16. aug. 2013

Continental Ultra Sport Test

The Continental Ultra Sport tires are made by the German manufacture meant for the people who aims after some cheap budget tires, that aren’t meant for great speed, but more good tires for a small price. They came as standard with my Scott Speedster S20 equipped on AlexRims Race 28 Pro wheels.

On the road
They weigh 250 grams per tire, 45 grams more than GP4000S, and 30 grams more than the Ultra Race. Weight is a big factor when it comes to wheels, and especially at the tires, because they are the outer part of the wheels. Wheels inertia is very important when it comes to acceleration, and pro riders would rather save 100 grams on the wheels, than 500 grams on the frame and own body. They are just a little bit harder than the Ultra Race to get in speed (it can just be my imagination of course, but they do feel a bit better at that), which also counts for the GP4000S that feels a little bit easier to get in speed.

I have been using them for about 1½ years, ridden 4000 km in that time, and they have been doing somewhat decently. The rolling resistance seems to be higher than what I am used to, but that was expected. They are still easy to maintain a good speed in, and the grip in corners are just fine. Also in wet conditions. I do not feel insecure in corners with them at least.
I have had a single puncture with them, which is due to them wearing out quickly. The rear tire was more or less ready to be shifted out after 3500 km, which I did not do, and paid the price of a flat, due to not much rubber was left. That is a big minus in my book that the tires cannot last longer than that. The front tire seems more used too than they should. But that is what you pay the price for.

I have tried both the more expensive GP4000S and Ultra Sport, and I must say that they are the slowest of the three. Compared to the Ultra Race, I was 0,5-1 km/h slower on the Ultra Sport. And the GP4000S are additional 1,5 km/h faster than the Ultra Race. There is really a lot of speed to gain with better and more expensive tires. If you do not think that the tires really can do so much of a difference, I recommend you to read this. Nevertheless, the price and quality (if quality equals speed) follows each other’s at Continental.

The Verdict
I will not recommend these tires. They do not last very long, and they are really slow. For not much more euro’s will you be able to buy the Ultra Race that is a lot better overall. Especially with the endurance of the tires, there is quite a big difference, asw well as in the speed. I really think you should spend those extra bucks on the Ultra Race, or go after the GP4000S if speed is the thing you want.

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