I've been researching all makes and models of tires for the past several months and finally decided to go with the Gator Hardshell. I've had them for several weeks now and they have surpassed my expectations. They ride much better than the stock rubber that came with my Specialized and offer fantastic grip. I highly recommend them.
Using other brands and non-hard shell I've experienced flats several times a year. Since using these hard shells, I have experienced no flats. Riding on rough country roads with cactus needles, glass, sharp small stones, pot holes, and bad expansion joints have never caused a flat. I can easily get over 4,000 miles on the rear tire.
Because of the heat and rough roads, I do change both tires yearly can never be too careful
The Continental Gatorskin Hardshell tire happens to be the most versatile tire ever. I use them on my road bike, commuter bike and fixed gear bike.
The tire compound rides aliitle harder than most but durability and cornering cancel the harder ride. I ride at 225 lbs and have lowered tire pressure FR to 95 psi and tires perform flawlessly! They hug the road even in wet conditions. Highly recommend for all road riding bikes.
I have used the tire for several years for both training and racing, averaging about 3500 miles per year. I don't remember the last time I had a pinch flat and have found it to be extremely puncture resistant - fulfilling the promise of increased flat protection. The tires have excellent sidewall strength and reliability, never having any issues with cracks or ruptures due to potholes, cattle guards or hitting any other obstructions. The wear indicators (two small holes on the tire tread) are reliable in indicators in determining when to change out the tire. I normally change the tires after 2000 miles regardless to be safe. Only downsides are the price and weight. I try to buy when the tires are on sale to save a few bucks since they are pretty expensive. The added weight due to the flat protection is a concern, but not overly so. I am somewhat of a weight weenie, so the concern is a psychological one, I'm sure.
I bought these Gator hard shells for a charity ride in April-May. We rode from Key West, FL. to Jacksonville, FL, over 500 miles and I had zero flats!
Everyone else on my ride had to deal with flats but they didn't have Gators...soo, get you some!!!
Solved my problem with my flats on commutes! After 2 flats in 8 years using Gatorskins (even ran on rear tire through to the cords), I had forgotten how important it was to have a tough tire for commuting! I got a new bike last year, flatted twice on the Schwalbe tires that came with the bike, so I changed to Conti GP -Season (great handling tire) but flatted 5 times in 8 weeks!! (lots of tough paths, sidewalks, etc.) - so I wanted Gatorskins, but decided to go to the new, even tougher Gator Hardshell tires - 12 weeks later no flats, no worries - perfect for my commute! A little difficult to install compared to other Conti tires, but well worth the effort. Highly recommended for commuting, tandem, and any application where durability is paramount.
Nice to have the Kevlar and avoid flats on ultra distance rides but best part is being able to change these ones on the fly. As a women with not as much strength in the hands some Kevlar tires are very difficult to change without a tool but these with a softer edge I can manage without a problem.
I've used Gatorskins in all weather and a lot of different terrain and it never disappoints and they last forever! I was a courier for 10 years and I got the least flats of anyone...maybe 1 every 6 months and that is with riding 9 hours a day!! Ready to head out on a tour with some new Gatorskins! I'll let you know!!
I hate having to fix flat tires while in the middle of nowhere. I've been using the Gator Hardshells for quite a few years now and my number of flats has quite nicely. They are long wearing so I don't need to replace them very often (I rode over 10,000 miles last year).
There is nothing to dislike about this tire. I use it on my touring bike (700x28) and have been using the 700x25 version for many years on my Roubaix (rear tire - the front tire is Conti 4000S). I've never had a puncture flat (I've had a couple of pinch flats) on my Roubaix in countless thousands of miles. I'm getting the same results with the 700x28 on my touring bike so far.