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Formerly known as gotj
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So I'm thinking about replacing my Michelin Carbon tires. The tread wear is still ok, though there are several cuts in the tires (that don't go all the way through). And they don't handle as well as I'd like, particularly in wet conditions. For some reason, they just don't give me a lot of confidence cornering.

They've worn well, and I ride in some less than ideal road conditions here in Boston (lots of glass and junk on the road, especially this time of year). The only flat I've had was a pinch flat. I use them mostly for commuting, but I like to have fun when I commute (it's most of my riding).

Would you replace them, or not? They probably have about ~1K miles on them, I would guess, though I don't keep track.

If I do replace them, I'd be looking for something that wears well and is very puncture resistant, but that rides a bit better.

Would Conti GP 4000 fit the bill? Probikekit.com has great prices on them right now ($60 a pair, shipped).

Any other suggestions?

Relatedly, I've been riding 23s in the Carbons. Would you recommend 23s or 25s for a non-racer? (How do Contis size compared to Michelins, for example? The Carbons seem wide enough in a 23.)
 

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Many choices

SkiDiver said:
And they don't handle as well as I'd like, particularly in wet conditions. For some reason, they just don't give me a lot of confidence cornering.

Would you replace them, or not? They probably have about ~1K miles on them, I would guess, though I don't keep track.

Would Conti GP 4000 fit the bill? Probikekit.com has great prices on them right now ($60 a pair, shipped).

I've been riding 23s in the Carbons. Would you recommend 23s or 25s for a non-racer? (How do Contis size compared to Michelins, for example? The Carbons seem wide enough in a 23.)
For every person you find who says XX tire doesn't have good wet (or dry) traction, you will find another who says the opposite. For top of the line tires, wet traction is about rider skill and low enough air pressure. I replace my tires when they are worn out (casing threads just starting to show) or the casing is cut through. Conti makes good tires, as does Vittoria, Michelin, Vredestein, and others. As in many things in cycling, the differences between comparable tires is grossly exagerated by partisans. If you can run 23s at 100-110 psi and not get pinch flats, then a wider tire is probably not necessary.
 

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SkiDiver said:
So I'm thinking about replacing my Michelin Carbon tires. The tread wear is still ok, though there are several cuts in the tires (that don't go all the way through). And they don't handle as well as I'd like, particularly in wet conditions. For some reason, they just don't give me a lot of confidence cornering.

They've worn well, and I ride in some less than ideal road conditions here in Boston (lots of glass and junk on the road, especially this time of year). The only flat I've had was a pinch flat. I use them mostly for commuting, but I like to have fun when I commute (it's most of my riding).

Would you replace them, or not? They probably have about ~1K miles on them, I would guess, though I don't keep track.

If I do replace them, I'd be looking for something that wears well and is very puncture resistant, but that rides a bit better.

Would Conti GP 4000 fit the bill? Probikekit.com has great prices on them right now ($60 a pair, shipped).

Any other suggestions?

Relatedly, I've been riding 23s in the Carbons. Would you recommend 23s or 25s for a non-racer? (How do Contis size compared to Michelins, for example? The Carbons seem wide enough in a 23.)
Take this for what it's worth.....

I used to use Carbons but found their wet weather performance unacceptable. I switched to Maxxis Hors Categorie tires. The Maxxis treads were as puncture resistant for me as the Carbons, wore as well, and felt much better in the rain. They were also easier to mount.

Recently I thought I'd give the Conty GP4000's a try. So far I'm unimpressed. I've put 150 miles on 'em in the last 4 days, and in each of the last two days I've had punctures through the sidewall. One puncture, by the next day became a 1/4" long slit in the sidewall. The Conti's are now going into my pile of USE ONLY IN AN EMERGENCY tires.

I'm gonna give Maxxis Detonators a whirl, in a 25mm flavor, just to see how they compare to the Hors Categorie treads.
 

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4000

I switched to the 4000's right after they came out last year. So far they've been great. I'm a heavy rider (215lbs) and ride through alot of inner city area's with glass and other debris. So far only 2 small slits in the rear. The grip seems great, I can corner very low with no fear. I do run mine at the mac pressure due to my weight. I probably have 500 miles on them so far.


MC
 

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I really like the GP4000s, but I would love to have a pair wear out through use, just once, rather than have punctures that make them unusable and have to be thrown out. It happened again today - big piece of glass which cut a large hole in the tire - and is about the third time in the last six months that this has happened on a nearly new tire. This isn't a complaint about the tires, BTW. I really like them - smooth, quiet and grippy. I'm sure they should last a long time in normal use, but the crap that's on Sydney's roads would shred any tires. At least today's incident gave me a chance to try the Vredestein Fortezzas that I've had for a while as spares.
 

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Fairly puncture resistent yet rides well? Seriously, I've tried a lot of timres and I don't think there's any better than the Carbons. Great combination of durability, stickiness, and quality, seems to me.
 

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Formerly known as gotj
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Discussion Starter #7
jtolleson said:
Fairly puncture resistent yet rides well? Seriously, I've tried a lot of timres and I don't think there's any better than the Carbons. Great combination of durability, stickiness, and quality, seems to me.
really? I feel like I have very little traction with the Carbons. maybe it's just me, but cornering on a downill doesn't give me a lot of confidence on them. and in wet conditions it's worse.

how much do you inflate them? I'm running them at about 110 on the rear and 95 in front (700x23). I weigh 170.
 

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What Vectran?

Agree with the other 2 posts. I am not impress with the GP4000. In the ~1000 km that I have put on them, I had 3 punctures. The first was a 2mm cut through the thread. The other 2 have been glass slivers, also through the thread. Makes you wonder about this Vectran "stronger than steel" marketing line. They appear worse than the GP3000 I replaced with.

I am switching to PR2's.


alienator said:
Take this for what it's worth.....

Recently I thought I'd give the Conty GP4000's a try. So far I'm unimpressed. I've put 150 miles on 'em in the last 4 days, and in each of the last two days I've had punctures through the sidewall. One puncture, by the next day became a 1/4" long slit in the sidewall. The Conti's are now going into my pile of USE ONLY IN AN EMERGENCY tires.
 

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Pound for pound stronger than steel

Totoro said:
Makes you wonder about this Vectran "stronger than steel" marketing line.
Well, there's no doubt that, pound for pound, Vectran is much stronger than steel. But a lot of materials are pound for pound stronger than steel - including nylon, which is what even inexpensive tire casings are made of. But just because something is stronger than steel, it doesn't make: 1) stiffer; 2) harder; or 3) more cut resistant. And even the strength claim claim of Vectran doesn't necessarily mean anything, because it depends on how much of it is used; afterall, wood is pound for pound weaker than steel, but 100 lbs. of wood is still stronger than 1 pound of steel.
 

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cheap Michelin Pro2 Race...

I've used nothing but Conti GP3000 and always had good luck, but I couldn't resist getting the Pro2 Race for $22 each from www.11speed.com. I ordered 10 and figured that I couldn't hurt too bad. Freight was a reasonable $18 for the tires and a pair of campy ergo levers. There is no duty on tires, but there was a $4.19 duty on the ergo levers. UPS also charged me a $5 brokerage fee for collecting/paying the duty.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
For every person you find who says XX tire doesn't have good wet (or dry) traction, you will find another who says the opposite.
Maybe so, but even the guys who love Michelin Carbons (and I'm one) will tell you that their wet traction is abysmal.
 

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4000s don't last long

I had two sets and they get squared quick, you won't get more than 1000 miles out of the tread. The Vectran doesn't protect very well either, both rear tires got pierced easily. Very disappointing durability at $50/tire.

On the recommendation of my LBS I switched to Kenda Kalientes which are lighter and still offer protection (Iron Cloak). The ride isn't as smooth as w/ Contis and the back one was a bastard to get onto the rim, but so far no flats in the last 200-300 miles and the tread's holding up. I hate changing flats so I'm willing to sacrifice a little performance for more time riding.
 

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chang100 said:
I had two sets and they get squared quick, you won't get more than 1000 miles out of the tread. The Vectran doesn't protect very well either, both rear tires got pierced easily. Very disappointing durability at $50/tire.
Obviously, YMMV.

I got 4,167 miles on my first set of 4000s (rear only, front went onto the rear and is still going). You paid too much, too. I got them for $28 each at probikekit.com
 

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Gosh darn it! I always read this too late! Just put on a set of 4000's last night after running the 3000's. Never had a flat with the 3's but they did wear flat on the rear at 1000 miles or so. Thought the 4's would just be better, guess not.

Sons of b....

Nate
 

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SkiDiver said:
Would Conti GP 4000 fit the bill? Probikekit.com has great prices on them right now ($60 a pair, shipped).
I tried a pair of 4000's started riding them about a month ago. I seldom get flats or hit road trash (live in a rural area and good at missing), but I was riding about 4th in a line on Saturday and hit a bolt. It was pretty big, managed to wiggle around it with the front tire, but my back tire caused it to be sent flying. I was sure I was going to flat right there, but I didn't. When I got home the bolt had cut a flap in the tread on one side, but didn't penetrate more than 50% of the way in. Saved me a change I'm sure.

I used crazy glue gel to glue the flap down and after a few more rides I can't tell where it is anymore. Put the cut right above my stem so I can find it later. Don't know if the glue will continue to work, but seemed worth a try.

Sometimes I wonder if you hit more things in the road when you know your tire is supposed to not go flat, just to see if the new fancy technology really works.
 

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Wear squared

chang100 said:
I had two sets and they get squared quick, you won't get more than 1000 miles out of the tread.
This has been covered repeatedly, but just having a tire square off doesn't mean it's worn out. The higher pressure you run, the narrower the wear stip will be and the faster the tire will wear. Obviously, tire wear is directly tied to rider weight, so for anyone to say how many miles they got out a tire without mentioning their weight is pretty meaningless. Many of us ride our tires until we start to see casing threads, while others toss them when "they look worn." I've gotten an additional 1500 miles from a tire that another rider considered worn out.
 

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Kerry's right about the impact of rider weight, inflation pressures, etc. I'm not too heavy (167 lb) and ride my tires a tad soft (100/105 psi front/rear).

The nice thing about the GP4000s, although I expect other tire makers to now follow suit, are the wear indicators - two little holes - that take much of the guesswork out of whether the tire still has life. I replaced mine when I could just barely make out where the holes were.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
This has been covered repeatedly, but just having a tire square off doesn't mean it's worn out. The higher pressure you run, the narrower the wear stip will be and the faster the tire will wear. Obviously, tire wear is directly tied to rider weight, so for anyone to say how many miles they got out a tire without mentioning their weight is pretty meaningless. Many of us ride our tires until we start to see casing threads, while others toss them when "they look worn." I've gotten an additional 1500 miles from a tire that another rider considered worn out.
I agree with the rider weight issue. But not just with tires but with almost every part on a bike. Not knowing riders weight makes the reviews here mostly useless. I've emailed the managers here countless times asking for a place to put riders weight when making a review. But I guess my "favorite ride" is more important when judging a tire, wheel. saddle, frame, etc.
 

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I agree as well as the terrain and road medium also play an important part. I weigh 150 lbs but do lots of climbing in my area. My tires wear much faster than some of my riding friends that are heavier than me with same mileage but tend to not do the big climbs.

Once the tire gets heavily squared, I get nervous on the fast descents and they tend not to corner as "forgiving" as a rounded tire. I think we all ride on squared tires but to what extent is very subjective.

NAte
 

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Well, maybe

paco_finn said:
I agree as well as the terrain and road medium also play an important part. I weigh 150 lbs but do lots of climbing in my area. My tires wear much faster than some of my riding friends that are heavier than me with same mileage but tend to not do the big climbs.
The reason your tires wear out faster on climbs, if they do, is because you are putting more power into the wheel when you climb. If your heavier friends put out the same amount of power on the flats, their tires would wear as fast.


paco_finn said:
Once the tire gets heavily squared, I get nervous on the fast descents and they tend not to corner as "forgiving" as a rounded tire. I think we all ride on squared tires but to what extent is very subjective.
When you consider how soft the rubber is in a high performance bike tire's tread, I would challenge this statement. I doubt you could feel any difference in a blind test.
 
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