|LaVogue Bicycle Shop in Hoquiam, Washington - Conveniently Next Door to Tully's Coffee|
Lately, I've had a failure progressing on Frankenbike's Armadillo front tire. Having had "ABC" failures in the past, I have kept a close eye on it. One problem, however, is that there's really no place to get a 27 inch tire here in Ocean Shores. Ace Hardware actually has "Bell" brand 27 inch tires, but they weigh at least as much as the Armadillo and I really don't trust Bell components other than tubes and helmets.
|Can You See Why the Tire Was Making Funny Noises?|
There IS a bike shop 15 miles away in Hoquiam. What's more, an express bus runs from Ocean Shores to Hoquiam, though I've heard tales of where it discharges its passengers - a locale nicknamed "felony flats." Luckily for me, my brother-in-law (BIL) in Everett required a visit - going to Everett and back from Ocean Shores using public transit is really a multi-day affair if you aren't going to motor there. I first stopped by the bike store in Hoquiam, but they didn't have anything much more appealing than the Ace Hardware Bell tire. I like the Hoquiam store, though it lacks the "spiff" of a Performance Bikes locale. After continuing, I stopped at a bike store I favor that's close to my BIL's house. They didn't have anything fancy, but the Specialized Trisport, made in Taiwan, seemed several steps better than the alternative Chinese "noname" tire and it was much lighter than either it or the Armadillo it was destined to replace. Reviews on the Trisport are mixed, but unlike the Armadillo, it does not indicate it REQUIRES a hook bead rim. After conversation with the bike shop guy about the tire and its intended rims, I splurged for less than HALF what it's cousin, the Armadillo, would have cost. Heck, if my tire's going to fail due to tread separating from the casing, I might as well spend a little less.
In summary and without further ado, I do NOT recommend Armadillos for old (non hook bead) 27-inch rims. They will eventually blow off same if you pump them up to their specified pressure. Their tread doesn't stay attached to the casing any better than a $5 Chinese tire, and they ride like wood. And that doesn't consider that their traction in wet conditions is, to put it charitably, "challenged." Oh, forgot to mention that they weigh a ton and cost almost as much as the excellent Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tires that unfortunately are not available in 27-inch size.
|Tread is Becoming "Dearly Departed" Though the Casing is Still Intact The Sidewall was Originally a Dark Red|
UPDATE: In response to Khal's comment, take a look here, here, and here to see more about using Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tires. They're still on my "good" list though they're even MORE expensive than the Conti Gatorskins. I like them despite their own particular faults. The Contis are not available in 27" size and I'd be VERY reluctant to use folding tires on an old rim in any event.
|That's the TREAD, Not a Tube! The Red is the Remaining Vestige of the Original Sidewall Color|