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Continental tire quality -- slipping?

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Continental tire quality -- slipping?

Old 10-08-15, 05:18 AM
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elcyc
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Continental tire quality -- slipping?

I hate to kick the Germans while they're seriously down already (VW dieselgate), but my not-long-ago purchase of some Conti's have left me confused.

Early July 2014, I took delivery of a pair of Continental Touring Plus Reflex Urban Bicycle Tire (26x1.75), purchased in the US from Amazon.
I use them every other day (EOD), only for commuting/errands, with gentle riding on smooth, well-paved SoCal roads. They are always kept inflated 45-50psi (near the top of their range).

(FYI: I had worn out my prev. Conti Top Touring 2000, which lasted 10+ years (5-6k miles).)

I've used them every other day; and they may (as of this writing) have accumulated 1,000 miles. The bike is always stored indoors at room temp..

My grocery-getting Gary Fisher commuter has panniers on front and back, and by the last two-three miles of EOD errand run, the rear has 15-20 lbs more weight (groceries) than the front. So I expect a bit more wear on the rear end.

About 2mos ago, I began seeing some small cracks on the rear tire sidewalls. The problem seems to be slowly getting worse. Otherwise, the tire look great, including the tread, bead and the reflective part of the sidewall.

There are some reports on YouTube also of Conti Town & Country tires splitting and wearing out prematurely.

Has Conti been slipping?

Last edited by elcyc; 10-08-15 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 10-08-15, 07:43 AM
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indyfabz
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First thing you need to know is that not all Contis are made equally. It's my understanding that some models are made in Germany while others are made in Asia. Tomorrow I will be leaving for a three-day, fully-loaded, 160 mile tour on a set of Conti Contact II 37c tires. This model is made in Germany, and this particular set has been on my bike for a long time. They survived a 500 mile trip in the mountains of SW Montana in 2014. That trip included several dozen miles of unpaved roads, some of them very rough and mountainous. No flats. I also rode them during a 450 or so mile tour in the Black Hills of SD, which tour included 100 miles of the unpaved and often Mickelson Trail, as well as other unpaved roads. No flats. Since that time I have also been commuting on them daily. I also road across PA (500 miles fully loaded) in September of 2014, then gave them a break until my SD trip the following year.

Second, years ago I noticed sidewalk cracks. A good mechanic I know said they were superficial and not uncommon on some Conti tires. I was about to start a short tour and was concerned. He said he would not hesitate to set out on those tires. I did and it worked out fine. The sidewalls ended up outlasting the tread.

In sum, I am quite happy with how my particular model has performed. In fact, I have only toured on Contis.
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Old 10-08-15, 08:56 AM
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Both my sets (2004 and 2014) are "Made in India". I don't think WHERE they are made is important.

Here's the video that I alluded to in the OP:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FANSJdk08zk

Last edited by elcyc; 10-08-15 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 10-08-15, 11:36 AM
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Sometimes, if you have a thick tread mated to a relatively flexible sidewall, this kind of crack will form at the parting line.

I only cared to skim the video, but it doesn't look like the guy's tires had actually failed.
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Old 10-08-15, 02:06 PM
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about the video... i don't know why that guy even made it. there is nothing to see that is wrong with the tire.

we have to just accept the word of someone who would admit that they had had a bad experience with a tire, then bought an identical set just to see if what their bad experience would be repeated, is someone whose prima fascie judgement WRT to tires is trustworthy.

BTW, cracks in sidewalls, IME, are nothing to be concerned about. i routinely buy NOS tires that are 20+ years old, and yes, they may show superficial cracks in the sidewalls, but they last as long as the tires i buy that are new.
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Old 10-08-15, 02:48 PM
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I don't worry much if it's just the fine wrinkly cracks where the sidewall flexes.
As long as the rubber is not peeling off in chunks, it is fine with me.
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Old 10-08-15, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
about the video... i don't know why that guy even made it. there is nothing to see that is wrong with the tire.
It's a pretty bold statement to title a video "BIKE TIRE FAIL - Don't Buy These Bicycle Tires!!!"
It's full of those modern buzzwords that draw in casual YouTubers: "Fail", "Don't Buy!!!"
The vlogger has over 9k subscribers, and surely some sponsors as well as PPC ads.
Agreed that the reason(s) claimed in the video are hardly the source (or main cause) of his immediate issue (flat).
About a week after I installed my new Conti's, last year, I got a flat. A construction nail had penetrated the tire. The friggin' road was covered with them -- spillover from a careless contractor who likely left his pickup's tailgate open. Of course that stuff is too boring to make $-generating You Tube video about
I've got one, in any case, for my flat incident: Who's the A**HOLE who didn't Courtesy Flush?!!!

Last edited by elcyc; 10-09-15 at 12:04 AM.
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