The Cannondale Bad Boy 8 (Blackmere, is its name) came from the store fitted with Continetnal Sport Contact tyres of 28mm width. They are sporty fast tyres with a soft compound and decent grip. In the wet they’re what I’d call ‘acceptable’. That is, on slimy paths and over wet detritus build up on the tracks they are about what you’d exepect to look at the tread pattern.
The rear tyre has been swapped out for a Schwalbe Marathon Plus after the Sport Contact has done about 3500kms. The roundness is gone and it is flat where it has worn. The Sport Contact is now on the front of my Gemini World Randonneur. You can see in the picture below that the tread patten is completely worn of the round ‘ridge’ of the tyre. It may even convey how it’s become flat.
After >3500kms I’ve found the Sport Contact to be a good ‘performance commuter’ tyre. I wouldn’t use them again at the moment because I want to get ~5000kms out of a tyre. To be fair the Sport Contact is not worn out it is just heavily worn. When off the rim I can make the rubber buckle like old skin and wrinkle around the puncture protection belt. This doesn’t inspire me with confidence in the tyre’s soundness of structure.
The puncture protection was noticable but not great. I still had two punctures from glass shards penetrating the puncture protection belt. Those shard were rather normal looking. To my mind that is not good enough for a commuter tyre. Exceptionally dagger-like glass shards are always a possibility and I can excuse any tyre being punctured by those but standard shards: not acceptable.
Fitting the tyres was an eye-opener in hand-strength and endurance. The bead is so tight that I’ve only ever got the tyre on the rim without tyre levers twice. Every time I’ve had to fit these tyres my brow is wet from perspiration and effort. I’ve read about people complaining about the fit of Schwalbe Marathon Plus but they are a doddle (that’s easy for those unfamiliar with the term) compared to Continental Sport Contact tyres.
- Purpose: for commuters who want to go fast, above average
- Wet handling: average
- Durability: below average
- Puncture protection: average
- Fit: overly tight bead makes them an effort to get on the rim, below average.
- Total rating: average