Tire Test - Continental Gatorskin

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Continental Gatorskin road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Continental Gatorskin has been around for a long time and is well known for it's excellent puncture resistance qualities. This tire is available in both a folding and rigid version. The tire I'm reviewing is the folding 700 x 25 C version of the Gatorskin. Continental specifies this tire as a tire that can be used on the way to work or as a training tire. They seem to emphasize the puncture resistance qualities a lot, but nothing is said about rolling resistance.


Check Continental Gatorskin Prices at Amazon.com


The Gatorskin uses a 3/180 carcass with DuraSkin fabric and a PolyXBreaker for increased puncture resistance. The rubber compound is a "Durable carbon black mixture". This seems to be quite an old compound which has been optimized for low wear and cold weather grip. Claimed weight of the 25C folding Gatorskin is 240 grams which is a low weight for such a strong tire.


When looking at the Continental road bike tires line-up, I noticed the new Grand Prix 4-Season tire. This seems to be a tire with the same properties as the Gatorskin but is a new design with the latest tire technology. The 4-season seems to be close to a GP4000S with an extra layer of Vectran breaker and a DuraSkin sidewall. I'm looking forward to comparing this tire to the Gatorskin as it will be a good example of how much tire-tech has progressed in the last 10 years.


Manufacturer Specifications
Brand Continental
Model Gatorskin
Year 2015
Tire Type Tubetype (clincher)
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range High
Price Amazon.com
Part number 0100084
TPI 3/180
Compound carbon black mixture
Bead Folding
ETRTO 25-622
Size Inch 28"
Width 25
Specified Weight 240 grams
Max Pressure 120
Made In Germany
Available Sizes 32-630 (27x1 1/4)
23-622 (700x23C)
25-622 (700x25C)
28-622 (700x28C)
32-622 (700x32C)
23-571 (650x23C)
28-559 (26x1 1/8)

Test Results


Continental Gatorskin road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size and Weight Measurements


Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622x17C, Pressure: 100 psi / 6.9 bar)
Specified Weight 240 grams
Measured Weight 255 grams
Measured Width 26 mm
Measured Height 23 mm
Total Tire Thickness Center 3.2 mm
Total Tire Thickness Sidewall 0.7 mm

The measured weight is 255 grams, which is higher than the specified weight of 240 grams. With a measured width of 26 mm and measured height of 23 mm on a 17C rim, sizing is very close to it's rated size of 25C.


Rolling Resistance Test Results


Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph, Load: 42.5 kg)
Inner Tube Conti Race28 (100gr butyl)
Rolling Resistance 120 psi / 8.3 Bar 19.3 Watts
Rolling Resistance 100 PSI / 6.9 Bar 20.2 Watts
Rolling Resistance 80 PSI / 5.5 Bar 22.0 Watts
Rolling Resistance 60 PSI / 4.1 Bar 26.2 Watts
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 120 psi / 8.3 Bar 0.00579
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 100 psi / 6.9 Bar 0.00606
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 80 psi / 5.5 Bar 0.00659
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 60 psi / 4.1 Bar 0.00785

As expected, rolling resistance is very high. At 120 psi, rolling resistance is 19.3 watts. This is even higher than last week's test of the Vredestein Fortezza. At lower air pressures, rolling resistance rises even higher. At 80 psi, rolling resistance is 22.0 watts, which means rolling resistance is 8.3 watts higher when compared to a GP4000S II at 80 psi (13.7 watts).



Puncture Resistance Test Results


Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)
Puncture Resistance Tread 18
Puncture Resistance Sidewall 7

In the puncture resistance test, the Gatorskin shows us what it's all about. It is able to score 18 points in the puncture resistance test, which is the highest score of all tires tested to date. A puncture resistance score of 18 means it requires 64% more force to puncture than a GP4000S II (PR score of 11).




Conclusion


Continental Gatorskin road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

I like the fact Continental doesn't claim the Gatorskin to be a low rolling resistance tire but instead it is designed to achieve a high puncture resistance. With a puncture resistance score of 18 in our puncture resistance test, I can confirm that it is a very strong tire. If all you want from a road bike tire is high puncture resistance and you don't care about speed, the Gatorskin is a good choice.


While the Gatorskin is a good choice, It's quite an old-tech road bike tire. The new Continental Grand Prix 4-Season might be a better tire with a double layer of Vectran breaker and a DuraSkin sidewall. I will try to test this tire as well as it should give some interesting results.


Check Continental Gatorskin Prices at Amazon.com


RATING: 3 / 5
TEST VERDICT:
Recommended


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Continental Gatorskin road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Continental Gatorskin road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Continental Gatorskin road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

(click to enlarge)

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