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Old 08-09-14, 10:37 PM   #1
DiamondDave247
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Question about Specialized Armadillo Tires...

To those of you that have owned a few sets of Armadillo's before,...what is the average "lifespan" (mileage) I can expect from the Specialized Armadillo "Infinity" model? Here is the link to the Specialized Tire I have now:

Specialized Bicycle Components

I've owned one previous set of Armadillo "Crossroads" tires that I put 5,000 miles on, and they looked like they would go a couple thousand more miles when I sold that bike. Great tires for me, so I bought another set of Armadillos for my next bike! The "Infinity" tires that I have on my current bike seem to have a much thinner Kevlar belted weave, and don't seem nearly as durable as the "Crossroads". Different models and styles, I know. The "Infinity" tires have 3,300 miles on them now, and after the last puncture-flat (2nd flat in two years isn't bad for Albuquerque), I noticed they were MUCH thinner and more worn than I would have expected after 3K miles of mostly paved road/trail rides.

Is it time for a replacement?? Or am I just being overly cautious?! Thanks in advance for any tread you can shed on this thread.

Last edited by DiamondDave247; 08-09-14 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 08-10-14, 06:46 AM   #2
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I've used the All Condition Armadillo Elites on my road bike for a few years and have been flat free. I was getting 3K+ out of a set and only had one tire wear to the point that I wouldn't feel safe to ride it for at least a little while longer. I had a set of Hemisphere Armadillos on my hybrid but the things were so dang heavy I sold them and went to a different tire.
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Old 08-10-14, 09:41 AM   #3
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Think of tire selection as a triangle.

Label one corner of the triangle "puncture resistance and durability."
Label another corner "low rolling resistance and road holding."
Label the third corner "cheap."

You can find a bicycle tire that will fit anywhere inside that triangle. If you add a kevlar layer to improve puncture resistance, for example, it will cost more and also make the treat stiffer and increase rolling resistance.

Hope that shed some tread on this thread.
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Old 08-10-14, 12:08 PM   #4
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...I had a set of Hemisphere Armadillos on my hybrid but the things were so dang heavy I sold them and went to a different tire...
Thanks for the reply. No doubt, the Armadillos are heavy! The price we have to pay for puncture resistance until a better solution is offered, I suppose.

I took a really close look at my front and rear tire again today. I noticed that the rear tire shows significantly more wear than the front tire. I didn't think the wear difference would be that noticeable, but it was. So, I'm going to "rotate" the rear tire to the front wheel today in an effort to extend the life of this set of tires for the rest of this riding season. Looks like I will be buying some new tires next year. At that point the tires will have close to 5000 miles on them. So, I guess 5K miles will be about my average tire "lifespan" for Specialized Armadillos.
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Old 08-10-14, 01:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. No doubt, the Armadillos are heavy! The price we have to pay for puncture resistance until a better solution is offered, I suppose.

I took a really close look at my front and rear tire again today. I noticed that the rear tire shows significantly more wear than the front tire. I didn't think the wear difference would be that noticeable, but it was. So, I'm going to "rotate" the rear tire to the front wheel today in an effort to extend the life of this set of tires for the rest of this riding season. Looks like I will be buying some new tires next year. At that point the tires will have close to 5000 miles on them. So, I guess 5K miles will be about my average tire "lifespan" for Specialized Armadillos.
Your tire wear is normal. I'd expect a rear tire to wear two or three times as fast as a front.

Alburquerque, I'm thinking that's goat head thorn country. If I lived there I'd be looking for the most puncture resistant tires I could find too.
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Old 08-10-14, 02:20 PM   #6
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Your tire wear is normal. I'd expect a rear tire to wear two or three times as fast as a front.

Alburquerque, I'm thinking that's goat head thorn country. If I lived there I'd be looking for the most puncture resistant tires I could find too.
Thanks for the replies and for the information. New Mexico and the U.S. Southwest/West in general is "goat head thorn country", yes indeed. Although Albuquerque may not have the largest thorns from what I have read here at the forum! After experiencing 3 flats in one 30 mile paved trail ride here several years ago, I decided to sacrifice tire weight in exchange for the hassle of dealing with changing tubes. It was a good trade off in my opinion. The Armadillo tires along with Slime tubes have kept me pretty much "puncture-free" considering how many miles I've logged.
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Old 08-10-14, 03:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DiamondDave247 View Post
I took a really close look at my front and rear tire again today. I noticed that the rear tire shows significantly more wear than the front tire. I didn't think the wear difference would be that noticeable, but it was. So, I'm going to "rotate" the rear tire to the front wheel today in an effort to extend the life of this set of tires for the rest of this riding season. Looks like I will be buying some new tires next year. At that point the tires will have close to 5000 miles on them. So, I guess 5K miles will be about my average tire "lifespan" for Specialized Armadillos.
I know some people will rotate tires like this, but I don't do it for several reasons

1) The front tire is the most critical for stopping and turning
2) A front tire blow out is more dangerous than a rear tire blow out
3) The front tire is the first to encounter any obstacle or debris
4) If I'm in a hard corner and wash out, I'd rather the back tire slide first rather than the front for a more controllable low side wipeout

I prefer to replace the front tire with new, move the good tire to the back, and donate the well worn but usable rear tire to the local bike co-op (or trash it if it is beyond safe use). If I was going to rotate tires, I'd do it at 1/2 or less of their expected life span so they wore relatively evenly, rather than waiting until toward the end and moving a well worn tire to the front. Just my opinion.

The Armadillos are tough as heck and if I was riding in high risk areas or long, remote rides unsupported, I'd stick with them. They served me well but I'm giving some lighter, better riding tires that still have a reputation for decent flat protection a shot. The difference in ride is very noticeable on the hybrid. On the road bike I gained a bit of speed (about 1 mph average over my last three rides compared to other rides on the same routes) and notice a lot less fine road vibration and a bit more secure feeling in sharp corners. Still, I'd have no problem going back to the AC Armadillo Elites if I start getting a significant number of flats.

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Old 08-10-14, 06:34 PM   #8
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...I know some people will rotate tires like this, but I don't do it for several reasons

1) The front tire is the most critical for stopping and turning
2) A front tire blow out is more dangerous than a rear tire blow out
3) The front tire is the first to encounter any obstacle or debris
4) If I'm in a hard corner and wash out, I'd rather the back tire slide first rather than the front for a more controllable low side wipeout...
You make some very valid points. I will definitely take this into consideration moving forward. Safety concerns should always take priority over saving a little money by extending the life of a worn tire. Thanks again.
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Old 08-15-14, 07:37 PM   #9
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You make some very valid points. I will definitely take this into consideration moving forward. Safety concerns should always take priority over saving a little money by extending the life of a worn tire. Thanks again.
Those are valid points theoretically. As a practical matter, though, I rotated tires for years when I was a poor college student and new father, and I never had any trouble. Obviously you don't want to run them until the air shows through, but with some judgment you should be OK.
As for Armadillos, I know many people like them, but I've had about as many flats as I had with other tires, and the harsh ride was unpleasant (NOTE: This is goathead country, too, and they go through those belts like they weren't there. I use panaracer Pasela TGs and Little Big Bens).
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Old 08-15-14, 10:23 PM   #10
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...I use Panaracer Pasela TGs and Little Big Bens...
I may just take a look at these brands next year when I shop around for new tires. Would you happen to know, or care to take a guess, at what kind of mileage you get from the Panaracer and the Schwalbe (Little Big Ben) tires you have owned?
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