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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-19-08, 03:06 AM   #1
cal_blam
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best choice of tyres, alternatives to Gator Skins?

I'm riding on 25c Continental Gator Skins at the moment, they feel fast and stick to the road well. i'm commuting on roads with quite a lot of traffic trucks etc, the roads arent anything special and so you get all the usual things your tyres pick up. The rims are definitely nothing special, came free with the bike when I picked it up neglected on roadside.

A courier told me a while back the skins are euro tyres and the compound not designed for riding in the Aussie heat - now that its warming up here and i am doing about 40km each day on them, they look like they are wearing down quite fast and I got a flat today (im actually pretty impressed, this is the first flat i have got running these tyres).

Looking for suggestions for my next pair of tyres, a similar feel, bit more durable and will take the heat over summer.

Thanks guys. Cal.

Last edited by cal_blam; 11-19-08 at 03:14 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 11-19-08, 04:01 AM   #2
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what kind of flat did you get? are you skidding with your tire?
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Old 11-19-08, 04:10 AM   #3
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28c Vittoria Randonneurs. 'Nuff said.
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Old 11-19-08, 05:19 AM   #4
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Armadillo's perhaps, but depends if you're skidding, I feel bad if I was skidding through $50 tires.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cal_blam View Post
A courier told me a while back the skins are euro tyres and the compound not designed for riding in the Aussie heat
Sounds like a lot of nonsense to me. Your not going to find a road tire that gets much more mileage than a conti ultragatorskin. If you want a tire to last longer, you should look into getting something more oriented for commuting or touring, but good touring/commuting tires aren't cheap either. Otherwise I'd stick with Gatorskins. Good tires just aren't cheap. I usually get a more miles out of a Gatorskin than other road tires. You really can't expect much more out of a skinny road tire than a few thousand miles.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:20 AM   #6
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Sounds like a lot of nonsense to me. Your not going to find a road tire that gets much more mileage than a conti ultragatorskin. If you want a tire to last longer, you should look into getting something more oriented for commuting or touring, but good touring/commuting tires aren't cheap either. Otherwise I'd stick with Gatorskins. Good tires just aren't cheap. I usually get a more miles out of a Gatorskin than other road tires. You really can't expect much more out of a skinny road tire than a few thousand miles.

I agree, total BS. Roads heat up in Europe (and the US) too. Conti has many types of tire compounds, which span the gap for all types of roads and road temps (which is why I like Conti rubber so much) and Gator Skins are on tougher/harder end of the spectrum. If anything they come alive on hot roads in my experience (I lived in Arizona for a while and rode there all summer, often in 30*C air temps with roads surfaces well over 40-50*C) and never had an issue with Conti rubber. If anything Gator Skins specifically don't like cold temps. The only time they feel "off" to me is in the winters here in NYC. But when it is below freezing I think any tire will feel off.

Stick to the Gator Skins...
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Old 11-19-08, 10:25 AM   #7
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I use gatorskins in the front and a randonneur in the rear. I dont like gatorskins for the rear because they are designed with an active silica compound. They are designed to be stickier when they heat up. This is good for bikes that dont skid, as the tire gets hottest when under heavy braking, like a descent, when you want more road grip. However skidding a tire causes friction, and friction causes heat, and so skidding on a gatorskin has a lurchy feel, as it will slide for a second and then at a certain point it will catch to the ground. This makes skidding a little less predictable or controllable. Randonneurs ride like garbage, but they are very predictable, and with brakeless riding i think the extra confidence and control is worth the inferior ride quality.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:27 AM   #8
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This makes skidding a little less predictable or controllable. Randonneurs ride like garbage, but they are very predictable, and with brakeless riding i think the extra confidence and control is worth the inferior ride quality.
yeap randonneurs do indeed ride a lil too "cushy" but they last for a while imho.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:29 AM   #9
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theyre just a very thick, heavy tire, with a low thread count and a hard casing, they dont deflect well over roads. but thats not what they were made for either. they're built kinda like gardenhoses. heh.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:29 AM   #10
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Yeah I don't have anything to say for the hot weather, but according to my boss the Conti 4 Season's rubber is supposed to stay grippier in colder weather. I love the Gatorskin but I'm currently using a Bontrager Hardcase as my rear and it's not bad, feels a little less grippy then the Conti but it's supposed to last longer so we'll see. IMHO Gatorskins strike that perfect balance between durability, road feel, and grippiness, but they're not cheap. If you want cheap try the Vitoria Rubinos.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:31 AM   #11
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my favorite winter tire is the vitoria evo cg, but i dont think they would hold up to skidding.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:33 AM   #12
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i normally ride 23c gators in the front and 25c armadillo elites in the rear.

currently i'm trying out some randos 28c in the rear + 25c armadillos in the front.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:42 AM   #13
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try out a GP 4 Season and see if you like it— it's a fairly similar tyre and might be what you're looking for. I've had nothing but good experiences with Conti and prefer using their rubber.
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Old 11-19-08, 10:47 AM   #14
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What about Schwalbe Marathon Plus? They are a long wearing tire that I think ride a little bit better than the Vittoria Randonneurs. I admit I have never tried Gator Skins.
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Old 11-19-08, 11:25 AM   #15
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Bontrager Hardcases are awesome too.
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Old 11-19-08, 11:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by onetwentyeight View Post
my favorite winter tire is the vitoria evo cg, but i dont think they would hold up to skidding.

Great tire! Sadly, in my experience, they don't get along well with Manhattan streets.
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Old 11-19-08, 12:28 PM   #17
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Great tire! Sadly, in my experience, they don't get along well with Manhattan streets.
I hear you. I've got an Armadillo in the back currently but want to move to a slightly lighter Gatorskin. (though I'm BK not Manhattan)
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Old 11-19-08, 12:38 PM   #18
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I ride Armadillos all over the glass covered streets here... no flats at all. When I was back home in 110+ heat I never had a problem with them either.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:11 PM   #19
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i live in arizona. the roads are ****ty(giant thorns and glass everywhere) and it gets really hot here. it is not unusual to have a month of over 110 deg. i run Vit randos front and rear on my convertion(which sees alot of action) and bontrager hard case on my touring rig. my track which hardly ever sees the street is on specialized slicks. the randos keep everything out and riding on a tire with a bit more width and a little less psi feels great.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:23 PM   #20
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Conti GP 4-seasons are NOT a good recommendation for the OP. They are designed specifically for wet and cold weather situations.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:45 PM   #21
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what kind of flat did you get? are you skidding with your tire?
no skidding - found a tiny little shard of metal lodged inside.

Last edited by cal_blam; 11-19-08 at 01:56 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-19-08, 01:48 PM   #22
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28c Vittoria Randonneurs. 'Nuff said.
Vittoria Randonneurs are great for commuting its true, I have second rims that I change over wet mornings to run Randdoneurs; never get a flat with them, but like the feel of Gatorskins much more, they arent really the same thing.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:52 PM   #23
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Stick to the Gator Skins...
I think I will, thanks for all your feedbacks. Also going to investigate these armadillo characters.

If there isn't an obvious better choice, I think Gators are definitely worth running. Plus they look cool with yellow powdercoat, I forgot to mention that part, which is also kinda important.

Last edited by cal_blam; 11-19-08 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 11-19-08, 05:57 PM   #24
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look into the new Rubino Pro Tech 28c
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Old 11-19-08, 08:37 PM   #25
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Armadillos ride like crap, but are tough and last forever. I love Gatorskins, but also like the Vittoria Rubino Pros, Ive ran one in front and it seems to roll better than a Gatorskin, and grip just as well, although I dont have much experience riding in the wet on the Rubinos.
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