15 May 2011

Goodbye to Metzeler Tourance EXP Tires

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.


  1. Guido:

    It's nice to have new tires. Gives you renewed confidence in your abilities, and safer too

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. Yes, it always feels so good and smooth and round again ... love the feeling. That's why I'm partial to really long living tires. They save you money, but you have to live with them for long and that might not be a happy relationship for a large part of that tire life.

    The Tourance EXP lasted 6500 miles and I could have gotten another 1000 miles from them but I just couldn't ignore the bad behavior anymore. If I had a trip planned where I needed to do a 1000 mile highway blast to get to nice roads, I would have packed new tires, burned the old ones and have the new ones mounted when there. But that's not the situation right now. So they had to go.