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So what’s so special about these tyres?
For one the front (Attack) is quite different to the rear (Force) in this combo. It is narrower, lighter and has a different tread pattern.
The idea behind this is that the driving forces are transmitted through the rear tyre, therefore it makes sense to design is especially for this. It has been beefed up a little and also features extra puncture protection over the front, which makes sense. The front, at 22mm, is narrower than the rear to aid aerodynamics. Its tread pattern is designed to optimise cornering and braking as opposed to transmit forward force, which is the rear’s specialism.
Rear tyres tend to wear out before front ones, so it’s nice to see a rear tyre that’s designed to last longer, however this does mean that you can’t rotate the front tyre to the rear when the rear inevitably wears out first, as is my usual strategy to maximise tyre life.
Both tyres use Continental’s ‘black chilli’ compound. According to the manufacturer, it uses ‘nano’ sized soot particles with surface properties optimised for bicycle tyres. They enable the tyre tread to deform around objects more quickly, improving grip; they also form a tighter bond improving strength and longevity. Still according to Conti, compared to the compound they previously used, Black Chilli offers 26% lower rolling resistance, 30% increase in adhesion quality and 5% increase in tread life.
That all sounds good in theory, but what are they like in practice? I can’t comment on percentages, but their grip is just awesome. I’m not the world’s gutsiest descender, but these inspire confidence, especially in the wet. No need to slow down, just point and lean. The grip is not just good for cornering, it helps with acceleration and stopping as well. All of this makes for a tyre that feels very fast. At 190 gr and 210 gr for front and rear respectively, they’re pretty light too.
I expected them to wear quicker than normal, as in my experience grippier tyres wear faster. I must admit that I’ve been pleasantly surprised this far and would expect to get at least 2000 miles out of these, that is if I can avoid big cuts or damage to the sidewalls.
I love riding these, they look good on the bike and they were easy to install. I’m not sure I buy into the necessity for a different design front and rear, but they do work very very well.
Light, fast and incredibly grippy racing tyre
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Make and model: Continental Force/Attack combo
Size tested: 700 x 23
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they're looking for a wet weather racing tyre, yes.
Age: 32 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cervelo Dual
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, Audax