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Hi i'm new to road cycling and did my 2nd sportive last weekend South of Swindon. After 5 punctures in the first 60km (one was my own fault from a pinch flat)I was a dispirited man and thinking of giving up. However I've been told just to buy new tyres from more experienced riders and have been recommended Gator Skins. However another mate says they are too heavy and not worth it. What is the general opinion? I'm never going to set the world alight with my ability or bike ( a giant defy 2) so just want to enjoy it but still be quick enough to stick with my mates who are fairly good so i'm not left on my own (and so i get a draft when the going gets tough).

All recommendations would be helpful - thanks

22 comments

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John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 6 years ago
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Gators rolled ok for me (25c wire on, at the 95psi recommended pressure) but I loathed them in the wet - slippier than a slippy thing.

I use 25c Pro Race 2 on that bike now.

FWIW, my tyre experiences in a nutshell are here;
http://monkeyphotomcr.blogspot.com/2010/08/rain-and-tyres.html

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2byte [13 posts] 6 years ago
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Your right to go for the continentals for sure, I got some Grand Prix and they haven’t had a puncture for 3 months now (After my Lugano Schwalbes would get a puncture almost every week).

Don’t know about the Gator Skins, friend said the Armadillos were really slow too.

There’s a good graph of the Continental range here:
http://www.conti-tyres.co.uk/conticycle/road.shtml

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stewieatb [296 posts] 6 years ago
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I have Schwalbe Blizzards on my steel bike, they were on it when I was given it. Haven't had a puncture in the 2 months and probably 900km, it's done club rides, training rides, and a sportive in the Dales. Okay in the wet, run them at 110psi and they're pretty quick.

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theAngusT [2 posts] 6 years ago
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My road bikes are all shod with Conti rubber - all on GP4000s tyres.

They stick like the proverbial to a blanket in all but monsoon conditions and the Vectran makes punctures a distant memory.

Worth the money and great for the confidence.

Go for the 25mm and enjoy the ride!!

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NorthernRouleur [26 posts] 6 years ago
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If you're riding on flinty roads then IMHO nothing get's close to Schwalbe Stelvio Plus's, unless maye you're using the later model Durano Plus's from the same manufacturer.
2 full winters of riding on them on small flint and gravel strewn back-roads (let's say approx 3000 miles) in Surrey, Sussex and Hants and not a puncture to be had. What you spend on the tyre you save 3x over in inner tubes.
Just be a bit circumspect when you first put them on, they take a couple of hundred k to "rough up"; until then they can be a tad "interesting"  19 around wet corners.

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handlebarcam [1075 posts] 6 years ago
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Gator Skins and Grand Prixs, in fact probably all reasonably lightweight Continental tyres, have a reputation for weak sidewalls. Suddenly, there is a loud band, and the tyre is ruined. This is far worse than a puncture, because it requires you to improvise or carry a tyre boot, to stop the repaired inner tube from bulging out of the massive hole in the side of the tyre as soon as you pump it up again. The sidewall failures seem to happen regardless of the pressure you put into them, or whether you are riding them at the time. I can attest to this, as it is has happened to me three times, twice in my shed in the middle of the night, once out on the road. Indeed I have never worn out the tread that is in contact with the road surface on a Continental tyre, because the sidewall always went first. In contrast, I have worn Schwalbes and Vredesteins almost down to the canvas. At least that way I can see the need to replace a tyre coming, and I'm not paying for, and transporting around the place, rubber that I'll never get to use.

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jijiandnoah [50 posts] 6 years ago
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I have Conti Attack/Force - they were great to start with but the moment I found myself on a flinty road I had 2 punctures within a mile of each other, so the jury's still out.

Would be interested to know if anyone else has experience with these and how they've found them

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Gepin [59 posts] 6 years ago
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Have been running Conti Ultra Race for 500 miles in all weathers on mixed suraces without a single problem.

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Simon E [3174 posts] 6 years ago
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There are almost as many opinions as models of tyre.

Rolling resistance or speed (and light weight) are at the opposite end of the scale to puncture resistance, so choose where you want to rest on that spectrum. Personally I'd suggest you don't get hung up on weight, a few grammes here or there is nothing. For a little more comfort (but no disadvantages) choose wider section - 25c or more. Some examples below.

Fast, light tyres (not much P-word protection): Michelin Pro 3, Conti GP4000S, Schwalbe Ultremo.

Great compromise: Vittoria Rubino Pro*, Mich Krylion, Schwalbe Durano/Durano S.

Tougher, more protection: Conti GP 4 Seasons, Specialized All Condition Pro, Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase*.

* after 2,500+ miles on each I would recommend both of these tyres.

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Adey [86 posts] 6 years ago
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plus 0ne for the Bontrager Racelites - over 2k miles and not one puncture (touch wood!!!)

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Chris James [449 posts] 6 years ago
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Five punctures in 60KM? That is definitely not normal, even for tyres with no puncture protection.

Leaving aside the pinch flat you may have not removed the original thorn (or whatever), or have you checked your rim tape to make sure a spoke isn't puncturing your inner tube.

Anyway, onto your question. I always recommend Vrederstein Fortezz Tricomps. About £20 each from Ribble, and a nice balance of low rolling resistance and decent durability and affordability. My current rear tyre has done somewhat over 2000 miles, it looks a bit worn but it has no cuts and have never punctured in that time.

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boffo [34 posts] 6 years ago
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Gatorskins, just had my first puncture in just over 2400miles and that was a pinch puncture (my fault) the rear is starting to square off but still feels like there's plenty of life left in it.

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carl simpson [52 posts] 6 years ago
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well personally i just bought some gatorskins for my commuter bike and on day 5 of them being on i got a puncture on the way home ...

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cslattery [85 posts] 6 years ago
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I'm on about 4000km with mine and still no puncture, definitely recommend them!

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David Whyte [27 posts] 6 years ago
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Chris James wrote:

Five punctures in 60KM? That is definitely not normal, even for tyres with no puncture protection.

Leaving aside the pinch flat you may have not removed the original thorn (or whatever), or have you checked your rim tape to make sure a spoke isn't puncturing your inner tube.

Anyway, onto your question. I always recommend Vrederstein Fortezz Tricomps. About £20 each from Ribble, and a nice balance of low rolling resistance and decent durability and affordability. My current rear tyre has done somewhat over 2000 miles, it looks a bit worn but it has no cuts and have never punctured in that time.

+1 for the Tricomps.

Probably the best tyre i've ever used, and they come in a choice of colours to match your bike.

I'm a bit vain like that to be honest.

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Squiggle [403 posts] 6 years ago
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When I started road cycling I also had a lot of flats. I figured out after a while that I was running my tyre pressures way too low. Make sure you buy a good track pump with a pressure gauge and keep them topped up around 100psi depending on your weight and manufacturers recommendations. I think when a lot of folk start road cycling it's from a mountain bike or town bike and they're just used to that softer feeling of running 40psi. I generally top up my tyre pressure every couple of days as the higher pressures tend to seep out quite quickly too.  39

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Posh [48 posts] 6 years ago
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Conti Attack/Force - Brilliant tyres. Superb grip and over 1,500 miles without mishap in all conditions and road surfaces. Front tyre does tend to wear, but it's a very soft compound.  1
Conti 4 Season - Rubbish. Three punctures through the tread in 50 miles. Final one cut right through tread and side wall.....Now in the dust bin.  2
Both types of tyres run at 110psi. By the way.....I'm a tad over 14.5st (92kg).

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mobydick64 [20 posts] 6 years ago
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I like Vredstein Fortezza Tri-comps too. Low rolling resistance and gummy compound offers great grip. No punctures in 500 miles but my rear tyre has sveral deep cuts - at least the puncture protection seems to be working. I have mine inflated to 145psi - which is what Vredstein recommnds, but may be less prone to getting cut up if they were inflated less.

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Posh [48 posts] 6 years ago
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Mobydick64.............I hope your rims are suitable for 145psi? The tyres tell one story but it needs to be read in conjunction with the rims' design. Regards

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The _Kaner [1150 posts] 6 years ago
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I'd concur there.Schwalbe Blizzard - Over 600kms and ne'er an (unmentionable word- don't wan't to tempt the god of ssssssss)....rolls reasonably fast and fairly stable in the wet stuff too.

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issacforce [212 posts] 6 years ago
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I would go for conti gp4000s used them for 3 years now and only 1 flat highly recommended. Have covered over over 12000 miles as well on good and bad rds  3

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Fish_n_Chips [515 posts] 6 years ago
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Michelin Pros