[Originally published February 3, 2015.]
Review by Paul Williams, photos by Paul Williams and courtesy Continental Tire
Feb. 3, 2015 – Update by Paul Williams
Shortly after we published our review of Continental’s Extreme Winter Contact tires, winter hit Ottawa with serious intent. Minus 30-degree temperatures, big snow and lots of ice combined to produce conditions not experienced in our initial test.
The tires, I can report, dig into snow-packed roads with authority. In these conditions, the Continentals provide real bite when starting, cornering and stopping. On sheer ice (at many intersections here, where cars seem to have buffed the ice to a dangerous lustre) the Continentals tires meet their match. Little bite when stopping and starting on this surface means very slow approaches and departures are required, along with focus and anticipation from the driver.
We did have occasion to head to balmy (comparatively) Toronto, finding the highways mostly bare, but the weather still colder than normal. Unlike some winter tires, these Continentals were virtually noise-free on the bare pavement. No whining or howling, no hum or vibration; just smooth, quiet and good handling. Regarding tire noise, you wouldn’t know you were riding on winter rubber, as opposed to all-seasons.
We were unable to test how Continental’s next generation winter tires fared in the ice at their media launch in Montana so that question remains unanswered – at least until we get our hands on a set for a road test. Stay tuned!