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Introduction

One of the most contentious and highly subjective subjects commonly found on bicycling blogs are gear reviews. They are often nothing more than personal preferences based upon unique experiences using individual products. Well dear reader, I will offer you nothing more than my highly opinionated reports based upon my very limited and unprofessional experience with just the stuff I have.

New Tyres & Old Rim


It's been a long time coming... many parts had seen their last mile. Last month I changed out the drive train. This month I added new tyres and replaced a rear rim.

Last year I won a set of Schwalbe Durano DD tyres from Ride with GPS. At first, I was pretty skeptical of running 35c tyres, but after adjusting my fenders to accommodate the wider circumference, I fell in love with them. And after getting over 7k miles on them, I'd use them again without question.


However, I am a long time user of Continentals. I thought it worthwhile to give them a fair comparison. So on the first of May I installed a set of Continental Gatorskin Hardshells. They're not the same width; I dropped back down to 32c because I thought the 35c's were just a tad too wide. (They kicked up a lot of road splash, plus they barely fit within my fenders.)


Well worn and loved. The Schwalbe Duranos have been the best tyre I've ever used. I didn't have a single puncture for nearly the entire year... (with the exception of the last two weeks; when I had multiple punctures on every ride... at least 10!) I hope the continentals hold up as well. I'm looking to get 8,000 miles or one year out of them. That the test.


On go the Continentals along with new tubes. (Yes, I love the yellow valve caps!)


Then not a week after installing the new tyres, my rear rim split! That was a shocker. I ended up walking the last seven miles home from my longest ride of the year too. Yeah, after I had ridden 107 miles, I walked another seven to get home... AND in the dark... AND in the RAIN! (But that's another story: Grosmont & Skenfrith Epic


Yup, that's what a split rim looks like. I just worn the sidewalls down. But with over 24,000 miles, I don't think I've anything to complain about. When did you last ride 24,000 miles? In three years? In all sorts of weather?


I can't say enough good things about Mavic A719's. They may be heavy, but they take a beating without flinching. I ordered these from Rose Bikes out of Germany, they were perfectly true straight out of the box, and I only tweaked them slightly over the course of three years.


Fortunately, I still have the Alex XT19 wheels that shipped with my bike originally. The rear rim has some life left in it, so I'm hoping it will last another few months til I can get a new set of rims. (Or as long as the front Mavic rim lasts!) More to come about shopping for new wheels in a coming issue...

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