It was time for a change. A tire change. The Metzeler Tourance EXP I had on were getting kind of rough on the rear, not completely worn but for German laws probably on the border of being legal.
Also they created a feeling like a broken bearing on the rear wheel. Vibrations and bad behavior when cornering with medium lean angle. I guess my 400 mile run back from a tour last fall wasn't the best for them ... fast highway riding, they developed a flat area in the middle. Also, traction was never what I expected, I was sliding a few times in areas where I really wouldn't have expected it.
So, this time around I went with full on road tires. I figured that I won't ride much off road this summer, not with Andrea now having a bigger and heavier bike and myself not heaving enough time for Death Valley exploring or so. And if that comes along, I find ways ...
What did I get? I read a lot about various road and dualsport tires and ended up with Continental Road Attack 2 tires. As the name says, pure road tires. More rubber, less tread.
One nice thing about them is that they don't have a shiny, slippery surface at all. They are sticky right from the beginning. The old myth of a "mold release agent" is what it is according to tire manufacturers: a myth. But nevertheless a new tire isn't completely scrubbed in and builds its full grip only after a while. Not those I guess. After 20 miles there is about 5mm unused tire surface left on the rear on each side. And I didn't even have some real corners. Once up Highway 9 and down Page Mill Road and that tire is on the edge. And it sticks like glue and is more stable when leaned over. I'm really impressed and so far I like it.
I paid roughly $400 for them including mounting on the bike. I just brought the bike in and they did everything. I will be looking into mounting tires myself, unfortunately that's a financial commitment that will only pay off after 6 to 10 tire changes. Not bad to learn it anyways, but money wise it might not be worth it. It's more a flexibility and learning thing. We'll see.