The winter cold hit Northern Virginia this weekend. With temperatures hovering around freezing, I gutted out a 17 mile ride on Saturday. Today’s highs were to be a few degrees colder than Saturday. I pondered whether or not to head out. I probably would have passed but for two things:
1. I was keenly aware that you all were desperate to learn my opinion of my new tires. It would not be fair to keep you waiting any longer than absolutely necessary.
2. I went out to dinner last night and things got out of control. I needed to ride to counteract the effects of copious amounts of fried foods and key lime pie.
So I pedaled another 26 miles today, giving me 43 on my new Conti 4S tires. By the way, “Conti” is an abbreviation for “Continental” (which all the cool cyclists know) and “4S” is short for “Grand Prix 4 Seasons.” I realize “Grand” is omitted in the acronym. I have no idea why – some things defy explanation. The uber-cool cyclists further abbreviate this to “C4S.” I shall therefore use this term.
So what do I think of the C4S?
- I think it’s damn near impossible to evaluate a tire when you’re trying to avoid frostbite.
- The ride seems to be a little more comfortable, but that could be all in my head.
- On a couple of turns, it seemed like I cornered very fast, almost “ziplike,” but that could be in my head.
- The tires felt fast, but there was no evidence of that in my times, but that could be because it’s difficult to ride at fast speeds when you are trying to avoid frostbite.
- The tread pattern looks neat, but I’m pretty sure it’s useless. Unless, of course, the nice cornering is due to the tread. I suspect cornering performance has far more to do with the composition of the rubber than a millimeter-deep pattern on the tire.
The tires performed splendidly in their most important functions, namely staying inflated and staying on my wheel rim. In the end, that’s what I really hope for and anything else is just gravy. Here’s hoping the perceived improvements are not just psychosomatic. Time (and warmer weather) will tell.