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Tire choice is driving me insane!

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Tire choice is driving me insane!

Old 04-20-18, 11:14 AM
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Nicholas L
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Tire choice is driving me insane!

Ok, so I know I made a similar thread about tire choice a while ago. But alas, I still haven't settled on anything. It seems that winter has finally ended, and for me it's time to get a new set. I'm looking for something which is fast rolling, but can also handle rough conditions. The roads around here suck, not to mention that I have to ride a few miles of nasty dirt roads before I get to pavement. I've looked at Gatorskins, but many people say they're sluggish, have horrible grip, and often have sidewall failures. I've looked at Continentals, Schwalbes, Michelins, etc. They all seem to have equal parts good and bad reviews. The tires that do look good are unbelievably expensive. So how do you choose? I will most likely just settle for Gatorskins, but other suggestions would be great! My bike can fit up to 28mm, and that's what I'm planning on doing. Thanks!
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Old 04-20-18, 11:18 AM
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I used nothing but Continental GP4000s II for the past 3 or 4 years and I think they are a great all around tire. Their sizing runs big though, so a 25c on a normal to wide rim will actually measure 28mm. Their 28c's measure above 30, so make sure they will fit on your frame. There's tons of sites that have the actual width measured on different width rims if you Google it.
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Old 04-20-18, 11:24 AM
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Conti GP 4000S Black Chili Compound....done.

Once you have narrowed it down to a few good choices, don't overthink it. Any of the above you have mentioned are going to have good and bad qualities but overall are going to be good.
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Old 04-20-18, 11:26 AM
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Gatorskins are not nice tyres to ride on - I've posted on here previously about being persuaded to buy a pair by a LBS a little while ago and how they transformed the bike in completely the wrong way. No punctures or sidewall failures admittedly, but I did less miles on the bike because of the tyres.

The bike in question has had Schwalbe Luganos refitted - they're on all my road bikes except for one with 27inch wheels - and it really is like a new bike, fast rolling, responsive, and a pleasure to ride again. No punctures since fitting the new Luganos.

The bike with 27 inch wheels has Conti Ultrasport 2s - they seem to do a good job, roll well, and no punctures since fitting them.

For what it's worth most of my mileage is on roads, although my commute includes a few miles of gravel cycle trails. The road surface locally varies between awful and shocking.
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Old 04-20-18, 11:29 AM
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I get GP4000II's online for about $35-$40 bucks. I order 3, usually comes out to about $100 and I get free shipping. IMO, Gatorskins are not any better than GP4000II's don't waste your time.

I'd rather buy 3 tires online, get free shipping with $100 purchase than pay $75 at a local bike shop for 1 tire.



RibblecyclesUK..GP4000 $36 and a twin pack for $65.........for those who do not wait till the last minute to buy tires, it's a bargain. I hate being forced into buying a tire for $75 because I waited till my tires were worn and had to buy from the LBS.

Akso Michelin and Schwalbe at good prices.

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/compo...5D=Continental
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Old 04-20-18, 11:32 AM
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When you say "the roads suck", do you mean in terms of being covered in stabby things, or being rough? If the former, you'll want some protection and/or go tubeless. If just the latter, get a wide tire that performs well.
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Old 04-20-18, 11:36 AM
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Ah the young online shoppers dilemma...

pick 1 and next time pick a different one..
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Old 04-20-18, 11:48 AM
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Everyone seems to have different experiences with tires. I had Gatorskins for some time but I found the sidewalls weak and the tread VERY durable. They were great for training and I think made me stronger because they did not roll very well.
I tried a all condition armadillo for a couple weeks I but really did not like them, I found them bomb proof but it felt like I was riding with something holding me back all the time. I put them on my wife's commuter.
I tried MIchelin Pro4 Endurance tires and had a excellent time with them. One summer I put nearly 4000 km on a set with no problems and they felt almost as fast as my race wheels (Hed stinger w/veloflex tubulars) The next year I went with them again and had multiple flats within 100 kms.
I switched to Bontrager AW3 hard case tires and now I am on my 2nd set. They are fast enough for training tires, I put nearly 5000km on a rear tire last year with a lot of rough roads, chip seal roads, and some smooth gravel roads as well. I have had 2 or 3 flat tires (bits of wire and 1 staple) but IMO that is not bad.
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Old 04-20-18, 11:55 AM
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My Sequoia still has the stock tires on it, because I can't f***ing decide - Gatorskins, Schwalbe, Continentals...? Stay at 25mm, go up to 28mm, drop to 23mm, or maybe see if I can get some 30mm to fit....?
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Old 04-20-18, 11:58 AM
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I'm a fan of Michelin Pro4 Endurance and Service Course. I put 4k miles on my Service Course and I'm aon about 1k miles on my Endurance and really like them. I little heavier than the Service Course but nothing I've noticed. The bike rolls as good as it did with the SC. I'm running 85psi vs 95psi on the SC and the ride it more comfortable and no flats (as of yet).
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Old 04-20-18, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
My Sequoia still has the stock tires on it, because I can't f***ing decide - Gatorskins, Schwalbe, Continentals...? Stay at 25mm, go up to 28mm, drop to 23mm, or maybe see if I can get some 30mm to fit....?


Ha ha ha!

I just built my own opinions by buying a tire and riding it. Heck, tires wear out anyway and you are going to replace it sooner or later so what's the big deal? They all roll at a decent pace if it's a decent tire.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:07 PM
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Forget the gators had them and they suck . Used the gp400011 and a little better but weak sidewall finally this past winter picked up a pair of go 4000 all seasons and so much better than the other 2 sets 4000 miles later no flats and can probably get another thousand miles out of them. A little slower rolling then the gp 11 but much better tire for overall use although spring is here might put another set of the gp 11 on crappy sidewall but a little faster if u have extra cash to buy every 3000 miles the gp 11 are ok
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Old 04-20-18, 12:18 PM
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I donít know why people donít like the gatorskins, I like them well enough. I have used other tires. I experimented with the Continental GP4000, and they were a nicer ride. But if I run the gatorskins at a slightly lower pressure, they are also a nice ride. I also ride on crappy roads, and I donít get flats so Iím doing something right.

If you ride a lot, youíll go through a lot of tires. Just pick a set and go. Theyíll get used up quick enough and you can try something else. There really arenít any wrong choices.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:23 PM
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related question, what websites, do you use to buy your tires?
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Old 04-20-18, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Nicholas L View Post
The roads around here suck...
HTupolev's post above is spot-on. If "the roads suck" means you're dealing with glass, thorns, etc., you'll want a tire with some puncture protection. If it means you've got a minefield of potholes and crappy pavement, that's a different problem. A wider tire will help take some of the edge off, plus help prevent you from bottoming out and getting pinch flats. (Or worse yet, damaging your rim.)

"Puncture protection" isn't binary, though. It's not like a tire has it or it doesn't, with no in-between. Different models have varying amounts of puncture protection in an attempt to balance weight, ride quality, price, etc. You've got tires that are marketed for their puncture protection like Gatorskins, Armadillos, and Panaracer T-Servs, but a lot of general-purpose or 'training' tires have some protection, including the GP4000's. It's a question of how much protection you need and how much you're willing to compromise on other tire characteristics.

Originally Posted by Nicholas L View Post
...not to mention that I have to ride a few miles of nasty dirt roads before I get to pavement.
Lump that in with the pothole description above. Wider tires generally do better on rough surfaces. I ride 28's on crushed limestone and fine gravel pretty often. I'd be comfortable riding them on packed dirt roads, too.

Originally Posted by Nicholas L View Post
I've looked at Gatorskins, but many people say they're sluggish, have horrible grip, and often have sidewall failures. I've looked at Continentals, Schwalbes, Michelins, etc. They all seem to have equal parts good and bad reviews.
Someone could create the perfect product and there'll still be idiots on the web who give it bad reviews. Sometimes you can sift through reviews and figure out who doesn't know what they're talking about. But even with that aside, remember that all tires, especially puncture-resistant ones, are going to have good and bad reviews. If someone gets a flat, it must be the tire's fault, right? People sometimes fail to remember the tires are puncture-resistant, not puncture-proof. And it's pretty much a given that a puncture-resistant tire's going to be a little less sporty than a training or racing tire, but sometimes people just don't adjust their expectations accordingly.

Originally Posted by Nicholas L View Post
So how do you choose? I will most likely just settle for Gatorskins, but other suggestions would be great!
I considered things like reviews, price, manufacturer reputation, ...and ultimately took a guess.

I've got Panaracer T-Servs on the bike with the biggest need for puncture resistance. (It's also the bike I tend to ride on gravel trails.) I've got Panaracer Paselas on a few bikes, some with their ProTec or ProTite puncture resistant belt, some without. I've got Vittoria Rubino Pro Slicks on my sportiest road bike and used Michelin Krylions before that. And y'know what? I'm not unhappy with any of them. There might be a little variation in weight or the way they ride, but unless you're comparing tires at opposite ends of the protection/price/weight spectrums, it's not an earth-shattering difference.

Don't over-think this. Pick something and ride.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:31 PM
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Wait for a Performance Bike 20% or more off sale and buy the Michelin Pro4 Endurance for under $30. I unintentionally tested its sidewall resilience last week when I went off course and scrubbed the entire side against a sidewalk before crashing. The graze marks are clearly there on the tire but it's held up just fine on my commute. I run a 23mm Michelin in the front because I used to have 28mm GP 4000s IIs both front and back but punctured the front on my first day of commuting.

Oh yeah, I also don't like the Gatorskins that I have on my other bike.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
related question, what websites, do you use to buy your tires?
Amazon, if I buy online. But usually the LBS.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
related question, what websites, do you use to buy your tires?
I posted a link above to Ribble.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurido92 View Post
I'm a fan of Michelin Pro4 Endurance and Service Course. I put 4k miles on my Service Course and I'm aon about 1k miles on my Endurance and really like them. I little heavier than the Service Course but nothing I've noticed. The bike rolls as good as it did with the SC. I'm running 85psi vs 95psi on the SC and the ride it more comfortable and no flats (as of yet).
I've been happy even going one notch lower, with the Michelin Pro Race 3 and the Lithion 2.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
related question, what websites, do you use to buy your tires?
https://www.merlincycles.com/
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Old 04-20-18, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
HTupolev's post above is spot-on. If "the roads suck" means you're dealing with glass, thorns, etc., you'll want a tire with some puncture protection. If it means you've got a minefield of potholes and crappy pavement, that's a different problem. A wider tire will help take some of the edge off, plus help prevent you from bottoming out and getting pinch flats. (Or worse yet, damaging your rim.)

"Puncture protection" isn't binary, though. It's not like a tire has it or it doesn't, with no in-between. Different models have varying amounts of puncture protection in an attempt to balance weight, ride quality, price, etc. You've got tires that are marketed for their puncture protection like Gatorskins, Armadillos, and Panaracer T-Servs, but a lot of general-purpose or 'training' tires have some protection, including the GP4000's. It's a question of how much protection you need and how much you're willing to compromise on other tire characteristics.



Lump that in with the pothole description above. Wider tires generally do better on rough surfaces. I ride 28's on crushed limestone and fine gravel pretty often. I'd be comfortable riding them on packed dirt roads, too.



Someone could create the perfect product and there'll still be idiots on the web who give it bad reviews. Sometimes you can sift through reviews and figure out who doesn't know what they're talking about. But even with that aside, remember that all tires, especially puncture-resistant ones, are going to have good and bad reviews. If someone gets a flat, it must be the tire's fault, right? People sometimes fail to remember the tires are puncture-resistant, not puncture-proof. And it's pretty much a given that a puncture-resistant tire's going to be a little less sporty than a training or racing tire, but sometimes people just don't adjust their expectations accordingly.



I considered things like reviews, price, manufacturer reputation, ...and ultimately took a guess.

I've got Panaracer T-Servs on the bike with the biggest need for puncture resistance. (It's also the bike I tend to ride on gravel trails.) I've got Panaracer Paselas on a few bikes, some with their ProTec or ProTite puncture resistant belt, some without. I've got Vittoria Rubino Pro Slicks on my sportiest road bike and used Michelin Krylions before that. And y'know what? I'm not unhappy with any of them. There might be a little variation in weight or the way they ride, but unless you're comparing tires at opposite ends of the protection/price/weight spectrums, it's not an earth-shattering difference.

Don't over-think this. Pick something and ride.
All good points! I'm definitely overthinking it, I just want to make sure I make a good purchase. Of course, that is what returns are for right? I suppose I shouldn't say the roads suck around here... sharp objects aren't too big of an issue, and to be honest the roads really aren't all that bad considering. Some of the roads are pristine, while others are full of cracks, holes, bumps, etc.

Just going to buy something and ride my damn bike!
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Old 04-20-18, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
I've been happy even going one notch lower, with the Michelin Pro Race 3 and the Lithion 2.

I had a set of Pro3 Service Course and they were great which is why I went with the Pro4 Endurance
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Old 04-20-18, 01:21 PM
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I guess I'm just low maintenance. I don't really care about the tire - Gatorskin vs Schwalbe vs GP4000 vs Michelin vs etc. I buy what the best deal is. The roads around my area are so varying in condition every ride can have dozens and dozens of different conditions and feel. Width is more important to me than the tire.
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Old 04-20-18, 01:27 PM
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get some sealant and rim tape and buy a good tubeless tire!!-don't be scared
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Old 04-20-18, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Nicholas L View Post
All good points! I'm definitely overthinking it, I just want to make sure I make a good purchase. Of course, that is what returns are for right? I suppose I shouldn't say the roads suck around here... sharp objects aren't too big of an issue, and to be honest the roads really aren't all that bad considering. Some of the roads are pristine, while others are full of cracks, holes, bumps, etc.

Just going to buy something and ride my damn bike!
if it's just normal roads with cracks, holes, bumps, etc most tires can handle that. I've used continental ultra sport ii without flat issues.
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