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.