadillos that he doesn't care for. One of the reasons was as someone else posted, speed. I can try the Armadillos and see if they work for me and then make up my mind if they would work. I plan on getting new tires before February and figured some in here had tried these tires. I have even considered slicks but I have read the cut easily.
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Old 01-06-09, 06:06 PM   #8
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At age 60+, I want a nice smooth riding tire. I'll give up the puncture resistant thing for performance. But that's me.

There have been times when I stopped to help riders with flats. I gotta say those Armadillos and those tires with that extra liner for puncture resistance, really made changing tubes a royal pain.
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Old 01-06-09, 06:12 PM   #9
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How about longevity? My OEM tires roll well but they show a lot of wear for 1400 miles. I have only had three flats but they all have come from goat heads. But I can get three sets of the OEMs for the price on one set of Armadillos.
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Old 01-06-09, 06:24 PM   #10
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Pasela TourGuards also have a good reputation for puncture resistance. They are $25 each; I recently found them somewhere (I forget where) for $20 each and bought a pair. That's about half the price of Armadillos.

I have only ridden a few miles on them but so far so good.
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Old 01-06-09, 08:10 PM   #11
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I haven't tried many tires but I like my Armadillos. Subjectively, they seem to soften up and ride a little better after the first 1000 miles or so. No flats. Bontragger Race Lite Hardcase is another option.

Edit: I must admit that 1 MPH gained from Gatorskins is darn tempting. Anyone else vouch for that kind of speed difference?

Last edited by billydonn; 01-06-09 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 01-06-09, 08:39 PM   #12
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For me, once I've been on my bike for a few minutes, I can't tell any difference between my Specialized Roubiax Pros and my Armadillos, except the armadillos don't flat and on occasion, the Roubaix tires do.
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Old 01-06-09, 08:49 PM   #13
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Bontragger Race Lite Hardcase

HI,
Just put the (Bontragger Race Lite Hardcase ), on my bike they seem roll better and faster than my last set, they also resist pinch flats, beings I ride alot around town alot abd they also have a few layer of the kelvar belts.
Doug
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Old 01-06-09, 08:49 PM   #14
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+1 for Gatorskins ...

I was using Bontrager HardCase(s) ... all the comfort of the original wooden wheel ... fairly flat resistant but when I did have a flat ... it was like wrestling ... well ... an armadillo I guess.

Switched to the Gatorskins and ... easier to change ... much more comfortable ... and probably ~+1 mph

No experience with specialized Armadillos ...
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Old 01-06-09, 08:51 PM   #15
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Bontragger Race Lite Hardcase is another option.
To do what?

I got these standard on my Trek520. Sure, they wear well, but don't like glass (get cut up really easily), puncture so easily I was forced to go to tyre liners and are very unsteady on loose surfaces. I took mine off after the rear threw a lump of tread the size of my thumb nail - I don't know what caused it but considering the way those things like to get cut up by glass, I'm betting that's what started it.

In comparison, I replaced the Bontrager's with Vittoria Randonneurs - instantly more stable (especially on gravel but anything not sticky bitumen), instantly more grip, no sign of glass damage after 1,000km of commuting (no flats either as I've just realised) and faster to boot (something I still don't understand) ... not to mention more comfortable but they are a lower pressure tyre so that's an unfair comparison.

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Old 01-06-09, 08:54 PM   #16
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I have a pair of Armadillos, barely used, that I'm trying to sell and I was going to offer them to you but I see your friend has some. Mine are skinnier than you might like too (23mm). As others mentioned, they gave a harsh ride but mainly I don't need a tire that skinny.
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Old 01-06-09, 08:58 PM   #17
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I weigh 220 Lbs and ride for fitness and recreation (not a racer). Armadillos have worked just fine for me.
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Old 01-06-09, 09:10 PM   #18
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Pasela TourGuards also have a good reputation for puncture resistance. They are $25 each; I recently found them somewhere (I forget where) for $20 each and bought a pair. That's about half the price of Armadillos.

I have only ridden a few miles on them but so far so good.
I have ridden Pasela Tour Guards for several years on a few bikes. I switched from Armadillos and couldn't believe how much lighter and more compliant the Paselas were. I have them on two bikes now in 28mm and 35mm widths.

Watch Nashbar for frequent sales (but not right now ) Be sure to get the folding type.

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Old 01-06-09, 09:21 PM   #19
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Armadillo's are tough and as flat proof as a skinny bike tire can reasonably be. They are moderately pricey, but wear a long time.

But, they are harsh. I couldn't wait to wear mine out. Took them off after a 1000 miles and have riden "racier" tires ever since with satisfaction.

I'd rather have flats than to ride Armadillos again.

That's just me.

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Old 01-06-09, 09:29 PM   #20
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I bought my Tourguards through Amazon; they're now $18.80 each. This is a screaming deal IMHO.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...guards&x=0&y=0
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Old 01-06-09, 09:41 PM   #21
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Call me the Lone Rider. I have decided not to leave home without my Armadillos, except for on my Sequioa Elite, which have very light folding 23mm. Lots of flats, but light and fast. I have 23mm Arm'ys on one roadie, and had 28mm on a Trek 520 that I sold. On my roadified MTB/Tour conversions, it's 1.5" Army's or nothing. I find they are easy to mount and remove. I sold my Marathon Plus to a friend who loves them. I didn't like the wrestling match, even if it was seldom. The Bon Race Lites that were stock on my 520 were WWF Champions that eventually flaked away to the cloth.

The clincher: I'm an aggressive rider and I weight 250lbs and really punish the tires. Nothing has held up like Army's. I can run the front a bit low for more cush because of the strength of the sidewalls.
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Old 01-06-09, 09:50 PM   #22
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I spent a few months on Armadillos and found them heavy, sluggish, and (as have others above) "harsh". I've ridden Pasela 32's and like them on crappy roads and urban streets for their ride and good flat resistance. Gatorskin 25's were OK-- not all that resistant to staples, radial wires, etc.

My all-around favorite have been Conti 25mm 4000's......resilient ride, relatively lightweight, damn few flats, and great wear so far. I'd rather get the occasional flat (a few minutes trouble) than have to ride on not-so-pleasing tires. But, individual needs and tastes dictate.
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Old 01-06-09, 10:38 PM   #23
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I bought my Tourguards through Amazon; they're now $18.80 each. This is a screaming deal IMHO.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...guards&x=0&y=0
Those are steel bead tires. Nashbar has the kevlar bead version for $25 now. They often have them for $20. Catch them at that price and a 15% off code and it's time to stock up.

You'll get more hits at Amazon if you search for "pasela tg".
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Old 01-07-09, 12:30 AM   #24
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I have a pair of Armadillos, barely used, that I'm trying to sell and I was going to offer them to you but I see your friend has some. Mine are skinnier than you might like too (23mm). As others mentioned, they gave a harsh ride but mainly I don't need a tire that skinny.
Thanks ever so much. I use 23s now and they would have been fine. If for some reason I like them and my friend decides not to sell I will be in touch. But I am beginning to have second thoughts and am glad I can test ride a set before spending the money up front.
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Old 01-07-09, 12:43 AM   #25
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I've used them on all my bikes. I also like the Gatorskins, but seem to catch a few more flats with them. I have an Armadillo for a rear tire on my recumbent.
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