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Conti Gatorskin Question

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Conti Gatorskin Question

Old 06-15-21, 12:35 PM
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Conti Gatorskin Question

How much do you love your Continental Gatorskin tires? Any wild stories or mileage milestones? Anyone switch from them to something better?
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Old 06-15-21, 12:37 PM
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I've had 4 sets, 1 hardshell. Still have 1 set of regulars. I've never worn a set out, but except for the 1 pair I still have they went with the bikes when I sold them.

I like GS a lot. I think the regulars ride fine and I don't worry about flats when I'm riding them. They are great all around tires that are good on road, and dry off road/bike paths. I have commuted on them as well. All of mine were 32c.

The set I have now is not being used. I have a couple pair of GP5000'S which are better pure road tires. Though whenever I am riding gravel I wonder if "this is the time" I will get a flat. I haven't gotten one in a few hundred miles, but the thought is there. I don't think about it when running GS.

Last edited by stevel610; 06-15-21 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 06-15-21, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Technium92
How much do you love your Continental Gatorskin tires?
Best expressed with a bag full of rocks and then gasoline.

Originally Posted by Technium92
Anyone switch from them to something better?
Yes, and suddenly all was right with the world again. You could pick design a tire blindfolded and wind up with better ride quality. I really liked Grand Prix 4ks back in the day, I've been enjoying IRC Roadlites lately.
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Old 06-15-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Best expressed with a bag full of rocks and then gasoline.

Yes, and suddenly all was right with the world again. You could pick design a tire blindfolded and wind up with better ride quality. I really liked Grand Prix 4ks back in the day, I've been enjoying IRC Roadlites lately.
A woman I know says her ex put them on her bike when she went to pick up her stuff.
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Old 06-15-21, 01:21 PM
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No one hates gatorskins more than people who used to ride them and then found a better tire.

My theory is that back in the day finding a tire with half decent puncture protection was difficult and gatorskins were one of the few options for people tired of changing flats on the side of the road (see also Specialized Armadillo). But now that there's a wide selection of tires that have a nice ride and decent puncture protection people have decided that they don't actually like a tire that feels like riding a garden hose full of cement on a sheet of glass.
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Old 06-15-21, 01:24 PM
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i've used them in the past and they were ok. from all the comments that they are a stinky ride i honestly cannot tell the difference. being flat resistant they probably are a harder ride. now using GP5000 and as happy with them as i was with the GS. and i wore the GSs out in a season.
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Old 06-15-21, 01:27 PM
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The nicest thing I can say is they might be good for weather so cold there would be no hope of fixing a flat and walking would be to risk death from exposure.
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Old 06-15-21, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Technium92
How much do you love your Continental Gatorskin tires? Any wild stories or mileage milestones? Anyone switch from them to something better?
They last an extremely long time, and this longevity is their largest drawback.
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Old 06-15-21, 02:56 PM
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Gatorskins probably made more sense when everyone was riding 23mm tires pumped up to 120psi and all road tires felt like frozen ropes.
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Old 06-15-21, 03:40 PM
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So, how much does everybody love root canals?
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Old 06-15-21, 05:00 PM
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5700 miles on mine so far, still have about 2mm of tread left on the wear indicator, swapped front and back at around 3000 miles
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Old 06-15-21, 05:12 PM
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If you ride on crappy roads with debris fields that are hard to avoid, Skins make sense.
I have rotator cuff injuries and arthritis. I'd rather not deal with flats on the side of the road.
I have tried Armadillos - meh! And, Michelin Power All Seasons - Good so far.
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Old 06-15-21, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
So, how much does everybody love root canals?
The procedure I can take or leave, but the 20 mg of diazepam in the waiting room, now that’s...that’s...

Yeah.
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Old 06-15-21, 08:12 PM
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There are both Gatorskin and Gatorskin Hardshell. I’ve always used the latter. For my rims, the Gatorskins are a bit tough to mount when new. However, I’m always able to mount only using my hands after using tricks like warming the tire in the sun first. They are easier to mount subsequently. I probably get one or two flats during the tires life, say 3500 miles. I’ve used Gatorskins for 8 years.

Recently, I switched to Specialized Armadillo Elite All Condition tires. The Armadillos are much easier to mount, and the flat rate is the same as Gatorskins. I’ve used the Armadillos for the past 2.5 years. The tread seems a bit softer than the Gatorskins and I get micro cuts and nicks on the tread. The Armadillos seems to ride a bit better, but that’s purely subjective. I have a slight preference for the Armadillos, although they cost a bit more. Armadillos are not as available as the Gatorskins, although my local LBS stocks them.
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Old 06-15-21, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
The procedure I can take or leave, but the 20 mg of diazepam in the waiting room, now that’s...that’s...

Yeah.
"I can take or leave" is nicer than anyone has ever said about Gatorskins. 🙂
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Old 06-15-21, 08:44 PM
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I've been quite happy with mine. Probably have 1000 miles so far. Lots of hills and rear tire starting to square. No punctures. I have 28mm and run them at 65psi front and 70ish rear.

Traction is excellent dry or wet as is the ride. I hear the GP5000 perform better and may try them but I have been very happy with the Gatorskins.

Only thing that is kind of weird is I notice is some threads from the sidewalls are coming loose. I've been pulling them - I suspect it is due to the lowish pressures I run.

Gatorskins get a bad rap on this site but I love em at low pressures.
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Old 06-15-21, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Symox

Only thing that is kind of weird is I notice is some threads from the sidewalls are coming loose. I've been pulling them - I suspect it is due to the lowish pressures I run.

Gatorskins get a bad rap on this site but I love em at low pressures.
i ran my GS Hardshells at 100psi, and also experienced the occasional loose sidewall threads.
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Old 06-15-21, 08:58 PM
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I've got some and like them fine. Took a chunk of road debris in the sidewall of a GP5000 on my other bike recently and had to call for a ride home for the first time in my 30 years of riding. Pretty sure that wouldn't have happened on the Gatorskin. Mind you one epic fail in 30 years isn't the best reason to switch but seriously, there is tons of glass and junk on the roads where I ride and I hate stopping to fix flats.
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Old 06-15-21, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder
... now that there's a wide selection of tires that have a nice ride and decent puncture protection people have decided that they don't actually like a tire that feels like riding a garden hose full of cement on a sheet of glass.
What tires do you think are some of the better alternatives?
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Old 06-16-21, 03:47 AM
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Keep them on my spare wheel set “just in case.”
I hope I never reach that “just in case.”

Gp5000 ride sooooooo much better.
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Old 06-16-21, 07:43 AM
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I put over 6000 miles on a set of 32mm gatorskins last year. Got 4 flats with them but I would not blame the gatorskins for any of them. Switched to GP5000 over the winter and instantly went from 16mph avg to 23mph avg on my rollers. Perhaps that was just the exuberance of a great feeling tyre. Out in the real world my average speed is the same or maybe +1 mph with the GP5000s. But the ride feels infinitely smoother.
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Old 06-16-21, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Random11
What tires do you think are some of the better alternatives?
Well this is by no means a comprehensive list but I've had good luck with Schwalbe Pro Ones and Specialized S-Works Turbo. Pretty much the same amount of flats as I ever had with Gatorskins. I think it helps that I run lower pressures now; usually the only flats I get now are pinch flats when I hit a hole that I didn't see (fingers crossed.)

Full disclosure my first set of Turbos flatted immediately but I think I just had a bad batch. My LBS replaced them as a warranty and I've been using them for a couple seasons now with good results.
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Old 06-16-21, 09:06 AM
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Well, the Gatorskins certainly are long wearing but they rattle the fillings in your teeth, especially on chip seal. I have one with about 5000 miles on it with plenty of miles left but I only use it o the trainer. I've come to really like the Specialized Turbo Pro line available in several price and weight categories. The ones currently on the bike have up around 4500 miles with, maybe, another 1000 to go. https://www.backcountry.com/speciali...CABEgK38PD_BwE
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Old 06-16-21, 10:54 AM
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I run them on the distance bike because I end up on Western Jersey roads that have lots of construction debris on the shoulder. Unlike many here, I lack the refined sensitivity in the sitbones and gluteus maximus that inspires such invective commentary, but, well, I guess some cats just have issues. Not me. Yeah, the GP4000's are on the fastbike, and they're nicer, but not life changing. The Vittoria Corsas were stock on that bike but I pretty much flatted every 10 rides. Gators on the wife's bike because she has zzzzero interest in changing a flat and I don't have a yellow Mavic service truck. I ride 28's at about 75psi and I'm 155lbs.
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Old 06-16-21, 01:18 PM
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Despite being on record as disliking them (see above) I will say in all fairness that I have heard, anecdotally, that the wider versions of Gatorskins-like 32mm--are pretty good. My guess is that wider tires and lower pressures in general are a more comfortable ride. I don't have first-hand experience with them though.

I've also heard that Gatorskin tubulars are really nice but tubulars are a whole different world that we probably don't need to get into here.
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