At PBK we try to make sure that we use/ride the kit we sell as much as we can, to help you make as an informed purchase as possible and ensure you get the right kit for you and your bike. Continental’s GP4000s tyre has been around now since mid-2007 and yet this tyre still manages to be one of our best sellers. In theory its technology gives it great spongy grip in the dry and confidence in the wet without feeling slow, so what’s it really like?
Anthony’s First Impressions:
I’ve just started riding a pair of 23mm clincher GP4000s tyres and the first and important thing I noticed was that the fitting was easy. They went onto my Bontrager wheels by hand with no need for tyre levers and not too much of a fight. This is quite the bonus, as I think it’s much easier to damage the inner tube when using tyre levers, plus if I do have a puncture, I know I’m not going to be fighting with tyre levers and bloody/bruised fingers! Once on the rim they seated first time, no fiddling trying to get them to sit straight.
On the wheels the tyres look to have a good volume to them, they’re not too thin for 23mm’s and this volume gives a nice bit of cushioning and a more secure feel when leaning the bike over. So far I’ve ridden the tyres in the dry and also when I got caught out by a large amount of the wet stuff. First impressions in the dry are very good. They roll quickly (noticeably more so than my previous tyres) and feel very, very grippy and I’ve certainly gone nowhere near their limits.
But it was when it turned wet that I was properly impressed. While climbing (even up out of the saddle on 15%+) there was no slippage and they felt nice and secure on very wet roads, encouraging me to push a bit harder. Continental have made lots of claims about the Black Chilli compound – saying it’s both grippier and faster – and on first impression this appears to be true.
I’m going to be running these tyres right into the summer doing a mixture of long rides and hopefully some races, so I’ll report back in a few months with some long term impressions.
After a season of tough 4th cat racing/rolling around on a set of GP4000s tyres I’d recommend them to others. Like all race tyres you pay a price for a lightweight tyre and usually that’s in the puncture department. Having raced on a lot of airfields, I can say that they have stood up well to the rough surfaces, poor panel gaps between concrete slabs and the usual debris (whether this is sharp or not I don’t want to find out!) has failed to ruin my hard racing/fun.
Despite having the usual nicks and cuts, there’s no sign of serious damage, no bulging inner tubes and the wear indicators still show a few miles left in them. Weight and rolling resistance wise, they’re good, I’ve also been riding on some Vredesteins (for some tooth shaking 130psi action) which roll comparitively well but are neither as supple nor comfortable as the GP4000s’ on longer rides.
- Black Chilli -Not some obscure cooking ingredient used by over exuberant chefs but in fact a phenomenal tyre compound which Continental claim reduces rolling resistance by 26%, grip increases by 30% and mileage is increased by 5%. It’s certainly pretty special.
- Vectran Puncture Protection Belt – Developed and patented by Continental, this surpasses even the famous puncture resistance of the former leader in this category; the GP3000. The extremely strong Vectran fabrics are more flexible and lighter than all other puncture protection materials.
- A nice touch is the Wear Grooves which are pressed into the tread to alert you to when the tread is too low.
- Running pressure: 110psi. Max: 120psi.
- Folding clincher tyre.
- Weight: 216g on our office scales!