Continental Ultra Race Review
The Continental Ultra Race are tires made by the German manufacture meant for the people who are not able (or want) to pay enough for a couple of GP4000S-tires. For riders who yet still wants to pay more than the Ultra Sport, along with ensuring that you are getting decent tires, with a low rolling resistance. They were equipped on some Mavic Cosmic Elite that followed with my Scott Foil 40.
On the road
They weigh 220 grams per tire, 15 grams more than GP4000S, and 30 grams less than the Ultra Sport. Weight is a big factor when it comes to wheels, and especially at the tires, because they are the outer part of the wheels. Wheels inertia is very important when it comes to acceleration, and pro riders would rather save 100 grams on the wheels, than 500 grams on the frame and own body. They are just a little bit easier than the Ultra Sport to get in speed (it can just be my imagination of course, but they do feel a bit better at that), but you cannot feel the difference between them and the GP4000S.
I have been using them for about 3-4 months, ridden 2000 km in that time, and they have been doing fine. The rolling resistance seems to be somewhat low. They are easy to maintain speed in, and the grip in corners are just fine. Also in wet conditions. I do not feel insecure in corners with them at least. I have not had any punctures yet, and I do not even think that I have been closing on getting one. They do not seem to pick up stones/gravel just as easy as the GP4000S does. Especially on wet surfaces, the difference is great.
I have tried both the more expensive GP4000S and the cheaper Ultra Sport, and I must say that they are a bit faster than the Ultra Sport, and still slower than the GP4000S. The first day I had the GP4000S, I was riding 1,5 km/h faster than on the Ultra Race, so if you want pure speed, go get the GP4000S, but if you don’t want to put so much money in a couple of tires, you can easily go for the Ultra Race. The Ultra Race was also somewhat 0,5-1 km/h faster than the Ultra Sport. Moreover, if you do not think that the tires really can do so much of a difference, I recommend you to read this. Nevertheless, the price and quality (if quality equals speed) follows each other’s at Continental.
I cannot comment on the wear of them with only 2000 km in them, but they do last longer than the Continental Ultra Sport I am sure of, because at this point, the Ultra Sport already looked quite worn out.
I can highly recommend these tires, if you do not care about the last extra speed you can get by switching to GP4000S instead. Nevertheless, compared to the Ultra Sport, I really think you should spend those extra bucks on these, because they seem to last a lot longer, plus they are better in somewhat everything than the Ultra Sport. They are better at preventing punctures too, than any of the other tires I have tried so far, which is only a big plus.
Written by René