The Continental Terra Speed isn’t just one of the lightest but, in lab testing, was also one of the fastest tires on test. Can it do its name proud and take its impressive stats to real terrain?
The Terra Speed is the “little” brother of the Terra Trail and the spiderweb design might be familiar to old mountain bikers – it reminds us strongly of the Conti Vertical tire from the last century. On roads and compacted gravel, this tire is the faster and, compared to the Terra Trail, more efficient Conti tire in our test. It plays with the best tires in our group in terms of acceleration, though it does have a bit of a tendency to bob on hard surfaces. Uphill, traction is acceptable and the Terra Speed generates enough grip whether you’re on softer forest floors or riding over rocks and roots. On the way downhill, the Conti shows its more demanding nature. While cornering, it’s easy to reach its grip limit after which the Conti starts sliding quickly. Veteran gravel fans will be able to play and drift through corners like they’re on powder skis. However, beginners and riders who are after more secure handling will quickly be overwhelmed by the Terra Speed. The round construction and short shoulder knobs mean the Terra Speed is limited in grip when leaned over on loose terrain and you’ll inevitably end up being pushed to the outside of tight corners. The German comfort battle is won handily by the Conti tire against the competition from Schwalbe, though overall, it remains in the middle of the test field. On asphalt, braking traction is excellent. However, drop the anchor on compacted gravel and the tire loses traction uncontrollably. Beware of snakebites: the Terra Speed proved to be the least resistant to snakebite punctures in our lab testing.
The Continental Terra Speed is light, fast and can be ridden efficiently on asphalt and compacted gravel. In corners, it loses traction quickly and will prove to be a demanding tire for gravel newbies. As a result, the Terra Speed can’t be recommended as an all-rounder.
- low weight
- low rolling resistance
- light-footed acceleration
- tends to bob on
- hard surfaces
- loses traction quickly through corners
- susceptible to snakebite punctures
Made in Germany |Tested size 40-622 | Tire width in mm¹ 38.3 | Tire height in mm¹ 35.7 | Tire height + test rim in mm² 59.7 | Weight 419 g | Price € 57.90
1 messured dimension with 2.5 bar. 2 Test rim: Stan’s NOTUBES Grail 622 x 20.3 C (Rim height 24.5 mm)
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In our introduction of the best gravel tire on test you can’t just find our most interesting findings and our overall conclusion, but a good view on all tires tested.
All tires on review: Continental Terra Speed (click for review) | Continental Terra Trail (click for review) | MAXXIS Rambler SilkShield TR (click for review) | Panaracer GravelKing SK (click for review) | Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H (click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Allround Evolution (click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Bite Evolution (click for review) | Specialized Pathfinder Pro (click for review) | Teravail Cannonball Light & Supple (click for review) | Vittoria Terreno Dry (click for review) | WTB Riddler TCS Light/Fast Rolling (click for review) | WTB Venture Road TCS (click for review)
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Words & Photos: Benjamin Topf, Philipp Schwab