Tested and Ridden: Continental Ultra Sport II tire test
A couple of years back I had been riding on the Continental Ultra Sport tires, with positive results and a fair amount of high praise for their road bike rubber. The Ultra Sport’s provided good performance at a great price and you can’t beat that in my book!
Then in 2013 I stumbled on a set of Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slicks and the love affair with the Conti’s promptly ended. Not that I thought the Conti’s weren’t a solid set of tyres, but the Pro Slicks had them beat…
Subsequently and much to my disappointment, Vittoria stopped making the very affordable and sticky Zaffiro Pro Slicks. At about 30-35 bucks for a set, with the very same compound as the Rubino…I suppose Vittoria got a bit greedy (or embarrassed) and didn’t want their low cost set of tires performing as good as their top line donuts…
So, for me it was back to the Ultra Sports. But little did I know that Continental had improved on the original Ultra Sport, with a new compound, called PureGrip. Enter the Ultra Sport II folding beaded tires, which I had purchased for a set price of $40.95 on Amazon. After a only a few miles I knew these were every bit as good as the Zaffiro Pro Slicks. The Ultra Sport 2’s are excellent tires at a great price point.
To date, I have about 1,850 miles on the 700 x 25c set and they have been impressive to say the least. I typically run about 98-102 psi in the rear and about 95-98 psi up the front. Initial bite is very good and under normal and up to hard braking, thanks to a well rounded profile. The Conti US II tyres adhere flawlessly, edge grip is very good and consistent through fast sweepers or tight corners/esses, and I tend to really lean the bike over and push the front at times as well.
So far I have had no break of traction on many types of varying terrain in both dry and wet road conditions. The ultrasport’s soak up irregular terrain and small bumps with ease. Overall, the Ultrasport II’s get 4-stars for both effort and performance in my riding opinion.
According to Continental, PureGrip is based on activated silica compounds and the technology was originally intended as an performance level compound, but after intensive development at their Korbach Research and Development Facility, an advanced new compound with outstanding grip and cross-country properties was developed. This new rubber mix, given the self explanatory name “PureGrip”, is ranked just behind their top of the line BlackChili Compound.