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Old 07-07-10, 04:57 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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Too Many Flats - Trying Conti Ultra Gatorskins/Armadillos

3 Flats last week or so, including one today. I took a really good look at my Conti 4000's, and discovered that, since the last time I looked, they had really developed a shoulder, and I was near the casing on the rear. I forget that I am riding about 150 miles per week, and that does wear out tires!!

Since I got my flat right after riding on some gravel, and I spent about 15 minutes on the trail trying to find something in the tire that had caused the puncture flat, without success, I concluded that it was likely an in and out puncture. I was able to locate the hole in the tube, but there was no sharp thing in relation on the tire.

So, went to my friendly LBS and bought some Conti Ultra Gatorskins to try. Also, replaced the rim tape as a preventative measure. Hope this helps.

So, we shall see.

BTW, the LBS guy said that Specialized had totally redone the Armadillos recently, and they were a much better tire as regards rolling resistance, ability to mount and the like. Last Armadillos I had were SLOW and almost impossible to mount.
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Old 07-07-10, 07:05 PM   #2
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I run the Ultra Gatorskins on my commuting bike. They're tough and wear well, but give a rough ride.
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Old 07-07-10, 07:06 PM   #3
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I'm closing in on 5,000 miles on a set of Gatorskins. I like them a lot. I disagree with Bud on the ride. I also run them at considerably less pressure than most people, so that could be it.

That's good news about the Armadillos. I really disliked the ones I've tried. Heavy, slow, slippery in the wet and rode like cast iron. Any change would be for the better IMHO.
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Old 07-07-10, 07:10 PM   #4
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DF,

Been riding the Gatorskins for several years. According to a rolling resistance study I quoted about a month ago they have reasonable rolling resistance, not the best but not bad. I get a lot of wear from them but I find them hard to mount the first few times until the bead stretches a little.
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Old 07-07-10, 07:30 PM   #5
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I've been running Conti Gatorskins on my Gunnar Street Dog for a long time. Expensive, but well worth it if you hate flats as much as I do. They're very popular around here, on the frequently rough roads of the Bay State.

My present set of Gatorskins are in their third year. I'm not certain how long I ran the last pair, but the rear tire was worn down pretty good. No complaints from me.
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Old 07-07-10, 07:58 PM   #6
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We rode almost 2000 miles between us last week on our tour around the San Juan Mountains and didn't get one flat. That includes over 100 miles total on a very rough gravel road from Ouray to Ridgway. No flats! Most of our group rides Conti 4000s tires but some had SWorks Turbos or Michelin Pro Race. The OP must have very bad luck!
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Old 07-07-10, 10:49 PM   #7
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I'm closing in on 5,000 miles on a set of Gatorskins. I like them a lot. I disagree with Bud on the ride. I also run them at considerably less pressure than most people, so that could be it.

That's good news about the Armadillos. I really disliked the ones I've tried. Heavy, slow, slippery in the wet and rode like cast iron. Any change would be for the better IMHO.
That pretty much sums up my experience. Gators have given me excellent service and I think they ride pretty well. They have stood up well to gravel and I run them about 10 lbs below recommended max. I removed some Armyadillos that were just terrible feeling.

Has anyone tried the new Schwalbe Ultremo DDs? Very, very nice tire IMO! http://www.schwalbetires.com/ultremo_dd
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Old 07-08-10, 05:37 AM   #8
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The OP must have very bad luck!
Well. must ask, then, what do you use for "luck."

I tried carrying a rabbit's foot in my jersey pocket - that did not help. I have some mantra's that I say. They don't seem to help.

If "luck" is the answer, I really need some help here.

Otherwise I will have to chalk it up to worn tires, as I mentioned in the OP. But, heck, that couldn't be the cause when we all know it is my bad "luck!!."
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Old 07-08-10, 06:03 AM   #9
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I just switched back from the 700 x 28c Ultra GatorSkins on my Randonee to the original Vittoria Randonneurs, 700 x 32c. The Gators felt a bit harsh to me, and the rolling resistance was about the same. I do read that the Gators are tough . ( I bought my Gators at Performance, they let me bring em back even after riding them for 2 days ).

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Old 07-08-10, 06:20 AM   #10
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Well. must ask, then, what do you use for "luck."

I tried carrying a rabbit's foot in my jersey pocket - that did not help. I have some mantra's that I say. They don't seem to help.

If "luck" is the answer, I really need some help here.

Otherwise I will have to chalk it up to worn tires, as I mentioned in the OP. But, heck, that couldn't be the cause when we all know it is my bad "luck!!."
If worn tires are the culprit, is it maybe overkill to go with armor cladded tires when simply new tires may have done as well without the extra weight or harshness? Did you have puncture problems with the Conti 4000's before they got old and worn?
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Old 07-08-10, 06:36 AM   #11
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Any worn tire will be subject to punctures as you found out. I often let my tires go to the point I get a flat from things that normally wouldn't cause a puncture. Tires aren't cheap and like most riders I let them go as long as I can. In my use, the Conti 4000s has been a very puncture resistant tire and my lucky charm it seems. But once they get thin all bets are off. When goatheads become the problem though my advise is to move to the Southeast. We don't have them there. lol
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Old 07-08-10, 06:45 AM   #12
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If worn tires are the culprit, is it maybe overkill to go with armor cladded tires when simply new tires may have done as well without the extra weight or harshness? Did you have puncture problems with the Conti 4000's before they got old and worn?
Well, yes - more than I would like. AS I said in my original post, I want to try them.

"So, went to my friendly LBS and bought some Conti Ultra Gatorskins to try."

Somehow, I am feeling on the defensive for telling the forum that I am trying a new type of tire.
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Old 07-08-10, 08:10 AM   #13
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Well, yes - more than I would like. AS I said in my original post, I want to try them.

"So, went to my friendly LBS and bought some Conti Ultra Gatorskins to try."

Somehow, I am feeling on the defensive for telling the forum that I am trying a new type of tire.
Please don't feel the need to be defensive. I was not attacking. I asked a question and you answered it. Since you were having puncture problems with your old tires (that was not clear in the OP), it makes good sense to try something more protective.

I do think some people go to overkill on flat protection at the price of a loss of handling and feel. On the other hand, some situations call for compromise on those fronts to avoid numerous flat tires.
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Old 07-08-10, 09:22 AM   #14
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So what pressure are you running your Gatorskins at? I run my Conti GP 4000s at 110 rear and 95 front, and they ride comfortably and roll great. Just picked up some Gatorskins but haven't mounted them yet.
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Old 07-08-10, 09:51 AM   #15
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I just switched to 700/28 Bontrager Hard Case's after a few flats on the stock 700/23's. Are these comparable to the Gator Skins? No flats on theem yet.....
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Old 07-08-10, 10:05 AM   #16
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I just switched to 700/28 Bontrager Hard Case's after a few flats on the stock 700/23's. Are these comparable to the Gator Skins? No flats on theem yet.....
No. Hard Cases are without a doubt the WORST tires I have EVER used (in 35 years of riding): hard to mount, slow, harsh riding, and "greasy" cornering feel. On the positive side they appear to wear like iron. Unfortunately, they ride like it too.

The only similarity that between those and Gatorskins is that they're both a PITA to install and remove. The Gators roll fast, corner well and ride smooth.

Never really had a chance to compare the puncture resistance, as I don't get that many flats. (Just watch - now I'll get a flat a day for the next month.)

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Old 07-08-10, 10:30 AM   #17
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So what pressure are you running your Gatorskins at? I run my Conti GP 4000s at 110 rear and 95 front, and they ride comfortably and roll great. Just picked up some Gatorskins but haven't mounted them yet.
120 psi front and back. I've always used 120. However, I don't pump every day, so on some days it will be a bit less.
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Old 07-08-10, 11:50 AM   #18
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I love my Gatorskins. I tried Armadillos and they were just too much trouble! I had trouble changing flats (yes you will still get flats).

On my current pair of Gatorskins (which need to be retired) I have ridden 3 years (including a tour in Montana) without a flat (now the tires are jinx'd). I just make sure the pressure for my 28's is 100psi and I am good to go!
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Old 07-08-10, 12:06 PM   #19
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Love my armadillos
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Old 07-08-10, 02:17 PM   #20
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The thinner the rubber- the less distance for a thorn to penetrate to the tube. But thick rubber will allow a thorn to get into the rubber and then break the thorn- leaving just the head. I check my tyres by running a damp rag over them and I can then see the flints- thorns- glass etc embedded in the tyre and remove them before they puncture.

Won't help with your goatsheads though- think they would deflate a solid tyre.

Staying with my Michelin PR2's as I don't seem to have a problem this year. No Rain so nothing is growing- and that includes the Blackthorn that is our usual problem.
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Old 07-08-10, 02:21 PM   #21
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First ride today on the Gators. Everything seemed just fine - didn't notice any particular tire-caused slowness, so I lost one more potential thing to blame slowness on!!
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Old 07-08-10, 02:38 PM   #22
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Well. must ask, then, what do you use for "luck."

I tried carrying a rabbit's foot in my jersey pocket - that did not help. I have some mantra's that I say. They don't seem to help.

If "luck" is the answer, I really need some help here.

Otherwise I will have to chalk it up to worn tires, as I mentioned in the OP. But, heck, that couldn't be the cause when we all know it is my bad "luck!!."
I've found 700 x 28c Gatorskins are good luck.
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Old 07-08-10, 02:44 PM   #23
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I've found 700 x 28c Gatorskins are good luck.
Well, mine are 700 x 25's - will that give me luck also?
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Old 07-08-10, 02:50 PM   #24
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Well, yes - more than I would like. AS I said in my original post, I want to try them.

"So, went to my friendly LBS and bought some Conti Ultra Gatorskins to try."

Somehow, I am feeling on the defensive for telling the forum that I am trying a new type of tire.
Fox, someone in the Long Distance forum once pointed out (rather more politely than in some of our sibling Forums) that according to the forum, you'll always have the wrong tires, wheels, saddle, handlebars, energy bars, shorts, socks, and ... well, just name it. But none of that matters. Smiles, remember? Birds, flowers, other engaging sights, and watch out for glass and goatheads.

Personally I have maybe 1500 miles on two sets of Gators. Neither one is near wear limit. Neither one has given me a flat. Both ride well. I use the pressure chart to decide what pressure to set my tires at plus a little extra (I weigh 180, and do around 80 front/90 rear; I did buy an Accugauge tire gauge). Both sets of wheels coast very well, so the rolling resistance can't be bad, though there's no evidence available to me to indicate it's great.

All the advice I could garner about the Armadillos, including the recent ones, said I would feel slow compared to the Gators. Needing new tires for my tourer, 700 x 32c, I got some Pasela TGs. I like them but I only have a few hundred miles on them.
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Old 07-08-10, 02:53 PM   #25
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Well, mine are 700 x 25's - will that give me luck also?
Yes.
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