Probably the most popular road bike tyre for good reason, here’s my review of the Continental GP4000s.
When you’re banking into a corner at speed, how often do you think about the effectiveness of those two tiny rubber contact points between your bike and the planet?
Continental GP4000S Review
Two tiny points of friction to hold the world in balance.
We expect rather a lot from our tyres, when you think about it. We want them to be light so they’re quicker to spin up to speed, and keep there. We want them to be durable, and last for miles and miles whilst repelling all thorns and bits of glass and other debris out to burst your bubble. We want them to be affordable, naturally and some people even want them to look funky. One of the best selling tyres on the market is the Continental GP4000S. I’ve just ridden my first ~2,500 miles on a set, and here’s what I think of them. It’s my own subjective take, drawing comparisons with some of the other tyres I’ve used over the last couple of years.
1. Confident cornering. These are grippy mutha suckers.
Apparently it’s got something to do with black chillies. Whatever the real reason, these tyres have never made me feel that I had to be really tentative, as others have. Many times when I’ve switched to a different tyre it’s taken time to adjust, but for some reason the GP4000S felt natural and responsive from the very first spin. Like an extension of my own body, man. Switching from Michelin Krylion carbon tyres (which had been highly rated by Cycling Plus magazine at the time), the difference was astounding. I never trusted those Michelins, they felt hard and ‘disconnected’ in some way.
My summer bike had previously been wearing Schwalbe Ultremo ZX, which had initially been a beautiful tyre to ride on. Sadly, they suffered from premature disintegration. The sidewalls started fraying and they just looked unsafe, as though the tube might have popped out at any second like an alien from John Hurt’s stomach. Shame. Having done a similar mileage on GP4000S, they look barely worn. Integrity is still there, and there are very few cuts or gashes. They also have two handy little dimples for you to gauge the level of wear. When you can’t see the holes any longer, it’s time to replace them!
3. Low rolling resistance. These things shift.
I first upgraded to GP4000S tyres on my winter bike, replacing the stock Specialized Flak Jacket tyres. The difference was instantly noticeable, and it was possible to maintain higher cruising speeds for the same effort.
The 23mm version comes in at 205g which is pretty light. Sure, there are lighter tyres but they won’t last as long. The GP4000S may well be the optimum balance between weight, durability and performance.
5. Puncture resistance
Blah blah blah vectran belt. I’ve never had a puncture on these tyres. Ever. In ~2500 miles. Compare that with oh, far too many on the Flak jackets. The Schwalbe Ultremo ZX also suffered a few. YMMV, as they are say.
6. You’ll want another set.
Of all the brands of tyre I’ve used, these are the first ones that I’ve re-ordered. In the past I always tried a different tyre because of some niggling imperfection or fault. Not so with the GP4000S, there’s nothing to pick holes in. They do everything you want them to.
7. There are discounts available!
The retail price of a GP4000S is a whopping £49.99, but thankfully there are loads of online sellers competing for your business and offering chunky discounts. Wiggle usually offer them at a 30% discount, as do Chain Reaction Cycles. See price comparisons lower down the page….
And don’t forget good old reliable Amazon, and get a set for £25.10 (as at 16.12.13).
Also worth considering, for winter especially, are the Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons
Continental GP4000s Price comparison
Update: the price tables now include the more recent GP4000S II upgraded version
Here’s a very convenient table of various prices from the main retailers.
The prices automatically update, so do bookmark the page and tell your friends.