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Anyone using Conti tires they like?

Old 12-20-17, 08:37 AM
  #1  
jefnvk
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Anyone using Conti tires they like?

As it turns out, my new job gets me a pretty substantial corporate discount on Conti tires. I am putting in an order for my road bike, and figured I'd see if anyone is touring on them, as I have another touring project in the works that'll need a set soon too. Looking for something in the 32-37 range that'll handle mostly on-road with a credit card load and my 220# self, but wouldn't be awful on dirt. I like my Travel Contacts for their purpose (substantial rough dirt road riding), just looking for something a bit more road oriented.
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Old 12-20-17, 08:49 AM
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Would Gatorskins be too road-oriented for you? They top out at 32mm, and they're basically slicks, but they're the toughest tires I've ever used. I used to commute to a job on the Indian reservation south of Chandler, where the road was covered with thorns, broken glass, plus nails and other nasties from from a mobile home construction yard. I only had 3 or 4 flats over the 4000-mile life of the tires, and they were the 23c version! The Serfas Seca tires originally on the bike would go flat every 50 miles or so.

I've read they're not as good in the wet, but I don't get many chances to test that here.
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Old 12-20-17, 08:59 AM
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I've only ever had 23mm gatorskins, they were tough but they rode like cement and were crap in the rain. HOWEVER (and this is hearsay), I've heard that the wider Gatorskins are a much better ride.

I have some 28mm conti tour rides that I've never had any problems with, but they aren't particularly fast. I have some CX kings in 35s that are OK but a little prone to pinch flatting, but those wouldn't be a great option for road/gravel anyway.
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Old 12-20-17, 09:06 AM
  #4  
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yes use conti hardshell gatorskins 700x28 on my thorn audax even done loaded touring on them they are fantastic tyres best i'v ever ridden ,go buy them you wonder why you never had them years ago.
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Old 12-20-17, 09:46 AM
  #5  
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OP, whatever you get, try to use Conti tires that were made in Germany. Conti has been outsourcing a lot of their tires to other countries, and while you'll pay full price for them, all you are really getting is the brand name. I bought a set of these recently:

https://www.amazon.com/Continental-T...X39&th=1&psc=1

Complete garbage workmanship, lumpiest tire I have ever bought. So uneven that you'd be wasting your time even truing the wheel you mounted them on. The whole bike shook when you spun them. Very heavy too.

Found out later they were made in India. It looks a lot of manufacturers are doing this, outsourcing to third world countries, slapping their name onto the sidewall, and still charging full price for an inferior product. I never thought Continental would do this, but it appears they have.
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Old 12-20-17, 10:21 AM
  #6  
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I've been running Gatorskins in 32 for a few years, mostly commuting but a few odd trips thrown in here and there. They're a little stiffer than some other tires that size, but I don't worry about sidewall cuts or flats -- when a Gatorskin flats, it's probably nearly worn out.


The Contact I tried lasted twice as long as most tires I've tried, including the GS. It was near impossible to remove; I tossed it on the third flat when I poked a hole through the tube trying to wrestle the darn thing off.


I had another Continental (maybe a Grand Prix of some flavor?) that was much less stiff than the GS, but it was more susceptible to flats. You pays your money, you takes your choice.
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Old 12-20-17, 11:17 AM
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My Koga WTR came with (559-47) Conti Travel Contact, * As I wrote previously, more the "Experts"

repeatedly offering the smooth center band was a result of my ignoring the wear on my knobby tire..
[*these have the Gatorskin, a sidewall , casing, reinforcement mesh, (mine in a wider tire)..]

they were fine on the road for several years , already 4 years on the bike, an 04 I bought, used, in 08.

.. had me change them to Schwalbes..





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-20-17 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 12-20-17, 01:07 PM
  #8  
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Another vote for Conti Gatorskins. I've been commuting on Gatorskins for 15 years and love them. I run 32's. I also have used them on my training bikes* and run Conti Tubulars for my race ti(y)res.* Couple of things about Conti's. Go with the folding bead, not the wire, and two, I had problems with my Gatorskins about 7-8 years ago. The sidewalls were very sensitive and would start to shed a bit of the fabric/string at times if even looked at funny. They must have fixed the problem as I haven't had any issues for a few years. I'm definitely a fan.


*25's
**19mm/22mm's
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Old 12-20-17, 01:21 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

How bad is "not good in wet"? I've crashed in wet before, bit leery about that. Looks like I can get the Gatorskins for about $24, maybe I'll give them a go (although, kinda annoying my employee discount ends up being only slightly better than British retailer pricing ).

Tour Rides come out the the princely sum of $9 each, figure I might spend a bit more money than that!

Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
Conti has been outsourcing a lot of their tires to other countries
Yeah, if you go to their page, they actually have a "Made in Germany" search option. That said, my Travel Contacts came from India, I don't have a whole lot of complaint other than they are a bit beefier than what I think I need.

Last edited by jefnvk; 12-20-17 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 12-20-17, 02:00 PM
  #10  
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I did a 2 week tour in Switzerland last September on 28mm gatorskins. Had 30# in the rear panniers, and 175# of me. 4 days of rain, no problems. The bike routes there are mostly paved, but in more rural areas they are packed dirt. Gatorskins handled it a1l great. All except for the pinch flat because I was stupid on one of those dirt paths!
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Old 12-20-17, 02:15 PM
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Bring a 3rd tire?
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Old 12-20-17, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Bring a 3rd tire?
Nah. I did in Iceland because of the lack of supply shops, I'm not worried about that in the hopefully upcoming France.
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Old 12-20-17, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
How bad is "not good in wet"?

FWIW, I think I remember one slip in the wet on white crossing paint with a GS.


Some people treat every ride as a training ride for crit racing, and want to know how far they can push before they find the limit. I've got more of a tourist's perspective. Especially when it's raining, I wonder, "How long will it take an ambulance to get here? and how far away is the hospital?" Strangely enough, I still carve some corners (on dry pavement) and enjoy my time on the bike.


YMMV.
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Old 12-20-17, 02:36 PM
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Southern Scotland, I swapped rears when a sidewall burst, had the spare on hand.

Was not on the Koga WTR, Back then..
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Old 12-20-17, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Some people treat every ride as a training ride for crit racing, and want to know how far they can push before they find the limit.
I did that on the 13% gravel grade in Iceland. Probably wasn't smart, but I'm still alive! Past that, I think I averaged a moving speed around 11MPH on the past two trips. Certainly not winning any crits (I hope) at that pace
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Old 12-20-17, 03:27 PM
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Top Touring II is all I have ever toured on, both on and off pavement. Make sure it's the II model (which is folding), not the plain old Contact. Big difference. They come in 37c. Think maybe 32c as well.
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Old 12-20-17, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Top Touring II is all I have ever toured on, both on and off pavement. Make sure it's the II model (which is folding), not the plain old Contact. Big difference. They come in 37c. Think maybe 32c as well.
Oh yeah, looked at those the other day, I really liked the looks of them but couldn't dig much up on them. Glad to hear a vote of confidence for them. They're available in both 32 and 37, I know I can fit 40s on the bike I'm playing with, gotta play around and decide if I can fit 37s with fenders or not.

They actually seem to be ones I can get fairly cheap compared to online, $28 for the folding Top Touring II reflective wall version

Last edited by jefnvk; 12-20-17 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 12-21-17, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
They actually seem to be ones I can get fairly cheap compared to online, $28 for the folding Top Touring II reflective wall version
That's pretty much half price.
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Old 12-21-17, 06:07 PM
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My wife runs Travel Contacts on her tourer. She complains about them looking like they'll skid, but in reality they are quite capable. She's only concerned because they are slick in the center and knobby around the edges. They look funny to her, but she's totally uninformed - rather she's not even the slightest bit interested in learning about bike stuff. She just gets on and rides.

I like the Traffic series on my cruisers.
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Old 12-21-17, 06:09 PM
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We've put quite a few miles on 28 mm Ultra Gatorskins (I'm not sure these are still available) and 32 mm Gatorskins, including some gravel. They were good tires, except in puncture vine areas. I don't think that will be a problem in France

This 5 mile downhill section of construction was handled easily with 28 mm Gatorskins. We went with 32 mm when they became available in the U.S.

Last edited by Doug64; 12-21-17 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 12-21-17, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
...gatorskins, they were tough but they rode like cement.
Seriously. These are the hardest tires I've ever ridden. At this point I figure you may as well make sure you get No flats and just ride a solid rubber tire. I'm kind of surprised to see so many people recommending them. I would recommend avoiding gatorskins unless you don't care about ride quality and having a tire that is supple at all.
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Old 12-21-17, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
My wife runs Travel Contacts on her tourer. She complains about them looking like they'll skid, but in reality they are quite capable. She's only concerned because they are slick in the center and knobby around the edges. They look funny to her, but she's totally uninformed - rather she's not even the slightest bit interested in learning about bike stuff. She just gets on and rides.

I like the Traffic series on my cruisers.
Oh no complaint about them skidding on my part, I liked them for their intended usage. To me they just felt heavy and overbuilt for my newly intended purposes. Not the best for road touring, but definitely at home on my "rough roads" touring bike. Plus they were way too finniky with pressures, anything under 75# or so they turned into dogs, compared to my Paselas which chug along fine at any pressure.
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Old 12-21-17, 10:11 PM
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For what it's worth I've ridden extensively with a tour ride on the back of my bike, it was cheap and surprisingly high quality. I never felt like I was slowed down much and the only flat I got was from a staple in the road I didn't see (went all the way through to my rim tape) though I've never toured on it I've ridden with 45# over the rear wheel and it performed well for me in Seattle with all the rain and mixed surfaces. Next time it's time for tires I'll probably get them again, this time on the front as well
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Old 12-22-17, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Seriously. These are the hardest tires I've ever ridden. At this point I figure you may as well make sure you get No flats and just ride a solid rubber tire. I'm kind of surprised to see so many people recommending them. I would recommend avoiding gatorskins unless you don't care about ride quality and having a tire that is supple at all.

IME Gatorskins are about halfway between the lightest, most flexible 32 width tires I've ridden, and the heaviest, most inflexible, wear-forever, flat-resistant tires. In other words, it's a pretty decent, middle of the road choice.
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Old 12-22-17, 10:47 AM
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Another vote for Top Touring II... but man, they have a great selection of tires that could be put to work on a touring/trekking bike. Tough decision. I don't think anyone else really beats Continental for their reputation and selection.
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