Are the Continental road wire bead tires any better at mounting and unmounting then they used to be? Or are they still a big pain in the ass. My buddy has some hard shell gators that are cheap.
In my experience, Continental-brand tyres are neither difficult nor easy to fit when new. They certainly require leverage tools like tyre levers or similar, but they're much easier than a Schwalbe Marathon.
I've fitted both GP4000 and Gatorshell tyres in the last year or so.
Personally I prefer kevlar bead tyres now over wire bead for weight, ease of fitting, and easier postage.