Just before I went on vacation I bought a couple of new tires. The previous set, Continental Gatorskins, developed some problems. The front developed a minor bulge because a few of the belts busted when I hit a raised railroad track. The back picked up a rock that went right through the kevlar causing a flat and had been glued and retired as a spare, in case of emergency only, tire. The front was trickier to get rid of because it still worked just fine. Even at 35+ mph I couldn’t notice a “thump” when the bulge went ’round (it was at slower speeds that the problem was more evident). Heading down to the mountains called for caution though. The last thing I wanted was a tire problem out in the middle of nowhere, or worse, heading down a mountain at speed.
I ended up purchasing the Specialized 700 x 23c Espoir Sport with Blackbelt flat protection… Two run about the same price as one Conti at my LBS so I liked the price tag. Also, it’s an all season training tire – not a race tire. Heading to the mountains I was just a little more than nervous about riding in the rain on a slick.
300 miles into them and I’m very happy. No flats, no picked up pebbles. No busted belts or any other issue save one… It’s not a racing tire. I’ve taken to riding through tight corners sharply – it’s some kind of exhillerating. Not quite shooting down a mountain at 45 miles an hour, but it’s a lot more fun than taking things slow and steady. A few days ago, halfway into a hard right turn my front tire slipped a little bit and I had to wrestle it back without crossing into oncoming traffic. To be fair, it was a dead right turn and I was going a little faster than 25 mph – all of my weight on the left foot and leaning the bike down quite a bit to see how close to the right curb that I could exit the turn. I was pushing that turn harder than I ever had before.
That said, it handled everything else very well. If you’re looking for a reliable, yet inexpensive training/all season tire, I highly recommend this one.
After the dryest July I can remember, we’ve been making up for the lack of rain in the first days of August. Really, we need the rain but it’s playing hell on my afternoon rides. This isn’t all bad I suppose, I don’t take enough time off as it is, but holy smokes, we’re getting pummelled up here.
Yesterday afternoon was a wash-out. Today, a wash-out… We’ve even got a 50/50 chance for rain tomorrow though Sunday does look promising.
Of course, next week preparations begin for the Assenmacher 100 next Saturday.
Something about three rainy days in a row that gets me feeling a little blah… Can’t quite put my finger on…
Oh yeah, no endorphin rush. Kiss it, rain.