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Review – Specialized Armadillo Tires

Submitted by on February 2, 2010 – 8:42 am5 Comments

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When it comes to bike parts I’m admittedly low tech.  I like quality components but I don’t measure weight in grams and materials like carbon, Kevlar, titanium, etc., do nothing for me.  Other than splurging on Brooks saddles, I tend to buy inexpensive stuff that looks nice.  I have never spent much money one tires until now.

Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tire

Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tire

I’ve always admired the various 700c tires you see with colored stripes.  But my LeGran Seville has 27″ wheels and the only tires with any coloring available in that size are the the plain looking yellowish/tan gumwalls that do nothing for me.  Then I saw the “maroonwall” Specialized All Condition Armadillo tires for the dog-choking price of $90 for a set.

Holy cow I could buy a new (used) bike for that amount. I could buy a new leather saddle. I could (almost) buy a new wheel-set.  I could have two bikes professionally re-cabled (and have spare change left over).  How could I justify $90 on a pair of tires?  It was that maroon stripe that did me in and the fact that these are reportedly very high quality tires helped me finally pull the pin and make the purchase.  I did a little research on them

I read several online reviews of them and then I found this Popular Mechanics article from 2000 extolling the virtue of these practically “indestructible” tires and started thinking maybe they’d be worth the investment.  I thought they would sure as heck look nice.

Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tire

Everything I read about the Specialized Armadillo tired suggested they were highly puncture resistant, and would last a very long time.  So I sold a thing or two and bought a pair from my local neighborhood bike shop.

Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tire

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Specialized Armadillos have a “dual radius” profile for reliable cornering and the smooth tread promotes minimal resistance.  I like the ride and handling and feel a bit more confident knowing I apparently chose tires that are indeed more puncture resistant than the El Cheapo tires I was previously running, and most of all I really like the maroon color contrast.  I think it  Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tirecompliments the honey leather and dull gray color scheme.

I’m still cautious to avoid glass and any roadside debris but I feel a little bit more confident knowing that Specialized Armadillo tires are in fact much more substantial than the typical low-end tires I usually buy.  So far so good.  oh, and they look cool too.

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Chris started riding a bike again when he noticed the Preston Ridge Trail being constructed across the street from his house. Since then he co-founded Biking in Dallas, has gone through countless Craigslist bike projects (some better than others) and can be found pedaling around town on a Electra Ticino with a camera in tow.

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