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
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.
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.
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.