Conti Gatorskin v Specialized Armadillo

Barry2666 Posts: 3
edited February 2011 in Road buying advice
I have a Boardman CX bike and want to fit some more road friendly, and puncture resistant (!), tyres for regular fitness training (16 miles/day) and other longer rides (but not racing). I have been recommended by friends either the Armadillo or Gatorskin tyres in a 23C (replacing the 35C) to improve road-riding.

I have seen an offer for the Continental Ultra Gatorskin, pair with tubes, for just under £50 which appears to be really good value.

I am a relative newbie to cycling, so can anyone comment or offer some advice please?

Regards, Baz.


  • I'm a big fan of both the Ultra Gatorskin or Gatorskin Hardshell for winter work. I've NEVER punctured the latter despite being a big bloke and riding the 23c size around all winter.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • Thanks! I am 203lbs (mainly muscle!) so need a resilient tyre too. Cheers.
  • Lightweight!
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • i use the armadillos all year round bar racing brilliant! never had a puncture rip or anything and i live on a farm and have to ride my road bike on pinty combbly rocky roads a whole 2 miles till i get to a "road" brilliant either way really
  • andyrr
    andyrr Posts: 1,819
    Think the 'Specs are seen more as a heavy commuter/road tyre whislt the Conti's are a heavy training tyre ?
    I've used the Gatorskins and now really like them, 1st time I foundf them pretty slippy but I'm happy with them at the mo'
  • TMR
    TMR Posts: 3,986
    I put Armadillos on my Mountain Bike last May for the Coast to Coast. 3 days, no punctures, and a considerable portion of that was off-road.
  • tonyf34
    tonyf34 Posts: 194
    I've used both and to be honest there isn't much in it. My advice, get the 25s you'll not regret the little extra comfort it gives you. I'm nearly a stone heavier than you & like to put the power down a bit :D punctured twice over a couple of years (& a few thousand miles) on the Gatorskins(Ultra as was) I think the contis are just a little better on rolling resistance and lighter.

    BTW Ribble do them for £18.76 each (inclusive of the discount) so even adding in some conti tubes that works out to under £43 delivered!
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Neither are infallible IME - the one guy riding Armadillos on last week's club ride suffered from 2 punctures. My recommendation would be Conti GP 4 Seasons or Schwalbe Duranos - given the rider weight, 25 or even 28mm - you'll just more more punctures and less grip running narrower tyres (based on science and fact).
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • I'm 95+kg and ride on folding Ultra Gators in a 23 - done about 3000 miles on them so far without a problem and I'm riding on some pretty crappy country roads. I've tried a couple of other tyres and they've lasted about a week - 2 punctures and they're off.

    The latest set I've ordered are the 25s just to try out this rolling resistance malarky and to give my swanky new carbon rims a chance on the potholes.

    Top tip - put plenty of air in them. On the 23s, I target 120psi on the gauge (always lose a smidge out of the Presta) to avoid pinch flats.

    I swear by them.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • I had both of these tyres for my mountain bike when they did those versions and my experience was that the armadillo's were great but then after a certain number of miles (i commuted on them) they would then start to fail horrendously - loads of punctures.

    The conti's on the other hand were much more durable. However they were almost impossible to get on and off the rim which is a significant disadvantage imo.
  • orangepip wrote:
    However they were almost impossible to get on and off the rim which is a significant disadvantage imo.

    Not if they don't puncture it isn't :wink:
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • clx1
    clx1 Posts: 200
    I put 25mm Gatorskins on my winter bike, I was a bit worried that they would be a bit sluggish in comparison to my Michelin Pro Race 3 s on my Summer bike.
    I needn't have worried, they are absolutely great, they roll exceptionally well and have not punctured in over a 1000 miles, highly recommended.
  • rich_e
    rich_e Posts: 389
    I've been using Specialized Armadillos All-Conditions in 23C on my Road Bike for sometime now, infact I wouldn't bother swapping them off unless I was doing a race. The most use they get though is from daily commuting.

    I've so far got two punctures....

    One was a pinch flat not long after I'd set off once. The tyre was quite under-inflated, so I really only had myself to blame for that one and not checking. I'd agree it's best to get it up to 120PSI, but then your weight also factors into it to.

    The second puncture was from a large tack nail. It went all the way through, back out the side and also scratched the rim... so there was no way anything was stopping that.

    Those aside, they've held up very well. Infact you can see the odd little cut in places where obviously glass (there is a lot in London) has tried to penetrate it but had no luck... with less protected tyres it would be a definite puncture.