Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
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Forte Tires (Performance Bicycle house brand)
I know this is an old subject, Forte tires, I've looked at the search results. This is my 2 cents, after three different sets of Forte tires, over thousands of miles in the last three years. Forte tires are inexpensive and considering price, not bad. However the old adage comes to mind, "you get what you pay for". I think I'm done with Forte, and I'll heed the advice I've read from others - "tires make a big difference".
Set 1 - Forte VersaTrac with kevlar belt. These tires wore like iron and were very cut and puncture resistant. They still had lots of tread left when I replaced them at 5,000 miles. The problem is the tread is so hard it makes for poor traction, especially on wet pavement. If there's any muddy silt under the water, it's like riding on grease. I took some nasty spills on these tires. The lugs on the tread were so hard they would not bite on some driveway lips and would just skid along sideways. You had to be extra careful about hitting driveway angles.
Set 2 - Forte SpeedTrac with kevlar belt. There tires were the polar opposite of the VersaTrac tires, soft tread that cut easily. The traction at least was very good. I had to replace these at about 2,000 miles because of wear and cuts. There were probably the best tires of the three sets I went through, but they're no longer offered.
Set 3 - Forte Gotham. These tires started out well, had good traction, took high pressure and rolled well. However after less than 1 year and under 1,500 miles, the outside tread started coming off of the 26 x 1.75 tires I had on my comfort bike that I occasionally ride on rocky trails. I replaced these these with Continental Town and Country tires that roll faster with less PSI at speeds under 20 mph. A 700c x 35 tire I had on my hybrid bike exploded with a gunshot-like bang, along with the tube, after running over a 3/4 inch rock on a concrete pathway through a park. That just happened this morning. I have Schwalbe Marathon tires on order as replacements. The Gotham tire has a center tread and outside edge treads, and the tire failed between the center and outside tread - a good 4-inch rip.
I know others have had good experiences with Forte tires. At age 62 and at some of the speeds I hit going down hills and trails, it's not worth it for me to take any risks with questionable tires. I cracked one helmet on a VersaTrac spill, something I hope to never repeat.