Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tires in Three Parts - Part One

I'm so late answering Fat Lad on this one I don't suppose anyone even recalls that the topic was my suggestion in the first place. No matter, it's finally ready for posting so here it is in three parts.

Road tires

When I got my road bike, I ran the tires it came with and didn't think too much about them. I was returning to cycling after too long a hiatus and just relishing being back on two wheels kept my mind occupied. It had seemed like I was flatting more than most but so often the flats were discovered when I went to get the bike for a ride so a quick change and I was on my way without the embarrassment of continually holding up the group. Well one day I figured out I had purchased more than twenty tubes that spring and I started thinking about new tires.

I do have to thank those tires since it was a result of one of those flats that I met The Sweetie but other than that one time, the flats were getting on my nerves. I hit the wall the day both tires were flat when I came out of work and the next day picked up some Specialized Armadillo tires. Kevlar is the magic ingredient though from the weight of them it might as well have been steel belts. I didn't really mind too much though since I rode my first pair of them better than 3000 (4000?) miles and don't recall a single flat. I replaced them with the next version of the tire that now comes with a reflective sidewall, a great feature for commuting since it's often dusk when I'm riding to or from work. 

I now have several wheel sets (they're like potato chips; you can't just have one...) and keep the Armadillo tires on the bike's original wheels and run Michelin Pro Race on a much lighter set of wheels borrowed from The Sweetie since she upgraded to a wheel set that seems to have negative weight. It might be the helium she puts in the tires. I put a set on last fall towards the end of the road biking season and have been riding them all spring. They are smooth, supple and amazingly puncture resistant. Just this spring I have put over 2000 miles on them running over quite of bit of left over winter road crud and they just keep rolling.

Stay tuned for part two!


  1. Don't get me started on tires! (Or maybe you should ;-) )

  2. Badger - yes please, get started. I don't claim any superior knowledge here, I'm just blathering on about my own experience.

  3. And..I too an waiting with baited breath. This has to be good.

  4. Hmm, tires. Continentals are good, especially the ones still made in Germany. I like Specialized All Weather tires (made in France), and they did well back in that snowy, rainy race with a fast descent back there in February. I train on Vittoria Rubino Pro tires in dry conditions. I also like the Vredestein tires, which take a high pressure and wear like iron (Dutch)... so... tires. Stay away from Hutchinson. They're crap. I miss the days when the best were made in either Italy or Germany.

  5. And the Armadillos. I've used them and found them to be quite good. I used to use Michelins exclusively for years...