The Vertical has everything a classic tire needs. It is at home on all trails, really showing what it can do when the terrain turns rugged. Still the top choice for tours in Alpine terrain where low weight and high puncture protection are paramount.
Strengths: Great 90% of conditions, this tyre grips like hell whilst still rolling fast on most surfaces and terrain.
Weaknesses: Slop. If the mud is complete bog then forget this tyre as it will just give out on you.
Absolutly stunning tyre for its money and weight, i ride on these most of the year in most conditions on XC loops and DH trails. You cannot beat it for money and reliability.
The only thing i will point out is that its an all or nothing tyre it grips like hell but when its pushed over the edge of what it can do it just completely gives up on you so be aware of this especially on DH tight turns or flat hard pack turns as this is where it'll have you off.
Also be careful of putting them on wide rims, its squares the profile even more and makes the problem mentioned worse.
Similar Products Used: Conti explorer, Vapour, Gravity, Mountain Kings, Nokian Gazza, Maxxis High rollers, Swamp things, Minions
Bike Setup: Various bikes from Hardtail XC and DH to 4/5" FS and DH FS bikes.
a Weekend Warrior
from New Castle CO
Date Reviewed: December 11, 2010
Strengths: Very stable at speed. "Squarish" feel makes it seem like you are in total control on everything except thick mud and wet pavement. Makes my bike feel like a cruise missile.
Weaknesses: noticed an incredible "no grip" spot while washing my bike and locking up the front brake on we pavement with the wheel at about a 30 degree angle to the direction of travel. No grip as in zero. Just got back from a ride where I came about a blink away from eating s*it as I transitioned from wet grass to a sidewalk. Sidewalk was at the same 30 degree angle. Tire went from grass (good control) to sidewalk edge (no control) in the blink of an eye). I felt like a cruise missile about to face plant into the ground. Pulled it out with a rear wheel power slide.
Don't ever hit anything hard and wet at an angle because you will be biking on your damn face in about a quarter second. Great otherwise.
Bike Setup: Full Suspension Rocky Mountain SPice 2001 with Marzocchi 5" Bomber Front Fork. WTB Dissent Rear. Continental Vertical Front Tire
a Cross Country Rider
from Sydney Australia
Date Reviewed: October 31, 2010
Strengths: holds a line,copes well when deflected of rocks etc,good on downhill sprints,strong sidewalls.
Weaknesses: squirmy on bitumen
Great all rounder copes well with Rock,Sand,Loose over hard pack,Mulchy surfaces,fire trails,single track, technical climbs, sprints down hill etc.not bad in the wet
(I haven't really tried mud yet) Holds a great line into and out of corners, when it breaks away its very predictable and safe.The bike came with Larsens they didn't cope found them lacking in a few areas, (they are a great race tire but)The Verticals ate up everything the Larsens struggled with. I run them at 40 psi front and back i'm about 180lbs and ride aggresively and race in marathon/distance events.If you want 1 tire that does everything try these.
Bike Setup: 2005 giant reign, rs domain 318 160 uturn...
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2009
Strengths: Rools like a racing ralph, gripps lika a fat albert. Wears x4 schwalbe
Weaknesses: Little heavy
Used this tire now for 6 months and no flats. I am 225lbs and run 55 psi in it. Tried the race king eco version folding and flatted 3 tubes in two rides and it had no corner grip. Whit this tire you can rail corners lika you do on a motocross bike, lean in, be netral on the bike an look ahead. Is the Mountain King wire verion as good as vertical? I am thinking of testing Mountain King when this weares out.
Similar Products Used: Nobby nic fat albert, racin ralph, race king
Bike Setup: Giant ac air 2003, reba 115mm fork
a Cross Country Rider
from Severna Park, Maryland, USA
Date Reviewed: July 15, 2009
Strengths: Inexpensive, very good, maybe even fantastic traction, puncure resistant, good in every condition I've tried so far, from hardpack to stream beds. Low rolling resistance, especially for such a knobby tire.
Weaknesses: Can slip a little when riding along the sides of steep concrete flumes, but almost any tire (except maybe a cruiser tire or slick) will do that.
With today's 8-mile ride on the Ridge Trail, I can honestly say I've tested this tire on hardpack, gravel, baby-heads, roots, through streams, up crazy steep hills, in loose sand over hardpack, over large rocks, downhill at scary speeds, and even in urban drainage flumes. When BRAND new, they seem a little "squirmy" on asphalt, but that stops within a few miles. They humiliate the Bontrager Jones XR's they replaced, and they give the same feeling of traction and confidence that the Competition III's gave. I only had a couple slips going up steep hills over large roots, and they dug into stream beds like studded snow tires. I'm going to run with this tire for quite awhile. NO pinch flats or sidewall punctures from thorns so far. I've put about 30 miles on them, in urban areas and on singletrack mountain trails, and I love 'em!
Favorite Trail: Ridge Trail, Patapsco Valley State Park
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: ebaY
Similar Products Used: Ritchie Quad 1.9's, 1980's Mitsuboshi Competition III's, Bontrager Connection/Trail, Bontrager Jones XR.
Bike Setup: 2009 Gary Fisher Big Sur disc frame, Marlin Components, 11-34T Sram casette. The bike started as a 2009 Marlin Disc, then some bonehead rear-ended my car with my bike on the back and dented the frame, so his insurance had to pay for a replacement frame from Trek/Fisher. The lowest price point frame they sell for a crash replacement is the Big Sur, which is an awesome frame.
Strengths: Cheap, rolls very fast, good grip on hardpack based surfaces (even in the wet). Does OK on loose stuff (we're talking about several layers of shale here)
Weaknesses: Hates mud. If you go over light soil it's OK, but proper mud and they just clog up in seconds and there goes that grip.
Let's be honest, the manufacturer that creates a tyre that grips EVERY type of surface and never slips will drive everyone else to bankrupcy. These aren't those tyres, but none are.
Note: I've used these tyres primarily for XC and light DH. Aggressive DH riders should use DH specific tyres, not these.
On hardpack, wet hardpack, light soil over hardpack, dense sand and loose surfaces they are very good. They bite when they need to, and roll very quickly. They grip very well in the corners as well and I've only punctured one tube in 9 months.
They are not as good on mud, they will take small patches on trails, or a layer of thin mud but don't use these for very muddy trails or you will feel like you're riding very wide slicks, but given that's not what they're designed to do that's not a problem.
They deserve 5 chilis because for £14 a tyre that's outstanding value. If you live in Wales these are fine and will take on every descent without issue. If your trails have frequent patches of medium-deep mud with lots of hardpack then you will probably want Mountain kings instead, but when these eventually burn out I think I'll get another pair.