Review – Specialized Armadillo Tires
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.
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.
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 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 compliments 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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