Continental City Contact Tyre i.e. Whoooosh!

When I asked about the best accessory people have bought in the past 12 months Trevor mentioned a blog post he had written about some new upgrades to his bike. His post was exactly what I was hoping to hear about when I asked the question. At a cheap cost of around £30 he achieved extra speed and enjoyment – even better he made all the little upgrades himself. As I liked the post so much I asked Trevor if I could re-post it on London Cyclist and he said yes. Here it is..

Everyone I spoke to about it told me that changing my tyres would make a huge difference to the efficiency of my bike. It made sense, but how could I be sure until I tried it for myself?

And so when I rode to work this morning on my transformed bike I was interested to see just how it felt. Okay, so it’s not exactly a representative training ride, as I was only on the road for seven and a half minutes, but boy what a difference. It just feels so much better:  smoother, swifter, swooshier. (Swooshier? Is that a word?) I notched up an average speed of 14.2 mph without really putting any effort at all. Now that may not be my best average, but the difference in feel is well worth it even if I find that it doesn’t translate to an increased speed.  Seriously, if you have a mountain bike but only ever ride it on the road, you’ll do yourself a huge favour by ditching the knobbly tyres.

I’m also feeling pretty chuffed that I did all the work myself. I fitted a pair of Continental City Contact tyres:

Continental City Contact tyres

[Ed: Just £16 each]

And a set of mudguards. Not just silly clip-on mountain bike jobs, either, but a proper set of full mudguards. These ones, to be precise:

Bicycle accessories - mudguards

And managed to adjust my gears so they’re not slipping like they were before, which feels like a real achievement for me. I’m not especially mechanically minded, and I don’t like getting my hands greasy, but the thought of paying someone else to do this work was just a bit too much and so I pulled my sleeves up, got my hands greasy, and jolly well did it myself.

And I must mention Chain Reaction Cycles, the site where I bought the tyres and mudguards, whose service was second to none, prices excellent, and free delivery. Top marks.

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7 Responses to Continental City Contact Tyre i.e. Whoooosh!

  1. John 18/07/2010 at 11:49 am #

    Yes i agree entirely about the slick tyres, on my last 3 bikes now I have had the original tyres changed for Marathon plus, I have never had a puncture in about 4 years and ride at least 6 out of 7 days a week. The speed increase is amazing and the noise of the mountain bike tyre on the road just goes completely. My commuting colleagues which grow every year have used up the last of my patches! as I convince them the cost of the tyres is a worthy investment to not have to worry about flat tyres and have a faster ride.
    Full mud guards are a must if you commute in all weathers and want to avoid having to change clothes when you get to work. Only for a very short time did I have shorter mudguards, they were very soon changed too full ones!
    If you like off road and commuting to work and you can afford and have the space then keep an off road bike just for that and enjoy the mud!

    • Andreas 18/07/2010 at 10:55 pm #

      Marathon plus are also highly highly recommended :) Glad to see few people have made the switch to flicks and like it

  2. Trevor 18/07/2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Thanks for reposting. Just one minor edit: The tyres were £16 *each* rather than for the pair.

    • Andreas 18/07/2010 at 10:54 pm #

      Ooops, thanks Trevor, corrected!

  3. Stef 19/07/2010 at 9:05 am #

    Very useful and timely input, thank you Andreas. I was looking at Contis and at Vredestein Perfect Touring as a commuting slick replacement for MTB knobblies

    Anyone had any experience with the Vredestein? I am also battling to find a supplier – any thoughts?

    Many thanks,
    Stef

  4. Filippo Negroni 23/07/2010 at 11:18 pm #

    I currently use Conti CityContact and although generally happy with their performance, I am starting to get tyred of their uncomfortable ride.
    You see, Continental is a bit of a liar when it comes to TPI.
    They claim their GP4000S are 330TPI, when in fact they are 110TPI per ply times three plies, which although they do mention on their website, doesn’t really compare favourably with the likes of Vittoria who can now claim 320TPI *per ply*.
    The CityContact’s are rated at 240TPI by Conti’s website, but infact they are 60TPI per ply, times four plies.
    And it shows: they are very unforgiving around potholes, and road buzz can be an issue. Of course low TPI count ensures the tyre is strong and can therefore survive some battering.
    I am now considering mounting Vittoria Randonneur Pro when the conti’s are due for replacement. The Vittoria’s use 120TPI per ply and therefore will give a much more comfortable ride. In return, they must be pumped at slightly higher pressure.
    But they should also give a more responsive ride as a result.

  5. Gerhard 16/12/2010 at 8:24 am #

    I have had the City Contacts on my hybrid for half a year now. I loved them initially as are quite nippy and make for an easy ride. But after just 6 months (lots of miles though) they are falling to pieces. I had more punctures on these than on any tyre I had previously. I have had several stones(!) penetrating them, never mind glass.
    Also their ‘puncture resistance’ relies on a somewhat thicker inner tube. So if you want to replace it you really need to go for the same (Conti) and can’t just use any old tube.
    They are not expensive, but be warned.

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