Before the trip I mounted up some new rubber onto Matilda. I spooned on the new set of TKC-70 tires and things were good.

Until they weren’t.

On the trip I started to notice a bit of high-speed wobble coming from the front. Looking online I noticed that other folks were complaining about the same problem.

The general consensus is that the design of the front tires tread blocks is such that some of them tend to grab the road and give a lateral kick. This sets up a sideways force that will eventually lead to that oscillation. I’m happy I have a steering damper on the bike to help tame this!

It even has a physical manifestation — very strange wear.

I’m measuring two adjacent tread blocks at the same point. One has 5.81mm of life left and the other has 3.40mm remaining.

If you look a further down you can see the pattern clearly: the bigger central blocks are obviously overhanging the smaller side blocks.

Thankfully Continental, the manufacturer of these tires, is stepping up and [hopefully] buying them back. In the email exchange they stated:

Hello George,
Thanks for contacting us about your tires. You should return to the dealer you purchased the tires from so your tires can be inspected and be returned to their distributor for credit and enter our system where they can be logged in and available for our engineers to inspect.

sigh

I ordered a new set of different branded tires to mount up next weekend. Metzelers this time.

If and when I hear back I’ll update you guys on the progress.