Monday, October 1, 2007

Specialized All Conditions Armadillo Elite road tires

The rainy season appears to have begun here in Eugene, OR. My road bike is now setup for it, with the final change being to mount up some Specialized All Conditions Armadillo Elite 700x23 tires. Last year I ran Conti GP 4 Seasons, and prior to that nothing special in terms of a winter tires.

Right off the bat, you can tell these things are grippy, but still seem to roll pretty well. Not as fast as my regular Vredesteins, but good (and I think better than the Contis). Today's ride started out in some pretty heavy rain, and of course with the usual fast long descent from my house down to the first climb. The tires worked great on the descent, and I was immediately noticing how little water they threw off, or rather, threw off at me. Very nice!

Next up, the rest of the ride... What was particularly nice about today's ride was the complete spectrum of weather (absent snow, I guess if you want to be a stickler). I rode for a ways in the rain and then about 30 minutes in, the sun was shining and the roads were totally dry! This gave me a chance to try these tires out under "normal" conditions. Worked well - same as mentioned, slower than the Vreds, but faster tha the Contis, and good all around.

Not much later, I was stripping off my booties, jacket, and gloves, it was getting warm! I also got a chance to do some more significant cornering on descents, and these tires caught my attention - they railed!

Finally, on the final about 20 mins home, it was raining again. Good little descent, and again, great in the corners. Then the burly climb. All in all, very happy wit the new setup.

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