HammerTime2 wrote:Is there any difference, other than labels, between the butyl version of the Team version of Conti Competition and the "regular" Conti Competition?Geoff wrote:I have Team versions of the Conti Competition with butyl and latex tubes. Go figure.
Yes, there is a 28mm version of the latex-tubed Competition that is available to the pro teams.
Compound, casing composition, and puncture protection carry over from the pro tires to the production versions, and that will have the most impact on the factors that amateur racers care about: flat resistance, wet weather grip, and long tread life.
I've never experienced the supposed traumas of mounting Contis, and I run Sprinter Gatorskins. I've also run quite a few Veloflex tubs, and the difference between the mounting efforts didn't seem like night and day to me. My Gatorskins haven't been invincible, but they wear very well and shake off insults that would kill Veloflex/Vittoria/Challenge type finery. My Contis grip well in wet and dry, they have demonstrated long wear life, and their puncture resistance is very good considering my challenging road conditions.
As for ride quality, all tubulars can run lower pressures than all clinchers before pinch flats become a problem. I have no issues running my Contis at 4.5 Bar/5.0 Bar front/rear, and they feel great. I run a bit more for races, just to stiffen the sidewalls for cornering. Really, if you're not pinch flatting at these kind of pressures, the ride difference between a latex tube and butyl tube is negligible.
If you're the proverbial Princess on the pea, can distinguish between Blue Steel and La Tigra, or one of those guys who was *really* into Magic Eye images in the 90's, you may feel differently
Finally, I'm not sure the weight difference between a Conti Comp and a similarly sized Vittoria casing will be huge. Most of the WW factor of tubulars is in the rim weight anyway, and 260 for a Sprinter puts it solidly in the measured range of Veloflex Criteriums and Carbons that I've run.