Product Test: ACS Crossfire Freewheel/Conti TourRide
ACS has put a new freewheel out that works. In fact, after beating the crap out of it for three months in all conditions, hammering through town, and never ever servicing it - or actually touching it after installation, it still rolls killer. The old ACS Claws had play, made noise, but lasted... well, longer than any other. Time will tell as to how long the Crossfire will last, but as it stands right now, there are no worries. At $26, it is a win. 5 stars... so far.
Continental Tour Ride 700x28. Snapping turns at speed produces a velcro sound as the tires grip pavement, which is repeated when charging a steep climb. In grass and gravel, they roll like butter and smooth out almost all the little things. With the higher air volume, jumping curbs, pounding potholes, or riding home with reckless abandon after one too many is not a problem at all. I don't think these tires are designed to roll on a fixed gear, which is why I think they wore so quickly in the course of a couple months. Then again, power slides and fun skids will destroy most anything in a short amount of time, never mind.
These tires were mounted on a Surly Cross Check for commuting, hammering around town on night rides (where the bulk of the testing was done), as well as some long distance fun. The suspension quality shined, and the sticky was just that, STICKY. Confidence in every turn. Knock on wood, never had a flat either. In the rain and wet, no problem. The deep channels moved water away better than the City Ride (which is what I use on my real commuter bike - and they last longer, and are twice the price).
As usual, Continental brings killer products to roll, and the Tour Rides do not disappoint. $18 for steel beaded aggression on your wheels in the city and around most any terrain you like makes for a great tire, though as the name says, they would be best for touring and commuting. ...but they make one hell of an inexpensive city tire for those looking to dive through grass, alleys, and other places where the typical tire just wouldn't hold up. I would place these firmly between using a dedicated city tire and a knobby cross tire, if splitting the difference is what you are after.
5 if they lasted just a little longer.