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I hate my new tires!

Old 07-31-15, 10:45 AM
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I hate my new tires!

Just thought I'd throw that out there...

Anyhow, I picked up some new 700x32 Gatorskins a couple of weeks ago and I must say, I can't stand them...Previously, I was running 700x28 Forte Strada K from Performance. I'd been running those (and the 700x25 version) for several years and have been happy with them, but wanted to go a little wider, so I picked up the Gatorskins.

Here's the issue - There are some pretty decent hills on my way to work and the Gatorskins feel like they wander when at speed (25-30+ mph...downhill). It feels like I'm in a nasty crosswind and being blown around. Other than that, I really don't know how else to describe it, but it's not a comfortable feeling. I've never had this issue previously and was wondering what everyone thought it might be. Is it from going up in width (28 to 32)? Maybe going with a lower tire pressure (I've messed with the pressure up and down and it doesn't seem to make much difference)? Is it the tires (Gatorskins)? Anyhow, I'm ready to give up on the "expensive" tires and go back to my "cheap" ones...
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Old 07-31-15, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cat
Just thought I'd throw that out there...

Anyhow, I picked up some new 700x32 Gatorskins a couple of weeks ago and I must say, I can't stand them...Previously, I was running 700x28 Forte Strada K from Performance. I'd been running those (and the 700x25 version) for several years and have been happy with them, but wanted to go a little wider, so I picked up the Gatorskins.

Here's the issue - There are some pretty decent hills on my way to work and the Gatorskins feel like they wander when at speed (25-30+ mph...downhill). It feels like I'm in a nasty crosswind and being blown around. Other than that, I really don't know how else to describe it, but it's not a comfortable feeling. I've never had this issue previously and was wondering what everyone thought it might be. Is it from going up in width (28 to 32)? Maybe going with a lower tire pressure (I've messed with the pressure up and down and it doesn't seem to make much difference)? Is it the tires (Gatorskins)? Anyhow, I'm ready to give up on the "expensive" tires and go back to my "cheap" ones...
Are the beads seated properly? Tire pressure too low, too high?
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Old 07-31-15, 11:05 AM
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In my opinion, Gatorskins are terrible. They feel so stiff that I will never ride them again. The flat protection is not worth it. There are other tires out there with good flat protection and much better ride quality. Armadillos are almost as bad, I don't ride those anymore either.
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Old 07-31-15, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes
Are the beads seated properly? Tire pressure too low, too high?
The beads certainly seem to be seated. I've actually had a couple of flats (old/bad rim tape, since fixed, not the tire's fault), so they have been reset a couple of times in front. I've run them as low as 65 (in the front) and as high as 85...still seems to be the same issue. I was hoping that I'd be able to run them around 70-75 psi.
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Old 07-31-15, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect
In my opinion, Gatorskins are terrible. They feel so stiff that I will never ride them again. The flat protection is not worth it. There are other tires out there with good flat protection and much better ride quality. Armadillos are almost as bad, I don't ride those anymore either.
I like Panaracer. RiBMo for a stupid name, slightly more weight, and better flat protection; T-Serv for lighter weight, better road feel. And I like both of these better than Schwalbe Marathon, even though the T-Serv were nowhere near as bombproof--bad luck with sidewall damage on the T-Servs. RiBMo is the best compromise for me.

OTOH, my buddy is psyched to go from 32 Conti Tour to 32 Conti Gator Hardshell tires. No personal experience on my end with either Continental or Specialized tires.
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Old 07-31-15, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect
In my opinion, Gatorskins are terrible. They feel so stiff that I will never ride them again. The flat protection is not worth it. There are other tires out there with good flat protection and much better ride quality. Armadillos are almost as bad, I don't ride those anymore either.
"Stiff" , which is also my experience, seems to contradict the floating sensation the OP is describing.

I don't know. What you're describing is kinda what I would expect on a 700x32 at 65 psi going 30mph!
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Old 07-31-15, 12:06 PM
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What's the maximum pressure stated on the sidewall? Get closer to that. I also happen to like Panaracers. Good compromise between the cheap stuff and expensive stuff, and they ride pretty nice
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Old 07-31-15, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis
What's the maximum pressure stated on the sidewall? Get closer to that. I also happen to like Panaracers. Good compromise between the cheap stuff and expensive stuff, and they ride pretty nice
The max pressure on the Gatorskins is 95. I ran the 28s at 80-85 with no issues. The reason I wanted to go with a wider tire was to run a lower pressure and smooth out the ride. I'll give it a shot, but running these at 95 would likely negate the point of the wider tires...

It sounds like I should just go back to the 28s and call it a day...
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Old 07-31-15, 01:45 PM
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Lack of 'stability' could be caused by a too narrow rim. What's the width of your rim? A 32mm wide needs something like a 20 or 21mm width rim if not beads get seated but sidewalls are in wrong position and can cause squirmness.
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Old 07-31-15, 02:00 PM
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Doesn't sound like there is anything wrong with the tire or the installation. Maybe you should get someone (a friend that knows bikes or bike mechanic) to test it out. Might be nothing more than a different feel to the tire. If there was a defect, or hardened sealant in the tube, you would get a constant bump, not a squirmy feeling.
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Old 07-31-15, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Trailroaster
Lack of 'stability' could be caused by a too narrow rim. What's the width of your rim? A 32mm wide needs something like a 20 or 21mm width rim if not beads get seated but sidewalls are in wrong position and can cause squirmness.
I suspect that you're right and this is the culprit. I don't remember the width of my rim offhand, but I know that it is less than 20mm (I'll measure it when I get home later). I did check before ordering the tires and they fit nicely into the rim width chart that I found on Sheldon Brown's website, but maybe it was on the skinny side...
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Old 07-31-15, 02:55 PM
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I would explore the width-of-the-rim issue a little more. I started a similar thread a while back about my Schwalbe Big Apple 26" X 2.35" balloon tires. Having switched from 1.5"'s, I felt like the weight and mass of the wider tires were shifting from one side of the rim to the other as I rode along. Someone suggested I might be using them on too thin a rim, but that I might be able to compensate by adjusting my pressure. After a lot of experimentation, I found a good balance, and now I am in love with these tires. No more of that wobbly, off-balance feeling, which seems similar to what you described.

My advice is not to give up until you post this to the Bicycle Mechanics Forum and see what advice you can get there. Good luck. I know what buyer's remorse feels like, but I think you might find an answer that makes you feel a little or a lot better about your new tires.
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Old 07-31-15, 02:58 PM
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Check out the Specialized Turbo Pro.

I have a pair of 28s and they are awesome!

You can sell the Gatorskins on ebay; lightly used tires do well there...
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Old 07-31-15, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla
Check out the Specialized Turbo Pro.

I have a pair of 28s and they are awesome!

You can sell the Gatorskins on ebay; lightly used tires do well there...
+1. If you ( [MENTION=2587]cat[/MENTION] ) don't generally suffer from punctures, just sell them on. Some people love Gatorskins, so you may find an eager buyer here on BF, too.
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Old 07-31-15, 03:14 PM
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For a 20-21mm width rim the maximum I would like to install is a 28 and would be tight as hell. For a 28-32mm go for a 23-24mm width rim, there's a new 'rage' for wide rims that accept such size of tire. 32mm is not a small one.

P.D: All the widths are INTERNAL widths.

Last edited by Trailroaster; 07-31-15 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 07-31-15, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Trailroaster
For a 20-21mm width rim the maximum I would like to install is a 28 and would be tight as hell. For a 28-32mm go for a 23-24mm width rim, there's a new 'rage' for wide rims that accept such size of tire. 32mm is not a small one.

P.D: All the widths are INTERNAL widths.
That doesn't really make sense. The charts show a much wider tire for those rim widths. I have 1.5 inch tires (38mm) on my LHT and according to the markings on my rim, it is an 18mm width rim. They fit fine, and that is what it came with from Surly. I may go up to a 2 inch tire at some point.
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Old 07-31-15, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cat
The beads certainly seem to be seated. I've actually had a couple of flats (old/bad rim tape, since fixed, not the tire's fault), so they have been reset a couple of times in front. I've run them as low as 65 (in the front) and as high as 85...still seems to be the same issue. I was hoping that I'd be able to run them around 70-75 psi.
Are you sure of the pressure recommendations for the Gatorskins? I got on their site and for the 700x32 they showed a minimum of 85 and a max of 102PSI for the 32s.
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Old 07-31-15, 03:51 PM
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Isn't me what says those values... Look what reynolds says about:

Reynolds Cycling

There's lots of info out there.

Other examples are the Archetype & sons H rim... at a whooping 23mm width.
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Old 07-31-15, 03:56 PM
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I've been using the Bontrager H1 Hardcase tires in 700x32 on my Seven Cafe Racer SL. Are wonderful, ride very nice.
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Old 07-31-15, 03:56 PM
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I run all the way up to 45s on an 18mm rim, without issue.
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Old 07-31-15, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Trailroaster
Isn't me what says those values... Look what reynolds says about:

Reynolds Cycling

There's lots of info out there.

Other examples are the Archetype & sons H rim... at a whooping 23mm width.
Almost everything on that page is talking about aerodynamics and not traditional rim/tire fitting.

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/tire-width-article

Tire Sizing Systems
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Old 07-31-15, 11:38 PM
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I have a set of 700x23 on my street ridden track bike and I ride them at 110 psi or so. Love the ride, love the flat protection and there is no wandering.
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Old 08-01-15, 01:43 AM
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32mm is not the issue, nor is the rim width. You are easily in the range where low pressures should work fine short of pinch flats. But as far as a smooth ride goes, Gatorskins are the absolute worst you can get in an air filled tire.

There is a point where a tire can roll on the rim at low pressures, but even for me, at 240 pounds, that is in the 25psi range with 42mm tires on 23mm (outside) rims. This is a sudden and frightening transition, not an issue with general handling precision.

I hated the Gatorskins so much, I removed them after only a week. I would rather use a latex sealant than use stiff puncture resistant tires, and it works better too.
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Old 08-01-15, 07:28 AM
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Gatorskins ride like truck tires... very stiff and hard. I doubt the tires are flexing on your rims. Maybe the high speed "wander" is due to minor loss of traction?

How much do you weigh? I'd try LESS pressure. This will give you a wider contact patch, more traction, and the more comfortable ride you are looking for.
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Old 08-01-15, 08:50 AM
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Lots of hate for the Gatorskins here. Must be personal preference.
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