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tires(18 posts)

Oct 22, 2003 6:35 PM
ok let everyone be warned: hutchinson carbon comp gold tires suck. they are flat-prone and my rear tire blew off my rim yesterday as i was descending at about 35mph (125psi, just like the sidewall says). i need some new tires, and i want something that is fairly puncture resistant, and isnt going to cost me an arm and a leg. (ya, weight is still an issue) what do we think of conti GP3000s? i dont want to pay any more than 40-50 bucks per tire. DO NOT BUY CARBON COMP GOLDS.......aside from their horrid performance, THEY'RE MADE IN FRANCE! please help......appreciated.
Race or Training tires?russw19
Oct 22, 2003 8:04 PM
For training, I really am sold on the Michelin Axial Carbon. Very durable with very good performance for a training tire. I don't race anymore, but I have some race tires... I like the Michelin Pro Race, I have tested the new Bontrager tires (Race X-Lite) and was pleased with them, and I always liked the Conti Gran Prixs.

Race or Training tires?soulsurfer104
Oct 22, 2003 8:28 PM
what exactly is it that you like about the grand prixs and what are their downfalls?
Race or Training tires?russw19
Oct 22, 2003 8:43 PM
I used to race exclusively on the Gran Prixs (the older style, but I quit racing 4 years ago.) They have very good grip in every condition I ever ride in (I live in Florida, so rain or dry pavement, that's it, no snow or slush or ice) and they have great cornering traction. I felt like I could lay the bike down and still hold the corner. And they tend to wear well, but I only raced on my race tires, I didn't train on them, so really one or two pairs would last the whole season. I have never in my life flatted during a race. I have crashed and destroyed a wheel, but never flatted while racing. I don't know if that's the tire, or just stupid luck, but the tire could have been the main factor, I just don't know. I also have never really been much of a weight weenie, so I have no idea about the weights of these tires. Weight was never the big issue for me. I am of the opinion that grip is much more important, and next would be low rolling resistance. I am a bigger guy (even at race weight I was about 175) and was a sprinter, and I live in one of the flatest states around, so I don't care about "climbing wheels" with super light paper thin tires. I want traction when it matters.. corners and sprints. That's what I liked about the Conti's.

Downfall... they aren't cheap. That's really all I have against the Pro Race tires too. I never raced on them, but I ride them now as my performance tires. They seem to me to be just as good as I remember the Conti's to be.

Hope this helps you,

2nd the Conti Gran Prix.dzrider
Oct 23, 2003 5:15 AM
We've done much better with them than the Conti GP3000s which had either bad luck with us or delicate sidewalls. For durability I've liked the Vredestein Volantes a whole lot. They've been cut and flat resistant with reasonable weight and very good handling. Michelin Axial Pro - now Pro Race - felt great and lasted pretty well despite lots of little cuts that looked like trouble but really weren't.
Second the Axial CarbonsAndy M-S
Oct 23, 2003 11:15 AM
These are long-lasting, grip nicely, look good, etc.

Unfortunately for you, they, too, are made in France.
re: tiresrm6rider
Oct 23, 2003 2:00 AM
I recommend the Veloflex Pave. They're handmade in Italy. It's only 180 grams and it has very good roadfeel. You will fly with these tires. As far as durability, I really don't know yet because I only have about 200 miles on them. You can also read the reviews on this site.
re: Paves, Yes!lyleseven
Oct 23, 2003 7:07 AM
The Veloflex Paves fly! No faster tire from my experience. And only $30 from Crit USA. Also, the Vittoria All Season Clincher is durable and fast. Another really fast tire is the Panaracer Stradius Extreme. Shows small cuts but doesn't get worse. All three of these were faster on my bike than the Michelin Pro Race or Contis.
Stradius Extremes: definitely a race tire!powergyoza
Oct 23, 2003 9:12 PM
You're lucky to have only small cuts to your Extremes. I've taken my Stradius Extremes off for the off-season. I thought I'd be able to commute/train during the wet season here in Vancouver BC on these tires, but the rubber is too soft and the casing is maybe too delicate.

The rear tire have developed a several med-big cuts. Some stop before cutting the casing, but 2 places cut through badly enough that I felt safer booting it. Don't get me wrong - I really like the tire. Supple, light, and corners like nothing else!

I honesty don't think it's durable enough to train when it's wet though. I was pulling glass out after every ride.

I'm back to my Michelin Dynamics until the season starts again. Now these are tank tires!
re: tiresMShaw
Oct 23, 2003 8:16 AM
I used to ride the natural rubber Contis almost exclusively. Wear a long time, stick even in the wet, supple ride, etc.

Not sure why I stopped riding them exactly, but I'm training on Michelin HiLite Prestige tires (red/black) from PBS. Last pair I bought was 2 for $23. They're not the lightest thing out there, but they wear like iron, don't cut easily, and match my paint job... Matching the paint job is worth a few MPH on its own!

I've heard bad things about the GP3000 and the Ultra2000s with the silica based tread. Squirmy in the corners is what I heard.

That help?

re: tiresutxjohne
Oct 23, 2003 11:12 AM
I've recently started riding Vredestein Tri Comps and wont ever use another tire again.
Same here - Tri Compsbimini
Oct 23, 2003 12:33 PM
Very happy with my first set of Tri Comps - 2000 miles and still ticking but starting to show wear.

Good feel, good cornering good life. The red tires also look nice with my red OP rims and red bike.

I might use something skinnier on my TT aero wheels since the Vreds only come in 23cm. Otherwise I am sticking with the TriComps.
Same here - Tri Compssoulsurfer104
Oct 23, 2003 3:20 PM
how is puncture resistance on the tri-comps and are the GP3000s fairly puncture-resistant?
re: tiresBenR
Oct 23, 2003 9:03 PM
My favorite all-around riding tire is the original Continental Grand Prix. I really like the handling mannerisms of all conti tires in the way they ride, transfer force directly to the road with no mushiness, and the way they heel in and out of turns. I've actually used more Conti GP3000s with the silicon rubber because they are easier to find and quite often on sale for $30 each or cheaper. The original grand prixs are never on sale and generally $40-$44. The GP3000s are supposedly faster (I can't tell the difference)and have better dry weather grip (don't know if I buy that either). The original Grand Prix's are much better in the rain, but the 3000's at least have a progressive feel - if it feels like you are pushing the limits, you are, no surprises or unexpected traction loss. The casings underneath are almost identical but the original grand prix rubber lasts much longer than the GP3000. You can run both tires down to the chords without flatting due to the kevlar belt underneath so they actually last longer than my training tires (see below) which become thin and start getting punctures.

Conti ultra 2000's are a cheaper casing and a good compromise of price and performance, using same rubber as the original grand prix. I train on wire beaded = heavy 25 or 28 mm ultra2000's at $20 each. They roll slower and don't have as good handling, but still not bad. Ultra 3000's are an ultra 2000 casing with same silicon rubber as GP3000, don't last as long, are overpriced and discontinued. Probably a decent option if you find some still around for dirt cheap. I don't know anything about sport 1000's. Never tried gatorskins either, seem a bit expensive for their niche - think they are trying to compete with Armadillos which are heavy and rough riding, last forever though. Never had sidewall problems on my contis but other people obviously have, so that's something to keep in mind if you ride through lots of gravel or on nasty roads.

That said, I actually race on Michelin Pro Races. 5,000 miles and no flats on them and I live near campus with lots of broken bottles. I hate to admit it, but raw performance (grip and rolling resistance) is better than anything Continental offers right now. They are also a very smooth riding tire in comparison and I think they feel slightly mushy compared to conti's. My first set lasted longer than GP3000 and about same as original grand prix. The Pro Race is a big improvement over the Axial Pro and you can easily get a pair shipped for $70. I'm not a fan of Michelin's cheaper offerings - think they ride like bowling balls and don't last longer, if at all. Pro Races are worth the few dollars price difference to me.

Have tried top end Panaracers and they were rough riding with mediocre performance. Long wear though - couldn't seem to wear the #@!% things out. Also tried specialized top-end, kind of rough riding and fast-wearing. Felt grippy but would then let go suddenly. Based on my Veloflex criterium sew-ups, I would give their clinchers a try. Heard they are the smoothest clinchers out there and among the lightest but puncture protection and longetivity are questionable.

If I were you and racing, I'd go with Michelin Pro Races. Otherwise, I personally like the feel of Continentals and would cough up the $40+ for grand prix's unless I found a great deal on GP3000's. If I had a rough riding bike, I might stick with Pro-races or something smoother. Contis aren't "rough" but you definitely know what you're riding on. Tri-comps seem to have a small but growing fan club. All of these tires are within 30 grams of each other and I don't think you can go wrong with any of these options. Also make sure there isn't something wrong with your rim.
re: tiressoulsurfer104
Oct 25, 2003 9:01 AM
jeez thanks for all the info, benR. after reading your post i realized that i really didnt tell much about myself as a rider, so it would be difficult for anyone to give me any real advice on tires, so here we go.....i am riding a giant compact road frame with ultegra goodies and a 540 wheelset. (and, presently, hutchinson carbon comp gold tires, which suck) i am about 150 pounds and have not started racing yet but everyone tells me that i should start because i am a "natural" and would kill anybody in my age group (i am 16) i ride 3 times a week, usually 31-mile training rides during the week and a longer 50-60 mile ride with lots of climbing on sundays. i ride on PCH (pacific coast hwy) where there is a moderate amount of broken glass. i never ride in the rain, ever, because its a pain in the ass to clean ur bike afterwards. i do not want to use spinskins. does that help?
re: tiressoulsurfer104
Oct 25, 2003 3:58 PM
i ordered the GP3000's from wish me luck.
Oct 25, 2003 10:27 PM
I don't think you can go wrong with Tri-comps, GP3000's, or Pro-races. I like my veloflex tubulars but they are expensive and probably not appropriate for mostly general riding with the occassional race, unless you have a substantial income (I don't).

it's really all just personal preference. I very rarely get flats on continentals, and it's usually because I've run through the rubber and been riding on the casing for the last 100 miles. I've had one tire completely destroyed when it was brand new, but the object I hit would've trashed any tire. You might hate the continentals but won't know until you try them. happy riding and be sure to give racing a try.
re: tireslyleseven
Oct 26, 2003 9:05 PM
If you are thinking about going anywhere seriously in racing, better think about the rain! Of course, where you live, thinking about it may be all you get to do!!