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My GatorSkins!!

Old 11-11-12, 03:47 PM
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Tandem Tom
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My GatorSkins!!

Today we went for a ride and as we were pumping up the ires my wife noticed a small little
"slit" in the tire. After we got home we really checked over the tires and marked a number of questionable areas. These tires have only 1700 miles on them. I changed over to 32mm before our 1500 mile tour in August/September. I am a bit disappointed in this tires. Also the rear tire has a pronounced flat area across the center of the tire. The front to but no so much.
I think I am going to switch to Schwalbe tires before we go on tour next year.
Thoughts??
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Old 11-11-12, 04:28 PM
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!700 miles, we get around 1000 max on a rear from new. Pretty much just a two rider load on South Florida roads. The heat from the road does promote wear in warmer months.

PK
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Old 11-11-12, 04:41 PM
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we get 2500 miles on the Schwalbe ZX 25 X 700 on the rear and 4,000 miles on the front. Last set did not have a single flat. 292 pound team.
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Old 11-11-12, 05:03 PM
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Switching to the Panaracer RIBMO in 700x 28 on our Co Motion tandem & my Co Motion touring bike as the Conti Gator Skins we have used for so long on these bikes wear out. After trying the Panaracer RIBMO tires in 700x28 foldable tires that came on our new da Vinci Joint Venture 700 tandem. I find I like them better than the Gator Skins and I think there going to hold up and wear better, time will tell. Pic's of the da Vinci Joint Venture 700 tandem has the Panaracer RIBMO tires on it. 345lb team plus tandem weight.

Ride Safe,
Bill G
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Old 11-11-12, 08:38 PM
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The flat area on the rear tire is from wear. It is a sign that the tire is about done. Like PMK, I get about 1000 miles on a rear tire. As tires wear they are more likely to have a flat.
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Old 11-11-12, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tandem rider View Post
The flat area on the rear tire is from wear. It is a sign that the tire is about done. Like PMK, I get about 1000 miles on a rear tire. As tires wear they are more likely to have a flat.

Amen to that!

My stoker tells me to just change them and not chance having troubles far from home. Worthy worn fronts get used up on the rear.

PK
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Old 11-11-12, 09:08 PM
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370# team: aprox. 1,000 miles on rear Conti gatorskins 700x28, switched to 700x32 on the rear and loved the ride, plus 1,500 miles. More mileage out of Specialized Armadillos but the ride was not as soft or sticky.
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Old 11-11-12, 09:13 PM
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I'm not a big Gatorskin fan. The first change we made to our new/used CoMo was to change out the Gatorskins. Be that as it may, my rule is that the harder the tire rubber, the longer it wears, the less it flats, and the worse it handles, especially in the wet. So we all search for our own sweet spot. We are now on our 8th brand/type in the five years we've had the bike. Some are better for summer, some better for winter, some better for touring, etc. Not only that, but each tandem team weight will determine a slightly different approach. IME, tandem tires are the hardest thing to get right and the most important for safety. Good luck.
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Old 11-12-12, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PMK View Post
Amen to that!

My stoker tells me to just change them and not chance having troubles far from home. Worthy worn fronts get used up on the rear.

PK
Our stokers must be related!
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Old 11-12-12, 01:32 PM
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If you are looking for tires > 28mm then your choices are more limited. However for really good allround tires <= 28mm I strongly suggest the Continental 4-Season over the heavy, dead feel Gatorskins. The 4-Seasons are essentially a beefed up 4000 race tire, which is one of the better tires on the market in that category.

The 4-Season has near double the thread count of the Gators, is livelier and more supple, has double the protective layer (Vectran) and is a lot lighter weight mostly due to using a kevlar bead instead of wire. While you will find a lot of failure posts on this tandem forum for the Gatorskins, complaints about the 4-Seasons are rare.

That said, I would not use the 4-S (or Gators) on a racing tandem or single bike as the tire shoulders (tread to sidewall) transition is somewhat abrupt and that tends to make steep cornering unstable when laying a bike over aggressively. The 4000 (and Schwalbe ZX) has a much rounder profile which makes it a better choice for high bank cornering. For general purpose riding, the 4-S provides very good reliability and performance.

IMO all the Conti tires have simply average tire tread wear, whereas some other performance tires such as the Schwalbe ZX can last much longer, but the latter also suffers from debris/puncture issues in the wet (they tend to pick up and keep crap in the tread until it works its way in to a point of failure, aka flat). The 2013 Schwalbe ZX is supposedly even better rolling and improved puncture resistence over the 2012. Either of these tires can be found for < $45/ea especially at this time of year... at for example: Bike24.com.

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Old 11-12-12, 03:28 PM
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Any thoughts on [h=1]Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HDV Tire?[/h]I
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Old 11-12-12, 05:00 PM
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We are a 360 lb team. We have 1600 miles on our 700 x 28 Gator Hardshells. They still look good. Starting to show a hint of flat spot in the center of the tread. No flats yet. Knock wood. Mostly suburban streets and county roads. Some crushed limestone bike paths. A couple of rides on Chicago city streets.
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Old 11-12-12, 07:23 PM
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We have worn out three gatorskins, we are not impressed either, tried a panaracer ibmo this season on the rear, it has 2500 miles on it and has some (not a lot) of life left. Gatorskins didn't do that well. We started with schwalbe duranos, road well but wear was not what we had hoped. Carbon fiber is correct, it will take a while to figure what's best for you, and in closing, tires are a big tandem expense!
R&J
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Old 11-12-12, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Any thoughts on Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HDV Tire?

I
Never ridden them. However, the 28c doesn't have what seems to me to be a high enough PSI rating for tandem use. I like to see 115 lbs. for a 28c. The 32c at 95 lbs. does seem fine to me. That's the first hurdle. Otherwise it's about how they stick in the wet and how they handle otherwise. Don't know. 375g for the 32c is some heavier than a 28c 4 Seasons at 260g (116 lb. PSI max). Heavier tires have higher rolling resistance and don't accelerate as well. But it's all in what you want.
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Old 11-13-12, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Today we went for a ride and as we were pumping up the ires my wife noticed a small little
"slit" in the tire. After we got home we really checked over the tires and marked a number of questionable areas. These tires have only 1700 miles on them. I changed over to 32mm before our 1500 mile tour in August/September. I am a bit disappointed in this tires. Also the rear tire has a pronounced flat area across the center of the tire. The front to but no so much.
I think I am going to switch to Schwalbe tires before we go on tour next year.
Thoughts??
What pressure are you running?
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Old 11-13-12, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Any thoughts on Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HDV Tire?
HDV? Don't know about that designation, but earlier this season we tried a set of the latest Marathon Supremes (700 x 28) and we thought we were riding in mud. The most obvious bad rolling resistance experience we've had. Couldn't get 'em off fast enough. Replaced with Conti GP 4 seasons in late May and they are still going strong, including a trip to France. Like the feel of these a LOT. Our other favorites are Panaracer Paselas. The latter are underrated, IMHO. We used to ride gatorskins almost exclusively for many years (loved the ride on a pair of Avocets, but man did they wear quickly), but began experiencing sidewall failures, as mentioned around these parts, and started searching for alternatives. I would gladly run 32s if I had the clearance. 300-310 lb team weight these days, not including bike.
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Old 11-13-12, 09:05 AM
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We used to run Gatorskins exclusively. Sidewall issues were a frequent problem. The threads on the sidewalls were also an issue in that they would fray and get caught up in the brakes and drivetrain. Eventually the fraying would lead to sidewall bulges. We switched to the lighter Conti 4-Season tires. These have performed flawlessly with only infrequent flats usually from running over goat heads or radial wires. Having experienced a high-speed crash on my single due to tire failure, my philosophy is not to skimp on tires.
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Old 11-14-12, 07:25 AM
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As a newbie last spring when we got our Cannondale it had very old Conti 3000 which were pretty much shot so with no research we put a set of Bontrager Race Lite Hard Case 700x32 and have had pretty good luck. Don't know anything about them but they were the size of the Conti tires. Now we are wanting to step it up a bit with a second set of wheels I found for normal every day riding which we won't have the drum brake and am very interested in what everyone is using. Is there a good thread on here for tandem tires? I couldn't find one.
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Old 11-14-12, 09:18 AM
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Given the predominately anti-Gatorskin sentiment on this thread, here's at least one anecdotal contrarian view ... we've had good success with the 28's since we started tandeming a couple of years ago. That's four sets of 'skins over 9,500+ total miles, with no sidewall issues, good durability, and only two flats, both of which I blame mostly on operator error, not the tires (I let one tire go too far past its prime, and the other flatted when I stupidly ran over a wad of glass). We inflate to 110, and rotate each set at least once to get more even wear over the tires' life. Team weight is 310lb.

That said, all the positive chatter about the 4 Seasons has me curious, especially about performance in wet conditions. Since we rely on two nickels' worth of contact with the road on a dry day, anything we can do to maximize our chance of staying upright when it's wet gets my vote. Cheers.
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Old 11-15-12, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Today we went for a ride and as we were pumping up the ires my wife noticed a small little
"slit" in the tire. After we got home we really checked over the tires and marked a number of questionable areas. These tires have only 1700 miles on them. I changed over to 32mm before our 1500 mile tour in August/September. I am a bit disappointed in this tires. Also the rear tire has a pronounced flat area across the center of the tire. The front to but no so much.
I think I am going to switch to Schwalbe tires before we go on tour next year.
Thoughts??
1700 miles is pretty good for the rear of a tandem. Also ALL rear bicycle tires develop a flat spot on the rear, or at least all of the ones that I have been rding for the last 40 year.

Frank
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Old 11-15-12, 02:10 PM
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I recently switched from Gatorskin 32s on our CDale RT2 after putting us down on a wet trail near Mt Vernon on Labor Day weekend.

Went with the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 35 kevlar foldable available at rivbike. For us (a 260lb team), it really smooths the ride and our confidence with wet weather (and winter) traction is WAY UP.

Funny how with only our second FDGB in almost 20 years, stoker confidence really dropped and is just now returning...
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Old 11-15-12, 07:42 PM
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fdgb?
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Old 11-16-12, 05:33 AM
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We're using the Gatorskin Hardshell version 28mm, I swap the rear onto the front when it flat spots. I'm going to guess the people complaining were on the standard Gatorskins?

We find them excellent, everytime I start thinking of running a faster tyre I end up having to run through a really bad piece of road and we just decide to stick with the Gatorskins.

Also I am running them at 110psi which is 10psi more than their recommendation so I am keeping an eye on them. The first set I wore out at 100psi but after a nasty pinch flat on the front when I hit a rock one day I decided to go up 10psi. The tyres do belly out a fair bit at 100psi, seems a lot better at 110.
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Old 11-16-12, 05:58 AM
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sorry 'bout that...Fall Down Go Boom
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Old 11-16-12, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jacks1071 View Post
We're using the Gatorskin Hardshell version 28mm, I swap the rear onto the front when it flat spots. I'm going to guess the people complaining were on the standard Gatorskins?

[...]
Switch a half-worn tire from the back to the front may not be the best of ideas because if a front tire goes flat, you are highly likely to end up getting well acquainted with the pavement. If you loose a rear tire, you are less likely to get well acquainted with the pavement.

The normal recommended swap is from the front to the back. My personal preference is to take half worn tires off the tandem and put them on my single. Tires aren't that expensive but my stoker's confidence in me is priceless.
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