Continental Cyclocross Speed Review-Update

Way back on December 30, I posted one of the earlier reviews on this site, a comparison of the Continental Cyclocross Speed and Schwalbe Marathon Mondial.  It’s now 8 months and a couple thousand miles later.  Here’s the update.

1)  I’m still running the original set.  Never had a flat.  Still.  (Am I tempting the flat gods?)

2)  As I noted in the original review, I caused some rapid wear of the center of the tread by running them at high pressure on the road.  Since observing that issue, I’ve kept my pressure down.  They’re still wearing, but still have a lot of life left in them.  The rear tire definitely wears faster…I’ve rotated front and rear a few times (largely because I want to see just how long they’ll keep going).

3)  They’re still fast.  Super fast.  A comparable tire that’s new on the market is the Clement  LAS Clincher, which supposedly weighs in at 350 grams.  According to CX Magazine, they weigh in at 320 grams, actual weight.  That’s equal to the Cyclocross Speeds after a couple thousand miles of wear.  I’ll be keeping an eye on those Clements.

4)  Not much else to say.  They’re the perfect tire for gravel.  They’re not great in mud, sure.  They’re not great on wet grass, sure.  But for dry conditions, for gravel, for wet roads, for limestone paths, for dry single track, for commuting, for racing, for riding, for heading to the coffee shop…they’re great.

The only weird note I have is that they’ve started to shed threads right where the bead mounts on the rim.  Occasionally, I’ll see a string, 2-3″ long, hanging from the bead.  I’ve been clipping those off, and monitoring the sidewalls closely.  No issues yet, but it is disconcerting.

I’ve gotten more miles and life out of these than I have any right to expect.  They’re still great, amazing tires.  After seeing how they perform, an lot of guys I ride with have started adopting them.  And the original review post is one of the most popular searches on here (and Cyclocross Speed is one of the most popular search terms).

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19 thoughts on “Continental Cyclocross Speed Review-Update

  1. Pingback: A comparison of stark contrast: Continental Cyclocross Speed and Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Tire Reviews | ridingagainstthegrain

  2. This review is spot on, down to the detail on threads peeling away by the bead. I’ve put about 4k miles on my pair, including a 1,300 mile tour and have not flatted once. These tires are the real deal. I have rotated them once and while they’re starting to show a lot of wear I think they’ve also got a lot of life left. And when they do wear out… I’ll probably just buy another pair.

    • Jake,

      Glad you’re having the same awesome experience with them that I’m having…and glad to see that my peeling thread issue isn’t just me. With the tire swapping I’ve done on the Vaytanium, I’m not sure exactly how many miles I have on mine, but it’s got to be around what you’ve got.

      There seemed to be an initial wear period where they wore more rapidly…but now, they’re wearing like iron.

  3. Agreed, this review is spot on. I’m 3k miles in to my first set, and have the same feelings. I’m getting ready to buy a new set because they have been such great tires. I don’t ever ride in the mud, or much grass for that matter, so haven’t had any issues whatsoever, and the fact that they are lightning fast is a huge bonus. The ONLY difference I’ve experienced is with flats, I’ve had quite a few, but I don’t blame the tires, just crappy road and trail conditions. Thanks for the detailed review, you’ve affirmed my decision to stick with this tire!

  4. I am interested in these tires for gravel road racing. I have a Salsa Casseroll with Delgadocross rims. I have been using many Continental, Kenda and Specialized tires up to 700c35 with no problems. I tried to put the Clement LAS 700c33 on and they were too large to fit. On the Delgadocross rims they measured 38.5mm wide and over 38mm tall above the rim. They would go on the bike but rub the brakes. All the Conti tires I have used on these rims have measured at the listed size or smaller. Before I spend money on the Cyclocross Speed tires can you tell me how the sizing runs? These are cheaper than the Clement so if they will fit that would be great. Wish I could trade someone the Clement LAS tires for something I can use.

    • If you click through tO the original review, I have some very detailed measurements with pictures. If you need any other measurements, let me know. I did a 53 mile gravel race on them last night–varied conditions from loose gravel to greasy wet to pavement to hardpack. I wouldn’t want any other tires.

      • Thanks for the reply. Your A23 rims are nearly the same width as the Delgagocross rims I’m using so measurements should be about the same. Your measurements and pictures make it look like they should be no problem fitting. When reading the review of the Clement LAS in CX magazine I had no idea that I would have a problem with fit. On the Delgadocross rims the width of the LAS measured 38.4mm. Height above the rim was over 39mm.

  5. I am going to throw some of these on my 29er, thanks to your reviews. I am a bit too out of shape to ride any really technical trails, so I am going to use these to ride from the street to the gravel levy roads down here in Florida. Should I use a 700c-specific tube or can I stick with the 29er tubes I already have? Thanks for the review: you help make a tough choice much easier.

      • Tires arrived today. I ended up buying some cheap 700c tubes because I had to get the 700×35 tires (on closeout at performance bike). Were a tight fit, but got them on and they roll great…big difference from a nobby nic and racing ralph combo. Thanks for the review!

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  8. Follow-up on my previous posts about the Clement LAS and Conti Cyclocross Speed. Since I couldn’t use the LAS tires on the Casseroll I tried them with another bike and was very happy with the way they work. I now have the Cyclocross Speed tires on the Casseroll and don’t notice a lot of difference in performance between them. What I do see is that the Cyclocross Speed tires are much narrower and easily fit the in the brakes of the 2009 Casseroll. Plenty of space for mud and trash so they don’t plug. They measure 32.4mm wide on the Delgagocross rims. My first long ride on them was our night gravel road ride Wednesday evening. A 28 mile hilly route in southern Michigan. Top speed was over 35 mph. Average just over 17 mph. Only had one problem with them. On one steep climb where the gravel was freshly graded and very loose I had trouble keeping traction and was braking loose in the rear. Was beginning to think that I would have to use my cx skills and run up the hill with the bike. I did make it by staying far back with my weight over the rear wheel and using my lowest gear. Although they are similar I think the LAS tires have a little more traction on loose sand and gravel due to the wider width. Either tire is a good choice as long as they fit your bike. Now if I only had a new Salsa Warbird TI.

  9. How tall above the rim are the Conti Speeds. Looking to run them on a road frame. I’m sure I have the width clearance but don’t if they’ll fit under the fork crown and rear brake bridge.

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