Continental refers to the Competition tire as The Professional's Choice. Reason being, it has a excellent handling manners, good road feel and it is light. When you compare similar tires from other manufacturers you'll find that they have these same attributes. Perhaps what sets the Competition apart is the fact that it is downright reliable - you can't win the race if you cannot get to the finish line.
The casing is constructed of 3 bonded plys of tightly woven 180 tpi poly-cotton. It gives the tire a resilient ride that is firm while cornering. The material is strong and resistant to wear and tear.
The tread is made from Conti's Black Chili compound. It is derived directly from Moto GP racing and offers lots of high end technology. It is essentially a blend of natural and synthetic rubbers. The natural rubber is mixed with 'nano' sized soot particles, who's surface properties are optimized to deform around surface objects and inconsistencies in the road for better grip. These small particles also form a tighter bond with each other improving compound strength for improved longevity and shear strength. Thanks to these polymers and carbon fillers, the Black Chili ends up being some of the strongest and most durable tread available as well as having the least amount of rolling resistance. The fillers also greatly reduce flatting.
Under the tread, Conti has placed a strip of Vectran which adds to the already out standing puncture resistance. It is essentially a protective belt made of super strong and extremely lightweight and pliant material. Small wear levels indicators have been molded into the tread to measure wear.
The Competition is offered in 19mm or 22mm widths. You can run the 19mm for TT and speed events and 22mm for most criteriums and road races or mix them. 19mm front and a 22mm rear is also a commonly run combination for slight weigh reduction and added aerodynamics.
Run these tires on Zipp 303s on some of rougher roads around Los Angeles. No flats, roll and corner well, trustworthy when descending local mountains. Have used other tubulars looking for either for durability or race quality and come back to these as dependable, reliable and excellent performance. Best ride quality at 95 to 110 psi.
Pros: Best mix of reliability and performance.
Cons: Price at LBS 127 USD
Just switched from 23m Vittoria CX to 25m Continental Competition. Only have a couple hundred miles on them so far but here's my impressions. Love the ride. Corners a ton better, handles better in the wind, probably because moved up to 25. Very fast tire. Holds air 20x better. Tires feel a bit heavier, but I could be wrong. Give them a 4, till I put 2k miles on them, which I believe they'll get to, then I'll give them a 5.
Pros: Fast, corners better, better in the wind
Cons: Feels heavier, no experience with lifespan yet
I use these for my race wheels and they are a great all-around set of tires. They're tougher and wear longer than Vittorias, but don't corner as confidently- pick your priority.
Don't know why people are using them as training tires- they're not. They'll tubular tires designed for road racing and have to strike a balance between toughness and performance.
Pros: A good balance of light weight, strength, and cost
Cons: Good in corners, but not as good as Vittorias
couldn't be a more boring review: Second set that lasted until they wore out. I don't get the guys with all the flats. Maybe they should look down occasionally.
Pros: tough, fast, straight
Cons: ride harder than Vittorias
3 flats on new tires in 5 months of riding about 150 miles per week on nice smooth southern California roads; tire pressure at 125psi. Not happy.
We have always had good luck with the Competition tires from Continental, suprised to see this review - ed
Have over 1000 miles on them and they look like new. Have put Stans no leak in them as I road ride and was hoping not to flat. Grip and ride very impressive. I dont know about all that many other tires out there but I like these.
PS. My other wheels have Hutchinson tubeless and I like the ride of those also. When I flat and put a tube in it feels like I am riding on a brick. I think old style tube tires need to be rethought out.