Avocet: more than just a shorebird

A new Avocet Road 30 tire. Outstanding ride in the mid 1980s, and it still matches the best tires made today.


To celebrate the 4th of July I mounted my one and only Avocet FasGrip 30 Kevlar-bead tire. And as fate would have it, I stumbled across a new Avocet racing II saddle at the Bicycle Outfitter, the place to go if you’re looking for Avocet products of yore. I rode Avocet Road 20 tires for years, but I never tried the Road 30.

I aged this tire like a fine wine, buying it in 1986 and carrying it as a spare on my ride through the Alps. I never mounted the tire and it just sat there in my travel bag for the past 26 years. While aging rubber is not a good thing, as it is for wine, the tire looks as good as new. An interesting discovery: the 700×28 tire is only 24 mm wide, one of the most egregious width discrepancies I’ve ever seen in a tire, or it’s a mislabeled 700×25.

Avocet made its reputation in saddles, and deservedly so. This one was manufactured by Selle Italia, but Avocet made saddles in the U.S. for a time, including the comfortable Gelflex.

I checked eBay and you can buy a pair of new wire-bead Avocet tires for $92. Road 20s sold for $12.98 each in 1987. My Road 30 tire went for $18.98.

After a trip on the Racing II I can tell you it’s a comfortable ride, but if you have prostate issues, use the newer saddles shaped to relieve pressure in that area.

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2 Responses to “Avocet: more than just a shorebird”

  1. O. Emry Says:

    I have the same tire (700×28) on my front wheel, also my last. It is also just under 24mm wide. I don’t remember the wire-bead version being that narrow.

  2. BF Says:

    Nice. I still have one NOS in the box! I believe its the last in my stash….:( Btw, the “mislabeling” was practice used by Avocet and other tire mfrs to lower the weight of their tires. Avocet Fasgrip tires listed as 700×28 actually measured between 24-26mm wide; 700×25 measured between 20-23mm; and you can probably guess what the 700×20 actually measured….Good luck!

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