Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fan Boi

You can't argue with what works.

I tend to root for the underdog.  Maybe lean more towards the esoteric or exotic rather than the big brands.
But when it was time for new commuter tires I caved to the low hanging fruit and went with what was readily available at my LBS.

Here's what I look for in a commuter tire:

  • Flat resistance
  • Tread longevity
Any other positive attributes are a bonus.

For years I had been using probably the most popular touring / commuting tire.  When my commute switched from the The Apple Valley to the Farmington Valley my flat frequency increased by the power of 5.  A change was needed.

Specialized had an interesting idea with their Roubaix Pro tires.  They take a size larger 120 tpi Endurant casing and mount a size smaller tread to it.  A 28 mm casing has a 25 mm tread (a 25 mm has a 23 mm).  You get the comfort of the larger size with the speed of the smaller.
It also has a harder  center tread compound with a stickier side compound for durability and cornering grip.

So enough of the marketing mumbo-jumbo; how do they ride?

I'm impressed.
These are the most comfortable road tires I have ridden.  That includes tubulars.


Clinchers have come a long way!
I have about 500 miles on them and they have been "F" free (never use the "F" word when speaking of tires).  No signs of wear so far.  I guess a tire can be durable and comfortable.
They've seen all New England has to offer; broken tarmac, dirt, ice, snow and the dreaded Bike Path Roubaix.

Right now I have them mounted on my Cross bike (that I am enamoured with) so I mounted those other tires on my regular commuter so I'd have a bike ready to go with fenders.  Yesterday there was a chance of showers in the afternoon, and it had rained the night before.  Perfect, I"ll ride the Fun Machine.

I flatted on the way in...

and on the way home.

I need another set of Roubaixs!

I forgot to put my pump on my bike this morning; very thankful for the Roubaixs!

(let the corporate shill comments fly)

1 comment:

Chris Underwood said...

You just described how I feel about Schwalbe tires. Very tough, very durable. I have a set of 700x28c marathons that have a huge number of km on them, mostly over gravel, and have never flatted once. They are worn, but not as much as you might think for a tire that has had 1000s of gravel km.

I have had several sets of Specialized Armadillo tires over the years and while they were tough, and cost much less than the Schwalbe tires, every one of them delaminated and started to fall apart within half a year. Most disappointing.

I will have to look into the ones you suggest though. Our roads are not that great around here, and a tough set of tires for the older cyclocross bike (now used as a faster 'round town bike) would be a great idea.