View Full Version : Recommended Urban Tires?

05-18-2007, 12:03 PM
I do a lot of commuting on the west side and encounter a fair amount of glass and debris. Does anyone have recommendations for road tires (700x23) that reduce the number of flats? Do Kevlar tires have any effect?

05-18-2007, 12:23 PM
Schwalbe Marathons.

05-18-2007, 12:39 PM
Continental Gatorskins are one of the ol' standbys... Tough enough but still fairly supple, and take quite a few miles before they need to be retired. You should be able to get them in 23, 25, and 29 mm widths.

05-18-2007, 12:42 PM
I bought a set of tires that made really good conceptual sense to me 2 years ago. They were kevlar and had an extra 1/4" of firm rubber between the road and the tube so nothing could really penetrate unless you perfectly hit a nail. Truth be told I never got a flat. The problem was that the 1/4" caused the bike to feel like it was sliding on underinflated tires whenever I took a turn. Always felt like it was going to slip out from under me. I don't remember the brand name, but you should stay steer clear of the concept.

05-18-2007, 01:03 PM
Specialized Armadillos are the best puncture resistant tire out there:


05-18-2007, 03:19 PM
I got flat tire frequently on my Tandem with the orignal brand. Since I put on a set of Schwalbe Marathons two years ago, I never had a single flat. :)

05-18-2007, 04:02 PM
Tire liners (strips of green plastic that you put between your tire and tube) have worked great for me. I used to get a flat a week biking around Lloyd Center from all the broken glass, but hadn't gotten one since getting the liners. They're great if you can't afford really nice kevlar tires. Note of caution: you have to keep your tires well-inflated with these.

John Henry
05-18-2007, 04:45 PM
i also use Schwalbe Marathons , i used to get a flat about every other week, i have had these for a few months and I havent had a single flat, they cost about 100$ for the pair, money well spend!

05-20-2007, 02:22 PM
Seriously, from experience, Armadillos are the best:


05-21-2007, 07:09 AM
Armadillos are nice for puncture resistence, but they have a pretty tough ride IMO. There's a nice balance somewhere in there :)

05-21-2007, 08:01 AM
i have ridden/trained on both armadillos and schwalbe marathon pluses. the armadillos are nice, puncture resistant, but are shaped like a square. they ride really weird (ie corner badly). they are great for puncture resistence though. they are thinner that the schwalbe's.

i recommend the schwalbe marathon PLUS tire though. its thicker, and handles better. i have only flatted once in 8 months of riding them, and that was a 10 penny nail. i ride through the shit on the road constantly while training, glass is not obstacle.
the only problem i've found is that the pluses are hard to find in a 23c size.

gatorskins work well, come in the 23c size, but arent nearly as puncture resistant as either the armadillo or the marathon plus. they make great spring race tires though, and are offered with a folding bead (as are the armadillos now)

05-21-2007, 09:42 AM
had a great run with Continental Top Touring tires given to me by a generous amigo (thanks, Wayne!) - over 1500 city miles without a puncture. Either the best tyres or the best luck I've had...

05-21-2007, 11:01 AM
it seems as if the armadillo elites may have fixed the rougher ride of it's predecessor, but I haven't used them yet. but they come in a 23c size now, and i hear that they corner quite well, in addition to being lighter.

05-21-2007, 08:17 PM
found them to be stable and punctureproof. I am not a serious gearhead so perhaps fine distinctions are lost on me. for general use over past 3 or 4 years, they have been fine. I dont recall any flats on my bikes that have armadillos.
My switch to armadillos was predicated by commuting on US 30, St Helens Hwy, which seems to have a lot more crap on the roadway ( probably due to waste transfer station and metal recyclers in the area.) If I were a racer,perhaps they wouldnt be the best choice.for a commuter,they are a good one.

05-23-2007, 08:01 AM
Ugh, I flatted again on the way home last night. I have Continental Gatorskin tires (albeit with 1000+ miles on them) and the glass shard had no problem piercing the thickest section of the tire.

Sounds like the Armadillos have the most support. I'm willing to give them a try. Does anyone know which shop in town carries them?

05-23-2007, 10:29 AM

They carry Specialized products, so they're likely to carry the Armadillos.

05-24-2007, 11:56 AM
I use the Conti Top Tours. I don't think any tires will prevent you from getting flats, but these tires have been good for me.

05-27-2007, 09:28 AM
I put 700x25c Armadillos on my around-town road bike, and it RADICALLY changed the feel of the bike... Yes, they really are extremely puncture-proof, but as someone else said, there must be a happy middle ground. They felt like I was riding through syrup. I don't know how much it actually slowed me down, but the bike just wasn't much fun to ride.

05-28-2007, 07:08 PM
I have four tires on my commuter fixie, also on my winter rainbike.

it takes a pretty good hit to flat them, and they really don't ride that bad.

Here's the scoop, cut the tire bead off a pair of tires and slip them in between the tube and the outer tire. Helps to use a 23mm inside a 25, but 23 will fit inside another 23mm.

I've got conti 3000's , sorta worn , stuffed inside a michelin on the back and another conti on the front. This is on a 70inch fixie I use for riding to work. handles road crap pretty well, you want to pick the glass shards out of the tires every week or so. Last winter I took a nail (!!!) through the outer tire, grazed the inner tire, didn't flat, and I had to ride about 200 yards on it to get to a lighted carlot to see what the heck I hit.

A little heavier but hey, it's a commuter/training bike.
gears to you...

Matt P.
06-01-2007, 08:59 AM
Gatorskins, Armadillos, or Bontrager Hardcase (which is what I use). Basically, any kevlar tires work REALLY well.

Like other commentors have said, though - it does change the ride a bit, makes things feel a little more... sluggish.