One of the main issues I have had is with tire wear. I had Michelin ProRace2 tires and then after they were discontinued, the successor model ProRace3. They are a bit pricey, though, often listing for more than fifty bucks each.
More importantly, I haven't been happy that the ProRace tire on front wears well while the one on back wears quickly. In particular, the center of a new ProRace tire is raised in a pronounced way that I like to imagine reduces the rolling resistence but on the back this wears away in about 500 miles, leaving a flat spot instead. You can switch the tires front to back, but then the one that was in good shape on the front is quickly in same not-so-good state.
Performance has a tire from Vredestein, the
Fortezza SE Road Tire that for a while was often on sale for around 25 bucks (although now they are $34) and customers mostly seemed to have given them good reviews. I thought I would try a set of those and bought a pair - as it happened, I then got a slash ruining a not-very-old ProRace3 so now I have a Fortezza SE on the back and a ProRace3 on the front. This has worked very well - better, I think than having a Fortezza front and back. The Fortezza is a strange clincher that takes up to 160 PSI and says it needs a minimum of 110! (The ProRace3 has a max of 116 PSI.) I tried putting 140 in the back tire but the back end of the bike become too "lively" so I run with about 120 in back, 110 in front and it seems to work fine.
I can't say that I have a lot of confidence in the grippiness of this set up for high speed sharp turns, or even moderate speed ones in rainy weather, but I don't make high speed turns (much) and try not to ride this bike in the rain - problem solved. The road grip of the front tire, the ProRace3 is probably fine, but I'm a little suspicious of the Fortezza in back, but really I am not sure. I'm not testing it.
Michelin has a new tire that takes the same approach - the Michelin Pro Optimum has different characteristics for the front tire version and the back tire version:
Michelin has developed separate front and rear tires to take into account their specific requirements: The front tire carries 30% of the weight load and absorbs 100% of the braking effect. For this reason, Michelin engineers made it a priority to develop a tire with added grip, capable of providing maximum safety to users on cold, wet surfaces. The rear tire carries 70% of the weight load and absorbs 100% of the torque generated by the bike's forward motion, which affects its efficiency and wearlife. In order to achieve consistent performance, the rear tire now has a longer life, meaning that MICHELIN Pro Optimum Front and Rear tires now have comparable lifespans.(Michelin Pro Optimum Front & Rear)
I suppose comparable tire life spans seems something to suggest as a "feature" since many folks buy the in pairs but as a goal it seems less important than simply having good riding characteristics. And it just seems unlikely - rear tires are going to wear faster, period. I'm figuring I'll go through two Fortezza tires on the rear to one ProRace3 on the front.
Mix and match - a good idea, it seems.
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