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Continental Vertical Pro Review

September 15th, 2010 [print] Go to comments

There’s no reason to make this review any longer than it needs to be, so I’ll keep it short and to the point:

These are, by far, the worst mountain bike tires I’ve ever ridden and I hate them more than I’ve ever hated any bicycle component.  Honestly, I wish my vocabulary was better so I could go on a long diatribe about just how horrible these tires are but, like I said, let’s keep this short.

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Continental Vertical Pro 2.3"

I got these as a replacement for my favorite Kenda Kinetics Stick-E 2.35" tires a couple years back, since the Contis were supposedly intended for those days when the ground is harder and dryer (saving the Kendas for sloppy conditions).  One benefit was a weight savings of over 100 grams over the Kendas.  And when I say one benefit, I mean, literally, there was only one benefit, and that was it.  There Vertical Pros weigh in at right about 675g, each.

So, what makes them so horrible?

Zero–z-e-r-o–grip on loose gravel.  Zero grip in mud.  Zero grip on slippery rock.  Nearly zero traction on steep hardpack hill climbs.  They break loose in corners at speeds so low that you feel like a grandma poking around on your bike.  Take them into a corner, even on hardpack, hit the brakes, and die instantly*.

(*your results may vary)

Whether at 25psi, 55psi, or somewhere in between, they never perform well.  They always left me freaking out in corners, under hard braking, or any type of ascents.  About the only place they felt fine was on basically flat, open hardpack, where even a road tire would have gotten by satisfactorily.  The front and rear tires are the same, but you’re supposed to run the rear in reverse direction.  I tried that initially, and they were horrible.  I ran the rear in the same direction as the front, and it was just as bad.  I experimented on as many trail surfaces as I could, and at all tire pressures, and they never impressed me.

Ultimately, I swapped back to my Kinetics, and eventually replaced those with Nevegals as they wore out.  The only reason I still have the Vertical Pros around is a) I’m too lazy to throw them out and, b) worst case scenario, I need a spare set of shitty tires, it’s good to have some around that I don’t care about.





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