I’ve been getting a couple puncture flats lately (two in the last three months). As a commuter it’s frustrating to change a tube that often. So, I decided to upgrade the tires on my bike from the current Michelin City Tire, which I wasn’t too impressed with from the beginning, to these Continental Travel Contact Reflex tires. That and I had to put something new on the Mavic Crossrides that were sitting on my bike.
I chose these wheels for the Duraskin liner that is put in them. I didn’t want to change any more puncture flats and the bead to bead fabric liner paired with the polyamide (fancy way of saying ‘Nylon’) and Kevlar (fancy way of saying ‘bullet resistant’) liner sounded like it would keep things from poking my tubes. The reflective sidewall can’t hurt anything when I’m commuting in the dark. I took a picture to illustrate the reflective sidewall in the gallery above.
Putting them on the new wheels was a piece of cake and it didn’t take long before I felt like I should just put them to the pavement already. I hopped on my ride and away I went. The first ride felt nice. The wheels were smooth and despite their breadth (1.75″), they rolled nicely. As you can see in one of the images in the gallery above, the tread is fairly flat through the middle with the knobbier portions rarely touching the pavement. I saw this in action when I was out riding around. I rode through a section of road that had a lot of dirt on the side and I could see the dirt collecting on the smooth portion of the tire (where there was contact) and no dirt on the knobs on the side.
I’ll put up more detail in a couple of weeks after riding them more. Until then, you can check more out on Continental’s website.
Alright, it’s been a couple of weeks and according to the words above this, I need to tell you something else. I love them! The tires are great. I was a bit concerned about the knobbies on the outside of the tires and how they might affect the ride quality, but they haven’t touched dirt at all. I would say that these tires were tested and designed very well for dual purpose uses (on/off road).
The weather the last couple weeks has been a great mix for testing. I’ve ridden on ice, dirt, dry and wet roads and the tires have been great on all of the above. A couple of days over the past two weeks had really thick fog and freezing temperatures that laid a nice layer of ice over everything. I had the chance to inspect my front stairs up close as I tumbled down them one night! My driveway was slick walking across it in the ice, so getting on my bike in these conditions, I was a bit hesitant. I took it slow and easy, however, and barely spun the wheels.
The last thing that I want to mention about these tires is the hard feel that they have to them when I ride them. I’m not talking about them not giving over bumps, but the fact that they feel solid rolling. I would like to attribute it to the Kevlar band in the tire construction, but that’s just my perception. I have nothing to back that up. Whatever it is, I like it. Drop me a line either in the comments below or in an email and let me know if you have these tires or what you are contemplating getting!