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Tire Question: 32 Gators vs. 28 GP4s

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Tire Question: 32 Gators vs. 28 GP4s

Old 11-03-14, 10:34 PM
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Teambayern
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Tire Question: 32 Gators vs. 28 GP4s

I have a Kona Jake I commute on year round in Boston. The stock tires finally wore out, so I am ready to upgrade to a proper year round commuting tire that is big, durable, and can handle some winter riding on Boston's terrible roads. I've narrowed it down to the Gatorskins and Grand Prix 4 all seasons, but each has a weakness: I've read some reports that Gators aren't so grippy in cold wet conditions (although others dispute that) and the Gp4s, which apparently are great in those conditions, only come in 28s, instead of the 32s I'd prefer given those bad roads (and apparently the GP4s run small at that).

So for anyone in the know, which is going to make the bigger difference? Are the Gators really that bad in the winter? Or is the harsher ride of the 28s going to be more noticeable?
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Old 11-03-14, 10:40 PM
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I'm running 32c gatorskins on a cross bike. I like them a lot. I'd go with the wider tire for a commuter. I'd also check out the panaracer ribmo pt for a commuter.
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Old 11-04-14, 09:16 AM
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Steely Dan
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i run 32 gators on my hyrbrid, and i have 28 GP 4-seasons on my CX commuter.

the gators have better puncture resistance from my experiences, but the GP 4-seasons are the superior tire.
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Old 11-04-14, 09:49 AM
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Leebo
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I run studded tires on my Boston commutes. I'm also North of the city. Ever look at the conti winter tires?
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Old 11-04-14, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
I run studded tires on my Boston commutes. I'm also North of the city. Ever look at the conti winter tires?
+ 1. I lived in Boston for a long time and I think that the conti winter tires would be pretty sweet for the weather there. I run 'em here in the midwest but they aren't as useful here. They don't scrape the roads where I live now and ice/snow just sticks all winter. Studded tires are better for that; the winter tires shine in more mixed conditions.
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Old 11-04-14, 10:03 AM
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I suppose it will depend on your riding style, but the GP4s has such a better ride in my opinion... I have had equally good luck with 0 punctures with each and can attest to better grip with the GP4s but this may be due to the higher tpi.. I was comparing 25c. Rode the Gatorskins first for about 3500 and then replaced them with the GP4s and never looked back.
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Old 11-04-14, 10:23 AM
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GP4s are better tires but much narrower than spec'd. The 28s measure only 26 mm wide on my rims, Mavic Open Pros.

Personally, I think a better choice would be the Vittoria Voyager Hyper 32s, which have folding beads and a reflective sidewall, and roll very nicely. For less money, Panaracer Pasela PTs are another fine choice. IMHO, Contis are overpriced and always run narrow, which is not what I want in a commuter tire.
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Old 11-04-14, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Teambayern View Post
I've read some reports that Gators aren't so grippy in cold wet conditions (although others dispute that)
That is an understatement.
I run Gatorskins on my most-used summer bike, and I would NEVER run them on a winter bike.

I haven't used the GP4, but I can recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme.
I run the Supremes on my winter bike, and the *only* time I've had them lose traction was on ice.
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Old 11-04-14, 10:32 AM
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The Continental 4 Seasons come in a 32c, fyi, and suffer no negative reputation for wet performance. They're like 90% just like the gp4000's.
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Old 11-04-14, 10:42 AM
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32c is a new size for the GP 4 Seasons. I haven't seen a retailer yet that has them, though.

I commuted for over a year with 25c 4 Seasons, and they were indeed great tires, especially in the wet. We don't get enough slick conditions around here for me to have tried them on ice. I don't think I would.

However I only got 4,000 miles out of them before my rear tire was done. I'm currently looking for replacements now that don't cost as much, since I originally got them from a friend at less than half the retail price.

But I can also tell you that the 4 Seasons in 25c measure 26mm actual width, mounted on Vuelta Corsa Lite rims with IIRC an inside width of 15mm between the hooked rim edges.

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Old 11-04-14, 10:44 AM
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Teambayern
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
The Continental 4 Seasons come in a 32c, fyi, and suffer no negative reputation for wet performance. They're like 90% just like the gp4000's.
Thanks for the replies. I've seen the 4 seasons listed in a 32C on the Conti website, but can't find anywhere in the US that actually sells them. That's my biggest concern with the Gp4s, at this point, that they will be like a thick road tire when I want something that will take all the bumps and potholes Mass Ave has to offer.
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Old 11-04-14, 12:19 PM
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PaulRivers
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Originally Posted by Teambayern View Post
Thanks for the replies. I've seen the 4 seasons listed in a 32C on the Conti website, but can't find anywhere in the US that actually sells them. That's my biggest concern with the Gp4s, at this point, that they will be like a thick road tire when I want something that will take all the bumps and potholes Mass Ave has to offer.
That's so weird - just like a month ago I saw them on amazon. But when I got to amazon now, they're not listed. Bizarre.
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Old 11-05-14, 10:40 AM
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my GP4S 28s were about 26.5mm wide on 20mm or 22mm rims. They do have excellent grip on wet roads. If the 32mm version runs true to size, or even 30mm wide, that would be nice.
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Old 11-05-14, 07:24 PM
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tsl
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Originally Posted by Teambayern View Post
my biggest concern with the Gp4s, at this point, that they will be like a thick road tire when I want something that will take all the bumps and potholes Mass Ave has to offer.
Mass Ave can't be any worse than this, which I ride every day on 28mm Conti GP 4-Seasons.

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