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Old 05-24-09, 09:24 PM   #1
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Forte Tires (Performance Bicycle house brand)

I know this is an old subject, Forte tires, I've looked at the search results. This is my 2 cents, after three different sets of Forte tires, over thousands of miles in the last three years. Forte tires are inexpensive and considering price, not bad. However the old adage comes to mind, "you get what you pay for". I think I'm done with Forte, and I'll heed the advice I've read from others - "tires make a big difference".

Set 1 - Forte VersaTrac with kevlar belt. These tires wore like iron and were very cut and puncture resistant. They still had lots of tread left when I replaced them at 5,000 miles. The problem is the tread is so hard it makes for poor traction, especially on wet pavement. If there's any muddy silt under the water, it's like riding on grease. I took some nasty spills on these tires. The lugs on the tread were so hard they would not bite on some driveway lips and would just skid along sideways. You had to be extra careful about hitting driveway angles.

Set 2 - Forte SpeedTrac with kevlar belt. There tires were the polar opposite of the VersaTrac tires, soft tread that cut easily. The traction at least was very good. I had to replace these at about 2,000 miles because of wear and cuts. There were probably the best tires of the three sets I went through, but they're no longer offered.

Set 3 - Forte Gotham. These tires started out well, had good traction, took high pressure and rolled well. However after less than 1 year and under 1,500 miles, the outside tread started coming off of the 26 x 1.75 tires I had on my comfort bike that I occasionally ride on rocky trails. I replaced these these with Continental Town and Country tires that roll faster with less PSI at speeds under 20 mph. A 700c x 35 tire I had on my hybrid bike exploded with a gunshot-like bang, along with the tube, after running over a 3/4 inch rock on a concrete pathway through a park. That just happened this morning. I have Schwalbe Marathon tires on order as replacements. The Gotham tire has a center tread and outside edge treads, and the tire failed between the center and outside tread - a good 4-inch rip.

I know others have had good experiences with Forte tires. At age 62 and at some of the speeds I hit going down hills and trails, it's not worth it for me to take any risks with questionable tires. I cracked one helmet on a VersaTrac spill, something I hope to never repeat.
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Old 05-26-09, 12:10 AM   #2
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My best luck with "cheap" tires has been to buy the very cheapest Continental tires I can find...those are the heavy ones with blackwalls. They last forever, and they resist flats well. Heavy? Yes...but that makes for a better workout. A $20 Continental tire that lasts years is cheaper than a $10 tire that lasts six months.
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Old 05-26-09, 08:00 AM   #3
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Since the Forté tires aren't all made in the same factory or even country, there's going to be some difference in quality.

I have Versatracks on my Giant Sedona and have no complaints whatsoever. They seem to be excellent foul weather tires that work well on and off road.

I bought a pair of Forté GT2 700/28 (actually closer to 700/25) Road Tires. I just wanted a pair of tires for occasional use on a spare (duplicate Cannondale SR300) bike I had.

The tread on the GT2s was a little uneven side to side, like the mold didn't line up when they were made. When I installed them, one tire bulged outward more than a cm, in one spot and rubbed on the frame. Performance didn't seem surprised at this and replaced both tires free.

The next set weren't much better. The tread was still out of alignment and there were some minor bulges but I decided to use them anyway. I rode the Cannondale I had them on, just a couple of times but by now it was winter. after two months of just sitting, properly inflated, both tires had cracks in the rubber all over the tires. At this point I wouldn't feel safe using them. I think they're a liability suit waiting to happen.

I wrote a review of the Forté GT2 Road Tire, detailing all of this, for Performance's site but it wasn't posted. Go figure.

Don't buy the Forté GT2 Road Tires. They aren't a bargain at any price.
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Old 05-26-09, 08:47 AM   #4
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I bought a set Forté GT2 Kevlar Road Tires for 23 bucks last year. Over 2,000 miles & not a single flat. Installed fine, true to size & ride well even on wet surfaces. I guess with all things YMMV.
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Old 05-26-09, 09:39 AM   #5
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Forte tires are apparently made by the lowest bidder and delivery date. Wish they would code them. I have one set of Forte Gotham's that are still going strong after 3k miles and a couple of years, last set purchased 6 months after the first set were pure crap and were returned for credit, they wouldn't mount properly due to inconsistencies in the bead thickness. In the future I will most likely use Schwalbe. I do have some Cheng Shin and Kenda tires that have certainly done the job for the price paid.

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Old 06-13-09, 02:20 PM   #6
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Vittoria Zaffiro, $13. 8,000 miles on one, 12,000-14,000 on the other and still going. 2 flats within the first 150 miles.
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Old 06-13-09, 06:08 PM   #7
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Thousands of miles on my Forte's with no problems. Then again, I don't run a bike shop or affiliated with any major brand so my opinion may be a little bit unpopular for those trying to make extra bucks to put their kids through college and still paying off the 700k mortgage.
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