Specialized Armadillo Elite tyres are not the lightest or the liveliest, but to be honest if you're considering this sort of tyre then they're not going to be for your light weight wheels on your summer bike, in fact that’s one of my pet hates people who put heavy tyres on light weight wheels and bikes. The kind of two wheeled machine you're going to put them on is the sort of thing that we at Road Rider Review spend a lot of our time on over the winter months, the hack/commute bikes.
If you're going back and forth to work a few days a week and joining in on the club run in the wet and cold you don’t want to get wetter and colder by stopping and having to fix tubes. Not only is it costly to have to replace tubes but it's time consuming, time you could put to better use baking cakes and drinking coffee. The royal we at RRR have come to try out Specialized's all condition Armadillo Elite tyre in a 25mm width (also available as just a standard Armadillo), these have their Armadillo casing and as the name suggests they are super tough.
I have had these tyres on a very long-term test, longer than I thought they would be, three years to be precise, ok so not three years of constant use but three hard winters. Grime, road salt, freezing conditions, rain, glass, thorns and miles, lots of miles. From October when the weather starts to turn until March they have endured it all, they have out lived three rims (one damaged in an RTA) with only one puncture. Specialized's Gripton rubber supplies the grip, and there is plenty of it, and the only thing that keeps you affixed to the tarmac in in wet. The ride feel is obviously not on the same par as a super light high TPI race tyre but it's good enough not to have your fillings fall out over rough open tarmac and it's a lot better than some none puncture resistant specific tyres I have been on.
The Armadillo Elites are 80g a tyre lighter than the standard Armadillo and also at 120tpi it has twice the thread count as well, part of the reason they are lighter is that they are a folding carcass but due to the higher TPI they are a smoother more forgiving ride. As you can see by the photo when I finally took the rear one off it was in a bit of a state, hidden by the mudguard I had not noticed it had started to go through to the case. Im glad to report RRR can highly recommend these for anyone who wants a long lasting high performing tyre that just won't let you down.
All condition Armadillo Elite (Folding)
Weight 25mm, 315g
All condition Armadillo (Non Folding)
Weight 25mm, 395g