Join Date: May 2012
Location: Rockland County, NY
Bikes: Giant TCR SL3 and Trek 1.5
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Originally Posted by Athens80
I suppose the polarization comes from people drawing dogmatic conclusions from very limited experience. A sample of one person, one set of tires, and a few miles -- even a few thousand miles -- is no basis for conclusions. The user can't know whether they've been lucky, unlucky, incompetent, subject to confirmation bias, etc....
And there's the rub. You'll find varying degrees of "fandom" about virtually every tire out there -- including the Gatorskin, which has much more robust flat protection than the GP4Ks. I'm convinced a lot of it has to do with the way people ride. OK, maybe if you live in "goathead" territory, things are harder to avoid, but for a lot of people, just paying a bit more attention to the road around you will solve many problems.
Every tire out there has some kind of tradeoff, even among the "flat protection" class. Personally, out of all those, I found the Maxxis Refuse to have the best ride, but also the poorest wear. But generally, when you get a better ride, you're going to give up a little wear longevity, so I personally didn't think much of that. It's just a matter of choosing what matters to you most.
I've run Gators and GP4Ks for years. My village is basically surrounded by hills in all but one direction and if I don't want to climb, that direction means running on a shoulder that's not exactly great conditions wise. And I've not had any troubles with either tire, although I do inflate mine a bit more than some folks to guard against pinch flats.
I totally get why people come to forums to ask about tires: it's a natural thing to do. On the other hand, I've found them to be one of those things where individual experiences vary a lot
, making one person's opinion less valuable than a product where the experience is going to be relatively consistent across a given user base.