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.
Good tough tires, but dang hard to fit! They are very tight. I had to order a special tool to get them over my rim. Thankfully, I haven't had to swap a spare on the road yet, cuz I'm not sure how I'm going to do that. Hopefully they are as puncture resistant as they claim to be. So far, so good. Even in goat head territory.
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.
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.
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
It's not a light tire by any stretch of the imagination, but for me it has been very flat resistant. I use it for winter training rides and commuting..used are ones where I really don't want to flat. The performance of the tire wt conditions is as good as the 4000 s.
Riding on Gator Hardshell tires...
I like to ride on all kind of surfaces without to much worry of puncture. For three riding seasons I have been running the tires on my bike and my wife's bike. We ride three to four times a week and we do a number of centuries each year.
The tires roll well enough that I can easily keep up with many pace-lines. And I continue to build confidence in the tires each time I am passing another rider with a puncture.
I do my best to wear-out a set of tires in one riding season (rotating fore and aft for even wear), to avoiding watching the tires dry-out during our non-riding winter months in Utah. Drying out, cracking and the fraying side-wall-strings are my only complaints - the tires do seem to age quickly.
However, I have no problem buying another set of Gatorskins in the near future.
Have been riding these a couple of months now on rough country roads (lots of goat heads), through parts of LA (ie. crappy roads), and a century on the central coast without any flats or other problems.
They feel harder than my previous tires, which were Specialized Roubaix Pros, and run them at less pressure than those. The Speci's I ran at 110, and the Conti's at 105. These have less tread than the Roubaix, but I don't feel the difference. However, on downhills along my normal route, my GPS has showed a 2mph gain in speed consistently. Nothing scientific there, but found it interesting as usually ride the downhill with the same perceived effort.
I bought them as they were on sale and read a lot of positive reviews. Been happy with them as well!
Bought pair for my wife's bike and a pair for my bike . First ride 15 miles out and a big fat flat ! Yep a shard of glass got my rear gator . Have put about 250 miles since the first flat and all seems good.
I ride double centuries and can't afford to lose time to flats . I see some people on these rides getting multiple flats 5 to eight a ride sometimes . All I can say is I rarely get a flat but avoiding the trash & glass on the road helps . I have ridden close to 4000 miles on these tires without a flat many times .
This is a tire that I can count on to give me a worry free ride. Riding the central coast of California, Cayucos to San Luis Obispo and nearby road on find a lot of different road conditions, these tires handle them all.