What road tires do you recommend for long rides in NYC area?

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18 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"Have road bike with aero rims- 700c with kendra kaliente 23c tires. Like to go on 30+ mile rides. (and I like to ride, not stop to fix flats) Have had problem with glass fragment and thorn penetration flats (not pinch flats). The Kendras have an ""ironcloak"" kevlar flat barrier- but the glass chip and the thorn (tiny and sharp) seemed to go right through . I think they were properly inflated (using 115 lbs- rated up to 120). My aero rims require LONG presta valves and the shorter ones on ""SLIME"" loaded tubes do not fit.

What are your recommendations for a tire that will live on NYC and Long Island roads with fewer flats?"

Anonymous's picture
esass (not verified)

I use Armadillos on my wheels. Haven't had a flat in a year, more than 2500 miles ridden. Had to replace them this week due to wear.

Anonymous's picture
ted (not verified)

I have had great luck with Vredestein Tri Comps. I replace them around 2000 miles or yearly, and haven't had a flat in 5 years. Knock on wood...
I look for glass shards on the elevator when I get home and pick them out.
They are rated up to 140 psi, but that will knock out your teeth.

Anonymous's picture
Rob M (not verified)
Yep, Vredestein

Ted's got it.

Anonymous's picture
Bob Shay (not verified)

I used either continental Gatorskins and/or GP 3000's and have had very good success with them. I do rides from CT to/through NYC to/through Perkins over the Bear Mountain Bridge and back to CT. I only had one flat this season - over 6,000 miles - from a shard of glass on a road that was being repaved just north of the GWB in NYC. I did have two blow-outs on one club ride when I rode through pot holes that I didn't see when in the paceline. The tires held up fine after the blowout and I used them for their full life.

At about 2,000 miles, the sidewalls in the Gatorskins wear out first. At about the same mileage, the treads on the GP 3000 rear tire wears down to the threads. The front tire on the GP 3000 lasts about 3,500 miles.

I have learned that I have to pump my tires up about every two days so that they are at about 100 psi for each and every ride.

There is a great sale on www.biketiresdirect.com that offers you ten tires for $300.

Good luck,


Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

GP 4-season solved the sidewall-fragility problem. Like 'em.

Lately been riding the GP 4000 on one bike - softer ride than the GP 4-season at the same pressures, like the all-black look. Do they live up to the hype, are they worth the price? C'mon, get a grip...

Anonymous's picture
anonymous (not verified)
Go GP 4000

These tires are good!!

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)


Three layers of kevlar vs. the usual one.

Not the lightest, nor the best ride nor the cheapest but the best trade-off, IMO, for trouble-free city commuting.

Every week I pry out glass shards that would flatten most other tires.

Anonymous's picture
Rupert (not verified)

I don't even pick the glass out. After 4K they start to look like the surface of the moon, but there is still tread left (i'm 200lbs).

They will flat on metal... especially staples... but those are a once/year kind of find.


Anonymous's picture
jc (not verified)
Vittoria Diamante Pro

Over 1300 milles since early June. Couple of pinch flats, thats all.

Anonymous's picture
Ron D (not verified)
Michelin (Axial) Carbon

I liked my Michelin carbon tires. Bike got stolen so I only got a chance to test them over 300-500 miles or so.

Not just central park miles but Flatbush Ave, Bedford Ave miles, ... real road debris , pot holes and grates too. Tires had a noticably more confident road feel than the lightweight Specialized tires I had on the bike previously. Has good rubber on the sidewalls too, not just a couple of nylon threads covered with a nanometer of rubber. Not the lightest at 260-280 grams but well worth the weight.

Anonymous's picture
Lou Tognan (not verified)
Thank Your for all of the advice

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. Some clear trends in the advice. I will certainly follow it.

Anonymous's picture
Doug Kalb (not verified)
If they're the tires you got on a new bike...

I spoke to several tire manufacturers at Interbike & a general trend seems to be that MOST tire makers will supply tires to a bike company of inferior quality than those YOU can buy separately. In other words, if you get brand A, model B tires with a new bike, although the tires may look identical down to the color of decals, the tire supplied by the bike manufacturer is likely a cheaper version with inferior rubber, lower thread count, etc., than brand A, model B tires you buy alone!

It makes no sense to me that a tire manufacturer would trade off quality reputation & long term sales for immediate sales gratification but it's widely done. The cyclist/user cannot tell the difference by looking at the tire but the difference exists.

In short, don't judge a tire brand by what comes with the new bike -- it's probably a knockoff!

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

Who told you this? I find it incredibly hard to believe that such an approach would be taken by leading manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin. The bicycle industry is full of disinformation being supplied from second-tier manufactures, for example the campaign several years ago against integrated components.

Anonymous's picture
Doug Kalb (not verified)

I was surprised as well which is why I asked several bike co's & tire co's, inluding top sellers. The answer I got from everyone I asked was affirmative -- there might be exceptions but I couldn't find any.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Please Name Them Then... (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Doug Kalb (not verified)

I'd rather not spread bad promo, particularly since I did not speak to EVERY tire company (just many)& my leaving out one or more brands might lead some to believe they don't do this...& they may!
Regardless, the point was not to name names & proliferate gossip but to let people know not to judge the quality of any given tire that comes on a new bike since its likely different from the real thing.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
The reverse happened to me

I had a Specialized Armadillo All Condition 700x28 on one wheel for a while and decided to buy another. When I got it home and compared it with the first, it was of noticeably lower quality. It was also rated for only 100 PSI vs. 115-125.

I contacted Specialized, concerned that I was getting a knock-off. But the rep said my old one was the 2004 model and the new one was 2005. The product was genuine, but Specialized had changed specs and manufacturer between product years.

Later, I came across a bike shop in NJ who had a couple of sets of 2004s mounted on their floor models. They said they wouldn't mind taking them off, so I bought 'em and had them shipped back to NYC.

Anonymous's picture
Doug Kalb (not verified)
Suggestion on tire wear & safety

Tire Rotation: It's traditionally recommended to swap tires front/back every 1,000 miles to get the most life out of your tires. But if you do that, you'll be putting a worn tire on the front & that's not a good idea since front flats jeopardize bike control while a rear flat isn't nearly so dangerous. So here's a better technique; ride a pair of tires until the faster-wearing rear is shot. Then, put a new replacement tire on the front & move the barely worn front tire to the rear. This way, you'll always have your newest, safest tire with the thickest tread on the wheel that has the most to do with bike control & safety.

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