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Continental GP5000 Tour de France tan: PROBLEM?

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Continental GP5000 Tour de France tan: PROBLEM?

Old 09-05-21, 11:13 AM
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Continental GP5000 Tour de France tan: PROBLEM?

I’ve been GP5000’s for a while and used to ride on GP4000’s, no issues. But I bought some of these “special edition” tanwall 700x25’s, two pair, and put one pair on my 1961 Gitane. They look great!

Oddly, the bike has been more or less finished for a couple of months, but only took it for an 18-mile shakedown ride this morning. I really like riding this bike; but, four miles from home, something felt odd and I looked down to see the front tire going flat. Shoot, might be my ongoing issue with shifting Velox rim tapes? I do not know yet. I had forgotten how excrutiatingly tight these were to install, and I could not get the tire off using the plastic tire levers that come with some packs of Continental tubes… could not even get under the tire bead at all, they are that tight! So, a four mile walk in cycling shoes - not happy.

I mean these things are tight; to the degree that, were it not mechanically impossible (someone fact check me on this), I’d think I had 700C tires on 27” rims. I just looked, the rims are mismatched with Rigida front and Wolber rear, but both say 700C on the stickers.

Anyone else experience this? As in, so tight tire changing is nearly impossible?

I’ll look and see if I have a regular GP5000 in the workshop to see if it fits better, even if blackwall. I might need to change tire type… were some tire mismanufactured? How to tell? I might be researching to see if can find another tire in tanwall with anything near the GP5000’s performance. And, while I have no issues with 25mm, i have vast clearance and could run up to 30mm, which would look odd to my eye but I know there are many stating that wider is faster.

And I need to dig out my old, thin style, metal tire irons; pretty sure I used them to install the tires (no simple pushing on with thumbs), and see about getting this tire off.
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Old 09-05-21, 11:40 AM
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this matches my experiences with Continental tires on vintage rims. In addition to carrying some metal tire irons with a sharp enough lip to get under the bead, I carry a small tire jack tool called EZ-Clincher:




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Old 09-05-21, 12:36 PM
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VAR makes a similar bead jack, with included tire levers:
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Old 09-05-21, 12:41 PM
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Mine are tight, but I managed to mount mine as easily as any other tire I've encountered. In fact I had to dismount one of mine and remount after getting distracted and mounting it backwards. I have mine on modern Bontrager tubeless ready rims so I don't know if that makes any difference.
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Old 09-05-21, 12:50 PM
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If your tires are that tight, I would use a different tape than Velox. I don't leave the house on tires I couldn't change by hand, and that includes bikes with tubeless-compatible rims or stiff wire-beaded winter tires (thankfully not on the same wheels!)
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Old 09-05-21, 02:22 PM
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Bike Hand Tire Seating Tool

After nearly 50 years of mounting bike tires using my hands plus lots of different tools, I found one that works the best for me: the Bike Hand Tire Seating Tool


I've seen these marketed under several different brands.

About the toughest rims I've mounted tires on are the old Ambrosio Elite 19 model.



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Old 09-05-21, 03:00 PM
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One can just imagine the possible crazy results of combining these apparently undersized GP 5000s with a notoriously hard to tire rim like the Ambrosio Elite.....
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Old 09-05-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post

I mean these things are tight; to the degree that, were it not mechanically impossible (someone fact check me on this), I’d think I had 700C tires on 27” rims. I just looked, the rims are mismatched with Rigida front and Wolber rear, but both say 700C on the stickers.
Should not be possible without ripping the tire bead apart.
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Old 09-05-21, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
If your tires are that tight, I would use a different tape than Velox.
Uh... why? What's wrong and what rim tape is better? I'm ready for old rubber strips -- if those are even available anymore.

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I don't leave the house on tires I couldn't change by hand
THIS!!!!! Sadly, too many months between when I mounted the tires and when I took the shakedown ride. Forgot.
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Old 09-05-21, 05:47 PM
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I had this same problem with Continental 5000's. Got rid of them with barely 100 miles on them.
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Old 09-05-21, 06:31 PM
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Considering how often this topic gets discussed, I wonder if there is any way to get tire manufacturers to publish their actual bead diameter, instead of the nominal 622mm bsd?
Offhand, I imagine they would prefer not to, since that would/might imply there was some sort of guarantee that they would maintain that value.
It would be very interesting to know whether they measure the bead diameter of every tire coming off of the production line, or if it is just a go/no-go gauge, or what.

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Old 09-05-21, 07:04 PM
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FWIW, I've never had a problem getting Continental 4000s or 5000s onto Mavic Open Pro rims; they all but install themselves, and is a major reason why I ride that combination so much. Getting them onto a pair old old Weinmann (I think) "Gentlemen" rims, however, is basically impossible without a prying device like Steelbikeguy and verktyg showed above. I have two Kool-Stop Bead Jacks - one in the tool collection and one for carrying in my pocket on rides. I used the Bead Jack for pretty much all tire installations now as my hands are not as strong as the used to be.
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Old 09-05-21, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
Uh... why? What's wrong and what rim tape is better? I'm ready for old rubber strips -- if those are even available anymore.
Velox cloth tape is a quality product, and I use it on a few wheels... but it's thick, and sometimes that makes the tire fit way tighter than it needs to. Even if you don't plan to set a wheel up tubeless, "tubeless tape" or the like can be great because it's thin and strong. Try some Kapton 1 mil or Scotch 8898 or Tesa 4289 tape in 1/2" width, two layers, and see if that makes it easier to get tires on and off.
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Old 09-05-21, 08:19 PM
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Question is, how does a big, established tire company like Continental get this tire so wrong??
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Old 09-05-21, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Question is, how does a big, established tire company like Continental get this tire so wrong??
I question that premise. Continental's own rim tape is -- drum-roll -- thinner than Velox: https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...tape-rim-strip
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Old 09-05-21, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Velox cloth tape is a quality product, and I use it on a few wheels... but it's thick, and sometimes that makes the tire fit way tighter than it needs to. Even if you don't plan to set a wheel up tubeless, "tubeless tape" or the like can be great because it's thin and strong. Try some Kapton or Scotch 8898 or Tesa 4289 tape in 1/2" width, two layers, and see if that makes it easier to get tires on and off.
This. I switched to kapton tape some years ago when I started using rims that were designed for tubeless. Cloth tape simply doesn’t work with those with any tire. Since then I started using it for everything because it just makes it easier.
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Old 09-05-21, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
Uh... why? What's wrong and what rim tape is better? I'm ready for old rubber strips -- if those are even available anymore.
Add another that is suggesting tubeless tape.
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Old 09-05-21, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Question is, how does a big, established tire company like Continental get this tire so wrong??
Do they?
Conti 5k TDF tires fit easily for me. Hand mount without a struggle.
Meanwhile, I wrestled with some 28mm Panaracer GK slicks tonight- both pulling off and putting back on the wheel. I put that same tire on one of my kid's bikes a couple months ago and it went on without a thought.


Some tires mount easier on some wheels and some are torturous on those same wheels, but are a breeze on other wheels.
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Old 09-05-21, 11:54 PM
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With Velox or other cloth tape, I use the narrowest tape I can get that will cover the spoke holes but not climb up the rim walls. That helps with tight fitting tires.

Otherwise, ditto the more rigid plastic rim strips like the Conti Easy Tape, Schwalbe high pressure rim strips, etc. Or Gorilla tape or tubeless tape.

The tricky bit is squeezing the beads together from both sides of the tire, into the center channel. But if the center channel is shallow and the cloth rim tape is thick, that's a problem. And with new tires it's hard to keep the beads squeezed together around the entire... umm... tire.

I'm guessing Conti is erring on the side of a tighter fit to ensure compatibility with tubeless rims.

FWIW, I've been very satisfied with Conti GP Classic skinwalls for a couple of years on three bikes. Rolling resistance isn't quite on par with the GP5k or GP4k tires, but they're still very good and easy to mount with just my hands and unmount with a single plastic tire lever. And I like the reddish brown sidewalls better than the lighter tan or cream sidewalls used on some tires (including the Soma Supple Vitesse, which are otherwise excellent tires).
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Old 09-06-21, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
After that, and another unfortunate experience I had with Specialized that I don't wish to detail now, I completely washed my hands of that evil company.
I quite liked their tyre "irons" - had a set but two have gone missing.
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Old 09-06-21, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Should not be possible without ripping the tire bead apart.
Indeed. For an increase from 622 to 630 BSD, the bead seat circumference would need to stretch nearly an inch (25.1+mm). Pretty sure that's not happening without a rip.
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Old 09-06-21, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
FWIW, I've never had a problem getting Continental 4000s or 5000s onto Mavic Open Pro rims; they all but install themselves, and is a major reason why I ride that combination so much. Getting them onto a pair old old Weinmann (I think) "Gentlemen" rims, however, is basically impossible without a prying device like Steelbikeguy and verktyg showed above. I have two Kool-Stop Bead Jacks - one in the tool collection and one for carrying in my pocket on rides. I used the Bead Jack for pretty much all tire installations now as my hands are not as strong as the used to be.
Well, one thing I won't be doing is changing rims to better fit the tires. And I think I need to check, I bought a bead jack a while back, but to carry it I'd need to replace every under-seat bag I own due to size. I did see something called a TyreKey online last night, it might be an option, more portable.

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Velox cloth tape is a quality product, and I use it on a few wheels... but it's thick, and sometimes that makes the tire fit way tighter than it needs to. Even if you don't plan to set a wheel up tubeless, "tubeless tape" or the like can be great because it's thin and strong. Try some Kapton or Scotch 8898 or Tesa 4289 tape in 1/2" width, two layers, and see if that makes it easier to get tires on and off.
I just looked for Kapton, and I presume it's not a bike-specific product? Unsure on sourcing...

Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Question is, how does a big, established tire company like Continental get this tire so wrong??
Well, I did send a note to Continental yesterday, asking if they've had any other complaints or possibly made a bad batch. If I get an answer, I'll share that.

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I question that premise. Continental's own rim tape is -- drum-roll -- thinner than Velox: https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...tape-rim-strip
Well, that's an option. Wow, almost ten bucks and I presume that's per wheel? Not per pair?
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Old 09-06-21, 09:37 AM
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I’m typically using Stans rim tape now. I think it is kapton with some white tint mixed in, kapton is typically clear/yellowish. I know two layers are recommended but I only lay down one. I have a lot of trust in the durability of the material. Has anyone ever had issues wit one layer of Kapton or Stans failing?

FSA makes a non-adhesive continuous strip (like the Conti) that is thin and stretches slightly into place. I like this one if it can closely match the channel width of the rim I’m using. It’s handy if you think you may need to remove it for access to nipples, etc.

I’ve tried the Conti black strips too, seem to recall them being thicker. They might be fine.

I’ve given up on the cotton Velox in favor of plastic as it dries out faster when wet.
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Old 09-06-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
Well, one thing I won't be doing is changing rims to better fit the tires. And I think I need to check, I bought a bead jack a while back, but to carry it I'd need to replace every under-seat bag I own due to size. I did see something called a TyreKey online last night, it might be an option, more portable.
The EZ-Clincher that I mentioned is quite portable.. only 5 inches long and light. It should fit in the average saddle bag... although there has been a trend to very minimalist bags


Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
I just looked for Kapton, and I presume it's not a bike-specific product? Unsure on sourcing...
I was intrigued by the recommendation of Kapton tape too. As an electrical engineer, I'm familiar with it as a tape suitable for higher temperatures and more extreme environments. In fact, I've been thinking that I should pick some up for that sort of purpose. I believe Kapton is generic term for the material, similar to the word Teflon. There is some available from Amazon and such.

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Old 09-06-21, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
I just looked for Kapton, and I presume it's not a bike-specific product? Unsure on sourcing...
Yeah, it's not a bike-specific product. Most "tubeless tapes" are actually rebranded strapping tapes. After my other post, 1/2" might be on the narrow side; 5/8" might be a better fit for vintage 700C rims: https://www.kaptontape.com/1_Mil_Kapton_Tapes.php

Well, that's an option. Wow, almost ten bucks and I presume that's per wheel? Not per pair?
"Sold per pair (enough to complete one wheelset)." And it's reusable.

Disclaimer: I haven't used the above products specifically. But Pacenti blue tape and Stan's tape work on the same principle.
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Last edited by ThermionicScott; 09-17-21 at 12:50 PM. Reason: fixing quotes
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