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These tires are lovely and light and because of the suppleness of the casing, they are very responsive. That, however is it's largest downfall. The sidewall is tremendously fragile and if something nicks the sidewall, you will have a catastrophic puncture and it will not be repairable. You will lose all air instantly and if you are cornering, you're going to be in trouble. I didn't see anything that might have caused my flat, but I'm glad I was rolling on the flat ground. I've ordered a replacement, but this happened in the first couple of hundred miles, so if they leave me walking again, I'm done.
I have been riding the Martello as a rear tire for over a year now in rough New Mexico trail single track conditions. No flats or punctures despite riding 4-5 times per week in cactus, goathead, and big sharp stone territory. Tough robust casing that is not heavy and actually on the light side, and excellent grip and handling in loose and firm conditions. Unusually, these tires need to be broken in (4-10 rides) before they lose their bounciness and slight slipperiness. After that it's all good. Highly recommend these tires over other brands (I've tried just about all of them).
Full Disclosure, I am a former professional bicycle mechanic. During peak season in Northern California where people run over "goat head" thorns, it's not uncommon for me to have changed 20 sets (i.e. 40) of tires in a given 8 hour shift--5 days a week for the 2-3 months of the year. It's fair to say I've changed more than my fair share of tires.
I would venture to guess that the people that complain or comment about the difficulty to install tire may not know about tire/wheel geometry in general--the central channel in the wheel is many millimeters, as much as 20-30mm in some cases SMALLER than the bead diameter of the tire designed to install on the wheel. The "trick" is to drive both sides of the bead toward the central channel of the wheel and you will virtually need no tools for any tire install.
On DT Swiss wheels, I was able to install these with the given tools, but I've had certain wheel/tire combinations that were WAY more difficult to install than this (e.g. WTB mtb wheels to WTB mtb tires) without the insert.
In terms of performance, I've run 33mm cyclocross tires with these down to 25 psi and while I previously would have bottomed out the rim 3-4x a lap and could feel the abrupt "clunk" of the wheel to the root or obstacle, I can run the same pressure and only clunk the wheel on a badly mis-timed bunnyhop over a curb or barrier.
Used on my wife's Specialized Turbo Levo SL. She also has them on her Ibis Ripley so my comments cover both bikes but the same tire insert. Definitely easier to install then the Cush Cores on my Ibis Ripmo. Neither of us have had any issues at all on the 3 bikes, no pinch flat, cornering seems improved but that could also be a figment of my imagination since I didn't run them back-to-back with no insert. The area I can confidently say is an improvement is traction with the lower PSI we run. That is true with both the Cush Core and the Vittoria, but the CC's cost more.