I have finally squeezed the last mile out of my Continental Travel Contact tyres (Twice!). I can now give you the grim specifics on how long they lasted, how well they performed, and how gracefully they failed. Consider this the Continental Travel Contact review; tested to destruction!
I was able to squeeze 8,000 miles out of these tyres. To put that into context, the tyres that came as standard on my £350 mid to low range hybrid bike needed to be replaced after 900 miles. I expected to get more from the Continental Travel Contacts simply because the tread didn’t ever look very worn but, as you can see from the photo, it was the tyres side walls which failed first.
The Continental Travel Contacts were treated to a rough 8,000 miles. I have carried heavy loads on tour, enjoy fast riding, strong braking and spirited cornering. Also the tyres were ridden year round through baking sun to salted and gritted icy roads. Most journeys from home lead me from the village where I live into Leicester, which is a pretty big city. The route encompasses busy roads with no cycle lanes and plenty of road debris.
Up to the point of critical side-wall failure, the Continental Travel Contacts performed excellently and I’ve also had my hands on a set of folding CTCs recently, they don’t take up much space, which is great for stashing one as a spare.
Continental Travel Contact Review 26″ – Update (2012):
My new fully loaded touring bike takes 26″ tyres. There Continental Travel Contact tyres appear to be wearing at a slower rate. It’s too early to tell for sure but I expect them to outlast the 700c tyres by a considerable distance, very impressive!
Continental Travel Contact Update (2014):
The 26″ Continental Travel Contact Tyres lasted for the entire trip from England to New Zealand (see Journal and Gallery), but only just! They ended up running for about 7,000 miles in the end over two bikes, but 90% of that was with very heavy loads.
As I rode south over the great dividing range towards Lakes Entrance, Australia, a slightly flat spot on my rear tyre, caused by some emergency breaking a few weeks earlier in India, started to wear thin. I could feel the bump.. bump.. bump as I rode along which I knew was accentuating the problem.
As I finally limped into New Plymouth, New Zealand my tyre was threadbear, the tread and side-walls were disintegrating under the weight of my fully loaded bike to point where it was becoming very dangerous – I should have changed them months ago. I dare say it would not have lasted more than another full day. What an epic life the Continental Travel Contact tyres had – what an adventure and what good value they were.
I don’t think any other tyre can do so much, and ride so far, for so little money. The Continental Travel Contact tyres which can be found for around £20 per tyre are the best value I have ever ridden and I always recommend them to friends that want a good value, proper touring tyre that’s suitable for mixed terrain.
I have always bought my Continental travel Contact tyres from Chain Reaction Cycles and it helps me out a little if you do to. I only recommend products I have used myself and are very happy with.
Have you tried the Continental Travel Contact tyre, what are your experiences with them?
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