The Protection version has a tougher sidewall, sort of a snakeskin outer skin, and it really takes the abuse put out by sharp rocks. I have had no sidewall tears, nor any real abrasions issues. The Protection versions sidewalls use Continental’s ‘Duraskin’, which is an extremely durable polyamide fabric, that is tear, abrasion and puncture resistant. In case you wanted to know, a polyamide is a polymer containing monomers of amides joined by peptide bonds. The casing is constructed of three plies of 180 TPI bias cut material make up the casing under the tread and two plies compose the sidewalls along with the added ‘Duraskin’.
In the gravel, sandy, rocky, and loose conditions of the Pikes Peak region of Colorado these tires are excellent. They provide incredible traction in spots that most tires seem to slip in, these are like magnets, and just stick where you put them. The open tread design really helps them hook up on a variety of conditions and terrain.