Specialized Armadillo Tires

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8 replies [Last post]
ZKolenovic's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2010

I am currently riding on Micheline Pro Race 3 tires and was thinking of getting a set of Specialized Armadillo tires to avoid getting as many flats. Has anyone had experience with the Armadillo tires? I have heard they tend to be very hard and can be uncomfortable to ride on. Is there a very noticeable difference as far as comfort? Are they really what they claim to be as far as flat protection? Thanks!

GeorgeArcarola's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2010
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I rode on Armadillos for

I rode on Armadillos for several years. The puncture protection was superb. I rarely flatted (maybe twice in three years) before 3500-4000 miles. There is however a trade-off... the ride can be quite harsh. Moved to a different tire (Michelin Lithion) and find the ride MUCH more comfortable.


DDeLuna's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2010
Flat Protection

Michelin Pro Race 3's are soft, light racing tires that do not have a great reputaiton for durability and flat protection even in the category of race tires, which tend to be prone to flats in general due to their weight and construction.


Something like the Armadillo is on the other end of the spectrum.

If you want something in between that gives you a less harsh ride, you might just consider a heavier training tire. As an added plus, they will also be less expensive than either Armadillos or dedicated race tires and lwill last longer than race tires.

I've had pretty good luck with Vredestein Fortezza SEs. Around $30 a tire. But there are plenty of other good choices.


NWeissman's picture
Active member
Joined: Nov 4 2010
100+ Ride LeaderB-SIG LeaderPre 2011 A-SIG Grad
+1 for the Armadillos

Comparing a race tire to a touring-commuter is apples and oranges. But if you have the opportunity to "paw the goods", you feel a qualitative difference in the tread-sidewalls that comprise the 'dillo's flat-protection rep. After a few hundred miles, you'll be removing shards from the tread that would have easily penetrated a race casing.

Was in a bike shop the other day that had a sampling of the Schwalbe clinchers. I've felt CONDOMS thicker than Ultremo sidewalls.

And if you have room to fit a 25-28mm, you'll be able to run a lower pressure which will certainly mitigate the harshness.

Another option is to run 25-28mm generics which has room for plastic tire liners. Anything that puts distance between sharp things and your inner tube will work.

Personally, I've rarely had unlined race tires go more than 500 miles w/o a sidewall cut.

MTrainor's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2010
Specialized Armadillos

I have been riding on Specialized Armadillos for years, and the flat protection is everything you've heard or read about.
I go 9 months or longer without a flat. I do agree that they are stiff and "hard" when new, but they do soften when you break them in.
Not uncomfortable at all. If you're looking for flat protection, I think Armadillos are the best.


BRoss's picture
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Joined: Nov 4 2010
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check out Armadillo Elites

Apparently Specialized offers (at least) two different Armadillo tires: the regular Armadillos with the super heavy duty sidewalls that everyone complains rides like a garden hose, and the Armadillo Elites, which have the same flat protection as the regular 'dillos but a slightly more supple sidewall, for those who care about such things.

I've had the Elites on my backup bike for the past ~3 years, and I can confidently say that any compromise to my cycling performance when I'm riding that bike is *not* a result of the tires. IOW, they feel just fine for commuting or typical club rides. Wouldn't wanna race a crit on them...then again, I wouldn't wanna get up at 4:00AM regardless of what tires I had, so that's a moot point.

I got 5,000 miles out of my first set of Armadillo Elites. I'm somewhere around the ~3,000 mile point on my second set with no visible sign that they'll need replacing any time soon.

ROrvedahl's picture
Active member
Joined: Nov 4 2010
Armadillos are great, but...

I agree with everyone else. They've been good for me, but speaking as a relative newbie, when I do get a flat - replacing a tube is a real challenge with an Armadillo.

DMoreira's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2010
kevlar right?

i got caught in the middle of a drive by a while back and while i barely survived i was able to ride to the trauma center...the discomfort was not due to the armadillos...which made it without a scratch...

RShay's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2010
Not necessary

I rode those tires and many others. Settled on Continental GP's. Any tire will not flat if maintained correctly and you don't run over freshly broken glass or tacks or nails.

What is important to prevent flats is to ensure your rim tape ($4) is relatively new, your tubes have less than 5,000 miles on them, and you inflate your tires to the manufacturers recommended inflation rate before Each ride. I do this and had one flat in the last 9,000 miles. The reason I had that flat is because I followed some bad advice that inner tubes never fail - because they are protected by the tire. Not true. The only reason I flatted is because I had over 8,000 miles on the inner tube and it failed from stress. From that point forward I continue to change my inner tubes with every third new tire on the rear and every new tire on the front - or every 5,000 miles. I have not had a flat since then which is about 5,000 miles ago and I don't plan on having a flat again unless I run over freshly broken glass, tacks, or nails.

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