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Alternatives To Continental Gatorskins

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Alternatives To Continental Gatorskins

Old 05-17-12, 07:20 AM
  #1  
WonderMonkey
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Alternatives To Continental Gatorskins

Stock tires on my bike (Cannondale Quick 5) are 700x32's. I had them replaced with Continental Town and Country. The T&C's are still in great shape but I'm looking at reducing my rolling resistance and am hoping that the higher air pressure (65 psi for T&C, 102 psi for GatorSkins) will make the difference noticeable.

Questions...

1 - Will the difference be noticeable and how much?

2 - Will the Gatorskins lead to a greater risk of a bent rim due to them being harder and not being able to absorb impact?

3 - Are the reports of how touch and flat resistant they are true?

4 - What are some alternatives to the Gatorskins?
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Old 05-17-12, 07:22 AM
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If it matters I'm 270lbs, commute to work a few times a week, do some morning and night exercise rides ... probably 75 miles a week, 100 max. Combo of street, bike path and sidewalk on my commute. The bumps I encounter are when I go across a street, up and down the sidewalk ramps... some bike paths have bumps where roots have pushed the pavement up, etc.
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Old 05-17-12, 07:51 AM
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I like Panaracer Pasella TourGuards and Ribmo lines. Great prices, and I have had very good luck with them over thousands of miles.


The gators seem great, but I hear stories of sidewall issues on them. I don't know this first hand, however.
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Old 05-17-12, 08:21 AM
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What size are you thinking about?
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Old 05-17-12, 08:24 AM
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I replaced my rear with Armadillo when the old specilized burst and that is one tough tire.
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Old 05-17-12, 08:36 AM
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I have been using Gatorskins on both my bikes and do not notice any rolling resistance at all but that is blown up to 120 psi.
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Old 05-17-12, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
What size are you thinking about?
700x32 is what I have on them now.
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Old 05-17-12, 08:57 AM
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From what I recall, the T&Cs have a lot of rubber(i.e. thick wall). That thickness may affect rolling resistance but probably not significantly. Slicks feel faster, but not sure if they really are. +1 on the Panaracers. Take a look at the T-Serv PT. I have been running them since last summer. Superlight and no flats yet. I do a lot of urban riding after dark so I hit my share of potholes and road debris.
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Old 05-17-12, 10:52 AM
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Same width, slick tread. or nearly so, tread squirm absorbs energy
the tread blocks move, rather than move you forward,
a wee bit, with every pedal stroke.

save the T&C for gravel rail-trails.
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Old 05-17-12, 11:24 AM
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Thanks for the advice all. I like my new LBS because when I went there for a few other things on my bike he actually tried to talk me out of buying new tires as he said that mine had many miles left on them and he would hate to see me spend too early. We then chatted about the differences between the two and such but I felt good that he just didn't strike at the opportunity to sell me something.
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Old 05-17-12, 11:27 AM
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Check this out for pressure recomendations. https://www.bikequarterly.com/images/TireDrop.pdf
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Old 05-17-12, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
Check this out for pressure recomendations. https://www.bikequarterly.com/images/TireDrop.pdf
Thanks. I'll check that out when I get home.
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Old 05-17-12, 12:42 PM
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With regard to alternatives, you might take a look at some of the schwalbe tyres. They have various levels of puncture protection. Their marathon plus line is nearly indestructible, certainly the most puncture-resistant on the market. It rolls OK but is a heavy tyre. Of more interest to you might be the Durano, a high-pressure fast-rolling tyre that is pretty durable. And there's a Durano plus that is heavier, but very puncture-resistant.

I'm a fan of Schwalbe, I've had consistently good results with a number of their lines from racing tyres to expedition tourers. Haven't tried the Conti Gatorskins, though...
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Old 05-17-12, 04:32 PM
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I commute 5 miles each way every day on Los Angeles roads with weekend rides thrown in on one of my two bikes. One has Continental Sport Contacts, the other came with the default Specialized Roubaix tires. I've only had a flat on the Roubaix tires (ran over a staple), which were replaced pretty recently with the Roubaix Armadillo tires. So far, no flats on the Armadillos, but it's only been a month. They've been over gravel on the roads, glass, and the normal detritus that accumulates over there. In both cases, I run them at max pressure, and I started commuting at about 280 lbs (now down to 232). They've held up great, no damage to the rims either (or spokes for that matter). The Gatorskins should do quite nicely, seeing as they're the tougher version of the sport contacts.
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Old 05-17-12, 07:55 PM
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I used to only run Gatorskins. They are pretty much bulletproof for 1,500 miles or so. Once they wear thin, they are done though. The only thing I didn't like was the wet weather traction was bad. I've been running a set of Panaracer Tourguards (32mm at 80 or so psi) on my Cross Check for over a year now and they haven't flatted yet. I don't know how many miles are on them since I threw away the bike computer.
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Old 05-18-12, 02:43 PM
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I have always been happiest with Panaracer Pasella TourGuard gumwalls. Smooth ride, great speed, long life. Rode a set for 5 years on bad bad city streets with no flats.
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