Specialized All-Condition Armadillo Elite tyre review

Thick-skinned rubber

BikeRadar score3/5

Specialized's Armadillo, with its motorcycle-inspired, dual compound tread, is designed for tackling all weather conditions and claims to be among the best all-round road tyres you can lay your hands on.

Our folding 25mm tyre was a weighty 323g. On a standard rim, it comes up at 25.5mm across – so no short-changing. The 120TPI casing is quite stiff and, combined with a tight bead, makes it hard work to mount them. So make sure you take quality tyre levers with you, as our usual tool-free approach left us struggling a little.

The Gripton rubber compound is thick, unyielding and not that supple. It has slightly deeper sipes than Vredestein's Fortezza and a simpler, more uniform construction.

Specialized claims this is the most puncture-resistant tyre that it has made – and given its construction, we can believe that. Its bead-to-bead protection minimises the risk of cuts to the sidewall.

The weight – about 50 per cent heavier than a race tyre – is evident when getting up to speed. But it’s a fine all-rounder offering few surprises, and its hardy nature inspires confidence when you cut through gravel or hit the lip of a pothole. We wouldn’t choose it for our race bikes, but for year-round commuting or training on poor roads it’s a strong contender.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Cycling Plus is the manual for the modern road cyclist. Whether you're cycling weekly, an occasional new rider or a Tour de France fan you’ll find everything you need.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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