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Old 05-30-05, 03:28 PM   #1
Rashiki
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Specialized Armadillos vs. Specialized Sport: FIghting off goatheads & thorns

I need to get some tires that will protect me against goatheads and thorns. They've been giving me a lot of flats lately. I was wondering how the Sport tires hold up against the Armadillos.

I'd be running 700x23c. The Sport have the Flak Jacket protection. I know that they don't have any protection for the sidewalls, but that makes them lighter and cheaper. The Sport are protected along the tread area by this Flak Jacket protection. Do the Armadillos use this same protection along the tread area as well? If so, then I think they might offer me well enough protection because the thorns have been stabbing me in the tread area.

Anyone have any experience with the Sport tires and thorns/goatheads?
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Old 05-30-05, 03:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashiki
I need to get some tires that will protect me against goatheads and thorns. They've been giving me a lot of flats lately. I was wondering how the Sport tires hold up against the Armadillos.

I'd be running 700x23c. The Sport have the Flak Jacket protection. I know that they don't have any protection for the sidewalls, but that makes them lighter and cheaper. The Sport are protected along the tread area by this Flak Jacket protection. Do the Armadillos use this same protection along the tread area as well? If so, then I think they might offer me well enough protection because the thorns have been stabbing me in the tread area.

Anyone have any experience with the Sport tires and thorns/goatheads?
I run over beer bottles on purpose with my armadillos I'd just go on ahed and splurge
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Old 05-30-05, 04:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashiki
I need to get some tires that will protect me against goatheads and thorns. They've been giving me a lot of flats lately. I was wondering how the Sport tires hold up against the Armadillos.

I'd be running 700x23c. The Sport have the Flak Jacket protection. I know that they don't have any protection for the sidewalls, but that makes them lighter and cheaper. The Sport are protected along the tread area by this Flak Jacket protection. Do the Armadillos use this same protection along the tread area as well? If so, then I think they might offer me well enough protection because the thorns have been stabbing me in the tread area.

Anyone have any experience with the Sport tires and thorns/goatheads?
Armadillos have a magic aramid fabric that runs from bead to bead. That's what makes the sidewalls so stiff. In addition they have a belt under the tread that contains numerous short lengths of fiber to fill in the gaps that are left between the woof and warp of the fabric.

I don't know about the Sports Flack Jacket construction.
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Old 05-30-05, 06:12 PM   #4
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Armadillos might be puncture resistant, but a word of caution: I took mine off because the ride was rock hard and bone-jarringly uncomfortable. The stiff sidewalls seem to make it almost like a solid tire.

I replaced them with Continental Ultra GatorSkins, which have a very soft supple sidewall and the ride is much better. I can't speak for the puncture resistance though.

Another thing about the Armadillos is that due to the reinforced construction I found them very hard to get on and off the wheels. I might be a weakling, but there was no way I could get the bead over the rim to fit the tire without resorting to metal levers and a huge amount of sweat and grunting. There was also no way plastic levers could get the tire off again; the lever was going to break before the bead even budged. It was one thing to do in my garage, but if I did get a puncture out on the road, I would have hated the difficulty of repairing it in the field.
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Old 05-30-05, 06:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanB
Armadillos might be puncture resistant, but a word of caution: I took mine off because the ride was rock hard and bone-jarringly uncomfortable. The stiff sidewalls seem to make it almost like a solid tire.

I replaced them with Continental Ultra GatorSkins, which have a very soft supple sidewall and the ride is much better. I can't speak for the puncture resistance though.

Another thing about the Armadillos is that due to the reinforced construction I found them very hard to get on and off the wheels. I might be a weakling, but there was no way I could get the bead over the rim to fit the tire without resorting to metal levers and a huge amount of sweat and grunting. There was also no way plastic levers could get the tire off again; the lever was going to break before the bead even budged. It was one thing to do in my garage, but if I did get a puncture out on the road, I would have hated the difficulty of repairing it in the field.
They're a harsher ride, but I will deal with it, I run over beer bottles for fun! I wouldn't attempt that on any other tire.
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Old 05-30-05, 07:34 PM   #6
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Well, I went to a LBS and looked at both the Sport and the Armadillos. I squeezed the tread area of both tires, and though the salesman said that they both had the same protection in the tread area, the Armadillos did feel stiffer in the tread area, which I equated with better puncture protection.

Yes, the sidewalls of the Armadillos are definitely stiffer, but I went ahead and opted to go with the Armadillos. Got them for $30 each. I figured if I was going to try and do my best to eliminate all puncture problems, I might as go with the tank version and get the Armadillos. Besides, I will only need to ride them while the weather is still hot around here and the thorns/goatheads are out. I didn't start getting flats from them until the weather started getting hotter. When it starts cooling down and raining again, I'll probably switch over to the Sport tires. They were a good price. They were only $20 each.

So, I'll let you know how the Armadillos work out. Yeah, they were hard to get on the rims, but not really that much harder than the tires I had before, if you can believe that. I just had a bad rim tire combination going on. These are just as difficult. As much as I don't want to, there is not way to get the tires on the rims without metal levers that have a plastic coating on them (Soma levers). They do the trick. Have to be methodical about where to place the tube when doing this, though, or else you'll pinch the tube for sure.
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Old 05-30-05, 08:14 PM   #7
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Well, I just went for a ride around the block on my new 700x23c Armadillos. They really don't ride that much rougher than the Kenda Koncept tires (cheap, I know) that came with my bike, so I guess that says something about the Kendas. But better for me because it's really not a disappointment in ride quality for me. I guess I've never had a "soft ride" yet, so I'm not spoiled.

I'm gonna take them for into combat tonight. I know exactly where I keep picking up thorns/goatheads, so we'll see if I get them tonight. Wish me luck.
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Old 05-30-05, 10:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanB
Another thing about the Armadillos is that due to the reinforced construction I found them very hard to get on and off the wheels.
I guess it depends on the wheels. I have Nimbus EX Armadillos in 700x38c on Alex rims, and when I installed the tires I didn't have to use irons at all, I did it with my hands alone.
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Old 05-30-05, 10:23 PM   #9
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I guess it depends on the wheels. I have Nimbus EX Armadillos in 700x38c on Alex rims, and when I installed the tires I didn't have to use irons at all, I did it with my hands alone.
Same here, cept 650c tires...and I put em on by hand...very easy to work with.
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Old 05-31-05, 01:38 AM   #10
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If you guys are the guys in your avatar pictures, then I believe it when you say that you were able to put these tires on by hand. I'm just this little wimpy guy with no muscles. Had to resort to levers.
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Old 05-31-05, 11:06 AM   #11
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I am.
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Old 05-31-05, 11:31 PM   #12
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I am now running armadillos on my Giant Boulder after a spate of punctures, no new ones now except for on on the INSIDE. Pulled a big chunk of glass out today 30 km into a 50 km ride, glad the tires held up

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Old 06-01-05, 07:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanB
I replaced them with Continental Ultra GatorSkins, which have a very soft supple sidewall and the ride is much better. I can't speak for the puncture resistance though.
The ride with the Gatorskins is excellent. I got tired of flats as well, and decided to not only pick up the Gators, but put Tuffy's under them as well... no punctures after 600-700 miles, though I got a pinch flat after slacking off on keeping the PSI up, and I've gone through plenty of broken glass and metal schrapnel. The Tuffys cover about 150 degrees of the tires, in addition to the Gators' built-in kevlar, but the sidewalls remain supple, so they are fast and smooth.

I think this combination is perfect for me.
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Old 06-04-05, 10:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashiki
Well, I just went for a ride around the block on my new 700x23c Armadillos. They really don't ride that much rougher than the Kenda Koncept tires (cheap, I know) that came with my bike, so I guess that says something about the Kendas. But better for me because it's really not a disappointment in ride quality for me. I guess I've never had a "soft ride" yet, so I'm not spoiled.

I'm gonna take them for into combat tonight. I know exactly where I keep picking up thorns/goatheads, so we'll see if I get them tonight. Wish me luck.
Ooops. Forgot to post back. Went through the area where I usually get thorns/goatheads and I came out clean. I guess these tires do work, so far (skeptic at heart).

Although, I have changed my mind a bit about the rolling resistance. I do feel like I'm working harder pedaling. The traction has been fine, but just the rolling resistance.

Last edited by Rashiki; 06-04-05 at 10:54 PM. Reason: Forgot Some Info
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Old 06-04-05, 11:06 PM   #15
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I'm thinking I don't like the Nimbus Armadillo 700x38 set I put on a couple weeks ago. Rolling resistance is high, even at 100PSI, and the ride is really really stiff.

I'm thinking about switching to Panaracer Pasela TGs in 700x32 or 700x28.
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