I am an Avid road biker on our hills here in Colorado, I love these tires, they have great road grip and they roll over into the turns like butter. They are virtually indestructible. I do several Mountain Century rides every year and have a great deal of confidence in the tires standing up to the stresses of rolling down Mountain Passes at 45 MPH. Recently I ran over a very sharp edged rock and put a cut in the sidewall. This was a direct hit and the cut was about 38ths of an inch wide. I folded a dollar bill and put it inside the tire, replaced the tube and I was on my way. I was concerned that under pressure the cut might start ripping. When I got home the cut had not changed at all, I credit the construction and materials.
These are durable, tougher-than-tough tires! I commute pretty carelessly over some really sketchy surfaces strewn with broken glass, gravel, bits of metal, the whole nine yards... and I have yet to get a flat with these tires after many months. That said, I hate these tires in the rain! They feel slippery and I don't have much confidence through the corners when the roads are wet. I plan to take them off and replace them with something grippier when it starts raining in the fall... but you can bet the Gator Hardshells will be back on my bike come spring.
Summer 2014 edit: I never got around to taking these tires off last winter. I got used to taking the corners a bit more carefully and the tires didn't give me too much trouble even in heavy rain. Still going strong now! I recommend these tires all the time to anyone who's sick of flats. Awesome.
I was hesitant about spending a lot on a tire for a long time but after trying all kinds of tires and getting sick of flats I decided to try these. Well 1800 miles later I love them! No flats so far! I ride in Houston, about 50 or more miles a day pending weather, I come across bad roads, there is all kinds of crap on these streets, cans, bottles, glass, nails, screws, rocks, wire, wood, steel, a rake, a shovel, no kidding,, anyway these tires still look new, I ride a road bike and ride pretty hard, I love the ride, the grip, all of it. I will buy these tires always from now on.. Try them you will love them!
I have an 11 mile (one way) commute that varies from rural to city (bike lane) routes. As you might imagine, lots of debris (rocks, glass, metal, you name it) from time to time in the bike lanes. New commuter bike this year, and on the first ride in, picked up something that cut through the rear tire. In the past, I've used Gatorskins as my go-to robust tire.
This time, went with the Hardshell, I was happy to find it in 32mm folding, and on sale. I've been riding on this for a couple of months. Tread still looks great, no signs of cutsbreakswhat not. I expect to get many, many worry-free commute miles.
One oddity - this tire must run very slightly small, my commute went from 10.7 to 10.8 miles. The 10.7 value was based on three bikes, three different tires. They were all consistent at 10.7, this tire has been consistent at giving me 10.8.
Very happy with this tire, I'll grab one for the front once I either wear out, or flat, the tire that came on the bike.
This is my second set of this tire. Absolutely love them. My guess is 5,000 miles and NEVER a single flat. That is very hard to beat. I absolutely love these tires. Use them all year around in hot, cold, dry and wet and they are great. Excellent traction in ALL conditions.
I switched over to Continental Gators about 7 years ago getting ready for a century ride. Fan for life. Great rolling, smooth and have taken about everything the road can dish out. Now have them on 3 road bikes and only 1 flat in more than 2800 miles. The only flat was a direct hit on a 6 jagged rock at dusk on a canyon road - cracked the sidewall but stayed on the rim. I use the wire bead for most rides, carry the folding version when I am on an extended ride.
I am a recreational cyclist, a roadie. I live in the desert so bike tires are subject to goat head stickers which are a real nuisance. I have always used Specialized All Conditions Armadillos and had been reluctant to change because I was used to them and they always worked for me up to a point. I just replaced the Armadillos with Gatorskins and so far I am very happy. I can tell that the Gatorskins are a tough tire and they are a surprisingly comfortable and quiet ride. My cycling friends have always sworn by them and now I am also a fan. A good product....
Not the lightest tire out there which is why I took a star off (picky, yes).
Now, for the good part I've ridden these tires for 3 winters, probably 9K miles, over gravel rough roads, dirt, mud, snow, dirty post-snow roads, etc. Unlike my summer tires which I take care of, I ignore these all winter and clean them once in the spring when I put them away for the summer - in other words, they get totally abused and no love. I run them at 70 psi (I'm 180 pounds) and have had 1 flat in three years. These are great tires, they're sticky in the rain but roll just fine when it's dry. I'm a bit surprised that people in the other reviews run them at such high pressure, for I find that they actually perform a lot better at lower pressures (like in their rating range). I'll definitely replace these with another set of Hardshells.
So far it's a great tire. It's so much thicker and more durable than my last set of tires. I was a little worried that since the rubber is thick and stiff that it would be difficult to put on, but we had the tire on in less than 10 minutes.
I'm a 20 mile round trip commuter and I ride these tires at 110 psi. They are a stiff ride and super hard at first, but once you break them in (roughly 200 miles for me) they are smooth and stick to the ground. A bit on the heavy side but no flats so far, so I can live with the weight! I can ride it through anything without worry. There is evidence of cuts and punctures on both front and rear tires, but no flats to date! I'd buy these again!
Just bought 2nd set of Gator Skins, friend recommended the first set as I was changing my second flat on a ride 3 years ago. Big guys these are great tires for us, I am 210 and ride hard on country roads, first set of gators kind lasted 3 years w no flat!! A little more money but a lot for confident w my Gators!!
I used these tires in the Rouge Robaix in south Louisiana for 106 miles, partly off road, and then road 5000 miles of training. Best tire made. I had one flat the whole time. A large piece of glass made its way in. Craig Van Valkenburg