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· Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Arrrrggggghh :mad: (it's now Talk Like a Pirate Day!)

I got a flat on the way into work this morning. I didn't realize I was down to the threads on my rear tire. It's only 6 months old (as is the whole bike). The tires are Kenda, OEM on my SS commuter. I guess I should have figured... cheap bike = cheap tires = short life. I got about 1300 miles out of the rear tire.

So now I need new tires (I'll buy more than one, even though I don't need a front tire). I'm debating between Gatorskins, Paselas and Conti City Contact. All in 700x28. I noticed the Conti City tires have a 1 year warranty on failure, but the Paselas are cheap, at $13, although the TGs are $28. The Gatorskins are $30-$35, and the City's are $25.

Am I better off just buying 3 Paselas for $40, or 2 City's for $50 or 2 Gatorskins for $70? Am I really going to get double or triple the life out of Gatorskins. I should mention that I've used 700x25 Gatorskins on my geared roadie when I used to commute on it, and I did wear a couple of them to the treads also, although I don't recall how many miles. I've never used Conti City's or Panaracer Paselas. Do the Paselas roll as well?

I need help, ye scurvy varmints! :rolleyes:
 

· Shirtcocker
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60,886 Posts
I've always had good luck with Contis. Just bought a Ultra Gatorskin 25 the other day to replace a wearing GP4000 rear. I've heard a lot of good things about the gatorskins as far as durability.
 

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I personally have had excellent luck with GatorSkins. I've been commuting on them for about a year and a half and have had no reason to contemplate other tires. REI has 'em for a great price, too.
 

· Done
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I tend to just go cheap...

I had a set of the Gatorskins on my commuter and really didn't like them. They felt squirrley in the wet, still got the occasional flat, and got average life out of the rear one (about 2,000 miles - the front is still going strong). There are folks that swear by them, however.

For me, when it comes time to put new tires on one of my commuter bikes, I go cheap. Head over to Nashbar and see what they are blowing out for under $15, and then buy 3.
 

· Shirtcocker
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60,886 Posts
Gregory Taylor said:
I had a set of the Gatorskins on my commuter and really didn't like them. They felt squirrley in the wet, still got the occasional flat, and got average life out of the rear one (about 2,000 miles - the front is still going strong). There are folks that swear by them, however.

For me, when it comes time to put new tires on one of my commuter bikes, I go cheap. Head over to Nashbar and see what they are blowing out for under $15, and then buy 3.
How are the Ultra Gatorskins different from the standard models? Wire vs folding? I've never used them before--figured a rear tire would be a good test. Love the GP4000s, but they wear so damn fast.
 

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Bocephus Jones II said:
How are the Ultra Gatorskins different from the standard models? Wire vs folding? I've never used them before--figured a rear tire would be a good test. Love the GP4000s, but they wear so damn fast.
Fair question - the ones on my commuter (a disreputable Bianchi Volpe) are the wire bead model 700c x 23. The main differences that I can tell are that the carcass of the tire is made of a puncture resistant fiber and the rubber compound seems to be much harder than on the GPs. The tires felt a little dead, and the hard rubber (I think) is what I didn't like about how they felt in the rain.

As for durability, I'm a heavier rider (about 195lb) carrying a decently heavy backpack, so I really load up a back tire. I squared off the tread fairly quickly, and wore it out after 2,000 miles. This is better than I used to get with the old school Conti GPs, which I loved. I did manage to put a decent sized hole in the carcass of the Gatorskin running over a piece of metal - it didn't destroy the tire, however.

I'd be curious to see what you think... The GP4000s are great tires. Have you tried the Vredsteins? I like the Fortezza TriComps - good feel, fast, and (so far) decent wear.
 

· Shirtcocker
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Gregory Taylor said:
Fair question - the ones on my commuter (a disreputable Bianchi Volpe) are the wire bead model 700c x 23. The main differences that I can tell are that the carcass of the tire is made of a puncture resistant fiber and the rubber compound seems to be much harder than on the GPs. The tires felt a little dead, and the hard rubber (I think) is what I didn't like about how they felt in the rain.

As for durability, I'm a heavier rider (about 195lb) carrying a decently heavy backpack, so I really load up a back tire. I squared off the tread fairly quickly, and wore it out after 2,000 miles. This is better than I used to get with the old school Conti GPs, which I loved. I did manage to put a decent sized hole in the carcass of the Gatorskin running over a piece of metal - it didn't destroy the tire, however.

I'd be curious to see what you think... The GP4000s are great tires. Have you tried the Vredsteins? I like the Fortezza TriComps - good feel, fast, and (so far) decent wear.
I'll give a review after I use it for a while. I still will have the GP4000 on the front as it has a lot of tread wear left. I really love the ride of the 4000s--I'd often think they were going flat because of the cushy ride they gave. They wear super fast though--especially in the rear. I'm also about 200lbs so any tire is gonna wear pretty fast. Hoping I get more wear out of the Gatorskins.
 

· Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One thing that turned me off a bit about the Gatorskins, was that the sidewalls were very thin and flexible. I punctured through a sidewall once, and totally shredded/blew the sidewall, leaving me to walk home in a driving rain storm. They seem to do much worse in the rain due to being slippery in the we and picking up debris, especially into the sidewalls.

I think I', leaning toward the Conti Contact. I like the idea of the 1 year warranty. What's gnawing at me though, is the side lugs. Seems like they'd create some wind drag and maybe wind noise. The thickness of the tire means they will be a bit heavy, but at the same time, a lot less likely to let a stone get driven through it. I read some reviews, and the Pasela didn't get much love. Especially the regular one. The TG seems better, but for the same price, I might try the Contact.
 

· Shirtcocker
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JohnnyTooBad said:
One thing that turned me off a bit about the Gatorskins, was that the sidewalls were very thin and flexible. I punctured through a sidewall once, and totally shredded/blew the sidewall, leaving me to walk home in a driving rain storm. They seem to do much worse in the rain due to being slippery in the we and picking up debris, especially into the sidewalls.

I think I', leaning toward the Conti Contact. I like the idea of the 1 year warranty. What's gnawing at me though, is the side lugs. Seems like they'd create some wind drag and maybe wind noise. The thickness of the tire means they will be a bit heavy, but at the same time, a lot less likely to let a stone get driven through it. I read some reviews, and the Pasela didn't get much love. Especially the regular one. The TG seems better, but for the same price, I might try the Contact.
I suppose comparing the GP4000 to a Gatorskin or Pasela really isn't an apt comparison. The GP4000 is a race/performance tire and is made to be light and stick to the pavement. It's never gonna be the best wearing tire or most durable tire. Sounds like the Gatorskin is positioning itself to be a little of both. Probably the most durable tires of all are the super cheap wire beads that have really hard rubber--though most of those types of tires that I've tried ride awful.
 

· Big is relative
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I have Conti ultra gatorskins wire bead 25mm on my commuter. They do well here in the PNW. When I was commuting in Hawaii, I ran a 28mm armadillo in the rear and a 25mm in the front. They rode like garden hoses but the road and MUT conditions were so bad (glass, wire, metal) that any other tire would have been unreliable. I usually got three months (1800 miles) out a rear tire and six months out a front tire. I replaced the chain when I replaced the back tire.

I started commuting here in the PNW with the Hawaii setup still on the bike. After about a month, the rear tire needed replacement since it was worn to begin with. That is when I changed over to the gatorskin ultras. The ride is so much better on the conti's. My one way mileage here is almost the same as a round trip in Hawaii, so smooth rolling tires are important to me.
 

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After reading that the Paselas are a bit heavy I went for some the Panaracer T-Servs, which I absolutely love -- the 28's don't feel too harsh, and they roll and corner nicely for a 'commuter' tire. After 1000 km they still look brand new.

I think they are in the same range as the paselas so you might want to consider that too.
 

· Failboat Captian
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6,559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
stcanard said:
After reading that the Paselas are a bit heavy I went for some the Panaracer T-Servs, which I absolutely love -- the 28's don't feel too harsh, and they roll and corner nicely for a 'commuter' tire. After 1000 km they still look brand new.

I think they are in the same range as the paselas so you might want to consider that too.
I'll look into that. Thanks.
 

· Non non normal
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10,185 Posts
I have decided that I can't find a rear tire to last much more than a thousand miles for my commuter so I just go cheap and reliable and throw performance and weight factors out the window.

I bought a bunch of paselas on blowout from nashbar a few weeks back for 10 bucks.

My vote is you are always gonna be better with the low end tire financially on your commuter. (The only caveat is that you can put up with the performance and weight penalty)
 

· Registered
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If you are going for pure bullet-proof durability, the Armadillo by Specialized is hard as nails. But as you might guess it sucks in the rain. I have the Gatorskins, and I have had a few flats in a few hundred miles, but I really like the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme for the winter and the rain. Since it is summer now I am putting the Gators back on the bike..........MTT :thumbsup:
 

· The web is a MUT
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How about 26" options?

Jumping onto this thread with a question:

Has anyone used the Serfas Barista city tire? I'm thinking of trying a set on the converted MTB/commuter. Any other 26" tires to consider? I don't think I need the side knobbies on my current dual-purpose tires on the bike.
 

· Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
MTT said:
If you are going for pure bullet-proof durability, the Armadillo by Specialized is hard as nails. But as you might guess it sucks in the rain. I have the Gatorskins, and I have had a few flats in a few hundred miles, but I really like the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme for the winter and the rain. Since it is summer now I am putting the Gators back on the bike..........MTT :thumbsup:
A few flats in a few hundred miles? That's a flat every 2 weeks for a commuter. Today's flat was my first on this set of tires (1300 miles). And yeah, I don't want a tire that's too slick in the rain.
 
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