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Tire Review - by John Kellison


See Continental Tires

See Vittoria Tires

When I was told we were going to start carrying tires at AVT, I couldnít wait to get new tread on my road bike.  I was even more excited when I found out that the two brands of tires we were going to carry were Vittoria and Continental.  These two tire brands have reputations as some of the best tires on the market and I couldnít wait to try the different models on my bike.   

Iíve had quite a bit of experience with Vittoria tires having sold them in bike shops prior to working at Aspire.  Iíve ridden on the Rubino Pro, Diamante Pro and Open Corsa before and have been impressed with each oneís performance and price.  Iíve been running the Diamante Pro tires on my dedicated winter bike for the past two seasons and that tire has blown me away with its performance in wet conditions and its durability.  For the two winter seasons I have been on these tires, I have had zero flats and the tread wear is minimal for the miles Iíve put on them.  I do rotate my tires every 500 miles and this does help with rear tread wear.  The Diamante Pro has a 220 TPI nylon casing with Integra bead to bead puncture protection.  The tread is made of Kevlar Carbon 3D Compound which provides the grip of a racing level tire with low rolling resistance and best of all, durability that makes this tire a great deal at the low price of $48.99 with free shipping. 

What can I say about the Vittoria Open Corsa tires other than they are one of the best tires I have ever been on in my recreational riding career.  From the moment I rolled out of my driveway and cornered onto the road in front of me with my brand new Open Corsa CX freshly installed, I knew this was going to be a different ride.  The Open Corsa CX is made of a Corespun K 290 TPI (Threads Per Inch) that is the most comfortable tire Iíve ever ridden, even riding it at high pressure like 130psi.  The traction of the tread gets you up to top speed very quickly and you can keep this speed through almost any corner.  The added Kevlar SiO2 3D Compound means even better cut and puncture resistance.  Sure, you may spend more for the Open Corsa CX at $58.99 per tire, but that is a small price for such a perfect riding tire. 

I have to admit that I havenít had much experience with Continental tires in my past.  Iíve never worked in a shop that carried Continental tires, so all I had to judge these tires on is the word of customers coming into the store.  Some customers swore by them as the only tire they rode while others had differing opinions.  While working one day at Aspire VeloTech, we had a visit from our Continental sales rep and we started a discussion about tires.  We were talking about our past experiences with Vredestein tires and she told me that if you want to try a tire that has the same, if not better riding qualities of Vredestein, you should try the Continental Grand Prix 4000.  I trusted her opinion and bought a pair a few days later.  Itís now been about a month of riding on the GP 4000 and I have been so impressed, that I think I have found a tire that I will be riding for a long time to come. 

My first ride on the GP 4000 brought back memories of riding on Open Corsa and Fortezza TriComp tires of my past.  The comfort and low rolling resistance were apparent right from the start and when I hit the first high speed corner from my apartment, I smiled in the revelation that this was a true performance tire.  The GP 4000 is the successor to the long-time, highly popular Grand Prix 3000 and offers 20% less rolling resistance than its predecessor.  The more lightweight GP 4000 offers an all new Vectran belt, developed and patented by Continental for puncture resistance that even tops the GP 3000.  The extremely strong Vectran fabrics are more flexible and lighter than all other puncture protection materials.  The Vectran material is very resistant to cuts and as I look over the GP 4000ís on my bike, there is not one cut in either the front or rear tire after a month of riding 3 times a week.  Of course, with no cuts in the tires, I have not experienced a flat tire even after riding on glass strewn shoulders of busy roads in my area.  The new tread that is offered on the GP 4000 features tread wear indicators to help riders gauge the life of their GP 4000 tires.  That way, you donít lose mileage performance by prematurely replacing the tire before its time and at the same time, you donít risk riding on a tire that is beyond its service life. 

Iím not going to tell you which brand of tire I would choose over the other between Vittoria and Continental.  I will let you judge them on your own merits.  I will say that whether you choose Vittoria or Continental, you will have the confidence in the tire underneath you for many miles and the smiles you have will be plentiful.