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Commuter Tire for Road Bike

Old 08-20-12, 10:45 AM
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kukusz
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Commuter Tire for Road Bike

I have a CAAD10 that I want to use a commuter on mostly paved path (MUP) and hard pack with some gravel roads. I will be doing about 17 miles on paved paths and about 5 on dirt road each way and I wanted to get a tire that was fast enough on the pavement that I could do the commute in a reasonable amount of time. I have ridden my CAAD on the dirt path with GP 4000s tires so it's not that rough but I wanted a 25c tire that was a little more likely to withstand consistent punishment on a route like that.

I have narrowed my selection to the Gatorskin and the Schwalbe HS 420 in 25c. Any thought as to other options and between these tires? I have read a decent amount of threads on the subject and I could not find anyone with my particular needs of still being a pretty fast tire and tough enough for a few miles of dirt/hardpack/gravely road.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:52 AM
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I'm not that wild about Gatorskins...how about 25c or 28c GP4 seasons? Similar to the GP4000s, but a little wider.
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Old 08-20-12, 11:19 AM
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I'd bet 28' won't fit ( I could be wrong ) & I like gators better myself as of late been having issues with the 4 season's that I use to love. 28's would be good if they clear.

Cheers
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Old 08-20-12, 12:14 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon Supremes.
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Old 08-20-12, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Schwalbe Marathon Supremes.
Only come in 28c and I do not think they will clear in my CAAD. Wow, those are spendy.

Ok, looking at the GP4 Seasons, I do really like my 4000s. If I could get a tough version of those it would be ideal.

Anyone have any experience with the HS 420? The specs look good.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...s/marathon_420
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Old 08-20-12, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kukusz
Only come in 28c and I do not think they will clear in my CAAD. Wow, those are spendy.

Ok, looking at the GP4 Seasons, I do really like my 4000s. If I could get a tough version of those it would be ideal.

Anyone have any experience with the HS 420? The specs look good.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...s/marathon_420
They tend to mount up a little smaller, so you may want to check the exact size and bike clearances. Great tire for mixed surfaces. Also, you may want a smaller tire up front, if your fork clearance is the issue. I usually run a 25 up fornt and 28 on the rear.
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Old 08-20-12, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by kukusz
Only come in 28c and I do not think they will clear in my CAAD. Wow, those are spendy.

Ok, looking at the GP4 Seasons, I do really like my 4000s. If I could get a tough version of those it would be ideal.

Anyone have any experience with the HS 420? The specs look good.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...s/marathon_420
I've had 37 mm HS 420 for some 9 months and about... at least 3000 kilometres, I think (no cyclocomp, but my commute is at least 21km, but often longer).

Plus:
Bombproof: several thorns got into the tyre, without penetrating, even once I didn't check immediately. Most glass and thorns don't even stick to it, even in the rain.

Durable:
First rear was faulty, wrote about that in this forum, but got replacement for free, even didn't pay for shipping. Tyres show no sign of wear. They've endured countless deep potholes in the dark, bad roads, no pavement etc.

Grip?
Decent in the rain and snow. But for dry weather? Well, it's not so good. No fast cornering, hard braking etc. Old Kenda slick tyres were MUCH better. There are worse dry weather grips, but there are better.

Speed?
Not the fastest rolling. Not like knobby MTB tyres, but definitely not the fastest. They are heavy, so take time and effort to get to speed. Same goes for braking. Since it is a 20+ kilogram commuting mule, with some 5-20 kilograms of luggage, I don't care about this.


Bottom line, for me, the best do it all tyre. There are faster, lighter, more durable, but this one does it all and it does it decently. While lasting. Not cheap, but considering how it holds, think it will pay off.
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Old 08-20-12, 01:11 PM
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Another tire I've liked, esepcially for the price and rougher stuff, is the Panaracer Ribmo (NOT THE PASELA). It has a narrower profile than the Pasela, picks up less crap and rolls a little faster. I've had better luck with them.
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Old 08-20-12, 01:32 PM
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I really like the GP 4 Seasons. I used a pair of 700x28's for about 2150 miles and got no flats, but at that mileage the casing split on the rear tire just enough to slice the tube. I replaced it with another of the same and am still happy with them. It's the only tire I've used that wore out before puncturing.
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Old 08-20-12, 02:13 PM
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I love Michelin Krylion Carbon 25mm tires for commuting and training. Good grip, nice and round profile, and good longevity. I think they dropped the Krylion name and now call them Pro4 Endurance. Same tire as near as I can tell, though.
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Old 08-20-12, 02:14 PM
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Great info guys. I'll report back with choice and first impressions once I get some mileage on them. Thanks!
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Old 08-20-12, 02:35 PM
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Interesting thread. I have a Six13 and took it on a short stretch of dirt once and within half a mile, a small rock, stick, or piece of mud somehow got into my rear derailleur and threw it into my back wheel. The derrailleur was ruined and it took one or two spokes with it. I was also stranded on my way to work. Now I use my mountain bike when I ride on dirt or gravel.
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Old 08-20-12, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ROJA
Interesting thread. I have a Six13 and took it on a short stretch of dirt once and within half a mile, a small rock, stick, or piece of mud somehow got into my rear derailleur and threw it into my back wheel. The derrailleur was ruined and it took one or two spokes with it. I was also stranded on my way to work. Now I use my mountain bike when I ride on dirt or gravel.
I have a CX bike but I run a Powertap... which means I want to have power for weekend training rides and for commutes, so I need an intermediate tire. I might still run my CX bike to work but I want the tires to fit the CAAD for sure.
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Old 08-20-12, 06:12 PM
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If there are a lot of rocks on your dirt trails you might want to consider the sidewall protection. I believe the continental gater hardshell is designed like the gaterskin but with additional sidewall protection.
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Old 08-20-12, 07:12 PM
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28 won't fit, the largest you can put on it is 25. If you don't care about the weight of the tire but rather have it nearly bullet proof then look at the Schwalbe Marathon, if you want something lighter but with semi aggressive tread for some hard dirt yet still have better flat protection then anything Conti has then I would go the Panaracer Pasela TG. The Pasela TG is a tougher tire then the Pasela without the TG after it, it will last a long time, and be about 1/2 the weight of the Marathon, and it will cost about 25% less then a Conti Gatorskin Hardshell will cost...unless you get the folding version of the Pasela TG then the cost is about the same as the Hardshell but you get protection with the Pasela TG.
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Old 08-20-12, 07:14 PM
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Gatorskins rock! I had this thin razor-sharp piece of metal, that looked like a moon crest, hit the side of the tire and stuck on so that you could hear it ping against the bike frame. I finally found the thing a few days later cause I've never seen something like this before so it got over looked, hah. Those tires are worth the extra money, but only if you're unlucky like I am.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:47 PM
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Cont's are not worth the extra money. I use to live in goathead country and those goatheads would penetrate a Gatorskin. In fact the only tire I found that would stop goathead attacks completely was the Specialized Armadillo All Condition tire, but the tread isn't conducive for dirt riding though it could be done if your careful, and it's significantly heavier then the Gatorskin or the Pasela TG, though this last year I see Specialized knocked about 150 grms off of the tire since I last bought one.
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Old 08-21-12, 01:42 AM
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Gatorskins, Armadillos, Marathon Supremes, Ribmos; they're all of similar ilk. You'll find people who swear by one over the others, but really just get whatever is carried by your local shop and has the closest size that maxes out your tire size for the frame. One thing I'd like to point out is the Ribmo is like the poor man's version of these; you can find them at the bargain basement price of $30.
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Old 08-21-12, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kukusz
Only come in 28c and I do not think they will clear in my CAAD. Wow, those are spendy.

Ok, looking at the GP4 Seasons, I do really like my 4000s. If I could get a tough version of those it would be ideal.

Anyone have any experience with the HS 420? The specs look good.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...s/marathon_420

4season is conti's most over rated tire.
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Old 08-21-12, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mrleft2000
Gatorskins, Armadillos, Marathon Supremes, Ribmos; they're all of similar ilk. You'll find people who swear by one over the others, but really just get whatever is carried by your local shop and has the closest size that maxes out your tire size for the frame. One thing I'd like to point out is the Ribmo is like the poor man's version of these; you can find them at the bargain basement price of $30.
Some of it might also be luck - what tire did you use when you got the flat? The others probably wouldn't haven't prevented it (except the Armadillo, but that rides like absolute crap) either, but that one gets the blame. You can have a nice, lighter weight, nice rolling tire or you can have great flat protection, you're not going to get both. The Gatorskins/4 seasons/Ribmos/Marathons all draw the line a little differently...it's really about the balance that you want.

On most of my bikes, I want a smooth rolling tire and recognize I have to suck it up with added flats. For my two main commuters I use Ribmos because they are less expensive, the narrow profile means I pick up fewer shards, they roll reasonably well and they're reasonably flat resistant...they are a good balance. On bikes I want to ride after the commute, I want to use something sportier - gp 4 seasons, GP4000s, etc.

The OP has stated he likes his GP4000s and wants a wider version - that's the GP 4 Seasons, plain and simple. If he is used to GP4000s and rides a Pasela with TG, he's not going to like it - it's a much slower tire. So - to answer his actual question, the GP 4 Season is what he likely wants.

As for the comment that they're "Over rated", use of the word over rated is over rated. It's a relatively light, fast tire that offers decent flat protection. It does its role extremely well - not to be a slug like a Gatorskin, but not to be punctured as often as something ridiculous. It also has a tread pattern that handles rain better than anything else out there. It's an awesome tire for what its job is - riding in a variety of conditions.
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Old 08-21-12, 08:46 AM
  #21  
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I've been running Gatorskins 25's on a CAAD7 and 28's on XR7 Disk for years with great luck for year round fast commuting and general use 15-20 each way, I do switch to studded W106's when needed in the winter and I put a bunch of crushed rock/mild off-road excursions in all the time without flinching. I decided to go with the GP4000 4 seasons for the CAAD7 and found them a little thinner ( 25 comparo ) than the Gators, they do feel grippier and roll better, can't say what the protection factor is or longevity but a key thing with any of these protected tires is to inspect every few hundred miles and with a utility blade or something, pop out anything that's been embedded or eventually it will push through and catch you. Eventually the tires will have so many debris pockets it may be time to replace on that alone. I find I'm getting about 2-3K out of Gatorskins over the years.

I'm sticking with what works and in my neck of the woods and riding style, I can't recommend the Conti Gatorskin / GP4000 4 seasons any higher. I guess my only complaint would be the sidewalls material gets "dry" and cracked as they age, by the time that happens they're usually pretty worn out elsewhere also so it's not much of a complaint...

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Old 08-21-12, 10:30 AM
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https://www.probikekit.com/us/tyres-t...-twinpack.html

If you are into that sort of thing.
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Old 08-21-12, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
https://www.probikekit.com/us/tyres-t...-twinpack.html

If you are into that sort of thing.
Or this place is even cheaper, but it takes longer to get them: https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/roa...re/conttyrf200
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Old 08-22-12, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Or this place is even cheaper, but it takes longer to get them: https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/roa...re/conttyrf200
Nice. (And great prices on tubulars! Thanks.)
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Old 08-22-12, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
Nice. (And great prices on tubulars! Thanks.)
Quite welcome. Personally I would never buy Conti's, I have several different models including the Gatorskins, GP4000s, and the 4 Seasons, and none of them were worth the money. But, if you're sold on them then why not get the best price? Personally I also no longer pay more then $30 for tires anymore, yes, I'm weird, but considering the more expensive tires get as much if not more flats and don't last any longer and handle the same why bother? So I got my Vittoria Rubino Pro Slicks from Ribble Cycles for $24.
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