Last November I bought an old hybrid that came with a set of aftermarket 38mm Specialized Nimbus Armadillo tires. I've ridden the bike with those tires until a couple of days ago when I noticed that the rubber on the back tire was split wide open, about 4" long, showing the casing underneath. My wife rarely rides her bike so I just swapped her wheels/tires over to my bike and wow, what a difference!!! Her bike is a Trek 7.1 FX with what I assume are relatively cheapo tires. However, the suppleness, light weight and handling characterstics, compared to my Armadillos, blew me away! The last two rides have been the most fun since I bought the bike.
Before noticing the split in my tire, I had ordered a set of Vittoria Randonneur Hyper tires and they will be here tomorrow. I'm really excited to see how different these will feel. I'm hopeful that they will be even better than my wife's Bontragers (they are much lighter and probably higher TPI) but I'm also worried that the triple protection will result in dead-feeling tires like my Armadillos. If these tires are yet another improvement, I'll be ecstatic but I'm still considering a set of Gran Bois Cypress from Jan Heine's company. Those sound like really nice tires.
Anyone care to share their experiences with light, supple, performance tires for hybrids? I'm a Clydesdale so I prefer to stay in the 32mm + range. I'm slowly retro-fitting the frame with mostly new components but I didn't realize how much difference tires make and now I'm really excited to pursue this area of performance.