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Continental Ultra GatorSkin – 700c x 25mm Owner Review

Well my Maxxis Detonator on the rear came to an end last week. Ten punctures in 2673 km at an average of 267 km per puncture pretty much turned me off these tyres. On the basis of advice received I have purchased two Continental Ultra GatorSkins in 25 mm for $45.00 each from TBE Osborne Park and have fitted them to Chase, the CRX 1.

According to Continental the tyres weigh in at 300 grams each and are considered to be a durable tyre with good puncture resistance. Just what I need.

September 1, 2008: The rear Ultra GatorSkin has been retired at 4,545 km and 12 punctures at a rate of 378.75 km per puncture.  Today I got my last two punctures with this tyre, caused by the wall of the tyre coming away from the bead at one point.

July 18, 2008: I now done 4,037 km on rear Ultra GatorSkin and had three more punctures today, a total of 10 with this tyre [my vent follows].  This equates to 404 km between punctures. Time to check this tyre out very carefully I think.

The story:

I was having a good ride home, cold but some light rain and then the first big downpour hit. No worries, I am well rugged up so speak and then the back-end gets all wobbly. Damn a puncture. Pull up on the side of the bike path and get to work in the rain. Thankfully some street lighting.

Whilst I was changing the tyre, three riders stopped to offer help! Way to go guys. It is really nice when people do this.

Anyway I got the tyre back on, not that happy as I couldn’t get a really could pressure but put it down to the pump which was playing up. Anyway enough pressure to ride so off I went. All seemed okay until about 800 to 1 km down the road when the rear went down again. Bloody hell. I had a go a pumping it up but not luck. Decided to walk a bit until I could find somewhere a bit more sheltered and out of the rain to do another tube change.

Eventually found a carport on a building but no light. Ugh. Checked the tyre again as best I could and couldn’t feel anything causing the problem. Did the change, got the pressure much higher this time. All looking good.  So off I go.

About 1.5 km to 2 km down the road, the back starts feeling funny again. Check the rear, it is getting soft … I just can’t win. Enough pressure to ride a bit further so I did, until it went flat. Got off and walked the last km or so home, cold and bloody wet and well not too happy.

A hot shower, a feed and a sleep later, I am now a bit happier 🙂

Update: July 16, 2008: I now done 3,934 km on rear Ultra GatorSkin and had my seventh puncture today. This equates to 562 km between punctures. The tyre is however wearing well.

Update: May 28, 2008: I now have done 3,384 km on the Ultra GatorSkin on the rear and 2, 952 km on the front. I removed the front to keep it for the rear. With these tyres I have had six punctures at 564 km per puncture. Not the best but a significant improvement over my earlier rate of 267 km per puncture. I am also getting good durability out of them with the rear still looking good.

My only concern with them has been their handling in the wet. This may be more me than the tyre but I don’t feel secure on them when corning in the wet and for that reason may try a different tyre when these come to the end of their life.

6 Responses to Continental Ultra GatorSkin – 700c x 25mm Owner Review

  1. John April 27, 2009 at 2:52 PM #

    Thanks for your review, I went looking for reviews after bad experiences with my tyres. I have had a lot of problems with these tyres, not from the point of view of punctures, but more that I just do not feel safe on them. I am seriously thinking of changing them even though I have only done about 1,000km on them. No matter what pressure I have them, even rock hard, I just do not feel safe around corners. These things feel like they are going to pop off if I take a corner too sharply at any kind of speed.

    oh well, until I change them, will treat every corner like I am riding on ice.

  2. John April 27, 2009 at 11:52 PM #

    Thanks for your review, I went looking for reviews after bad experiences with my tyres. I have had a lot of problems with these tyres, not from the point of view of punctures, but more that I just do not feel safe on them. I am seriously thinking of changing them even though I have only done about 1,000km on them. No matter what pressure I have them, even rock hard, I just do not feel safe around corners. These things feel like they are going to pop off if I take a corner too sharply at any kind of speed.

    oh well, until I change them, will treat every corner like I am riding on ice.

  3. david March 14, 2010 at 4:58 AM #

    For what it is worth i have had much better experience. 1 puncture in about 4500km and that was running over a seriously large piece of glass i didn’t see because a car was trying to run me off the road. When i replaced them they still prob had 1-1.5K km left in them but was upgrading wheels so did the whole lot. by the end of there life they had literally 50+ small pieces of glass in them each as well as metal etc and it did not make it through to cause a puncture. most of these pieces of glass where 3mm or so long.

    In my opinion best tires ever, sounds to me like you need a better pump to get enough pressure

  4. david March 14, 2010 at 4:58 AM #

    For what it is worth i have had much better experience. 1 puncture in about 4500km and that was running over a seriously large piece of glass i didn’t see because a car was trying to run me off the road. When i replaced them they still prob had 1-1.5K km left in them but was upgrading wheels so did the whole lot. by the end of there life they had literally 50+ small pieces of glass in them each as well as metal etc and it did not make it through to cause a puncture. most of these pieces of glass where 3mm or so long.

    In my opinion best tires ever, sounds to me like you need a better pump to get enough pressure

  5. david March 14, 2010 at 12:58 PM #

    For what it is worth i have had much better experience. 1 puncture in about 4500km and that was running over a seriously large piece of glass i didn’t see because a car was trying to run me off the road. When i replaced them they still prob had 1-1.5K km left in them but was upgrading wheels so did the whole lot. by the end of there life they had literally 50+ small pieces of glass in them each as well as metal etc and it did not make it through to cause a puncture. most of these pieces of glass where 3mm or so long.

    In my opinion best tires ever, sounds to me like you need a better pump to get enough pressure

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