Time for a new tire

This Continental GatorHardshell stayed on my rear wheel a little too long.

This Continental GatorHardshell stayed on my rear wheel a little too long.

Now this is what I call a worn tire. The Continental GatorHardshell can take a beating. It lasted 6,000 miles, which includes a fair amount of dirt. Costs about $50 online.

I’ve gone from buying affordable tires to buying pricier tires in recent years. I think it’s a wash when it comes to getting the best value.

I don’t care much about rolling resistance. I just want a light tire that lasts forever. Is that too much to ask? Of course. The GatorHardshell was heavier than I’d prefer. My bias is toward folding tires and a bit lighter, but still strong. Continental works for me.

Jobst Brandt, who helped usher in the smooth Avocet tire, once went with the Continental Ultra, an economy tire. He paid for it with a horrific crash on the backside of Mt. Hamilton when the tire casing blew. It turns out that tire’s bead-casing joint isn’t reinforced to the degree found with the more expensive Continental tires.

Jobst is not light. That and his propensity to ride tires until the casing shown through, turned against him.

On the other hand, you could be riding a brand new $70 tire and slash it with a shard of glass. Ka-ching.

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One Response to “Time for a new tire”

  1. jay Says:

    I’m sorry to hear Mr. Brandt had a bad experience with his tire. A tire failure is what I fear most cycling. I crashed hard on Page Mill a few years ago and my tire (a Vittoria Rubino) was totally flat (but still mounted on the rim). I was probaby riding too aggressively but not sure what happened–maybe a pinch that blew out my inner tube.

    Anyway I’d like to believe that overall a more expensive tire equates to greater safety. I think there’s some variance from year to year within same tire lines. A few years back I had bad luck with Contis tread slicing on me after very short distances and having to be replaced. I tend to be very conservative about tires–I just can’t go down Nine on a tire that looks worn to me. I’d rather drop $60 on a new rear tire every 2K miles if only to be more confident.

    That said the 28m Gator I’ve been running the past 500 miles shows no real signs of wear. But you must be pretty light Ray, because I don’t think I’d ever get more than 3K on a rear tire.

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