I had been running 27X1&1/4” Continental Sport 1000 tires on my roadster-style bike for years. I loved them! They were durable and comfortable, and they seemed to roll nicely. So, I was quite sad when a sharp piece of metal debris got caught between my chainstay and my tire and shredded the sidewall. I looked and looked for a replacement Sport 1000, but I could not find one. This model has been discontinued, and I could not find an "New Old Stock" (NOS) replacement anywhere.
I decided to try another 27X1&1/4” Continental tire, the Ultra Sport. I ordered a pair and mounted them. They looked nice, and I was excited about testing them out with a load of groceries in the front basket and my son in his child seat on back. Unfortunately, the beauty of these tires is only skin deep.
I have been riding on the Ultra Sports for a couple weeks now, and I do not like them at all. The rubber on the tread is very sticky. I hear the constant "tink, tink, tink" of road debris getting tossed up against my steel fender with the Ultra Sports that I did not hear with my old Sport 1000s, which just rolled over such debris without grabbing it and flipping it up. I am very concerned that the Ultra Sports will grab something sharp and hold onto it until it punctures the tire. Many of the reviews I have read say these are very flat-prone tires, and I do not doubt it. For now, I am glad that I mounted Mr. Tuffy tire liners inside these tires. They should afford me some protection against the inevitable tire puncture.
The Ultra Sports are also very narrow. I checked mine with calipers, and they measured out at 1.13” (28.7mm) wide at their widest point when mounted on Velocity Synergy rims. They are 1.05”(26.7mm) high as measured from the top of the rim’s side wall to the top of the tire. I have already bottomed them out a few times while riding over uneven concrete sections with my son in the child seat and the tires inflated to 80 psi. Fortunately, I have not experienced any pinch flats, but it is just a matter of time before I do.
I'm going to keep riding the Ultra Sports for a while to see if the rubber loses some of its tackiness. I will run them at higher pressures and hope for the best, but if I had it to do all over again, I would not have bought them in the first place. On the other hand, I love my 700CX32mm Panaracer Pasela TG tires, so I would not hesitate to recommend those in their 27" form. Also, I am looking forward to mounting my cheapo 27X1&3/8" Kenda K40 tires on another bike. These look A LOT like the old “Specialized Commuter” tires used to look, and I think they will work well on bicycles used primarily for utilitarian cycling. I'll let you know how those work out.
27X1&1/4” Continental Ultra Sport Overall Grade: D+