To celebrate another Tour de France milestone, tire sponsor Continental has issued a limited edition run of Competition TdF LTD tubulars. Edging ever closer in spec to the exact tire raced by so many professional cyclists, this might be as close as you’ll ever get to the same tubulars the pros are racing (before tubeless takes over?!)

In case you are wondering, this year’s milestone is 100 years of the yellow jersey…

Continental Competition TdF LTD 2019 almost-pro tubulars

Continental Competition TdF LTD 2019 tubular tires, almost-pro 25mm road race tubulars

Conti calls these “The material of the Pros”, and they do look to get a slight spec upgrade over the standard Competition tubulars you can buy year round. But they are still lacking one feature that would otherwise earn them the “ProLtd” hot stamp.

Continental Competition TdF LTD 2019 tubular tires, almost-pro 25mm road race tubulars

These TdF LTD tubulars are handmade in Germany by Continental, sewn and vulcanized by the same hands that make the pro’s tires. They use the same top-level, German-produced BlackChili compound rubber that gives the Competition family excellent grip, low rolling resistance, and relatively long wearing, and Conti’s signature fine file ALX tread design. They also get a lightweight Vectran breaker under the tread for reliable puncture protection.

What these get better than the standard Competitions is a new generation 2, slightly higher 200tpi carcass that makes them ever so slightly faster, more supple & lighter than the standard 180tpi casing. They do however still get a lightweight butyl inner tube for better retention of air pressure, vs. the latex tubes inside the pro-only version.

Continental Competition TdF LTD 2019 tubular tires, almost-pro 25mm road race tubulars

In any case, for 100 years of the Maillot Jaune, Conti has produced 3,460 individually-numbered, limited edition tubulars – one for each kilometer in this year’s Tour. The Competition TdF LTD tubulars come only in 700x25mm, with a claimed weight of 250g (30g lighter than the standard Competition.) The tires are available through regular distributors, bike shops & Conti’s webshop for 106€ a piece and get a special yellow TdF logo on the sidewall.


  1. Yet again, companies and teams breaking UCI rules regarding availability of equipment used in protour racing. This is probably the most common infraction.

  2. Really annoyed you can’t actually get the Pro Ltd tires, as the UCI requires Pro Tour equipment to be readily available.

    • I don’t want “tubulars” that the pros actually ride. I want Continental Competitions that the pros actually ride. And really, I just want them to be available, as stated in the rules.

      • The thing is….having had ridden ‘those tires’ (in the day it was Dugast more than Conti)…much like the super high performance tires on my car…they only last so long. Sure, they are great tires today….fact is, most of the folks I see on Lightweight wheels (the brand and the description) are at best trying to be a cool kid on a Wed night ride…not much need for the high zoot tires (or wheels or skin suit for unlicensed Cat 0 folks).

        So you want them….sure, I get it. But….why?

      • They are available, but you have to jump through hoops to get them. This is from CyclingTipsDotCom’s story on the tires and is a quote from Jan-Niklas Jünger, Continental’s product manager:

        “A quick search online reveals no easy sources, nor are the tires listed on Continental’s consumer web site. However, Jünger insists that the Competition ProLTD tubulars being used at this year’s Tour de France really are available to the public — albeit with a bit of work.

        ‘Tires are available for purchase,” he said, “but only in limited quantities, and only after special checking up.'”

        That UCI requirement about equipment being available to the public?

        “Equipment shall be of a type that is sold for use by anyone practicing cycling as a sport,” reads UCI rule 1.3.006. “The requirement of commercial availability shall be understood as equipment having to be available through a publicly available order system (whether with manufacturer, distributor or retailer). Upon an order being placed, the order shall be confirmed within 30 days and the relevant equipment shall be made available for delivery within a further 90-day deadline.

        “In addition, the retail price of the equipment shall be publicly advertised, shall not render the equipment de facto unavailable to the general public and shall not unreasonably exceed the market value for equipment of a similar standard.”

        Boil it down and that means that it doesn’t have to be on a shelf at your LBS or available from your favorite online retailer. It means that the equipment doesn’t necessarily have to be easy to get.

      • Greg – fair enough! My comment was mostly in response to the headline, which I find a bit misleading because “the closest you’ll get to riding pro tubulars” is actually riding pro tubulars (eg, FMB’s). As you point out, it’s a different story if you want to ride Conti pro tubulars.

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