I am bit of a fan of Continental Grand Prix 4000S Black Chill tyres but want to try out other options. The first of these try outs is a pair of Schwalbe Ultremo R.1 HS380 tyres which I purchased from Bike24.net for $24.00 each delivered. At the time of writing this post I have been using a Schwalbe Ultremo R1 on the front of Kinesis Racelight Granfondo Ltd which is my all year round commuter. The tyre has done 3,682 kilometres (2,287 miles).
First the manufacturer’s specification for the tyre:
The Ultremo R.1 is made of Schwalbe’s “triple nano compound” which is described as a “completely revised nano-sized polymer base and fillers has made our triple compound even better.” The tyres have a reported weight of 180 grams (700c x 23) at 127 TPI and trye pressure range of 85 PSI to 145 PSI.
Durability: As can be seen from the photo above the tyre is wearing well (keep in mind that this tyre has been on the front) after 3,500 + kilometres. There is signs of a few cuts as seen in the photo but nothing I am seriously concerned about. I do adopt a policy of picking out glass etc from the tyre when I do a service which is at 500 km and 1,000 km marks depending on the season. This tyre has not yet punctured.
One thing that these tyres don’t have are the wear dimples you find on the Continental GP4000 which is a nice feature to have as it makes gauging wear a lot easier.
Update: October 20, 2011
I move this tyre to the rear at around 5,000 km. 500 km later it was ready for the bin as per the photo.
Grip: I don’t race so I cannot comment on using this tyre in race conditions but I do commute on them in all weather (well not snow) and on roads of varying conditions from smooth bitumen to dead roads (rough bitumen). I have had no issues with the tyre feeling like it is giving way and have felt confident corning at speeds in excess of 35 km/h in the wet on smooth bitumen.
Speed: I find this aspect the hardest to comment on but I can say this these are not tyres that you notice dragging you back, that is for sure. Are they as fast or faster than my Continental Grand Prix 4000S Black Chill? Maybe. Definitely good for commuting at least; you know those Computer Cup Racers 🙂
In summary the Schwalbe Ultremo R.1 HS380 is a foldable Kevlar bead tyre and comes in a range of colours but I believe the black-black tyre is the colour recommended by Schwalbe, it can be pumped up to 145 psi which I guess is good for racing. From the commuter aspect it is also available in a 28C width. The price is good compared to say the Continental Grand Prix 4000S Black Chill.
I like this tyre but really need to try it out on the rear before I decided if it becomes my go to tyre and replaces the Continental.