King of the Hipsters
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom
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I find myself in possession of two sets of new 700X23 tires: a pair of Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons, and a pair of Specialized All Condition Armadillos.
I have alternated between the two sets of tires and noticed some interesting differences.
The Continentals have better grip, they handle road irregularities more gracefully, they accelerate surprisingly well, and they have significantly lower rolling resistance on the level.
On the negative side, I may weigh too much for the Continentals (225 with full messenger bag) and the rear Continental feels a little vague, as if it doesn't have enough pressure (I run it at the recommended max of 120psi).
In favor of the Armadillos, the rear Armadillo feels crisp and in control at 120psi, the Armadillos climb much better (more efficiently) than the Continentals, and, of course, I trust the Armadillos more with road hazards (even though the Conti's have significant flat protection).
I note that my last four flats all occured on the rear tire.
I also note that when I fell and punctured my lung last March, the front tire went out from underneath me.
What if I put a Continental on the front and an Armadillo on the rear?
It seems to me I would gain in climb efficiency and rear tire road hazard protection; and I would also gain in front tire stickiness, handling, and comfort, with a lighter tire, less rolling resistance, and enough flat protection for a front tire.
I wonder though if someone knows a reason why I should NOT do this.
By the way, if I had to choose between one tire or the other, I couldn't do it.
They each have such definite virtues.
I guess I'd flip a coin.
Presently, I change them to match the weather, putting the Conti's on when it rains.