Specialized Hemisphere EX Tire

Highly durable, wide profile recreational tire with Flack Jacket puncture protection for trouble free commuting and touring in all weather and road conditions.

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
Michel   [Aug 09, 2012]
Strength:

Durable, easy rolling.

Weakness:

A little slippery on some surfaces.

I'm a novice old fart bike rider. I've had these on my Specialized Crossroads Sport for about 6 months. I've logged 1000 miles. I inflate them to 75 psi. My bike rides great, it's easy to pedal, I could pedal all day. They are a bit slippery, especially on wet, smooth surfaces but (most important to me) I've not had a flat. I ride 98% on South Florida roads and sidewalks, 2% cutting across grassy surfaces. I'm very satisfied.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Tony_F   Cross Country Rider [May 26, 2010]
Strength:

This is an update, 2 years later than my previous review.

I'm still using and loving these tyres, but now I inflate them to 75 psi.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
csyvers   Weekend Warrior [May 07, 2010]
Strength:

Long Wearing

Weakness:

Heavy, Slippery on almost all conditions, dangerous.

The guy at Mike's Bikes warned me, those guys are good. But I am stubborn, stubborn enough to try to like these things for 2 years. Okay, they roll and wear well. But they are heavy, and on anything but a manicured race-track, very slippery. I don't like to be negative but why even make this tire? I think the guy wanted to sell me a Fast-trak, should have listened. Just writing this so nobody else makes this mistake. Did I mention heavy, pricey and thin? Flats easy....

Similar Products Used: Now using Maxxis Semi Slicks and Panaracers
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
Tony F   Cross Country Rider [Jun 18, 2008]
Strength:

Good traction but low rolling resistance.

Weakness:

Not as quiet as slicks, (but a lot quieter than knobbies).

I very much like these tires.
They are the best commuting tires I've ridden on.
For riding on sealed roads and through road works with a bit of gravel and dirt and the sort of roughness you have to deal with while commuting in all weather conditions - these tires are tops.

They are tough enough to deal with bumps and fractures in road surfaces - I don't have to be careful about that - I can hit 'em hard if I like. They are reinforced with kevlar, and have never flatted. They are stable and secure and predictable. They look bulky but they are actually quite light.

They are much better than any slicks I've used (which tend to skid too easily - particularly with disc brakes).
I inflate them to 50 psi and they feel great.

I use them on both my bikes. Yep, I love these tires.

Similar Products Used: I've ridden thousands of kilometers on lots of tires on lots of bikes.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jimbo   Cross Country Rider [Apr 24, 2007]
Strength:

Durable tread, inverted tread design good on rainy days.

Weakness:

Feels heavy and stiff at 55+ PSI. Sidewall casing cracks.

Bought these tires back in 2000. These tires will last until the sidewalls begin to crack and weaken. Keep an eye on them. Specialized may or may not have fixed this. This flaw is or was a fairly big manufacturing problem.

Now, leaving that aside, the irony is that the tire, because of the inverted tread design, is not, in my experience, any more puncture resistant than any other non-reinforced tire. Actually I've had more flats with this tire than I did with a worn out maxxis worm drive slick. This is because sharp road debris (usually glass) tended to get lodged in the inverted tread where it had a further chances of puncturing the tire with each revolution. One of the few times I've had a flat on the front was with these tires. With a pure slick the object likely would have either punctured the tire on contact - or just flung off.

My other complaint about these tires is the harsh ride compared to other tires I've tried at the same pressure. I have to run mine around 50 max or else its pretty rough on the bumps. This is probably a problem with all thick tires though.

Try it if you want an overall durable (ie: long lasting) commuting tire because you wear other tires out quickly.
Just don't expect any special puncture proof super powers in this instance. As for the sidewall, I've had my tires almost 7 years and had to throw one out this year because the side casing would surely have burst had I gone with it this season. I did notice cracking in the first year though, but thought nothing of it. I've heard stories of people returning them within months. Your mileage may vary. A shame because the tread, after 15,000km, showed virtually no wear.

Similar Products Used: Wormdrive, Tioga City Slicker
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Adam   [Jan 24, 2003]
Strength:

Seem Strong, grippy for wet weather

Weakness:

A tad on the weighty side for S.F. hills, vibration is annoying.(but that's not their fault; -I'm used to actual 'slicks'...)

I've only had these tires a short time & frankly I wasn't expecting to feel a real difference from my old tires(which finally started flatting due to glass & rocks & stuff)but boy was I wrong.

Oh well...

So far I've only run them at lower pressure due to the rain we've been having tho' they are supposedly good to 80 psi which may make them handle differently & they've been fine.

As I say a bit heavy & I'm not used to the noise & the accompanying 'butt-massage' one gets with these types of tires but at least they are going to be better during the winter.(hopefully)

I've since pumped them up to 60 as things have dried up a bit out there.

I'm hoping for a decrease in the above-mentioned 'weaknesses'.

I'll probably keep 'em on since they are the best I have & are supposed to be durable.(I'm on a budget)

By the by: I'm over 180 lbs but I generally try to follow manufacturers instructions & I believe these are rated from 35-80 psi.

Then again I'm not an expert so what that other poster did may have been totally safe & ok.

PPS: my ratings may not be entirely 'up to date' & thus may be slightly 'undervalued'; -I'll try to update later if I can...

Similar Products Used: Specialized Nimbus EX, Gaux Street Runner.(will try to do a review of those since there aren't any yet & I used them for a good deal of time)
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Joe   Weekend Warrior [Oct 25, 2002]
Strength:

great traction on road and riding down parking garage smooth concrete. work well in wet weather for comuting in the rainy pacific northwest.

Weakness:

can be scary in wet grass or painted lines on roadways when wet. loose pack or gravel leaves much to be desired, but they are a smooth tread design meant for pavement. work well on hard pack singletrack.

great tire for summer use in my parts. excellent flat resistance so far great tread wear, awesome traction on dry roads and paved paths. very inspiring in the corners. A little narrow for much off road use. would recommend to anyone who mainly rides in town or commutes much. low, low rolling resistance. can be run at very low air pressures 30-35. and I am 180lbs.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
david   Cross Country Rider [Jul 29, 2005]
Strength:

flat resistant

Weakness:

sidewall failure

Purchased 1st specialized armadillo Hemisphere ex tire (red/orange sidewall) as replacement for worn front tire. Wanted a tire that was resistant to flats. I had heard about these Armadillos and purchased one from local bike shop in spring of 2004. In October 2004 I needed to replace my rear tire due to puncture so I replaced it with the same Specialized tire.

These tires are great as it concerns being punture proof or resistent to flats. However I recently noticed that the sidewall of my front tire (purchased in spring of 2004) had noticeable splits or tears running from the rim to the tread in more than one spot.
I then decided to look at my rear tire (purchased spring this year) to see if same problem existed. Noted that there were areas where splitting or cracking was in inital stages (not as visible as on front tire).

I contacted my local bike shop and was told that Specialized warranted their tires for one year. The fron t tire was in excess of one year and the rear was less than one year. In any event they told me that they would have to send the tires back to Specialized and it would be their decison if I was covered on the newer tire however I would have to pay a shipping and service fee about $20.

I then contacted Specialized and explained the problem, I virtually got the same response from them including reasons that might have caused this problem such as mis-aligned brake pads rubbing on sidewall etc.

I have decided to just replace these tires without further dealings with Specialized. In my view there appears to be a problem with the sidewall breaking down. Although these tires appear to be great in respect to being punture resisitant if they are going to breakdown at the sidewall within a year then what good are they? I can say that i have lost confidence in this particular product.

I put on anywhere from 4000 to 5000km from April to November on a yearly basis including using an indoor trainer in the winter. My tire pressures are kept at the appropriate levels consistently etc.

Similar Products Used: Continental travel contact, maxiss wormdrive
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
Tim   Cross Country Rider [Sep 13, 2002]
Strength:

Smooth riding on pavement. Respectable traction on packed dirt and gravel

Weakness:

A bit heavy

These are really good tires for 'fun riding' on an antique MTB. Makes road and hardpack faster and more efficient without stranding you on dirt. Not appropriate for aggressive off roading, but won't get you killed either.

Similar Products Used: Various similar semislicks
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
David   Weekend Warrior [Mar 19, 2002]
Strength:

Tough, smooter ride than knobbies. Very purdy with colored sidewalss

Weakness:

Heavy, heavy, and heavy

Good economical replacement for knobbies for riding on pavement and some hardpack. Have yet to test in rain, but seem much faster and smoother than knobbies. Well, one would expect it, wouldn't they? Have not had the opportunity to test the kevlar yet. Will use for touring and commutes. Though some say the nemisis is hard to put on, I had little problems with these.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 13  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.