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Is there a tire that is as durable as a Gatorskin, but better?

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Is there a tire that is as durable as a Gatorskin, but better?

Old 04-18-16, 06:03 AM
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Jarrett2
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Is there a tire that is as durable as a Gatorskin, but better?

After trying several different tires, I've landed on Gator Hardshells as my goto tire.

I just got a flat on my current set that has around 4,000 miles on them and thinking about picking up another set of tires for the road bike.

I wouldn't mind trying something else, but I haven't found anything I like as much.

Stuff I've tried in 25mm:

GP4000 II's - loved the ride, destroyed them in like 400 miles
Specialized Roubaix - lots of flats
Schwalbe Marathon - too much tread for road bike
Specialized Armadillo Elites - decent but flats

I have some Specialized Infinity and Continental Contact II's I like but they are 32's and 42's respectively. I need a tough 25mm tire for the road bike.

I'm wondering about Michelin stuff. I have them on my truck and love them. Wondering if their bike tires rank as well among others.

I live and ride on some really bad roads, so I need the toughest of the tough when it comes to road tires.

Any Clydes out there on bad roads having good luck with 25mm road tires other than the Gator stuff?
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Old 04-18-16, 06:13 AM
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I like gatorskins as well. My next set of training tires though will be panaracer gravelking tires; they come in 700 x 26c. They have a file tread so they'll be fine for road touring and they're light.
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Old 04-18-16, 09:38 AM
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I switched from Gatorskins to Conti GP 4 Seasons (like you, wanted to try something different) and have been happy with them.
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Old 04-18-16, 10:59 AM
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Well gatorskin hardshell are just very hard to beat. I loved the 4000's also but did not hold up and lots of flats. We got goat heads here I wont ride nothing but the hardshells.
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Old 04-18-16, 11:01 AM
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As much as OP switches bikes....time to do that with wheels/tires time to go tubular...... Tufo s33
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Old 04-18-16, 11:21 AM
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I concur with the Continental 4 Seasons. It's a very well balanced tire for wear, handling and puncture resistance.
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Old 04-18-16, 11:54 AM
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Michelin Pro4 Endurance can be picked up pretty cheaply these days, especially as their new "Power" line just came out, you'll find NOS Pro4s for around $30-40.

Sorry I should have said, I have a 700x23 Pro4 Endurance v2 on the rear of my road bike, it's been great. I also had the Service Course version, but I burned through to the threads in 1400 miles and got a few flats.

That said I'd be very surprised if I got 4000 miles on them, but I burn through tires pretty quickly.

They roll smoother than the 700x25 Gatorskins (regular) I have.

Last edited by dr_lha; 04-18-16 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 04-18-16, 11:57 AM
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I'm on Panaracer Gravelkings 28s right now, they roll and corner nice, good flat protection and off road protections. The rear tire is squared after about 1300 miles, front is fine. But also have about 200+ miles of dirt on them so I'm also running them lower pressure for mixed riding. I just mounted a new rear tire last night $41 amazon prime, still 1/3 cheaper than Gatorskin Hardshells which ride a bit firmer.
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Old 04-18-16, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
I switched from Gatorskins to Conti GP 4 Seasons (like you, wanted to try something different) and have been happy with them.
I get about half the life out of GP4Seasons as I do Gatorskins and GP4000SII tires.

Regardless of your choice, buy them from your favorite UK supplier where all three can be found for $40-$45 each. Shipping time and price to California from Ribble is about the same as UPS from the US East Coast.
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Old 04-18-16, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
I'm on Panaracer Gravelkings 28s right now, they roll and corner nice, good flat protection and off road protections. The rear tire is squared after about 1300 miles, front is fine. But also have about 200+ miles of dirt on them so I'm also running them lower pressure for mixed riding. I just mounted a new rear tire last night $41 amazon prime, still 1/3 cheaper than Gatorskin Hardshells which ride a bit firmer.
Tires still work fine after they square-off which can happen with half the rubber remaining.Your rear tire probably isn't worn out until it looks like this:


When you finally get down to the cords (or flat rate becomes unacceptable, which is less likely now that separate flat protection layers mean we're not counting on rubber thickness to prevent punctures) move the front tire to the back and put a new one on up there so you always have the freshest rubber up front which makes a crash from unexpected deflation least likely.
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Old 04-18-16, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
I get about half the life out of GP4Seasons as I do Gatorskins and GP4000SII tires.

Regardless of your choice, buy them from your favorite UK supplier where all three can be found for $40-$45 each. Shipping time and price to California from Ribble is about the same as UPS from the US East Coast.
That's interesting. I don't have a lot of miles on them yet but put some GP4000S II tires on one of my wife's bikes last week and they seem like a softer compound. It will be interesting to see the difference in wear.

And Pro Bike Kit is another good alternative for tires (and other stuff).
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Old 04-18-16, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for the confirmation. I just ordered a couple new Hardshells for $38.97 a piece on Amazon.

I'm going to give the Slime Pro Lite tubes a try as well.

Oh they joy of mounting brand new Conti's...
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Old 04-18-16, 02:49 PM
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Schwalbe durano plus .... bomb proof and roll ok ... many say that they are better than Gators (I have never tried gators, but had Durano plus (folding version) on a bike that I recently sold.... I rode over 2000km without a puncture on bad roads, in the winter, very wet and slippery ... and they gripped well and rode well .... 0 punctures and still looked like new when I sold the bike

then ..... there's new Michelin tyres just released.... (Michelin Power ...a few different types available) I may try them soon on my new road bike as I'm due for new tyres:

New Michelin Power tyre range offers better rolling resistance, grip and puncture protection - Cycling Weekly

Last edited by dim; 04-18-16 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 04-18-16, 02:51 PM
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great price on the hard shells, I normally see them for around $55
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Old 04-18-16, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Tires still work fine after they square-off which can happen with half the rubber remaining.Your rear tire probably isn't work out until it looks like this:


When you finally get down to the cords (or flat rate becomes unacceptable, which is less likely now that separate flat protection layers mean we're not counting on rubber thickness to prevent punctures) move the front tire to the back and put a new one on up there so you always have the freshest rubber up front which makes a crash from unexpected deflation least likely.
yah I got a crazy ride coming up this sunday, I don't want to deal with flats and can use the extra traction up teh dirt climbs so I just got a new one. The squared off rear was mounted to another bike.
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Old 04-18-16, 04:13 PM
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Ran Hardshells for 4,500 miles, never got a single flat... but the rolling resistance went from bad to outright terrible. They were pretty smooth for about 500 miles, then it was just a gradual descent into slowness. By the time they came off, they rolled about as well as Lego bricks. The Hardshells have been recently replaced by a set of Michelin Pro4 Endurance, and the jury is still well out on them-- they roll significantly better than the Contis, the ride is smoother, and after the first few days of use, there isn't a single mark on the carcasses. They still look package-fresh. Oh, and the grip? Cornering grip is so far ahead of the Hardshells they should not be mentioned in the same sentence. If the Michelin Pro4 was a Z-rated performance automotive tire, the Hardshell would be the temporary spare in the trunk.

I remain cautiously optimistic. If they wear evenly and give reasonable flat protection (I consider 1 flat per 1k miles acceptable) they might be the new go-to for me. Disclaimer: I run 700x28 in everything, I see no earthly reason to suffer on 25s if I don't have to... and I don't have to.
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Old 04-18-16, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Oh, and the grip? Cornering grip is so far ahead of the Hardshells they should not be mentioned in the same sentence. If the Michelin Pro4 was a Z-rated performance automotive tire, the Hardshell would be the temporary spare in the trunk.
Best description ever of the lack luster cornering on hardshells. Even worse on dirt
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Old 04-18-16, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
After trying several different tires, I've landed on Gator Hardshells as my goto tire.

I just got a flat on my current set that has around 4,000 miles on them and thinking about picking up another set of tires for the road bike.

I wouldn't mind trying something else, but I haven't found anything I like as much.

Stuff I've tried in 25mm:

GP4000 II's - loved the ride, destroyed them in like 400 miles
Specialized Roubaix - lots of flats
Schwalbe Marathon - too much tread for road bike
Specialized Armadillo Elites - decent but flats

I have some Specialized Infinity and Continental Contact II's I like but they are 32's and 42's respectively. I need a tough 25mm tire for the road bike.

I'm wondering about Michelin stuff. I have them on my truck and love them. Wondering if their bike tires rank as well among others.

I live and ride on some really bad roads, so I need the toughest of the tough when it comes to road tires.

Any Clydes out there on bad roads having good luck with 25mm road tires other than the Gator stuff?
These new Schwalbe Pro One's look pretty impressive across the board.

Can be had for US$38.84 from Bike24


https://www.schwalbe.com/en/newsreader/the-tubeless-test-of-tour-is-clear-the-pro-one-is-the-clear-test-winner.html
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Old 04-19-16, 01:49 PM
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Have a look at the Compass tyres ....

https://www.velovitality.co.uk/colle...d-tubes?page=1

I may get a set for my daily commuter.
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Old 04-19-16, 07:30 PM
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Durable?

No

Faster?

Yes

What's on my training and race wheels?

Gatorskins because a flat will kill your 40K TT time when you walk/cross train some of it.
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Old 04-20-16, 04:22 AM
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Schwalbe Duranos. I ran Gatorskins for a while. I like the way Duranos ride, and handle. I discovered them when they were supplied as standard on our Santana Arriva tandem in 28C profile.

Oh, and while I haven't measured them, I suspect the Duranos probably come in at the size they are marked, rather than narrower which has applied to just about every Continental tyre I have used.
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Old 04-20-16, 08:31 AM
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I found Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elites to be quite bombproof. I never got a flat until they were worn to near the end of their service life. They weren't very supple and every bit of road vibration and every jolt from a crack in the pavement was transmitted.

I'm now using Bontrager AW3s in 700x25 on my road bike and 700x32 on my touring. I'm very happy with the ride and have only had one flat, but that was a piece of metal road debris that would have flatted any tire. Bombproof, no, but a good compromise for ride quality, performance and flat protection. Price is comparable to most tires in it's class @ $59 ea.
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Old 04-20-16, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Schwalbe Duranos. I ran Gatorskins for a while. I like the way Duranos ride, and handle. I discovered them when they were supplied as standard on our Santana Arriva tandem in 28C profile.

Oh, and while I haven't measured them, I suspect the Duranos probably come in at the size they are marked, rather than narrower which has applied to just about every Continental tyre I have used.
there are Durano and there are Durano Plus. Durano Plus are the ones to get, and you need the folding version.
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Old 04-20-16, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dim View Post
there are Durano and there are Durano Plus. Durano Plus are the ones to get, and you need the folding version.
I don't need the Durano Plus at all. I am happy with the Duranos, on the tandem, and on my randonneuring bike, and on my touring bike that went around the world with me.
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Old 04-21-16, 07:57 PM
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i'm on a 25f/28r conti grand sport race. puncture belt plus grippy rubber. and a great compromise at $20/each on ebay. i used to be on gatorskins and in hindsight they felt like garden hose. the grandsport races are holding up very nicely, much gripper, half the price, and more comfortable.
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