The world’s fastest mountain bike race tire now gains the world’s best puncture-resistant technology. The Fast Trak has proven itself on the World Cup XC circuit time and time again, and our new lightweight Armadillo Elite armored casing fends off nearly all punctures while adding less than 2 ounces to this already lightweight tire.
a Cross Country Rider
from Winnipeg, MB, CANADA
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2009
Strengths: Very fast rolling tire with minimal rubber defects on the tread. Fairly light compared with other tires I've used.
Weaknesses: Sidewall gave out at the bead on my rear tire (not surprising since I'm 6'2" 245 lbs). This tire needs to be in the upper ranges of it's inflation pressure (65 psi or higher).
These tires are good all around trail and commuting tires for all seasons (-40 F to +100 F). These are for people who can only have one set of tires and use their bike for pavement, mud, gravel, singletrack, and winter (even all in one ride). They roll very smoothly and I have yet to have a flat in them. I don't find the beads as tight as other tires I've had (Michelins), but are not as loose as my Panaracers which show half of the bead when fully inflated at 60 psi (to support my winter blubber). I've got them on two different rims (Rolf Satellite in front and a Mavic x221 in the rear). The rear was probably underinflated for my weight and the sidewall tore away from the bead along a 2 inch section making the tire bulge out to the side and hit the brake pad. There are a number of flex marks that have exposed the threads of the sidewall indicating some material fatigue. I've found these to be almost as smooth rolling as my Continental Top Touring 2000 slicks (which do flat a lot and do have a tight bead). Worth the money for a pair. Good in winter too from sandy slush to hardpack snow and frozen footprint divots. Pretty good traction for a studless tire.
Strengths: Really are punture resistant without adding too much weight. Good tread for hardpack and road.
Weaknesses: Very hard to get on the rim, diameter problems?
I feel that the armiadillo range of tyres may be made with a slightly smaller diameter as these and the crossroads i had on before, were a real pain in the neck to get on and get seated on the rim properly. Normally folding tyres can be fitted without the use of tools but you definately need tyre levers to get these on. These tyres are really worth the effort though as i have been running the back tyre for well over a year and the front for over six months and never had a puncture. I have run armadillo tyres for over three years and never had a puncture in that time, maybe i am not trying hard enough! My bike is used for a work commute (with heavy panniers) and a weekly trip off road on mainly dry hardpack and they have never put a foot wrong, i was running them at 35 psi but went up to 40psi for my last off road and they were even better. These tyres are not as forgiving/grippy/fast as my favorite tyres, Panaracer Fire XC pro kevlar bead but i was getting a puncture every week with those and the novelty soon wears off. Ultimately, it's a trade off between reliability and speed and i know which one i always go for. You can rely on the armadillos, forget they are there and enjoy the riding!
Bike Setup: Kona Blast, Fox F100RLC, Avid Juicy 5s, WTB Speedisk rims.
from ewa beach, honolulu, hawaii
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2009
Strengths: i was able to run them pretty fast while still feeling like i was in control. good traction running on the centerline. Though at first it looked to big and floaty to rely on for solid performance when put through its paces, it held up pretty good through tight manuvering, jumping, and landing. surprising to me. i also like that they are armadillo, cause thats what i run on my road bike. i guess if you like downhill these would be great because they are confidence inspiring at high speeds, but still allow you a good range of motion when you need it.
Weaknesses: little too floaty in the turns; i wouldve liked more solid sides. unless your break them in by leaning alot, this will cause you to decelerate in the turns. also, it is hard to tell when youre at the edge of your traction, so get used to them before trying anything risky. if you are a newbie, buy something with tapered edges and solid sidewalls; dont go for these unless you know that this is really what you want.
they were suprisingly awesome at higher speeds, and through jumps and landings. light manuvering was tight too, but if i could make them perfect, i would have added more solid sidewalls. i suggest putting them to ten or fifteen PSI higher than it says to go for a more solid ride.
Strengths: Will probably wear good and durable side walls
Weaknesses: unpredictable feel. hard to tell when at edge of traction.
heavy for low volume tire and not impressed with traction in rock gardens, sand, or anything other than hard pack, even then not great. very unpredictable in corners and not at all confidence inspiring. going to switch to something else. adrenaline much better all around tire but not made any more. liked mutano raptor in rear (belive it or not)
a Weekend Warrior
from Mesa, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2007
Strengths: Supposed to be thorn proof. The goat heads around here are driving me crazy.
Weaknesses: Slips on my bikes rims no matter how hard I make the tires. This renders them useless because they keep ripping out the valve stem about 10 minutes after I start riding. I have never had this problem before. My rims are designed for Presta valves. I don't know if that is relevant or not.
These tires were a real disappointment for me. Were they slipping because they had the kevlar instead of the wire bead? I have no idea. They also slipped on my wifes trek 930 as well and she had different wheels. I wasted so much time and energy monkeying around with these things. Hoping to get a refund tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
a Weekend Warrior
from Boise, Idaho
Date Reviewed: June 13, 2007
Strengths: Wow! Very smooth ride! Excellent bump absorption. Banshee cornering! Not one flat from either tire in over 4 months! Quiet ride! Cost effective, the money you spend on these tires, you will definately save on tubes, gunk and time! Get them!
Weaknesses: Price. I scratched my head and walked around the showroom for nearly 20 minutes before I dropped almost $90 bucks to take these home.
I bit the bullet and bought these tires because I was having too many flats. I was so sick of constantly changing tubes. Sure, I filled the old tires/tubes with goo and the goo worked. But I had these slow leaks and sudden flats all the time. I hated not knowing if my tires would truely hold. I bought the Armadillo Fast Tracks not because of grip, traction, or rolling resistance. I got them because they STOP flats. Guess what, I got grip, traction, low rolling resistance, and quiet smooth ride right along with the flat free confidence. NO flats since I got these tires. I've saved so much time and cash since I got them. I value my time and cost of flat repair. So I gave them the highest value. Like an investment, their true value is paid back over time. These tires Rock and Roll!
Similar Products Used: Also considered Maxxis Crossmark but went the Fast track as read some reviews about average cornering performance?
Bike Setup: 2007 Specialized S-works Epic
a Cross Country Rider
from Eldridge, IA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 22, 2007
Strengths: I bought these because I ride on single track at a local park with 3-4 others and one of us (or more) got a thorn induced flat every outing. I've used these for four months and they seem to do the trick. I have not noticed a difference (better or worse) than the stock Bontager Jones tires I replaced.
Pricey but good. If you ride in thorn infested areas this is for you.
Similar Products Used: This is the first puncture resistant tire I have tried.
Bike Setup: 2007 Gary Fisher Hi-Fi - close to stock.
a Weekend Warrior
from Littleton, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: November 12, 2006
Strengths: Excellent grip, low rolling resistance, typical Specialized high pressure MTB tire (up to 80 psi), dual rubber compound, puncture resistant.
Weaknesses: The 26x2.20 tire is broader than I would normally choose, and the tire doesn't roll as perfectly true as most I have used. When the rim is trued especially carefully, I'd prefer the tire to come close as well and not exhibit the center tread pattern side-to-side sway several of these have shown.
I like the tire, overall, and am only disappointed in how hard I worked to get the rolling acceptably true and smooth. This tire serves nicely on the hard-pack and smooth surfaces I have used it on so far. Because of the high pressure the tire accepts, it doesn't give much rolling resistance and can eat up miles for the rider without draining one's energy unnecessarily. The tightly packed tread pattern of the Fast Trak series is reproduced in this version with just a bit more rubber (size) on the nobbys. There's no recognizable thumping, little vibration, and limited noise on pavement, because of the Fast Trak pattern which rolls and rides almost like a solid center beaded tire thanks to the number and placement of the nobbys. It may not seem aggressive enough for the most hard-core off road riders here in the Rockies, but this tire can serve well in a variety of conditions and pass for an exceptionally nice cross-country MTB tire.
a Cross Country Rider
from Cupertino, Ca, USA
Date Reviewed: October 11, 2006
Strengths: EXTREMELY nice compared to my old kendas (2.1 i think dunno) more specifically: I've only ridden these for one day. On my old Kendas, on a certain really thorny trail, I would get 1-5 punctures an hour... Very annoying. But on these new ones I went 2 and a half hours and [ab]used them like hell on the thorniest parts. Some of the thorns were sticking to the tires, but they were completely obliterated. Also hte feel of htese tires are very outstanding. These are very stable, and they absorb alot of the cracks and small rocks in the ground. They feel very comfortable.
Weaknesses: installation took to long cause im a newbie.
Amazing tires, worth every penny imo (in my opninion).
Strengths: These tires rock compared to the junk that came on my tassajara. These things fly down the trail. I was getting flats every week with my old tires(I ride hard over rock gardens). I have had these for just under 3 months and I have not had a flat yet. They grip good and have made me a better rider in the turns.
Weaknesses: Kind of expensive.
A great tire that will help you fly through the trails and lessen your chances of getting a flat.
a Cross Country Rider
from Bryan, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2006
Strengths: Puncture resistent
Weaknesses: Diameter of tire bead is too small
The unusually small diameter of these tires (they seem about 1/8” too small) makes them rub up against the rim strip, which causes it to move quite a bit, and in turn, the tube rubs against the spoke nipples and gives you a flat from the INSIDE of the tube. I rode my Crossroads tires for 3 years and had 1 flat. I rode the Fast Traks for 2 days (20 miles) and had 4 flats. The tires are also a pain to mount due to the diameter of the tire bead. I could overlook the difficult mounting if they tires worked as advertised.
Bottom line: these tires gave me 4 flats in 2 days, no thorns needed. I’ll be returning these to Specialized ASAP.