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Are continental gatorskins slippery?

kayakerchriskayakerchris Posts: 361
edited July 2009 in Road beginners
Hi, I have had a few punctures in the standard continental sports tyres that came with my Boardman so I bought some continental gatorskins. I have now been riding them for about 10 days and they seem to have much less grip than the previous tyre. For example running across a white line or a man hole cover feels as if the bike is slipping whereas before I didnt even notice them.

I understand these are a training tyre and therefore probably a harder rubber compound but does it make this much difference? Somebody suggested that it could be oil from the manufacturing needing to rub off and somebody else suggested that I might have the tyres on the wrong way round but I cannot find a direction indicator on the tyre.

Any help would be gratefully received as it is making my riding a lot scarier.



  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,438
    I've got gatorskins they are a bit sketchy in the wet but no worse than the ultra sports that came on my bike. You do need the scrub them in in the dry though first, the releasing agent is slippery when wet :shock:
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  • carefulcareful Posts: 720
    I have never had a problem with them and because of the minimal tread pattern, direction of fitting shouldnt matter. Have you got the pressure right - about 100 to 110 is good. It has been very wet lately, maybe its the roads that are slippery.
  • I run gatorskins on one of my bikes - can't say I've found them to be lacking in grip... quite the opposite.

    I'm not sure what the issue is but i can say that it's unlikely to be from the tyres being the wrong way round - the tread on gatorskins is mainly for aesthetic purposes. And even if the tread was more pronounced it would only serve to make the tyre less grippy.
  • JamieWJamieW Posts: 114
    i've put several thousand miles in on my gatorskins now. they do have less feel and grip in the wet, i had a couple of sketchy moments last nite, but i would not change them.

    they do scrub in and get better with age... to a point. they are certainly better than some cheaper training tyres out there for grip and puncture resistance.

    agree with everyone else that tread is to make them look pretty. mine are on in different directions at the moment :lol:
  • starsevenstarseven Posts: 112
    Great tyres, coming up to 2 years on this pair, no punctures, no problems on or off road.

    I did once come off due to a slip but that was a sharp turn down hill under braking and across a worn smooth man hole cover, dont think theres a tyre made would have stuck to that.
    When these are done I'll buy the same again.
  • mine are on in different directions at the moment

    lol - same here :D
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    I liked mine on my langster fied gear bike and they proved to be pretty tough.

    I remember them being very greasy when new - they seemed to have a lot of release agent on them - that waxy shiny covering which released the tyres from the mould - it's not grippy stuff (ask any motorcyclist about scrubbing in new tyres!) but after it is worn off the tyres are fine.
  • rokkalarokkala Posts: 649
    Out of interest then, anybody got experience or opinion on an exceptionally good(relatively speaking) tyre for wet conditions?
  • Chip \'oylerChip \'oyler Posts: 2,323
    I used to use them and found them very skitty in the wet - even after good useage.

    I binned them long a go and only use Schwalbe tyres now - Ultremo on my summer bike and Blizzards on the winter one. The Blizzards are great, bombproof, grippy and fast for a cheaper tyre
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  • RedAendeRedAende Posts: 158
    car/motorbike tyres have groove running from centre back the way to outside edge, to displace water and stop aquaplaning, on a skinny bike tyre you wont aquaplane unless doing 200mph.

    I dont know the tread pattern on gatorskins but as a rule of thumb if there is a light tread and no direction indicator follow rule above.

    I've had numpties fit tyres backwards on my Lotus before so it's something I always check.

    Also as mentioned above, scrub them in on a long dry warm ride.

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  • Philip SPhilip S Posts: 398
    If I remember right, mine felt a little slippery at first, but not anywhere near the extent of causing me any concerns. They've been fine since then though - no problems with grip at all, and not even a hint of damage - I must have done close to 1000 miles on them, and you can still clearly see the mould lines down the cetnre of the tyre.

    I'm pretty sure they have a direction indicator on the side wall (it may be moulded into the rubber rather than printed on it). The tread, such as it is, consists of pairs of what look like squashed circles. I think the suggested direction is so that the smaller circle of each pair hits the road first.
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    gkerr4 wrote:
    I (ask any motorcyclist about scrubbing in new tyres!)
    I used to have a TVR. The first time I took it for a set of new boots, I did a 180 when turning right out of the tyre place :oops:
  • StelliteStellite Posts: 544
    Ive done 600 miles on em and they have been fine, never punctured yet touch wood.

    There is a direction arrow, its not printed on the tyre, you have to tilt the tyre to see the raised arrow, but i wouldnt imagine it matters as there is little to no tread pattern.

    I have found they can slip in the wet, i nearly came off on a mini round about in the wet, and have slipped on a smooth drain cover, but I would expect any tyre to do this??

    Been a cheap all round tyre for me
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Nuggs wrote:
    gkerr4 wrote:
    I (ask any motorcyclist about scrubbing in new tyres!)
    I used to have a TVR. The first time I took it for a set of new boots, I did a 180 when turning right out of the tyre place :oops:

    Or, it could be that TVRs are reknown for that :D
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  • pompeypoppypompeypoppy Posts: 182
    If you're concerned about a tyre 'slipping' then go for slicks. Been out on my new Michelin Pro's and they seem to grip better in the wet than my old Kenda Kontenders did in the dry!
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