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Continental Gator Hardshell Tire

Continental took the standard Gatorskin tire and made it tougher. While employing the same technology, casing and compound, the Gator Hardshell Tire gets additional protection and changes the emphasis from a great all-around protection tire, to one that adds a little weight, and only slightly reduces overall performance and feel. If you want to maximize your protection, without losing much road feel and cornering comfort, the Gator Hardshell is for you.

The principal flat protection on the center of the tire comes from Conti's PolyXBreaker, a cross-hatched polyester fiber that the company has used in performance car tires for many years. The woven material is very dense, yet flexible, making it ideal in preventing pinches and punctures, but also matching the suppleness of the casing and DuraSkin layers. In the Hardshell version, Conti extends the PolyXBreaker over the outer edge of the center tire surface with a wider PolyXBreaker belt. This does not negatively affect rolling resistance, but slightly diminshes the cornering feel of the Gatorskin version. It is a tradeoff that tips the balance towards protection. DuraSkin technology protects the supple casing. DuraSkin is a polymide mesh fiber that wraps the casing from bead to bead, and is designed to protect your casing from sidewall abrasion and puncture. While still offering protection in the center of the tire, the primary reason it wraps the entire casing is to provide a consistent feel in all riding situations. This protective combination makes the Gator Hardshell optimal for chip-seal, gravel roads, and rough road conditions; all reasons why we added the 700x28 option in this model.

The rubber itself is Conti's durable carbon-black compound, which offers excellent wet and dry grip, as well as delivering extended tread wear. Gatorskin is often referred to as the Kilometer King for its incredible long life, and with additional protection, the Gator Hardshell holds up even better. Yes, you add a little weight and sacrifice a little feel, but compared to other high quality, highly protective tires on the market, Conti is not only competitive, but still leads the pack.


  • High mileage, durable, folding tire tire with exceptional flat protection
  • Wider, cross-hatched, woven polymide PolyXBreaker belt resists flats and pinches
  • Bead to bead DuraSkin mesh protective layer for sidewall abrasion protection
  • Supple, high quality 3 ply 180 tpi casing
  • Pressure range: 700x 23 110-120psi, 700x25 95-120psi, 700x28 95-116psi
  • Weight: 700x23 250g, 700x25 270g, 700x28 350g
  • Made in Germany
Sale Price
Reg Price $69.95


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Average Rating:


Posted on 2/6/2013

Just replaced a pair this week.20000 kilometres and not one puncture ,awesome .


Posted on 5/10/2012

The best training tyre I've ever used over 25 rears of riding. I already have about 4000km's on these with the front hardly showing wear and the back looking like it still has heaps of life in it. I'm uising with slime tubes and have not had 1 puncture yet! We had really bad weather here during February and March and despite rain, mud, glass on the roads no punctures. Grip and handling are great too, even in the wet.Can't say I had the same issues getting them on they went on OK for me. Simon from Australia

Pros Long life, No punctures

Cons None


Posted on 6/7/2011 8:12:55 PM

These are truly superb training and/or commuting tires. Yes, these are a little difficult to install but try warming the tires in the sun for an hour or two and this will soften them up. I use this as a rear tire on a single speed road bike and have far exceeded 4,000 miles. I inspect this tire and all others I use daily after each ride. Worth every penny and lives up to Continental’s claims.


Posted on 6/3/2011 1:31:31 PM

I’ve had these on for about 750 miles with zero flats. On the same roads with other tires I was getting at least one flat per week, lots of broken glass here in SE MA. They are bomb proof, but heavy, very heavy. I had no problems mounting them, no more difficult than most clinchers and easier than some I’ve struggled with.


Posted on 11/28/2010 1:03:27 PM

A fantastic tire for winter riding or when riding on dirt roads. They’re fast and corner well. The only reason I’m not giving them 5 stars is because they are a BEAR TO MOUNT--much more so than the Conti Grand Prix 4000s tires I usually ride--and those are hard to mount the first time too.