The Argotal takes the role of the loose conditions tyre in Continental’s new Gravity range. When used for its intended application it excels while rolling reasonably quickly. It’s durable too, though versatility isn’t its strong suit.
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With its open tread pattern, Continental’s Argotal is a tyre designed for loose, dusty and loamy conditions. On test, we got the tyre with the brand’s hardest wearing Endurance compound and lightest and least protective Trail casing in a 29x2.4” size. In this build, the tyre weighs in at 1,103g, 63g heavier than claimed.
The Argotal rolls upon a symmetrical tread made up of evenly spaced but rather tall centre knobs. While large, they’re spaced out enough to help shed mud. These knobs are aggressively ramped too, which noticeably helps lower rolling resistance.
Moving to the side of the tyre, the shoulder knobs follow a stepped design. These tyred have an aggressive and tall knob that boosts support, stopping the rubber from rolling under cornering forces.
Continental Argotal | How it Rides
As my test period with the Argotal began, the UK was moving from spring into summer. I was a little anxious to be inflating such an aggressive tyre on the front of my bike. In the right places, my nerves were justified, but when ridden through what this tyre is designed for, it’s unshakably confident.
Because of the changing conditions during testing, this tyre was put through everything from wet, loam, loose over hard, and pure hardpack. It was when riding through wet and loam where the Argotal was most at home. Hard cornering was well supported, and there’s an impressive level of braking on offer thanks to the bite from those tall knobs. Mud shedding is spot on too as it never clogged at any point during testing.
It’s a tyre that’s happiest when the tread has plenty to dig into. This was noticeable when the trails got a bit more mixed as grip was an on-off affair depending on what I was riding over.
Continental says that this is a tyre that can hold up on dusty trails. Well, here in the UK, dust usually includes a good helping of hardpack and it's this kind of mix where the grip on offer varies.
I was very impressed by the Endurance rubber compound. Again, this is something I was a little unsure of to begin with, but the grip on offer inspires confidence. As its name suggests, it wears pretty slowly too, making it an ideal tyre if you primarily ride loose terrain year-round and want something that’ll pedal nicely when you’re cranking up to the next trail.
Continental Argotal | Value
At £50, it’s not bad value for money. I would say that performance is comparable to Maxxis’ Shorty Gen 2 but the Argotal isn’t quite as comfortable in mixed conditions as its tread is so aggressive. However, the Shorty will only set you back £25.
Perhaps not strictly a tyre for loose conditions, but an excellent performer to compare is the WTB Verdict. It’ll cost you a fiver more at £55, but it’s much more versatile. Although, as it’s made with the brand’s High Grip compound, it won’t be quite as durable as the Argotal.
Continental Argotal | Verdict
The Continental Argotal in its Endurance Trail guise is a well-priced tyre that’s more than happy to hook up in all kinds of loose conditions. While it’s not a tyre you’ll want to rely on when things harden up, it’s durable and it rolls well, making the next trip up the hill a little more welcoming.