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pedalpedalpedal
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Here's my issue:

I have some wheels with Sun-Ringle Assault rims, 700c. The rims have a very shallow center channel area, which makes it extremely difficult to get tires on. In fact, I just had to give up on a pair of Vittorias because they simply wouldn't go on under any circumstances (I even put my tail between my legs and went to the LBS so they could have a go at it).

I run Maxxis Re-Fuse tires currently, which fit with some effort, but at least they go on. Unfortunately, I'm getting maybe 2-3 months of use out of the rears before the tread is gone and they get close to the end of their life. They do an awesome job of standing up to punctures, though.

I'm looking for something a bit lighter (250g or less), 25c, with better wear characteristics and good puncture resistance, but it needs to be something that fits without snapping my thumbs off.
 

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Good levers and technique seems to work. You can also warm and stretch the tire before mounting. I can say that the Challenge Criteriums are very easy to mount, and they are a much nicer and faster tire than the ones you are accustomed to. You won't be getting lots of tread life and puncture resistance though.
 

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You will enjoy the 25's; can't give you any longterm opion, but I just put Conti Gators on yesterday and really enjoy them. I was riding Vittoria Pro Slicks (23's) for about a year and honestly, not any real complaint. My rear blew out this week and I just replaced it with another Vittoria. I prefer the 120 TPI, more durable. I think the higher TPI and lighter weight is more prone to flats. Interestingly, I did the Philly Gran Fondo a few weeks ago and all the major tire/wheel troubles seem to be with the high end wheels.
 
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