Friday, July 6, 2012

Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tires, a Review (of sorts)

Now, I don't usually review things here (as a matter of fact, I seem to rarely blog at all, to my own dismay) BUT I have to make an exception (to both situations) to share with you my experience with a set of Specialized All Condition Armadillo tires.

I did a rough calculation based on the number of miles I average per week and the length of time I owned the tires and I came to a conclusion that, over the course of the 2 years that I had these installed on my commuter bike I put approx. 65-7000 miles on them. 

My usual routes take me through the streets of Boston in all types of weather and conditions–from 95º+ degree days to sub-0º with snow and ice–and these tires saw it all. 

In addition to the weather, Boston roads are notoriously rough and full of imperfections,
construction, metal plates, cobblestones, and pot-holes

The pictures that accompany this post show the state the (back) tire was in when I finally relented and bought a replacement. I can only imagine the things that left these multiple wounds...

 Each one of these cuts could have easily been a flat–potentially leaving me stranded (though I do carry a patch kit and spare tube); but of all of this damage, none of them ever caused a single flat. As a matter of fact the only times I had a flat while riding on these tires was due to 1 of 2 reasons:

A) the stem of the tube corroded and failed (typical in the Winter b/c of snow and de-icing chemicals)


B) Pinch flat(s) as a result of me replacing above mentioned corroded tube(s).

 As you can see, any tread has l-o-n-g since been worn away, the sidewall was becoming threadbare, and the whole thing was pretty much de-laminating.

What actually got me to break down and buy a new tire is that I got sick of the "slap... slap... slap..." sound every time the wheel rotated due to the loose tread (seen below and at the top of this post).

My ultimate verdict?
Good tires. Worth it.

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