About as puncture-proof as a Schwalbe Marathon at about 2/3 the weight. IMO the Conti Hardshell is the standard for flat resistance and durability. I recently replaced a Hardshell on my rear wheel. I weigh 205 and the tire lasted over 4000 miles until the wear dimples were gone. That's a rear wheel. Amazing. Flats were few and far between. The Hardshell sidewalls are far more durable than the GP 4000 with only a slight weight penalty.
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.
IMHO the best commuter tires for city riding. Fast, great rolling, wonderful puncture resistance for the weight. 85 miles a week in Brooklyn and Manhattan on these and they're dynomite.
These tires work for me, daily to work and back, on the streets of San Francisco. They have a good feel and aren't as fragile as other road tires I've used. Punctures are almost a thing of the past.
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 ride double centuries and feel these give the best blend of speed, performance and puncture resistance. Other tires may be lighter but over longer distances when you don't want to stop to repair a flat these are by far the best.
I have been using gator hardshell since they were introduced to the market.
I am a large rider riding on the road and trails . I always had issues with flats once I switched to these
tires my problems with flats have been reduced.
my average annual mileage is 3000 I usually get seasons.
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.
I was getting flats a lot with Conti Ultra-Sports II, then I went to the 4000 with the Vectran. A little better performance but still had what I considered too many flats. Sometimes every 3-4 rides! Switched to these and it took 42 rides and 1108 miles before I finally got a flat yesterday. Much better performance. I ride at pretty much max(120) in the rear, a little softer (110) in the front. Like the traction and wear so far. Must have happened at the end of the ride as I made it home and found the flat the next day. Lucky! ( sorta!!)
I have used Continental tires for four years now. This is the first time I purchased a hard shell. The quality seems really good on this product. I have 100 miles on it already, and it is great. I think from now on I will use hard shell. Great product.
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!