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Old 02-24-10, 03:48 PM   #1
DOS
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Continental "3 Pile TPI" ...WTH

I am in market for some new tires and have been considering these high TPI so called "open tubulars" from various companies. I read a bunch of threads tires and am still considering the whole balance between high TPI ride quality and tire durability so am wanting to make sure I understand the whole TPI thing. I read a recent thread on tire quality,and that helps alot. However, in looking at various tire options, I noticed that the high end for TPI on clincher tires (except those advertised as open tubulars) seems to be 130 or so (Vredestein Tricomps, Michelin Pro Race, e.g). But continental reports its TPI on GP4000 line as "3 Pile/totaling 330 TPI". Am I missing something or is this a marketing thing to make 110 TPI clinchers seem like 330 TPI tubulars by totaling up TPI for various layers of the tire? What does "3 Pile" mean?
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Old 02-24-10, 04:09 PM   #2
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I am in market for some new tires and have been considering these high TPI so called "open tubulars" from various companies. I read a bunch of threads tires and am still considering the whole balance between high TPI ride quality and tire durability so am wanting to make sure I understand the whole TPI thing. I read a recent thread on tire quality,and that helps alot. However, in looking at various tire options, I noticed that the high end for TPI on clincher tires (except those advertised as open tubulars) seems to be 130 or so (Vredestein Tricomps, Michelin Pro Race, e.g). But continental reports its TPI on GP4000 line as "3 Pile/totaling 330 TPI". Am I missing something or is this a marketing thing to make 110 TPI clinchers seem like 330 TPI tubulars by totaling up TPI for various layers of the tire? What does "3 Pile" mean?
The GP4000 is listed as 330 TPI. I'm not sure I believe that either - someone who has ridden equivalent 300'ish TPI tyres should comment e.g veloflex pave/challenge elite/vittora corsa evo cx. If you look at the consturction of the last three I listed and then pickup the gp 4000's, it's noticeably different in terms of sidewall/tread flexibility.

The three I mentioned feel like a thin piece of paper, the GP4000 more akin to a schwalbe marathon.
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Old 02-24-10, 04:42 PM   #3
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I currently have and ride Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX (290 TPI) on one wheelset and Conti GP4000 on another wheelset. The Conti is good tire, but does not come close to the Vittoria in ride quality, so I am inclined to not believe the 330TPI claim.
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Old 02-24-10, 05:20 PM   #4
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The Continental GP4000 is a nice tire, but it doesn't have as nice a ride feel as a Vittoria EVO CX open tubular or a Challenge Criterium open tubular. I've ridden all three of these, and the Continental is definitely not the same type of tire as the open tubulars. The EVO CX's I had were 290tpi, I've got some 700 x 25c EVO CX's on order that have the newer, higher tpi of 320. I'll be trying those out this weekend. As already mentioned, the open tubulars feel more like a piece of fabric than a tire, the Continentals feel more like, well, a regular tire. You can feel the difference on the bike, although it is, admittedly, a subtle thing. But once you've gone there, you don't want to go back.

As for durability and flat resistance, these fancy open tubulars are not good. It's a trade off. But for a clincher tire, nothing rides better-
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Old 02-24-10, 07:22 PM   #5
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Does open tubulars feel like true tubulars?? I have a pair of zeffiro pro and the riding quality is not as far as a cheap ars tubular. ANybody knows if the open tubulars ride like tubulars?
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Old 02-24-10, 09:09 PM   #6
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I have a set of GP4000 tires on one bike and a pair of GP4000S tires on another. I really like the tires.

For some reason, I have always assumed that the "3 plies/ total 330 tpi" meant 3 110 tpi plies. Maybe it's clear from the packaging.
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Old 02-24-10, 11:08 PM   #7
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I ride the Torelli Gavia (320tpi) also the Vittoria CX (290tpi). A tire is called "Open Tubular" when the same casing is used in making a clincher and tubular tire. So in fact you do get virtually the same ride from a open tubular tire as you get from a tubular tire. Since a clincher is not completely round like a tubular then the actual handling in corners is slightly different. A latex innertube will also help with the lively feel of a open tubular. The Continental 4000/4000S are a improvement from earlier Continental tires. But IMHO there is no way as comfortable as Vittoria or Torelli. By the way Torelli offers a 240tpi (Torino) for $35 and is a fantastic tire.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:19 AM   #8
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I want from Michelin Pro Race 2 to Continental Attack/Force to Vittoria EVO CX 2, and cannot tell the difference between them, except how they wear down. IMO it is mostly marketing.

Granted I only have a Vittoria in the back because I wore the rear Continental down to a layer so thin that after my last ride on it (during which I got two flats, hence why it was my last) I ran a fingernail along the inside of the tire and could see it clearly moving beneath the surface of the tire when looking at the outside.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:47 AM   #9
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I want from Michelin Pro Race 2 to Continental Attack/Force to Vittoria EVO CX 2, and cannot tell the difference between them, except how they wear down. IMO it is mostly marketing.
That's good. Won't have to bother with expensive tyres. PR2's are less than half the TPI of a 320 or even 290 vittoria corsa.
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Old 02-25-10, 06:06 PM   #10
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That's good. Won't have to bother with expensive tyres. PR2's are less than half the TPI of a 320 or even 290 vittoria corsa.
This raises another issue. While I notice generally a pretty large price difference between 70 TPI tires and 120 TPI tires, it seems there are plenty Vittoria Corsas or Challenge Criteriums -- 300ish TPI -- to be had at prices comparable to say Conti GP4000 of other similar 130ishTPI tires. At some point TPI ceases to be a predictor of price, me thinks. Perhaps that reflects relatively lower durability of the higher TPI?

Anyway, at the moment I am leaning toward Vittoria Rubino Pro III as a balance between ride and durability, although the 220TPI Diamantes are tempting me as are the relatively low prices of 290 TPI Challenge Elites.

To be honest, if I went with the tire that has most often been recommended by BF posts and friends of mine, I'd probably go with the GP4000; but that whole "3 plies/total 330 TPI" nonsense is annoying me the more I think about it.
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Old 02-25-10, 07:57 PM   #11
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DOS, either you read the ad or specs wrong or the company used a spell checker that didn't have a large enough vocabulary. The conotation of the spec would indicate that the word should be "plies" and not "piles".... well at least it SHOULD be unless the tire has a rather nasty and painful medical condition or is being used to moor boats....
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Old 02-25-10, 08:28 PM   #12
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I can easily tell the difference between a crappy 127TPI PR2 and a super awesome 300+ tpi tyre like the corsas or the pave's. It's like riding on a cushion at the same psi. Feels faster, rides faster.
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Old 02-25-10, 08:29 PM   #13
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DOS, either you read the ad or specs wrong or the company used a spell checker that didn't have a large enough vocabulary. The conotation of the spec would indicate that the word should be "plies" and not "piles".... well at least it SHOULD be unless the tire has a rather nasty and painful medical condition or is being used to moor boats....
No, the first site a saw had "piles" which I thought odd but took in context of a fabric pile, which sorta makes sense. But I think you are correct, plies is the correct word. Either way, measuring TPI of seperate layers of tire then adding them up to get an aggregate TPI is not, strictly speaking, an accurate rendering of tire TPI as I understand it. But everyone raves about the conties -- now if I can figure out whether there is a difference between Grand Prix 4000 and Grand Prix 4000S besides the color of the letters on the sidewall, I'll be all set. Nah, I'm going with the Rubino Pro III.
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Old 02-25-10, 08:35 PM   #14
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I can easily tell the difference between a crappy 127TPI PR2 and a super awesome 300+ tpi tyre like the corsas or the pave's. It's like riding on a cushion at the same psi. Feels faster, rides faster.
I have no doubt. I can easily tell difference between a crappy 127 TPI tire and an even crappier 70TPI. But I don't race and roads around Washington DC (thats a city in USA for the Canadians in audience) suck so I am thinking 300TPI tires might not be the right match for the kind of riding I do.

And speaking of Canadians, not to change subject, but man am I pulling for Slovakia Hockey because after what team Canada did to the Russians yesterday, there ain't NO WAY Team USA is gonna beat team Canada again if they end up playing for Gold.
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Old 02-25-10, 08:42 PM   #15
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I can easily tell the difference between a crappy 127TPI PR2 and a super awesome 300+ tpi tyre like the corsas or the pave's. It's like riding on a cushion at the same psi. Feels faster, rides faster.
Post #2 implies that you haven't ridden 300tpi tires, unless I misread it.
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Old 02-26-10, 11:55 AM   #16
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That's good. Won't have to bother with expensive tyres. PR2's are less than half the TPI of a 320 or even 290 vittoria corsa.
I rode the PR2s when they were new, and hence priced similarly to the Vittoria tires now. When you're buying top of the line clincher tires, I don't think it makes much of a difference what the manufacturer's claims are. Anything you could possibly feel could just as well be placebo effect. The only thing I do objectively notice is how fast they wear--though I did think that I had a feeling of vagueness on the Continentals, like I couldn't really feel the road surface through them as well as I could on the Michelin tires or on the Vittorias.

It is interesting that you went from talking about price in your second sentence to TPI in your third, as if there was a direct correlation between TPI and value (or value and what you pay for an item). Don't fall for the marketing so easily.

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Old 02-26-10, 12:32 PM   #17
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I rode the PR2s when they were new, and hence priced similarly to the Vittoria tires now. When you're buying top of the line clincher tires, I don't think it makes much of a difference what the manufacturer's claims are. Anything you could possibly feel could just as well be placebo effect. The only thing I do objectively notice is how fast they wear--though I did think that I had a feeling of vagueness on the Continentals, like I couldn't really feel the road surface through them as well as I could on the Michelin tires or on the Vittorias.

It is interesting that you went from talking about price in your second sentence to TPI in your third, as if there was a direct correlation between TPI and value (or value and what you pay for an item). Don't fall for the marketing so easily.
No offense, but you should go educate yourself about TPI before telling me it doesn't make a difference. This is common and correct knowledge in the road riding world. High TPI tyres will roll noticeably faster and more comfortable than low TPI tyre, at the expense of puncture protectin.

There are various posts from brandt that say this exact same thing - use google.
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Old 02-26-10, 12:46 PM   #18
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man am I pulling for Slovakia Hockey because after what team Canada did to the Russians yesterday, there ain't NO WAY Team USA is gonna beat team Canada again if they end up playing for Gold.

Sorry, buddy - the women's game was a prelude to a kill.

But, it's never over 'til it's over. The first Can/USA mens game in Vancouver, the Canadians beat the USA in every possible way - except putting the puck in the net.
I think Canada is the most talented team, but a few lucky bounces and a quick goalie and anything can happen!

May the best team win.
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Old 02-26-10, 05:48 PM   #19
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No, the first site a saw had "piles" which I thought odd but took in context of a fabric pile, which sorta makes sense. But I think you are correct, plies is the correct word. Either way, measuring TPI of seperate layers of tire then adding them up to get an aggregate TPI is not, strictly speaking, an accurate rendering of tire TPI as I understand it. But everyone raves about the conties -- now if I can figure out whether there is a difference between Grand Prix 4000 and Grand Prix 4000S besides the color of the letters on the sidewall, I'll be all set. Nah, I'm going with the Rubino Pro III.
On Continental's own bicycle tire web site, they say three plies, not "piles"...

And although they don't really make this totally clear, the implication is that the Grand Prix tires have three plies of 110 TPI material (making it 330 total). I say this partly because I have Conti UltraRace tires on my bike now, which I always understood to be "60 TPI" tires. And the Conti web site says that these are "three plies, total 180 TPI" (again meaning the total of the three plies, as far as I can tell).

As an aside, their web site is also announcing a new tire, a 24mm (not 23, not 25) Grand Prix, for a somewhat smoother ride, as well as supposedly lower rolling resistance. Unlike other Grand Prix models, these are also "three plies, 180 TPI total".

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Old 02-26-10, 06:11 PM   #20
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On Continental's own bicycle tire web site, they say three plies, not "piles"...

And although they don't really make this totally clear, the implication is that the Grand Prix tires have three plies of 110 TPI material (making it 330 total). I say this partly because I have Conti UltraRace tires on my bike now, which I always understood to be "60 TPI" tires. And the Conti web site says that these are "three plies, total 180 TPI" (again meaning the total of the three plies, as far as I can tell).

As an aside, their web site is also announcing a new tire, a 24mm (not 23, not 25) Grand Prix, for a somewhat smoother ride, as well as supposedly lower rolling resistance. Unlike other Grand Prix models, these are also "three plies, 180 TPI total".
Yeah, I dont know where I saw piles but it wasn't the conti site.

Anyway, I have opted against the 300 TPI Vittorias and challenge tires in favor of a bit more durability. I got a good deal 10% off 2010 150 TPI Rubino Pro III tires from bikebling.com; then found conti GP4000S on sale w/ free shipping at probikekit.com (plus I had a 15% off coupon). So I bought a set of those too. By July, I should be able to decide which I like best, so stay tuned.
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