Tires - whats the difference

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18 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

does anyone think there is a material difference among the top end tires? Lets assume they are all 23mm wide and not the ultra light kind. So, for example, I have been riding continental 3000s, but the ad copy says that the continental 4 season is better for cold and wet conditions like we have now. Does anyone believe that? Another question, does brand really matter? Ideally I would like a fast and safe tire and am willing to have different tires at different times of the year.

rants welcome

Anonymous's picture
Neile Weissman (not verified)

"I use the Panaracer TServs 700x32 (actual 28) on my cyclocross. Kevlar bead, kevlar belt ... ""for Messengers"". Not cheap, but light, above average flat protection and very comfortable:

Sid's has 700x32 in stock or can order what size you want.

Also, the similar Pasela line has long been favored by touring cyclists:


I found the 700x23 Specialized Turbo Armadillos to be harsh and prone to sidewall failure when riding with panniers.


Anonymous's picture
ScottD (not verified)
conti GP v 4season

"Like you I've been using the GP3000 for a while, especially for its grip and wet-weather ability. I've put 4Seasons on another bike and been quite pleased. Longer-lasting, slightly better puncture resistance. Not quite as much ""bite"" in dry cornering as the GP3000, otherwise quite similar."

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Force-Attack Too

Scott is correct in his assesment. You might also want to consider Continental Force-Attack tires for Sping-Summer riding. Engineering is the art of compromise, and Force-Attacks are the best all-around set of tires available. And they look great as well...

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

I used to love my GP 3000s - until the sidewalls started to fall apart. I would have threads peeling off and wrapping around my brake pads!

The Michelin Pro Race tires are fast, but only average on puncture resistance.

So, I’ve been using Vittoria Rubino Pro. A little heavier than the Michs, but no flats in about 1200 miles. Of course, I’ve been indoors now for a few weeks.

But, the GP 3000s – I am going back to them now that the sidewall problems are gone. They were fast and strong.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

I never seemed to have much problems with GP3000s even in the years when they were supposedly prone to sidewall problems. For years I ran 700X20c GP3000s at high pressure (140 psi). Yes fast! Supersonics are even faster, but prone to flatting as they are very lightweight. For a while, I experimented with Supersonics in the front and GP3000s in the rear, my own sort of Attack-Force before these tires were available. I kept a close eye on the front Supersonic and reasonably avoided flatting problems but one day at a very high speed I hit a pothole and had a blow-out, the only time this ever happened to me. Thereafter, I went back to GP3000s front and rear. I like performance, but not at all other costs. Then Continental came out with the Force-Attacks and I decided to use them in a race with may fast and notorious descents. I immediately noticed the better grip, with no real loss of performance even given they only come in 22/23 (there is no narrow version). They are now my tire of choice.

Anonymous's picture
Maggie Schwarz (not verified)
tire remove-ability

I'm told Continentals are virtually impossible to remove, that other brands are easier to get off and on.

What's the easiest brand to get off and on and that also is bulletproof? Is it a tradeoff between its being both bulletproof and easy to change?

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Not True

Not true. I can readily get GP3000s, Supersonics and Attack-Force tires off and on with my bare hands.

Anonymous's picture
el jefe (not verified)

On Mavic rims, I can get Conti´s on and off without tools. On my race wheels (Shimano), I tried to get a Supersonic on for an hour. I couldn´t do it even with a VAR lever. When I get back, it´s yours at a good price.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Rim Specific


I was going to add that caveat. Rims do make a difference.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
rim and tire diameters

Rim diameter varies slightly from one manufacturer to another, as does tire diamater. If you're unlucky enough to get stuck with a slightly large rim and a slighly small tire (Specialized are reputedly the worst) you can break metal tire levers trying to mount them.

Less-expensive tires with wire beads are generally much more difficult to mount than those with a Kevlar bead.

My experience so far - Contis aren't very hard to mount though Michelins, Vredesteins, Paribas, and Avocets are easier.

Anonymous's picture
Brad Ensminger (not verified)
Cat-proof tires

Until very recently I have been using Conti 3000s. I loved the stability, lack of resistance and lightness of these tires. But my cat has been using them as a scratching post and left slits on the side walls.

When I went to Gotham to have them replaced they recommended Vredestein Fortezza because the side walls are supposedly stronger.

I've only used them a few times but they seem to have more resistance and feel heavier than the Conti 3000s, even though they are inflated to a much higher tire pressure.

In the long run I will probably stick with the Vredesteins if they hold up to my cat's natural instincts.

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
many years ago...

A friend had tubulars on his bike. He had a cat. The cat tried to use the tire as a scratching post. The tire blew the cat across the room. The cat never went near a bike again.

Anonymous's picture
E.O.T. Oainshrdly (not verified)
Cats who learn lessons

"""The cat, having once sat upon a hot stove, will not sit upon a hot stove again. Nor upon a cold one.""

That's *not* an ancient Montengrin maxim. Mark Twain said it.

Your pal,

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Contis Rule!

I first used Continental 3000's many years ago when many had side wall defects. After about a month or so of use I developed a huge gash in the side walls of both front a rear tires. They were also really hard to get off the Mavic MA 40 wheels I was using at the time so I swore never to use them again.

I tried a whole bunch of tires after that but never had too much luck and was always getting flats. After trying several pairs of Vredsteins with little success, I decided to try the Contis again. Wow! Now I hardly ever get flats and have no problem getting them on and off my Ksyrium wheels - well, the first time they go on is a bit rough but not after that. As far as ride and cornering and all that stuff, I still find it hard to tell the difference between one tire and another. My main criteria for choosing tires is flat resistance and so far, for me, the Contintal 3000's have proven to be the best.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Same observations as El Presidente..

When I first started using Conti 3000s I was pumping them up to 150 lbs and getting losts of perpendicular cuts on the riding surfaces. In the last few years I have taken Uncle Al's advise ( on tire pressure and only going to 100 and less. Now I don't get cuts. But it is possible that the tire composition has changed coincientally. As for changing tires, all tires are impossible to get on or off with my 5 year old Spinergy Spox which use Firr rims. My next set of wheels will be tire change friendly. I'll ask that question before buying as in cold weather a difficult tire change can literally be a life or death situtation. And in good condtitions a quick tire change should be de rigour.

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
That's El ex-Presidente! (nm)
Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
700x25 conti 3000s

This winter I really wanted a decent set of 700 x 25 tires--I seem to get flats too easily on 23s--and I bought the 700 x 25 Conti 3000s. After 1500 miles, I've only gotten one flat, and they have a pretty comfy ride. I think these are a very good choice for club rides.

Anonymous's picture
aw (not verified)
gotham tires

I had the same experience at Gotham. They were pushing the Vredestein Tri-comps over the Conti 3000s. Made me suspicious; but they were quite adamant about the difference I'd feel on my new Kysirium Elites. They were pretty emotional about it. Made me even more suspicious.

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