I was like a lot of people who ride regularly, sick of flat tires. I would carry patches and a small pump with me wherever I went and figured fixing flat tires was simply part of riding a bike. I would try to think happy thoughts as I sat by the side of the street; my greasy hands fumbling with patch kits and spare tubes. It really sucked if I was enjoying my ride or in a hurry to get somewhere important. Every time I got another flat I swore to myself that was it, and I would finally invest in some sort of kevlar lined tire. But like a moth to a flame I would be drawn back to complacency and stick with my old tires as the vicious cycle repeated itself again and again.
One day I reached my limit, I think I got something like two flats that day before storming back to my computer vowing to get this flat tire business sorted out. I began to carefully research the various reinforced bicycle tires available. One tire kept coming up in articles and user recommendations, the Continental GatorSkin. I read countless reviews and scoured the net for the best deals. Finally I pulled the trigger and bought a pair of my very own Continental GatorSkin tires.
I’ve had my Continental GatorSkin tires for a little over a year now. I honestly wish I bought these tires 10 years ago instead of 1 year ago. I will now discuss my experience with these tires.
According to my bicycle computer I have put 3753 miles on these tires. I ride in mostly urban environments with the occasional jaunts down winding country roads. The streets I stick to are littered with broken glass, small stones, potholes, sticks, garbage and almost anything else you can imagine. With my old tires I would at least get a flat every couple of weeks, and sometimes it would be 2 or three flats a week. Out of those 3753 miles of riding I got 1 flat tire, and that was due to a direct hit from a very sharp piece of wire. All in all these are very strong tires. I can’t tell you how many times I would hear stuff “PING!” out from under the them. That would bring a smile to my face because I knew if I was on my cheapo old tires a pit stop would have been inevitable.
Continental attributes this tire’s flat resistance to it’s unique construction. First of all, the tires are handmade in Germany, something kind of cool that I didn’t expect from a bicycle tire. They have a kevlar belt running the circumference of the tire with a layer of their proprietary “duraskin” anti-tear fabric wrapping over both the sidewalls. For the tread they chose a very tough and long-wearing rubber compound.
At close to 4000 miles I’m about to order another pair. The tires still grip very well, and the shoulder of the tires still has a lot of life left in them. That said, I’m starting to notice an increase in rolling resistance and the main contact points of the tires have shown visible wear. I might try to push these tires to their limits for the sake of the review, but if I start getting flats or experience massive failure, I’m installing a new pair.
Ride and Handling
I’ve found the handling on these tires to be great in wet and dry weather. They are very responsive tires and have a very confident grip on the road. They are also very comfortable tires to ride on, especially when compared to the Specialized Armadillos my friend purchased.
Also, I like how these tires are still quite light. You would think all of that protection would result in a much heavier tire but my folding Continental Gatorskins only weigh 230g a piece.
The Continental Gatorskins have been very good to me. Flat protection has been superb. I primarily commute on my bike (although I do a fair amount of recreational riding as well) so these tires have saved me a lot of grief from my boss. The handling is very crisp and at full pressure (120 psi) the bike really zips along. I am very satisfied with the way these tires have worn. I recommend them to all of my friends and I already have plans to install a second set. If you are looking for a good pair of armored bicycle tire, look no further than the Continental GatorSkin.
Where Can I Buy Continental GatorSkin Bicycle Tires?
You can buy Continental GatorSkin tires on Amazon. Right now they are offering free shipping with these tires. I have done some comparison shopping and Amazon currently has the best deal. Click here to buy Continental GatorSkin tires on Amazon.
Where Can I Read More Continental GatorSkin Bicycle Tire Reviews?
If you want to read more reviews from other people who actually own the tires the best place to go is Amazon. The Continental GatorSkin is currently rated 4.5 out of 5 stars and has over 35 customer reviews to consider. Click here to read more reviews on Amazon.