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  1. #1
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    Tires, Armadillo Crossroads

    OK so i am pretty new to all this. And am planning my first tour in a week or so. Im going to be touring with a mountain bike and obviously the fat knobbly tires are no good. I just got a pair of Crossroads Armadillo by Speciallized as a gift. My parents said that the bike shop guy recommended them. I kind of thought that they still didnt seem very smooth. http:
    //www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?minisite=10029&xsrc=dealtime&spid=35578



    I plan on doing just regular touring, as far as i can see. Are these tires decent? Should i go for a smoother tire? How much of a difference would a smoother tire make?

    thanks

  2. #2
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Use Them!!!! The tread is gonna roll a bit slower than a pair of slicks,But these things are Indestructable!! I have a pair on my Mtb/Touring rig, LOVE "EM!!
    PS I run mine at 70 Lbs Psi and they are plenty fast for any loaded tourer.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    they'll be better than tires with staggered nobs, but i still wouldn't want to roll those down the road. something like the panaracer pasela or wtb slickasaurus, or one of the conti models might be better suited if you plan on sticking to the road. i like the slickasaurus(es) a lot, but they're a bit big for the road. at 1.5" they seem perfect if you expect poor pavement, bike paths with debris, and packed dirt trails.
    Not going to bother with Antarctica

  4. #4
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    Well after the figments post i got exited and impatient so i put them on. There is a pretty big difference from my old tires. However after reading Fueled's opinion im starting to have buyers remorse. Did i make the right choice??

  5. #5
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    The really nice thing about the Armadillos is the flat protection, Any tire with this amount of protection is gonna roll a bit slower than a lighter tire....Its a trade off....Do you wannd go fast and risk flatting more often or do you wanna roll over most anything (Glass/Goatheads/TruckTire Cord Wire-The Bane of a Bike Tourers existence) and not think about your tires till the tread is worn away.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Figment View Post
    The really nice thing about the Armadillos is the flat protection, Any tire with this amount of protection is gonna roll a bit slower than a lighter tire....Its a trade off....Do you wannd go fast and risk flatting more often or do you wanna roll over most anything (Glass/Goatheads/TruckTire Cord Wire-The Bane of a Bike Tourers existence) and not think about your tires till the tread is worn away.
    That does sound good. However i got those inserts, maybe they are called Stop Flat 2, which are GUARANTEED to prevent flats... So im thinking i could have gone with a nice fast tire and still be pretty safe when it comes to flats with those inserts. Just hate to think im going to be exerting more effort unnecessarily.

  7. #7
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    Get rid of the inserts. Armadillo tires are puncture resistant enough as it is. No need for any extra protection.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chuckie J.'s Avatar
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    I used the older version of the Specialized Armadillo Crossroads on a trip this weekend and they do what they're advertised to do-- roll on roads and handle dirt adequately with no flats. They're heavy but I've never gotten a flat with them. This weekend I discovered that they kind of handle mud. I don't ride in those of kind of conditions much so its hard to say how good they are.

    The new ones called "elite" are 200+ grams lighter and should probably make a difference.

    Chuckie
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Chuckie J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldman View Post
    Get rid of the inserts. Armadillo tires are puncture resistant enough as it is. No need for any extra protection.
    Oh, yeah. I agree with this. Get rid of the inserts. Good tires and normal tubes is the way to go.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckie J. View Post
    Oh, yeah. I agree with this. Get rid of the inserts. Good tires and normal tubes is the way to go.
    Ahh. Well i already put those inserts in. Doubt i can return them now... Would it really be better to take them out? I mean are they doing harm at all?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Chuckie J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keepthepeace View Post
    Ahh. Well i already put those inserts in. Doubt i can return them now... Would it really be better to take them out? I mean are they doing harm at all?
    They have weight and are in the worst possible place to have weight-- namely the wheels. I don't know the physics behind rotational weight but its the "bad" kind of weight on a bike.

    I know that touring is a land of insane carrying loads but you'll appreciate lightness on offroad mountain passes or any hill.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Clarenza's Avatar
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    I had a brief ride on a LHT equipped with Armadillos recently. I thought they rolled pretty well but found the ride rather harsh, very little shock absorbing. It would be interesting to hear comments on this from anyone who has ridden Armadillos as well as another Kevlar tyre like the Schwalbe Marathon.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    tires with excellent flat protection generally don't have the most supple casings, leading to a pretty harsh ride.

    i wouldn't waste your time with buyer's remorse, and i'm sorry if i introduced a little bit of it. all tires will wear out, and by that time you'll have decided what you think of them on your own.
    Not going to bother with Antarctica

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chuckie J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fueled by Boh View Post
    i wouldn't waste your time with buyer's remorse, and i'm sorry if i introduced a little bit of it. all tires will wear out, and by that time you'll have decided what you think of them on your own.
    So true.

    I have mixed feelings about the Armadillos. On one hand, I adore them because the flat protection is really wonderful. On the other, they are heavy, stiff, and the ride quality is hard to be enthusiastic about. The Armadillo Hemisphere is kind of the best of the lot because you can ride on the road with them pumped up and take them off-road (within reason) just fine.

    I'm switching to the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. They look like they'd be better "Hemispheres"-- lighter, more lively ride, equally good flat protection. They're almost $20 more per tire too.

    I have some Marathon Pluses on my commuter bike and while they're heavy as well, they're much more cushy. Too skinny for the touring I want to do otherwise I'd use them.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarenza View Post
    I had a brief ride on a LHT equipped with Armadillos recently. I thought they rolled pretty well but found the ride rather harsh, very little shock absorbing. It would be interesting to hear comments on this from anyone who has ridden Armadillos as well as another Kevlar tyre like the Schwalbe Marathon.

    Yeah they do seem pretty harsh. But thats compared to my MTD tires that proabably were low on air. Luckily i have front shocks. However, i have somewhat weak rims i believe. And i assume that the rough ride will be quite rough on the rims. Ugh, if only i was made of money.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    your rims will be ok. bike wheels are amazingly strong when maintained properly. keep the tires at a reasonable pressure to cushion the rims and prevent stress from going straight to your hub and then to your wrists. you don't need to run them at the max, and you probably won't want to. you won't pick up much speed, your load won't be cushioned, and so on and so on. but, you don't want square edged bumps and pot holes to displace enough air to get right to your rim.

    another thing to keep in mind: rolling resistance of tire is easily discerned in a nonscientific way by listening to how much road noise you are getting from your tires. noise can be reduced by less tread, narrower footprint, more compliant casing...

    also, i've found 1.5" slicks are similar to road tires that claim to be between 32 and 38c, give or take -- buy generally closer to 38c. most people agree that you can tour on a 28c if you'll be on roads. this probably equates to a 1.25.

    i just got back from a road/mountain ride on my surly, with 2.1" nobbies. pedaling them on the road was demoralizing and just no fun (kind of like a headwind). I think you'll be fine with these tires for your first tour, and afterwards you can reevaluate your tire selection. in my experience, after a first tour people decide to invest in a tent that is actually waterproof or a sleeping pad that is actually comfortable, and not tires (unless they had a ton of flats).
    Not going to bother with Antarctica

  17. #17
    Senior Member KLW2's Avatar
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    I have Armidillo Nimbus on one bike and Conti Ultra Gatorskin on another. Both seem to be really good in the puncture resistance and I would go for the tread on the Armadillos when touring just because you are better equipped to handle road surface conditions that are less than good. I think I have a little less rolling resistance with the Contis 'cause they are almost slick but not so I would really notice.

    BTW, I have had inserts cause a rub flat (no, I didn't trim them in any way) so I use talcum powder on them the tire and tube when I run them...but I don't use them on the Armidillos or Contis...waste of money and they may cause a flat as I learned the hard way...

  18. #18
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    MMk thanks alot guys for the great input. So i guess ill take out those inserts and just be happy with what i have. I do think though that i would prefer a smother tire even if i encountered more flats. oh well.

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