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I am ready to buy tires for a build on a Bianchi road bike that i am doing. I can decide between these 2 tires:

Vredestein Fortezza SE (onsale at Performance Bike)
Specialized Armadillo (a tiny bit more money but only a few bucks)

Both have great reviews and seem to be a good tire.

Opinions?
 

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I agree with another post that describes Armadillo's as riding on garden hose. After a short time I put them on my spare wheels and have been burning them on the trainer ever since. No offense to anyone that likes them.
 

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These two tires are not even comparable. The only time I'd use the Armadillos is if I was getting frequent flats or had to ride frequently on heavily debris-covered roads. Otherwise, I'd use the SEs.

In my experience, the SEs are quite a bit cheaper than the Armadillos (especially since the SEs are almost always on sale and the Armadillos almost never are).
 

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That is an odd duo to choose from. I assume you're looking at the Armadillos for flat prevention? If so, I'm a big fan of the Conti Gatorskins--I don't think they're like riding on a garden hose. Otherwise, have fun on the SEs.
 

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I have to agree with all the previous posters, just throwing my hat in to further drive the point home. I love my SEs and especially when they reach the $26 and below mark at Performance when onsale, think they are some of the best bang for the buck you can get. I buy stock almost everytime they drop below that pricepoint.
 

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I would rather deal with flats than ride armadillos. I have also had several flats on 'dillos, and they are a nightmare to change--- sidewalls are so still you could probably ride flat on them.

riko said:
I can almost promise you that you'll have zero flats on the Armadillos, but they ride RUFF. Mine are burning on the trainer too.
 

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A fan of the garden hose here.

Armadillos are on 17 mile each way commuter. They handle road glass fine, and feel just fine as well. Loaded with laptop, spare clothes, and commuting gear, the steel frame commuter weighs over forty pounds, and I weigh in just over 200. Maybe the weight helps smooth the ride out. No complaints at all.

For reference, my road tandem has Conti Gatorskins and my heavy endurance wheels on my Kestrel ride on Conti Gatorskins as well. I don't notice much diff between the Conti and Specialized.

I'll have to try the vredesteins to compare sometime down the road.
 

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Armadillo rider checking in. I wouldn't ride in the city without them. I once rode directly over a beer bottle and shattered it. Didn't even nick the tire.

They are like riding on a garden hose though. Seconding that you can't tell if they are flat or not.
 

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I would second 'dillos if you ride in places where there is crap on the roads, and/or places where you would NOT want a flat. Still, they do ride rough, and their grip isn't stellar. Ride them about 10 psig softer than you would any other tire and they are at least tolerable.
 

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I'm riding the "Armadillo Elites" which is supposedly their race version of the tire, the
quick step team version. Not that it seems to matter much:

I'm currently at about 894 miles on the set, the tires still look new. They give you a
little bit of confidence about riding in sketchy areas.

However, some might take exception to the ride quality: it's kind of a hard ride. If
you're familiar with riding a stiff aluminum road frame it will kind of amplify those
qualities. I can't really speak about rolling resistance but they seem to roll decent
enough.

For me it took a while to get used to. But I definetely feel like I could get at least
another 1000 miles out of these tires without any trouble or possibly more - if you
are the kind of person who replaces tires frequently due to wear or just gets a lot
of miles in, if you can get past the ride quality they may be for you.

They'd definetely be kick butt trainer tires: the tough material used will seemingly
last for eons.
 
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