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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-23-13, 05:47 PM   #1
fixedbruno
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toughest tires on the road?

Hey all, I am looking to try out a new tire
On my bikes I currently run:
continental ultra sports ,nice for the price, Vredestein fortezza tri comp, great performance but could be more durable, maxxis re-fuse,all around pretty good tire.and on my cross bike I currently have fyxation session tires,which haven't let me down yet.


know a lot of people rave over gatorskins but I've never actually run them.my tri comp tires have had too many punctures over time and I need something tough but performs well
. I need something that I can feel secure doing centuries on without having to repair a handful of flats along the way,without sacrificing ride quality.

I am curious to hear all of your preferences for a tough all around tire that's in it for the long haul while maintaining a low resistance supple ride

Last edited by fixedbruno; 07-12-13 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 06-23-13, 05:55 PM   #2
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I came across this rider one day.
He was on his 2nd Gatorskin Flat.

I loaned him a tube and checked his tire, could not find any thing to cause the flats.

Rode home with him. 5 miles he had his third flat. Loan him another tube and my spare tire.

He made it home. I was not impressed with his tires.

My spare tire on his wheel.




Saw him the next day. He was on a 100 ride with my spare tire. He was happy, no flats.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:20 PM   #3
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I've been running gatorskins since winter and the only time I had a flat that was clearly caused by a tire fail, was when I ran into a patch of goatheads. I ended up pulling out about a dozen thorns from the tire, a few of them went all the way through and punctured the tube.

A couple of other times tubes blew without any obvious damage to the tire. Could be simply that they were low quality or they weren't evenly spread around the rim.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:23 PM   #4
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Conti Grand Prix 4 Seasons.

2 years with no flats. NYC Metro area.

Vittorio Rubino Pro's are also good.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:25 PM   #5
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With the obvious disclaimer that the 'toughest' and 'best riding' are always going to be somewhat at odds, here's my surprise pick. The best part is that this one's very inexpensive, quite flat resistant, and rides way better than I ever expected.....It's the Performance house brand 'Forte Evolution ETT', although I'm sure the current version has a slightly different moniker as they're always changing it. But it's whatever they call their performance/durability model now....it's light weight, has a kevlar belt, is always on sale for < $30.00, and the ride of the 700x23 at 115 psi is surprisingly supple.

My pick for best riding is still the Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX, which it what I use on my 'A' ride, but on my other road bike that I take to the beach, etc., I always go with the nice, cheap, and remarkably good riding Forte!
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Old 06-24-13, 09:54 AM   #6
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I used to ride on Gatorskins and hardly ever flatted over the course of the life of the tire. Last time I replaced I went with Conti 4 seasons. I have 1500 miles this spring on them ,,, as does my girlfriend on her bike,, with zero flats. The have a high thread count (350 tpi) I think, and they really ride very nicely. Especially for a "toughest" tire
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Old 06-24-13, 10:34 AM   #7
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The gatorskins are very popular, but they are very mediocre. You get noticeably better flat protection, but they're hardly flat free. For that you get a lousy ride, miserable grip, and high rolling resistance. The toughest tires are the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. While those are as flat proof as it gets and have a better ride than some of the other tough tires, they're unbelievably heavy and are like riding in sand.

Base your tires on your actual riding conditions. If you have lots of broken glass to deal with all the time, the Marathon Plus will be worth it. If you ride "ordinary" roads, the GP4000s that so many people here like is a good tire. It's more durable than a race tire and it performs reasonably well. If you ride in the wet a lot where there is a moderate amount of debris, the 4 Seasons is a decent choice. It doesn't perform as well as the 4000s, but it's more durable and resistant to flats.
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Old 06-24-13, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I came across this rider one day.
He was on his 2nd Gatorskin Flat.

I loaned him a tube and checked his tire, could not find any thing to cause the flats.

Rode home with him. 5 miles he had his third flat.

Odds are extremely high there was something in the tire. Most likely a small piece of wire from a radial tire imbedded in the tire that only pokes through when the tire is weighted. They can be very hard to find. Or a very small glass shard, again that doesn't protrude except under pressure.

That can happen to any tire, and isn't an indictment of the tire.
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Old 06-24-13, 11:24 AM   #9
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I've been happy with Schwalbe Duranos. Long-wearing, good ride/weight, and above-average puncture resistance.
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Old 06-24-13, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Odds are extremely high there was something in the tire. Most likely a small piece of wire from a radial tire imbedded in the tire that only pokes through when the tire is weighted. They can be very hard to find. Or a very small glass shard, again that doesn't protrude except under pressure.

That can happen to any tire, and isn't an indictment of the tire.
+1. I once had two flats on the same ride (Gatorskin). With only a patch to fix the second flat, I looked very closely, finally finding the tip of a staple in the tire. Barely long enough to protrude past the thickness of the tire.
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Old 06-24-13, 11:37 AM   #11
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Any tire can puncture. You can cut the odds slightly, but run over the wrong metal filing/thorn/wire fragment/glass/etc and even the most puncture resistant tire will fail.

Happily, a puncture is also no big deal.

What you want to avoid is a ride ending cut. A serious, unbootable sidewall cut will end your ride in a hurry. Lower TPI tires are typically more resistant to this type of cut. So if you want an honest answer, cheap low TPI tires are probably toughest.

Sidenote, I have had really good luck with Nashbar Duro Pros, the folding version. These are not particularly low TPI tires (130 count) but they are really tough. They're also puncture resiatant (one flat in 2500 miles +), durable and have good grip in wet or dry. Also, they weigh 50g less than Gatorskins (if you care about this) and cost $24.
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Old 06-24-13, 11:45 AM   #12
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A) Find tire you like.

B) Insert tire liner - StopFlats is the best I have found so far.

Here in goathead thorn country, liners are almost mandatory. I have one bike that rides naked right now, and I always carry two spare/patched tubes.
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Old 06-25-13, 09:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I came across this rider one day.
He was on his 2nd Gatorskin Flat.

I loaned him a tube and checked his tire, could not find any thing to cause the flats.

Rode home with him. 5 miles he had his third flat. Loan him another tube and my spare tire.

He made it home. I was not impressed with his tires.

My spare tire on his wheel.




Saw him the next day. He was on a 100 ride with my spare tire. He was happy, no flats.
Wow now that's pretty bad, what tire is the spare tire that you gave him?
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Old 06-25-13, 09:38 AM   #14
fixedbruno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilltooslow View Post
With the obvious disclaimer that the 'toughest' and 'best riding' are always going to be somewhat at odds, here's my surprise pick. The best part is that this one's very inexpensive, quite flat resistant, and rides way better than I ever expected.....It's the Performance house brand 'Forte Evolution ETT', although I'm sure the current version has a slightly different moniker as they're always changing it. But it's whatever they call their performance/durability model now....it's light weight, has a kevlar belt, is always on sale for < $30.00, and the ride of the 700x23 at 115 psi is surprisingly supple.

My pick for best riding is still the Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX, which it what I use on my 'A' ride, but on my other road bike that I take to the beach, etc., I always go with the nice, cheap, and remarkably good riding Forte!
I'll definately look into the Forte! I been hearing a lot of good about vittoria as well, someone I know swears by them, its good to get all this different input tho, thanks for the inquiry!
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Old 06-25-13, 09:55 AM   #15
fixedbruno
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
The gatorskins are very popular, but they are very mediocre. You get noticeably better flat protection, but they're hardly flat free. For that you get a lousy ride, miserable grip, and high rolling resistance. The toughest tires are the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. While those are as flat proof as it gets and have a better ride than some of the other tough tires, they're unbelievably heavy and are like riding in sand.

Base your tires on your actual riding conditions. If you have lots of broken glass to deal with all the time, the Marathon Plu will be worth it. If you ride "ordinary" roads, the GP4000s that so many people here like is a good tire. It's more durable than a race tire and it performs reasonably well. If you ride in the wet a lot where there is a moderate amount of debris, the 4 Seasons is a decent choice. It doesn't perform as well as the 4000s, but it's more durable and resistant to flats.
Noted! Yea I do not want to sacrifice ride quality all together for toughness.that's what good ole tire liners are for
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Old 06-25-13, 10:41 AM   #16
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Michelin PRO4 Endurance. Best combination of ride quality and flat resistance I've ever used, and I've been through a lot of tires. Hated Gatorskins BTW.
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Old 06-25-13, 10:55 AM   #17
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Another vote for the Michelins. I would also put in for the Maxxis Refuse. A teammate got me a pair for cheap and I've been impressed with their toughness.
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Old 06-25-13, 11:05 AM   #18
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Definitely a personal preference. I ride pretty decent roads and have gotten about 2 flats in 7k miles. Currently, my front tire is a Bontrage R4 Aero tire which has 3k miles and 0 flats. My rear tire is a GP4000s with 1500 miles and 0 flats. Some people will have bad experiences with one tire but rave others. A tire I really enjoyed was the Michelin Krylion Carbon tire which lasted over 4k miles with only 1 flat and only replaced it because I got the R4 tires for free. Then I skidded the rear tire during a crit which caused a big hole and ruined the tire. But the front is still going strong.
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Old 06-25-13, 01:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post

Base your tires on your actual riding conditions. If you have lots of broken glass to deal with all the time, the Marathon Plus will be worth it. If you ride "ordinary" roads, the GP4000s that so many people here like is a good tire. It's more durable than a race tire and it performs reasonably well. If you ride in the wet a lot where there is a moderate amount of debris, the 4 Seasons is a decent choice. It doesn't perform as well as the 4000s, but it's more durable and resistant to flats.
+1
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Old 06-25-13, 04:12 PM   #20
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... without sacrificing ride quality.
This eliminates Gatorskins.
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Old 06-25-13, 04:36 PM   #21
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I should mention that the Michelin Pro4 Endurance are on sale until July 2 at BikeTiresDirect.com for $48.09 ea. I just bought 2 more and couple of tubes to get the free shipping.
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Old 06-25-13, 04:46 PM   #22
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I should mention that the Michelin Pro4 Endurance are on sale until July 2 at BikeTiresDirect.com for $48.09 ea. I just bought 2 more and couple of tubes to get the free shipping.
Sorry to point this out late, but they're $35 at pbk.
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Old 06-25-13, 11:17 PM   #23
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Continental 4 seasons? Hmm?
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Old 06-26-13, 04:49 AM   #24
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I haven't had a single flat in 3500 miles this year. (Except when I busted the valve in half pumping it up!)

28mm Gator Hardshells. They are easily the most durable tires I've ever ridden. They are like tanks, but like tanks, they can go to war.
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Old 06-26-13, 06:17 AM   #25
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Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elite

You are asking an awful lot looking for an extremely long wearing, durable, puncture resistant tire that doesn't sacrifice any ride quality. The Armadillo Elites are a decent riding tire with good handling characteristics and are as tough as anything I have ever ridden. I have never found anything that rode better that was anywhere near as tough. So you may have to make a choice. Which do you hate more, road buzz or fixing flats?

Last edited by Myosmith; 06-26-13 at 06:22 AM.
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