Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Slow Tires-Conti City Tours

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Slow Tires-Conti City Tours

Old 01-12-09, 07:10 AM
  #1  
mjw16
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,096

Bikes: IRO Model 19, Surly Crosscheck, 1989 Arnie Nashbar, Cannondale CAADX, Niner Air 9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Slow Tires-Conti City Tours

After a week + of riding my new Conti City Tours (I accidentally referred to them as the Top Touring in another thread), I can say that they are the slowest, mushiest, most frustratingly poor handling tires that I've ever used. I wanted the enhanced flat protection and traction they offer for the Winter months and thought that, if I bought the right size (700 x 28), I wouldn't lose too much speed. Boy was I wrong. The rolling resistance is incredible. So much so that I've stopped several times to: check for flats, check the cranks/chain etc, dragging brakes, etc. I've even pushed so hard that I've had to stop to catch my breath several times on my regular, 9 mile commute. Even over-pressurized by 5 to 10 pounds it still feels as though I'm trying to pedal through moist soil. The only comparison that comes to mind is when I had Nokian studded winter tires on an old mountain bike. In fact, I don't remember those feeling quite so bad. In addition, the Conti's are slow to turn in, wander badly, and bounce like balloons. I used to average 19/20 mph on my daily commute but am now hard pressed to get to 16-it's that bad. I'm now averaging 14/15 and am struggling. In fact, I am now getting dropped by much slower riders--on hybrids. When I get off the bike now I'm winded and my legs are tired. The funny thing is that I'm a fairly strong rider and work on increasing leg strength in the gym during the Winter. I just hope that the trade off is fewer (no) flats, that will make up for the loss of speed that I'm accustomed to. My plan is to remove them by mid-March, hopefully by then my legs will be much stronger for all the extra effort. Anyone else have a similar experience? If I can't make it to March, what's a good alternative for a decent rolling, high traction, year 'round tire?
mjw16 is offline  
Old 01-12-09, 11:14 AM
  #2  
rturpen
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Try their GP 4000 tire, has a vectran liner, same stuff used for the airbags on the mars rover landers. They are pricey, but they are the best handling tire I have ever used, very fast, commute all the time on them, never had a flat and I have to ride through a few areas strewn with glass and who knows what else.

I use the 25's
rturpen is offline  
Old 01-12-09, 11:41 AM
  #3  
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,375

Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
28mm Conti Ultra Gatorskins are another good choice. That's what I ride year 'round, with the exception of a few weeks that I have to throw the studs on for some snow/ice.

Nice handling, excellent grip in all weather, fantastic flat resistance, and a long-wearing compound that doesn't feel like you're riding through oatmeal.
__________________
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.
CliftonGK1 is offline  
Old 01-12-09, 12:33 PM
  #4  
knobster
.
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Posts: 3,981

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix Comp, Soma ES

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I second Clifton's comment. I use the 25mm version and wouldn't use anything else. Only one flat in 5k miles. Still look pretty good. They can be a massive PITA to get on some wheels though. Campy wheels especially.
__________________
Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.
knobster is offline  
Old 01-12-09, 01:01 PM
  #5  
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,375

Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by knobster View Post
I second Clifton's comment. I use the 25mm version and wouldn't use anything else. Only one flat in 5k miles. Still look pretty good. They can be a massive PITA to get on some wheels though. Campy wheels especially.
Steel levers. The first time I tried to mount a pair of Conti UGs, I broke 2 plastic levers, cut my finger and a tube, and invented a new swear. Switching to steel levers solved these problems.


Conti UGs on Wolber Alpine T170, Alex DA16 and DT RR1.1 rims are all a pretty tight fit.
__________________
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.
CliftonGK1 is offline  
Old 01-12-09, 04:17 PM
  #6  
knucklesandwich
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 909

Bikes: Kona Jake (2006)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had the same experience with a pair of Conti Sport Contacts (700x28) a year or two back. I struggled through about 700 miles with them and finally dumped them after a rear flat that was big enough to justify buying something else.

Have had good luck with Panaracer Urban Max (32c) and Bontrager Hardcase (28c & 32c).
knucklesandwich is offline  
Old 01-12-09, 04:47 PM
  #7  
bcarter6
Senior Member
 
bcarter6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Second on the Bontrager Hardcase (28c). Rode about 1500miles on mine without a flat.

Now I am using 23c Conti 4-seasons. They were expensive but very quick, and no flats yet. I like them a lot.
bcarter6 is offline  
Old 01-12-09, 05:10 PM
  #8  
Popeyecahn
Pedo Grande
 
Popeyecahn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Diego
Posts: 872

Bikes: Cervelo C3, Serotta Legend Ti, Vitus 979

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Steel levers. The first time I tried to mount a pair of Conti UGs, I broke 2 plastic levers, cut my finger and a tube, and invented a new swear. Switching to steel levers solved these problems.


Conti UGs on Wolber Alpine T170, Alex DA16 and DT RR1.1 rims are all a pretty tight fit.
Add Sun MZ-14 to that list...

They loosen up with time or should I say the more you fix flats... I can now dismount and mount them with 1 yellow Pedro lever and if I'm feeling good, my hands...

I'd like to get a set for my Lemond, but I'm not looking forward to that first mounting.
Popeyecahn is offline  
Old 01-12-09, 07:01 PM
  #9  
Bill Kapaun
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 12,767

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1369 Post(s)
Liked 597 Times in 446 Posts
I have a set of motorcycle tire irons from 30+ years ago. Very nice for around the house!
IIRC, they weren't too expensive. Steel and about 10" long?
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 01-15-09, 05:39 PM
  #10  
Popeyecahn
Pedo Grande
 
Popeyecahn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Diego
Posts: 872

Bikes: Cervelo C3, Serotta Legend Ti, Vitus 979

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Popeyecahn View Post
Add Sun MZ-14 to that list...

They loosen up with time or should I say the more you fix flats... I can now dismount and mount them with 1 yellow Pedro lever and if I'm feeling good, my hands...

I'd like to get a set for my Lemond, but I'm not looking forward to that first mounting.
Welp, in swapping out the Gators from my Kona to the Lemond, I found the rear had a slice on the sidewall so I went down and bought a new one.

I expected the worst although installing the used ones on the Rolf wheels was reasonable enough, so I used some talcum to ease my pain. Well it eased it alright, I only needed my hands to flip the bead over. I was surprised and felt like a true manly man
Popeyecahn is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 08:44 PM
  #11  
charles vail
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 987
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
what?

Originally Posted by mjw16 View Post
After a week + of riding my new Conti City Tours (I accidentally referred to them as the Top Touring in another thread), I can say that they are the slowest, mushiest, most frustratingly poor handling tires that I've ever used. I wanted the enhanced flat protection and traction they offer for the Winter months and thought that, if I bought the right size (700 x 28), I wouldn't lose too much speed. Boy was I wrong. The rolling resistance is incredible. So much so that I've stopped several times to: check for flats, check the cranks/chain etc, dragging brakes, etc. I've even pushed so hard that I've had to stop to catch my breath several times on my regular, 9 mile commute. Even over-pressurized by 5 to 10 pounds it still feels as though I'm trying to pedal through moist soil. The only comparison that comes to mind is when I had Nokian studded winter tires on an old mountain bike. In fact, I don't remember those feeling quite so bad. In addition, the Conti's are slow to turn in, wander badly, and bounce like balloons. I used to average 19/20 mph on my daily commute but am now hard pressed to get to 16-it's that bad. I'm now averaging 14/15 and am struggling. In fact, I am now getting dropped by much slower riders--on hybrids. When I get off the bike now I'm winded and my legs are tired. The funny thing is that I'm a fairly strong rider and work on increasing leg strength in the gym during the Winter. I just hope that the trade off is fewer (no) flats, that will make up for the loss of speed that I'm accustomed to. My plan is to remove them by mid-March, hopefully by then my legs will be much stronger for all the extra effort. Anyone else have a similar experience? If I can't make it to March, what's a good alternative for a decent rolling, high traction, year 'round tire?
That's weird since after switching from riding a 21 pound 700x25mm tired race bike to Schwalbe 700x42 tires on a Surly Long Haul Trucker at 35 pounds bagged and racked, I don't notice such extremes in rolling resistance. Maybe you have a brake rubbing or a tire dragging the frame or overly tight rear bearings. Rolling resistance can't be that bad.
charles vail is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 09:15 PM
  #12  
fuzz2050
Real Men Ride Ordinaries
 
fuzz2050's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Steel levers. The first time I tried to mount a pair of Conti UGs, I broke 2 plastic levers, cut my finger and a tube, and invented a new swear. Switching to steel levers solved these problems.
Your not going to tell us the new swear?

Had any trouble with the steel levers messing up your rims? I thought there was a reason they stopped making them. These look like a good replacement though

fuzz2050 is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 09:24 PM
  #13  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
there are steel core plastic tyre levers that give plenty of leverage without marring your aluminum rims.

I've had to use steel tyre levers for 26 3/8 tyres before, but those use steel rims so there was no damage.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
https://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 01-17-09, 11:10 AM
  #14  
crhilton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 4,568

Bikes: '07 Trek 1500, '08 Surly Cross Check, '09 Masi Speciale Sprint custom build

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My Touring Plus are 32's and they're okay. They're definitely much less work then my studded tires! But they are quite a bit more work then the cheap racing slicks I use on my other bike. I expect that much out of a 32 with tread.
crhilton is offline  
Old 01-17-09, 12:41 PM
  #15  
Mr. Fly
Senior Member
 
Mr. Fly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley, CA.
Posts: 662
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by charles vail View Post
That's weird since after switching from riding a 21 pound 700x25mm tired race bike to Schwalbe 700x42 tires on a Surly Long Haul Trucker at 35 pounds bagged and racked, I don't notice such extremes in rolling resistance. Maybe you have a brake rubbing or a tire dragging the frame or overly tight rear bearings. Rolling resistance can't be that bad.
According to Analytical Cycling, for a typical person on a typical bicycle (total weight is 75 kg or 165 lbs), the power required to achieve 20 mph is about 165 watts on a fairly rough road. To achieve 15 mpg, one will require about 85 watts. Alternatively, the rolling resistance will need to increase 3 times (from 0.008 to 0.024) to see speed drop from 20 to 15 mph, given the same power at the crank.

Given these significant differences, if I have to guess, I will say that something else other than an increase in rolling resistance is at work here. It most likely isn't the tire.
Mr. Fly is offline  
Old 01-17-09, 12:41 PM
  #16  
morganw
benter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 72

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur w/ GMAC, Bacchetta Giro 20, Specialized AWOL, Breezer Downtown EX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mjw16 View Post
The rolling resistance is incredible.
I feel your pain. I bought a used recumbent that came with a Primo Comet 406x37 in front & Panaracer Pasela 559x32 in back. I wanted something with reflective sidewalls & thought the Marathon Plus was awfully heavy (and expensive) so ended up with Vittoria Randonneurs in 40mm width. There's also a Marathon "Racer," that's lighter and still has reflective sidewalls (in pictures), but I couldn't find it on Schwalbe's web site.

Felt like I had a brake pad dragging. I did a quick (for me- 22MPH in places) short ride yesterday with the pannier off & it helped me feel like I can be fast again.

[further research, realizing I kind of gave up on finding the Marathon Racer]

so... the original tires were *really* light. 320g/300g (ETRTO 406/559) with wire beads. The Marathon Racer is comparable if diameter/width are matched, but the original rear was awfully narrow: not a great idea with my weight. I think I'll try them in 40mm next.

There is a Schwalbe in-between the Marathon Racer & Marathon Plus-- the plain ol' Marathon comes in the exact same size and weight as the Vittoria & costs about the same too.

Last edited by morganw; 01-18-09 at 11:42 AM.
morganw is offline  
Old 01-17-09, 01:33 PM
  #17  
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24,360

Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
WTF is a 'City Tour'? I don't believe I have ever seen that particular tire.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline  
Old 01-17-09, 07:53 PM
  #18  
gonediesel
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
City Tour?

Can you provide a link to those city tour tires? I am looking for some new tires and would lile to avoid these. I was looking to get the Conti Touring Plus Reflex. I have the Conti Gatorskins 25s and have had to many flats. I have had considerable amount of pinch flats which is a weight and road condition issue. I ride through several miles of construction area and at night is bit tough to negotiate road debris and uneven pavement. But like last night quite often I will get a thorn or small hole from who knows what in the front gatorskin. I am thinking if I go with a 28 in the Conti Touring Plus Reflex I may reduce the pinch flats until I get clean road. Not sure if my thinking is correct though. Opinions?
gonediesel is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.