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Old 4th December 2010, 02:09   #1
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Default Continental CPC2 – just not worth it!

Sometime around August’10, I bought Continental CPC2 after going through its good web reviews. This was a change of all 4 tires on my 4 yr old Honda Civic. However I ended up being quiet disappointed with the tires. IMO it is another hyped product on the web. I was upgrading from my stock Bridgestone BS200 (?? Don’t remember the exact model) and expected significant improvement over them. My observation (in comparison to stock – all purpose Bridgestone) is as following

1. The dry grip of tires were hardly any better than the Bridgestone I replaced (after running 35k km). Now this is a subjective issue but the benchmark I use to say this is a deserted curve on my daily office drive which I could earlier take at 72kmph on old Bridgestone, I could now take at 76kmph (before under steering starts) on new CPC2. Better but is that all?

2. Since I drive fast on highways I wanted tires with good braking capabilities. This was one primary factor I picked these tires over other options. However here also I find that on hard braking the tire looses grip easily and the ABS kicks in. No benchmarks here, but it did not inspire any more confidence compared to my earlier tires

3. The tires were not perceptibly quieter though they are claimed to be.

4. These tires are considered good in wet grip, but I did not have any experience


Of course these are my views as a genuine user and the Conti fan club may not be too happy about it. Anyway, so far so good the real trouble starts below.



In October I did a 3500km tour from Bangalore to Mumbai, rest of Maharashtra (Pune, Aurangabad, Ajanta, Ellora, Lonar, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, etc) and back. On my way back while going from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar this scary incident took place.
Just 5 kms before Panchgani, after crossing the Wai ghat… While I was slowly going up towards Panchgani, I had a state transport bus hurling down towards me. To be on the safe side I slowed down further (to about 30km speed) and went slightly off road. It was a proper shoulder with broken potholed road which was well in level with the main road and I had no visible reason to avoid it. But alas immediately I had sidewalls of both my left front and rear tires cut. I was shocked first to see both the tires down in an unknown land 1000km away from home and secondly how could just 2 month old tires give up like that without any abuse.

I had to leave my wife and children there and get some help from nearest town – Panchgani. Now from this point onwards I had interactions with 3 tyre dealers and 3 opinions.

1. The first one was the tyre shop at Panchgani, he came saw the tires, saw the road 10 meters behind where the cut happened and then laughed at me – “Sir, some dealer has made fool of you buy selling you these imported tyres, they are useless for here”.

Anyway, the stupid choice of tyre was mine, so can’t blame the dealer but by now this thought had started settling in, and I said ***, just get them repaired so that I can drive back 1000km to home. He also made a fool of me by patching two tyres for Rs.600 after negotiating from Rs.850 (what choice did I have, the only thing in my mind was to get back to my family stranded on the ghat along with car). The front tire which was damaged more was replaced with Spare tire. And the rear one was put back after repairing. Still I had both the tires repaired – just in case…

The tire shop asked me to drive under 100kmph as the heat might release the patch. I decided to be extra careful and strictly restricted myself below 80. That day went peacefully thereafter with local sightseeing at maby, next day hardly about 150km, down the ghat and little ahead, I realized that I was losing pressure. I parked down and heard the patch leaking. Changed to the other repaired tire and now I was really scared as I had no back up and this was worse than the first one. I repositioned all the luggage and people in the car to other areas trying to avoid load on that wheel (difficult to do in a loaded car) and drove at speed of 10-15 km to the next puncture shop about 6 kms ahead.

2. Now this puncture guy again smiled at me and said – “hmm… made in Portugal…sir buy new set of tires, these tires are very delicate and dangerous”. He told me about the accidents that he has seen on Bombay Pune highway, where imported tires have busted after hitting the potholes! I asked him for reliable fix, to which he said that the patch wont last, the only option is to put a tube inside after putting the patch – he had a used tube which was bigger size than my tire. So we dropped the tube idea and just got the tire patched. Next big City Karad was 20km away so I decided to take my chance and drive slowly till there. This time the tire was patched for Rs.150 only.

3. At Karad, I first tried to get a spare tire but was not getting 205/65/15 so just decided to get tubes in both the tires. That way it should be as good as a regular tubed tire and I should be able to do 100kmph safely. Found one Apollo tire shop which had new Sumo tubes of 205/65/15 so got the job done there. This guy actually explained me the problem with the CPC2 tires
a. The sidewall is barely 2mm thick of delicate rubber. It felt like about half of a Bridgestone tire sidewall thickness that he showed me. This was indeed shocking, all this while I was entrusting my family’s safety to 2mm thick sidewall tire, I mean it was never expected to be tough but then that thin!!!

b. Second issue was that even with recommended PSI of 30 (I was maintaining 32 PSI of nitrogen), there is a fair amount of curve in the tire sidewall, i.e. on any pothole the sidewall of the tire is likely to hit the road. And these two factor together with a loaded car, seem to have done it for me.
To conclude the whole post, my learning’s to share are:

1. Safety was my top concern, I ignored the soft side wall gripe of imported tires (Michelin and Conti) thinking I will get good grip tires and not compromise on safety – I was wrong. These (CPC2) tires have no great grip and they can be much more dangerous incase the side wall hits a pothole and gives up at high speed. All the gyan of good grip vs soft side wall compromise is justification for bad product. I guess I would consume these in daily city drive and would stick with Bridgestone for long drives.

2. On long drives, always keep a spare tube of same size as your tubeless tire along with you. It will cost about 500 bucks and take no space, but in case you get two wheels down like I did it can be a real savior.

3. You just can’t make your purchases based on web reviews, these days companies spend more marketing dollars manipulating the web

It’s late I know but finally I just managed to gather some time to share this intense experience of mine with the fellow community.


BTW I did speak to the dealer all throughout, he was helpful in guidance and later kind enough to ask me to leave one tire with him, for which he would try and arrange a discount of 30% on a new tire purchase after discussing with the company person. Not yet got the time to do that, so the new CPC2 damaged tire (now in boot) is counting it’s days.
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Old 4th December 2010, 09:46   #2
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Wow quite an experience you have there and an eye opener for all of us. Thanks for posting.
I liked your comparison of the tyre grip on the turn to your office.
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Old 5th December 2010, 19:31   #3
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4kmph on 72 kmph is a substantial improvement.

Braking: I wont disagree too much. Braking in the dry is just about average on the CPC2.

CPC2 is quieter than some tyres but not the quietest of the lot. I upgraded from Michelin Energy MXV8 to CPC2 and the noise was identical. Maybe a little more on the CPC2 but havent done any proper tests to try this out.

For the damage part of it, here is my take:

Two tyres, both on the same side have been cut. It is quite clearly a case of bad luck due to bad roads. Of course, now that the tyres have been damaged, it is always easy to say that 'oh these tyres are too soft' etc.... but it is quite clear from the description that NO imported tyre (Michelin, Yokohama, Continental) would have survived that kind of driving.

Also it sounds to me that the pain and hurt of losing two tyres had made the OP believe two roadside puncture wallahs over most of the established reviews on the internet and off it.
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Old 5th December 2010, 20:48   #4
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I kind of agree with Nikhil. There's a reason why car manufacturers give bridgestones, Apollos, MRF, Goodyear.

None of those tyres are performance oriented or provide a soft ride. Because they wear out too fast or they get these sidewall cuts. Then the customer goes back to the manufacturer. So they just give a harder compound meant to last on our roads.

Honda is actually the one that has changed that by giving the Michelin XM1's on the City and MXV8's for the Civic. VW tried it out by fitting the Jetta with CPC2 but got complaints with sidewall bulges and went back to Goodyear NCT5.

The 4kmph improvement is pretty good but there are a lot of other factors. Did you try that turn when the tyres were new? For the 100-200kms the tyres need to be run in as there is a protective wax coating over new tyres to preserve them. This wax takes a few kms to wear out till the actual sticky rubber comes into full effect.

If your looking at tyres that last here in India get Apollo's or MRF's.

With imported tyres like Michelin's, Contis, Yokohama's you'll get better ride quality, better grip but you need to take care of the tyres. You can't take the tyres off the road on the run off areas or drive fast over poor roads like other tyres.
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Old 5th December 2010, 21:30   #5
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Really sorry for the tyre loss BUT i have to agree to both Nikhil and Vid. As far as i know there is no tyre that has not got a sidewall cut complaint against it in India. But if you go by the number of reports Conti's are relatively better off.
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Old 5th December 2010, 23:24   #6
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Quote:
I liked your comparison of the tyre grip on the turn to your office.
Yes it's a kind of deserted road, with clear view (across the turn) and plenty of empty space, just in case the car slips off the road


Quote:
4kmph on 72 kmph is a substantial improvement.
I am not sure, I would expect that kind of improvement between the same brand new and bald tire. Bridgestone was 35km done with little tread left on it, while CPC2 were a month old.

Quote:
NO imported tyre (Michelin, Yokohama, Continental) would have survived that kind of driving.
Possibly, I didn't make it generic because my experience is specific to CPC!
Also "that kind of driving" was plain 30-40kmph on a straight section of a ghat road. Very very typical Indian highway. I would recommend using what is designed for Indian highway, than something which is not.

On my previous Bridgestone tires, I have driven on roads considered to be worst highways in India, interior state highways, and even on roads which are notoriously damaged by iron ore mining trucks - NH 48, NH17, NH13 - without any issues - only 3 non intrusive punctures in 35k km.

Quote:
Also it sounds to me that the pain and hurt of losing two tyres had made the OP believe two roadside puncture wallahs over most of the established reviews on the internet and off it.
Soft side wall is a known issue, even on internet and not only on Indian forums, my mistake was in spite of knowing it I overlooked it and went ahead. And that is the whole idea behind posting this thread, so the others don't do the same mistake.

I felt the sidewall thickness of the two tires with my own hand before extending my bad luck to my bad tire choice.

Rest is regarding disappointment with CPC2 performance, which is purely personal experience.

Quote:
None of those tyres are performance oriented or provide a soft ride. Because they wear out too fast or they get these sidewall cuts. Then the customer goes back to the manufacturer. So they just give a harder compound meant to last on our roads
I just want a tire with very good braking capability, low noise and durable enough to withstand Indian roads. Why can't they make tires with sticky tread compound and tough sidewall?

Last edited by ST7677 : 5th December 2010 at 23:32.
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Old 6th December 2010, 16:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST7677 View Post
The dry grip of tires were hardly any better than the Bridgestone I replaced
Not saying a lot. The OEM Bridgestones offer lousy grip levels...it's so easy to slip & slide in them (a good and a bad side to that .

Quote:
On long drives, always keep a spare tube of same size as your tubeless tire along with you. It will cost about 500 bucks and take no space, but in case you get two wheels down like I did it can be a real savior.
Advice worth its weight in gold.

Thanks for the review, I know now the tyre I should avoid. Leaving aside the sidewall damage, I'm not too impressed on the tyre's performance either.
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Old 7th December 2010, 11:35   #8
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This is really scary and sad experience. Myself using CPC2 for 27000 kms. 3 tires hardly have any grip and two tires would last for next 3K kms. I have taken them to all sort of worst roads in KA/KL/TN. (State/NH etc). Only one puncture till now. (touch wood). It has given me confidence driving at high/low speeds. Dry braking is avg but wet braking is too good. In the recent past tires noise has increased.

I was contemplating to change all 5 tires to CPC2 again or Yoko V550.
Now I have to rethink after reading this thread.

Is the sidewall of CPC2/Michelin/Yoko are all around 2mm?
Which of the other tires have good sidewall thickness?
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Old 7th December 2010, 12:37   #9
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+1 ST7677

Cpc 2 are utter crap for guys who wants to push the car a little faster than usual (personal experience);

sorry nikhil but i think CPC2 are over rated and over hyped. Period

Try pp2/ps2, Neovas or RS2 they are better bet for dry grip; well if it is available

Last edited by raj.barcode : 7th December 2010 at 12:41.
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Old 7th December 2010, 12:57   #10
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Sidewall tear at 30-40 kmph on rough road is totally unacceptable.Common,you are bound to go through such roads if you are in india.And the tires should withstand that abuse!
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Old 7th December 2010, 13:18   #11
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Almost all the imported tyres have this problem (weak side wall) and i have come across all brands reporting this complaint. In that respect Michellin's is the worst according to me, maybe because its sold in more numbers and a favorite. If you are worried about this stick to good ol MRF's, i have abused it to the max extend and they never complained.

Conti's are good balance between comfort and regular performance, especially in the wet tyre condition (second half of its life am not very sure about the latter part). If you want all out performance tyres you should stick with Neova's of the world. I think they are ok for a normal raod user. Hype and going gaga, almost every other brand has it.

If you ask me worst tyres i have used is Michellin's and on the contrary the Goodyear's Ventura's gave me good service.

With this specific report am not sure i will be able to just write off this make of tyre. A colleague of mine who is a very very careless user is running them, he lost one to a nasty kerb incident, rest have crossed 30k kms. On the other hand, Rudra is very happy with the change from Potenza's on his Optra.

EDIT: I just remembered, my boss is also running them on her car, and she aint a saint driver either.

Last edited by Jaggu : 7th December 2010 at 13:20.
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Old 7th December 2010, 13:37   #12
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+1 to SZT7677 on the CPC2 review. They are overrated, yes!

I have the CPC2 in my Fiesta 1.6S and I have clocked over 12K KMs with this tire.

My observations:
1. Dry grip is good on normal use. Enthusiasts might find the grip to be a lot disappointing.
2. I dont mind tire noise. However, the CPC2 are not that noisy.
3. Wet grip is average. But, the tires handle aquaplanning extremely well. I drive 20 - 30KM/H faster compared to the stock tires in wet conditions.
4. Braking is a big disappointment. Slightly muddy roads will make the ABS kick in quite often.
5. Ride quality is below average. The hard sidewalls are to blame.

@ ST7677, the sidewall cut can happen in any tires. As you have mentioned, both tires on the left side were damaged. Thats certainly to do with the extreme conditions the tire was put through.

The CPC2 has hard sidewalls compared to the other import tires in the market which means it should do well compared to the other tires in our Indian condition. I only hope the tires offered better grip in dry/good braking. I have taken my car to jungles, ghats & the abused roads in KA/TN suburbs and the CPC2 handled them nice except for below average ride quality.
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Old 8th December 2010, 23:26   #13
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Default Re: Continental CPC2 – just not worth it!

Is CEC available in this size? CEC has comparatively harder sidewall, but to my knowledge these are available for compact cars
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Old 23rd December 2010, 18:56   #14
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Default Re: Continental CPC2 – just not worth it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj.barcode View Post
+1 ST7677

Cpc 2 are utter crap for guys who wants to push the car a little faster than usual (personal experience);

sorry nikhil but i think CPC2 are over rated and over hyped. Period

Try pp2/ps2, Neovas or RS2 they are better bet for dry grip; well if it is available
No sorry business friend! It's a free country!


They are not comparable to the AD07s or PS2/3 or PP2s. Those are all high performance tyres. Comparing them with the CPC2 is ridiculous!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronix View Post
+1 to SZT7677 on the CPC2 review. They are overrated, yes!

I have the CPC2 in my Fiesta 1.6S and I have clocked over 12K KMs with this tire.

My observations:
1. Dry grip is good on normal use. Enthusiasts might find the grip to be a lot disappointing.
2. I dont mind tire noise. However, the CPC2 are not that noisy.
3. Wet grip is average. But, the tires handle aquaplanning extremely well. I drive 20 - 30KM/H faster compared to the stock tires in wet conditions.
4. Braking is a big disappointment. Slightly muddy roads will make the ABS kick in quite often.
5. Ride quality is below average. The hard sidewalls are to blame.

@ ST7677, the sidewall cut can happen in any tires. As you have mentioned, both tires on the left side were damaged. Thats certainly to do with the extreme conditions the tire was put through.

The CPC2 has hard sidewalls compared to the other import tires in the market which means it should do well compared to the other tires in our Indian condition. I only hope the tires offered better grip in dry/good braking. I have taken my car to jungles, ghats & the abused roads in KA/TN suburbs and the CPC2 handled them nice except for below average ride quality.
My experience exactly. The only thing I disagree with is about wet grip. I think they are superb in the wet.

In the dry, I dont find them too disappointing. Maybe it was because I had my expectations low since I was upgrading from reasonably good tyres(MXV8) to begin with.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 19:24   #15
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Default Wet grip & Aquaplaning ?

Quote:
anachronix (Continental CPC2 – just not worth it!) : 3. Wet grip is average. But, the tires handle aquaplanning extremely well.
@anachronix / Nikhil, please explain this.
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