Saturday, 16 July 2011

Do Gatorskin tyres have sidewalls made of cheese?

My current favoured tyre choice are Continental Grand Prix 4 Season (700x25c). Due to sourcing and pricing issues I usually buy these online from the UK. I’ve been saving my spare pair to start the Paris Brest Paris brand new so bought a set of Continental Gatorskins, also of the 700x25c sizing. The Gatorskin’s are sold on the puncture proof qualities making them ideal for commuting and winter riding.

This is the second set of Gatorskin tyres I have had very short life from. Previously I convinced myself my experience was an aberration. Now however, I am convinced that the Gatorskin tyres have sidewalls made of cheese. In both cases, I have not had a puncture through the main treadline, but riding at night in winter after rain I have found a unique ability to slice directly the sidewall as I skim past on-road debris whether it be rock or debris.

GatorSliced

So in the space of a week I have replaced my rear tyre twice. Firstly, a loyal and faithful GP4, after over 4000 punctureless kilometres on New Zealand’s chip sealed roads this tyre had been worn through to the canvas, and less than a 100km later a sidewall failure on the replacement Gatorskin from the same company.




This led me to question why the Gatorskins have a good reputation. It would seem the results of a search for “gatorskin puncture resistance” returns a different set of results to “gatorskin sidewall failure” – the later showing that these tyres are indeed, made of a stinky, soft substance known as cheese.

Footnote: Please be aware that the manufacturer states on their website that this tyre is made of Duraskin-anti-cut fabric, and not cheese as I allege. The manufacturer should know more about their product than I.
A durable carbon black mixture, a well regarded puncture protection system and DuraSkin-anti-cut fabric turn the GatorSkin, formely known as Ultra GatorSkin, into a real long distance runner.