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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-30-08, 08:46 AM   #1
zpl
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Ultra Gatorskin kevlar vs. wire bead.

My Krylion Carbon kevlar tires aren't tough enough for my commute. I've had more than one puncture flat (typically from small glass shards or staples) every month of riding so far this year. Had one this morning on the way into work. Before throwing my hands up and buying Armadillos, I thought I'd try the Continental Ultra Gatorskins.

Nashbar has the kevlar version only in 700x23c. They do have the wire bead ones in 700x25c, which is the size I'd prefer as a clydesdale rider. My question is whether the only difference between the folding vs. wire bead version is weight, or does the folding tire offer better puncture resistance? I could care less about the 70g weight penalty I'd pay with the wire bead tire.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:06 AM   #2
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I have been running the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in a 700/28 for about a year now and have not had a flat yet (about 2000 k ) and like the feel on the road vs the Armadillos (Just sold my last pair). I go about 195 and get a good ride from them on the strees of Phlia.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:10 AM   #3
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I run the 25 wire beads with no problems at 235lbs. I also have no problems with the GP4000s in 23 with the kevlar bead, so either one should do you fine.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:20 AM   #4
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I use the 25 version with the wire bead. Definitely NOT foldable. Not being a tire expert, I can't give you an educated answer on the nuances between the ride quality, puncture resistance and tread life of a wire bead vs a kevlar bead version of the same tire. However, I'll freely posit my opinion that kevlar beads reduce weight, allow for foldability and have no impact on puncture resistance since the bead is what keeps the tire in the rim and is therefore not exposed.

Since I'm not likely to keep a 250 g tire folded up in my flat bag, I'm not going to spend $5 or $10 more for foldability or a 50 gram weight savings.

Manufacturer's website:

http://www.conti-online.com/generato...orskin_en.html

Opining on Krylions vs. Gatorskins:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=439891

Last edited by nmanhipot; 07-30-08 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:28 AM   #5
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I love that black singlespeed, Chipcom. Is that a Raleigh?

I have a matte black commuter and that glossy black is real nice.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:47 AM   #6
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I have been running the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in a 700/28 for about a year now and have not had a flat yet (about 2000 k )...
You just wrote that, didn't you?!
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Old 07-30-08, 10:03 AM   #7
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The foldable version is only useful if you plan on keeping a spare tire in your bag (which i do, but it's a Michelin Krylion Carbon "just in case").
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Old 07-30-08, 10:28 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Wire beads it is for me.
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Old 07-30-08, 10:30 AM   #9
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I run the 25 wire beads with no problems at 235lbs. I also have no problems with the GP4000s in 23 with the kevlar bead, so either one should do you fine.
Same-same. Ahem, I am a bit lighter and younger, though.
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Old 07-30-08, 10:53 AM   #10
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From what I understand the wire bead and kevlar versions are the same tire. The wire bead is just a cheaper version of it.

I've been using the kevlar version from PBK for a couple years now, and I have only had one flat (from glass). The rear tire itself is due for replacement from finally squaring off after several thousand miles. But then, I ride a 30lb steel roadie using 700x23c, fwiw.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by nowheels View Post
I have been running the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in a 700/28 for about a year now and have not had a flat yet (about 2000 k ) and like the feel on the road vs the Armadillos (Just sold my last pair). I go about 195 and get a good ride from them on the strees of Phlia.
I recently tried in vain to buy Continental Ultra Gatorskins in a 700/28. I bought from 3 different places, who all then sent me email saying they were backordered. Conti must be out or something.

I'm not a fan of Armadillos either, so I popped the extra cash for Schwalbes. Hopefully they are in the mail today.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:36 AM   #12
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As stated in another thread by DJ... the kevlar bead is easier to get on/off the rim.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:58 PM   #13
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I have the 700x25 in both the wire and folding bead versions on the rear and front of my bike, respectively. I bought the wire version off the shelf at my local REI because I wanted it right away, even though I really wanted the folding version. My REI is a QBP dealer, though, and QBP sells the 700x25 folding version, so I ordered two of those and got them a couple of weeks later.

The 700x25 folding version is peculiar, though, in that it isn't listed on Continental's website, nor on the box of its folding tires. It tempts one to wonder if Continental is phasing it out. Also, if you can get a look into a QBP catalog and see the recommended pressure range for the 700x25 folding, you'll see that it is 110-120psi unlike the 95-120psi range of the 700x25 wire bead tire.

In any case, I've run my 700x25 folding on the front of my bike between 100-105psi and it hasn't become unseated from the rim though I haven't bombed downhill on it.

Regarding installing these things, the Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack is a big help.
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Old 07-30-08, 02:49 PM   #14
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The 700x25 folding version is peculiar, though, in that it isn't listed on Continental's website, nor on the box of its folding tires. It tempts one to wonder if Continental is phasing it out. Also, if you can get a look into a QBP catalog and see the recommended pressure range for the 700x25 folding, you'll see that it is 110-120psi unlike the 95-120psi range of the 700x25 wire bead tire.
Please double-check the webpage: http://www.conti-online.com/generato...orskin_en.html

There is a reference to the 25 folding and there are no differences in the tire pressure recommendation between the two.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:26 PM   #15
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I have 23's and 25's on wire beaded gatorskin's and i cannot imagine the beadless being any better.

only flat i ever got was a nail going through tire and rim!
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Old 07-30-08, 08:40 PM   #16
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I run the 25 wire beads with no problems at 235lbs. I also have no problems with the GP4000s in 23 with the kevlar bead, so either one should do you fine.
+1 My tire situation exactly! Gatorskin wire 25m on the commuter, GP4000 on the road bike. They're both fantastic. Get them and ride them you wont be disappointed.

....but I'm down to 220. It's late in the summer I'm practically wasting away
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Old 07-31-08, 06:00 AM   #17
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Tires with kevlar beads are lighter and foldable. If you are like me, and your commute route is very hilly, than the weight savings for kevlar beads could be important. You will notice weight savings/gains more in your wheels than any other part of your bike, particularly when climbing. Foldable tires also are nice if you take a spare tire when you travel. I never buy tires any more unless they have kevlar beads because it's hilly almost everywhere I ride. However, if I lived in an area where it was flat, it wouldn't matter so much.
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Old 07-31-08, 06:43 AM   #18
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+1 My tire situation exactly! Gatorskin wire 25m on the commuter, GP4000 on the road bike. They're both fantastic. Get them and ride them you wont be disappointed.

....but I'm down to 220. It's late in the summer I'm practically wasting away
I'm actually down to 230...if I'd quit eating everything within reach of my hands and mouth, I might actually loose a bit more, but I'd rather be strong than skinny I guess.
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Old 07-31-08, 06:46 AM   #19
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Tires with kevlar beads are lighter and foldable. If you are like me, and your commute route is very hilly, than the weight savings for kevlar beads could be important. You will notice weight savings/gains more in your wheels than any other part of your bike, particularly when climbing. Foldable tires also are nice if you take a spare tire when you travel. I never buy tires any more unless they have kevlar beads because it's hilly almost everywhere I ride. However, if I lived in an area where it was flat, it wouldn't matter so much.
I can say this with certainty...I can't tell any difference whatsoever climbing on my 25 wire bead gatorskins and my 23 kevlar bead GP4000s. I can tell a difference in ride quality though, but I wouldn't consider that a function of weight or bead.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:34 AM   #20
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Tires with kevlar beads are lighter and foldable. If you are like me, and your commute route is very hilly, than the weight savings for kevlar beads could be important. You will notice weight savings/gains more in your wheels than any other part of your bike, particularly when climbing. Foldable tires also are nice if you take a spare tire when you travel. I never buy tires any more unless they have kevlar beads because it's hilly almost everywhere I ride. However, if I lived in an area where it was flat, it wouldn't matter so much.
In my case, wire bead tires are somewhat of a benefit. I don't go out of my way to carry cinder blocks on my bike rides, but my general philosophy is that the heavier my bike is, the faster I will lose weight myself and then be able to justify getting a lighter bike.
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