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Selecting Road Tires... Options · View
tms
Posted: 24 Apr 10


Posts: 133
Location: Canada
Just got my first flat this afternoon and had to get picked up as the tire was damaged (have a spare tube, but I don't carry a spare tire). I have had the rear tire replaced once before (preemptively as it had a nasty gash from some glass strewn over the road), but at that point I just grabbed the same basic tire the bike came with (Vittoria Diamante Pro). While those tires have served me well (the one that just went had 6000+km on it) and my first inclination is to do the same, this time I'd like to put a little more thought into it.


As such, I'd appreciate any suggestions and/or input into what characteristics I should be looking for. I've heard good things about the Continental GP4000 and Michelin Pro Race 3 tires, so any experience with them would be helpful. Alternately, if I do stick with Vittoria is there any benefit in stepping up to the higher end Open Corsa models (320 vs. 220tpi)?
dra
Posted: 25 Apr 10


Posts: 21
Location: United States
Years ago, I had a problem with Vittoria tires - I went through several where the sidewalls ripped out. One turned out to be bootable with a $5 bill I had in my pocket, but the other two necessitated long walks home (pre cell-phone days). I switched to the Michelin precursor to the Pro Race 3 and have never had such problems again. In fact, I've got a set of PR3's sitting on the kitchen table now to install for the spring riding.

I've never used any other brands - they are probably all pretty good, but try them and see.

Dave
Hollywoof
Posted: 25 Apr 10


Posts: 4,379
Location: United Kingdom
My Giant came with PR3's when new and they were good - quick and puncture resistant. I switched to GP4000S and they were also good. But then I had a second pair of GP4000S and they just didn't last very long at all - I had lots of punctures :(

My current tyres are Schwalbe Ultremo R - really incredibly light, especially as they came with 55g inner tubes too. They don't seem too bad for punctures (although when the back tyre got a cut, then it really went bang). I'd recommend them for racing - but not for winter training.

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Hollywoof
Posted: 25 Apr 10


Posts: 4,379
Location: United Kingdom
I don't think I've had any tyres last me 6000+km without puncturing - in fact, not many have lasted me 2000mi before I've replaced them for repeat puncturing. I think maybe this is partly down to the quality of our roads as well as the tyres themselves!

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tms
Posted: 25 Apr 10


Posts: 133
Location: Canada
Hollywoof wrote:
I don't think I've had any tyres last me 6000+km without puncturing - in fact, not many have lasted me 2000mi before I've replaced them for repeat puncturing. I think maybe this is partly down to the quality of our roads as well as the tyres themselves!


The roads definitely do play a part in the equation. The original rear tire was damaged with only 500km or so on it (the kevlar anti-puncture layer is intact and I still use it on the trainer, but I didn't want to risk it out on the road), largely because I was still riding on residential roads where there is a lot of debris (the glass that did it was from an overturned recycle bin). Nowadays, the first thing I do on any ride is head north to the country where the bigger arterial roads are a lot cleaner and I run into a lot less trouble.

With that said, the stock bike came with the lightweight racing version of the tire and I replaced it with the normal weight version so that may be part of it as well. The front tire is still the stock lightweight version, but it's easier to guide through debris fields than the rear. Not entirely sure why Cervelo specs ultralight racing tires given the heavy Shimano R-550 wheels they put on it, but I didn't know enough at the time to ask for a substitution ;)


Either way, thanks for the responses so far as it's good to get some input on the various options ;) Doing a bit more digging today (raining out there today) and will head out to the store tomorrow to get a replacement. While I'm at it, are there any opinions on Continental's GP Attack/Force concept (different designs for the front and rear)?
KarmaComa
Posted: 26 Apr 10


Posts: 298
Location: Canada
Let us know what you go with. I'm looking to replace the tires that my bike came with (wrapped around basically the same wheels your Cervelo came with).

I'm also considering the Conti GP4000S, Michellin Pro Race 3 and Schwalbe Ultremo R.

probikekit.com has great deals on all these with free shipping to Canada, too bad it takes the stuff about 1 month to get here.

"Triathlon is just the equation that allows us to reap the passion of life in proportion to the work we put in" - Mitch Thrower
jonnyhotpants
Posted: 26 Apr 10


Posts: 89
Location: United Kingdom
This is a very interesting topic and one I have been meaning to raise for weeks.

I bought my first ever road bike in December and had it fitted with Continental Ultra Gatorskins to get me through the winter.

I have ridden over all sorts of stuff like flints, potholes and glass and so far have avoided any punctures.

Having no experience of any other tyre I am tempted to leave these on for IMUK 70.3 because I figure I'll save more time by avoiding (hopefully) a puncture than I ever will with an extra fraction of an mph on different tyres.

Is this sound logic (as a non-expert cyclist) or are there great benefits to be had from e.g. GP4000S even at my level?
Hollywoof
Posted: 26 Apr 10


Posts: 4,379
Location: United Kingdom
jonnyhotpants wrote:
Having no experience of any other tyre I am tempted to leave these on for IMUK 70.3 because I figure I'll save more time by avoiding (hopefully) a puncture than I ever will with an extra fraction of an mph on different tyres.

Is this sound logic (as a non-expert cyclist) or are there great benefits to be had from e.g. GP4000S even at my level


For IMUK 70.3 I think the roads are quite rural - so you want some protection as well as some speed (either tyre you mention would give you that!).

Having crashed because of a puncture in Nice, I would definitely not go into a big race on tyres that have been well ridden before a race again (those tyres had maybe done only a 1000 miles, but still I can't help but wonder...)

I doubt you'll find the GP4000S feel that different to your Gatorskins - especially if you run them at a similar pressure.

Agree it's an interesting topic :) Also find it interesting how few names of tyres are coming up!

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hammerite
Posted: 26 Apr 10


Posts: 859
Location: United Kingdom
Well tyre choice depends massively on what you are using them for I suppose. My winter/commute bike has Bontrager Hardcase racelite tyres on - I've owned that bike 4 years now I think and never had a puncture! However, the tyres are quite heavy and a pig to fit, so you could do without having punctures!

My good bike came with Vittoria Rubinos on, I've never had a puncture with these either - and they're still going strong.

Now I've got a set of "race" wheels I've put Vittoria Corsa Evo CX tyres on. I TT'd on one of them yesterday, and the one tyre seemd to be fine - even in the torrential rain we had.

But I've had loads of problems with tubes with the race wheels - Continental Supersonice Racelite (50g). I've gone through 4 of these tubes for only 2 rides - and none of the flats were cause by punctures out on the rides - big holes in the tubes, maybe through over pumping, maybe being left in the sun, maybe pinched. I went out to the garage yesterday morning to set off for my TT and noticed one of them flat. I only had a few mins spare so just had to swap the wheel over. I was recommended the Continentals by my LBS, who said I should probably get race tubes for race wheels, but I think they're probably too thin. So I'd say tube choice is as important as tyre choice, previously I just used to throw anything on!
tms
Posted: 26 Apr 10


Posts: 133
Location: Canada
KarmaComa wrote:
Let us know what you go with. I'm looking to replace the tires that my bike came with (wrapped around basically the same wheels your Cervelo came with).


Got them replaced this morning and after chatting with the guys at the LBS ended up sticking with Vittoria. They indicated that their handling/grip was better than the Continental or Michelin options, but they aren't quite as robust. Given the mileage I managed to get out of my previous tire, however, it appears that they're good enough on that front so I might as well take the improved performance.

Unfortunately they didn't have any Diamante Pros in stock so I went with the Rubino Pros instead (one step down their line). They're supposedly a bit more robust at the expense of a little handling (150 vs 220tpi), so I figure it's worth giving them a try to see how they work. They recommended against the Open Corsa option (the next step up from the Diamante) for training tires, as while they're supposedly a much better ride they're also a lot more fragile.


Quote:
probikekit.com has great deals on all these with free shipping to Canada, too bad it takes the stuff about 1 month to get here.


Wow, those are some pretty good prices. Doesn't really help me at this point as I needed something right away, but it might be wise to order some spares from them to have on hand.

Either way, thanks for all of the input here and I'd love to see this thread keep going as this is still a matter that I think I can afford to learn more about. Trying out different tires is the best way to figure it out, but (hopefully) it'll take quite a few more years for me to gain that experience myself ;)
hammerite
Posted: 27 Apr 10


Posts: 859
Location: United Kingdom
tms wrote:
so I went with the Rubino Pros instead (one step down their line). They're supposedly a bit more robust at the expense of a little handling (150 vs 220tpi), so I figure it's worth giving them a try to see how they work. They recommended against the Open Corsa option (the next step up from the Diamante) for training tires, as while they're supposedly a much better ride they're also a lot more fragile.


I have Rubinos on my training wheels, they do the job well. Never had any problems with them. I did skip across the road once on a bend I was taking at speed during a time trial - but otherwise...... they don't get ridden much in the winter though as I use another bike/wheels then.

The Corsa Evos cost too much to use as a training tyre IMO! But they handled really well in the wet when I used them at the weekend.
Hollywoof
Posted: 23 May 10


Posts: 4,379
Location: United Kingdom
Just a follow up... both of my Schwalbe Ultremo's are now dead.

My front one failed like this during today's ride:

http://www.runsaturday.com/Profile/Photos/UserName/Hollywoof/Photo/1214/Title/SchwalbeTyreDeath

I felt it going :( but luckily it made it home without blowing :)

Not sure I'd recommend them any more - I think maybe they're just too lightweight, especially for the quality of my local roads. (Having said that Shiraz is still running them... but she doesn't ride as much or weigh as much as me!)


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