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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Review: Avocet 700x28 Fasgrip Tires

Lisa & I frequently run Fasgrip 700x32 tires on our tandem when we tour. The tires are incredibly durable (lasting well over 3000 miles, even under loaded touring conditions in the mountains), are smooth, grip well, and are pretty much ideal for the kind of riding we like to do.

For local riding, I thought we might want something lighter and faster, so I mounted 700x28 models of the same tire. Now both the 32 and the 28s are labelled "Duro", which means that they should have an additional mm of tread, which is what you want on a tandem.

Well, a couple of years ago, I discovered that my 700x28s didn't last much past 1000 miles. Subsequently, we didn't ride as much, so our tires were wearing out every 6 months or so, which I thought was fast, but not excessively so.

Well, Mike Samuel found 3 of those on sale at the Bicycle Outfitter, so he mounted them on his bike and rode them on our tour of the Swiss, Italian, and Austrian Alps. After the recent Kiss of Death ride, I looked down and saw his worn out 700x28 rear. Now, Mike weighs around 200 pounds, but nowhere as much as a tandem. I estimate his tire had about 1200 miles on it, with an upper limit of 1500 miles. Granted, these are mountainous miles, but that makes me question whether the 28s really do have an extra mm of tread. In any case, if we had had 3 more days of dry weather in the Alps this year, he would have ridden his tire into the nylon.

In any case, if you area heavy (more than 180 pounds or so), don't think that going from the 25s to the 28s will give you more tire life (at least, in the case of Avocets). You need to go all the way to the 32s.

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