Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My New Favorite Tire

I can report that I'm really happy with a tire-ownership experience!

As of today, my rear Vittoria Randonneur tire has 3000 miles on it... and it still looks like it's good for another 500 or maybe even 1000 miles.

Over the years, I'd say I've averaged probably 1700 or so miles out of the admittedly "entry level" tires I've used. If I've gotten 2000 miles out of a $15 tire, I've felt pretty good about it. A few years back, I tried some Specialized "Armadillo" tires, after the guy at George's Cycles told me I could expect a "full riding season" out of them. I can't remember how many miles I accumulated, but it definitely wasn't a full season, and I'm almost positive it wasn't 3000 miles.

(I replace rear tires much more frequently than front tires... which I've often used for a full riding season. Must be those smoky burnouts I do, to impress the kids! Hahaha)

Also of considerable note... the Vittoria tires have "Double Shielding puncure protection"... and I haven't had one single flat tire in those 3000+ miles! Incredible! (Even with the Armadillos, and with the Continental "Top Touring" tires which were a past favorite, I'd get the occasional sidewall goathead. It may just be good luck... but whatever it is, I'll take it!)

Some of my BN correspondents swear by Schwalbe Marathon tires. I've heard nothing but good about them. And - they have the additional reflective-sidewall feature which is pretty awesome for night riders. But the Schwalbes are $45 or so per skin... the Vittorias go for $32 or so retail, and I paid about $22 for them, after discount, from a popular online retailer. (Begins with "N.")

I'm happy that I have 3 more Vittorias on the tire-hook in my basement. I may not have to buy another tire for a couple years!

(By contrast, I ironically ordered some "Michelin Select" el-cheapo tires at the same time. After barely getting 1000 miles out of 2 of them on the front before they deformed, I sent all three back for a refund. You win some, and you lose some...)


db said...

I'm glad you like those Vittorias, since I recommended them in the past. I rode mine for a week from Baker City, Ore., to Missoula, Mont., in July and had no flats or any deflation issues with them.

I think that double shielding feature also does a better job than others at soaking up some of the inherent vibration from our lovely chip-sealed road surfaces.

Bikeboy said...

db - Baker to Missoula sounds like a pretty ambitious bike hike!

Curious about route. (Last month I did a motorcycle loop - Boise to Missoula, then down US12 to Lewiston. Then I took the "Rattlesnake" from Lewiston to Enterprise, then over to LaGrande, and home thru Baker. Some of that would be DAUNTING if I'd been riding a bicycle!)

My granddaughter has commented on the chip-seal. When she's "tagging along," she always tells me whether we're on SMOOTH roads or BUMPY roads.

db said...

Route was basically HWY 86 out of Baker to Halfway and then Oxbow, then it turns into HWY 71 in Idaho, to Cambridge, then up US 95 to New Meadows, continuing to White Bird and then Grangeville, then on HWY 13 to Kooskia, and then HWY 12 to Lowell, Powell, and ultimately Lolo and Missoula. Some of it was more fun than others, surface- and traffic-wise.

I wrote it up here.

And posted more photos here.

Seven days, 430 miles...