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Let's discuss Continental tires.

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Let's discuss Continental tires.

Old 11-02-19, 08:17 PM
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Let's discuss Continental tires.

I'm interested in experiences with the various higher-end Continental tires (GP4000S2, GP5000, GP 4 Season, and Gator Hardshell) with respect to features like rolling resistance, handling, overall feel, and actual vs. stated width.

tl;dr
I switched to GP4000S2 over 20,000 miles ago, and have been very happy using them as an all-around road tire for spirited road riding and commuting on paved roads. Flats have been minimal (a couple truck wire flats, and a few from rolling over stupid stuff), and I've had exactly one sidewall cut that warranted an early replacement. I prefer them to other tires I've tried, including some iteration of Vittoria Rubino Pro.

Since GP4000S2 are no longer readily available, I'm tempted to just upgrade to GP5000, but am looking at other options. I'm sticking with clinchers for now.

I also need something narrow - 25mm 4000S2 tires will not clear the frame in my primary road bike. The 4 Season model is tempting, but I suspect that I'd miss the supple ride feel of the 4000S2 tires. I doubt I'd like Gator Hardshell tires, but they seem to be popular.
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Old 11-02-19, 08:34 PM
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You’re not new but have you tried to Search this forum for this topic? There are many threads specific to Conti tires. I also rode GP4000’s and love the ride. Never had a sidewall issue. GP5000 tubeless are very popular here as well. Gatorskins are only if you ride in flat prone conditions.
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Old 11-02-19, 09:22 PM
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1- gatorskins are like riding on frozen garden hoses.

2- a 25mm gp4k wont clear your frame? Unfortunate. They measure out to 27mm on one of my bikes, but that's with an older style narrowish rim.

3- I have a set of 28mm gp4k tires on my main road bike that measure out at 31mm wide.
I also have a set of 32mm 4season tires that measure true width.
I like em both a lot. I cant actually tell that the 4season tires are slower, though I would guess they are a touch. If they are slower, it's so minimal I could chalk the difference up to any number of factors while riding and not realize it's the tires.
The 4 season tires in 32mm size are something like 30g heavier than the 28mm gp4k tires. So 1mm effectively wider and 30g heavier for the 4 season.


Edited to add- the 4 season were measured as 5-6 watts slower than the gp4k at the pressure i would ride. So that could be noticable I guess? But it certainly hasn't bothered me.

Last edited by mstateglfr; 11-02-19 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 11-02-19, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
You’re not new but have you tried to Search this forum for this topic? There are many threads specific to Conti tires. I also rode GP4000’s and love the ride. Never had a sidewall issue. GP5000 tubeless are very popular here as well. Gatorskins are only if you ride in flat prone conditions.
Yes, I'm aware of the search, as well as the fact that there is an active GP 5000 thread. I've not seen a ton of information specifically comparing the various Continental tires as opposed to discussion of GP5000 vs 4000s2 or complaining about sidewall punctures and recommending other brands.

I'm especially interested in hearing from folks whom have used both 4000s2 and 5000 in addition to either 4 Season or Gator Hardshell.
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Old 11-02-19, 10:06 PM
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4000s to 5000 are very similar. I thought I detected a little higher rolling resistance at first but later on I think I discounted it. They seem to wear a bit better than the 4000s. You can still get the 5000 in 23 mm. Try a set. I doubt you will be dissapointed.
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Old 11-03-19, 06:43 AM
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Stock up on 4000s at closeout pricing FTW.
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Old 11-03-19, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Yes, I'm aware of the search, as well as the fact that there is an active GP 5000 thread. I've not seen a ton of information specifically comparing the various Continental tires as opposed to discussion of GP5000 vs 4000s2 or complaining about sidewall punctures and recommending other brands.

I'm especially interested in hearing from folks whom have used both 4000s2 and 5000 in addition to either 4 Season or Gator Hardshell.
BRR has some data fwiw. This article might be helpful for you at least in picking a tire width that will fit your bike if you go with 5Ks. 5K 25mm tires seems to inflate to about 1mm less width than 4Ks did.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...000-comparison
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Old 11-03-19, 10:31 AM
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Try the 25mm gp5000, they mount more true to size if the 23mm gp4000s2 worked
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Old 11-03-19, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Stock up on 4000s at closeout pricing FTW.
Do you have a good source? I've checked the usual suspects (UK retailers, the Bay) and everyone seems to be out of 23mm sizing or has inflated prices
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Old 11-03-19, 02:01 PM
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Universal Cycles has 'em for $40 each
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Old 11-03-19, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Do you have a good source? I've checked the usual suspects (UK retailers, the Bay) and everyone seems to be out of 23mm sizing or has inflated prices
I see bike closet has them for $34.99, I suspect if you shop around you may even find better.
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Old 11-03-19, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
1- gatorskins are like riding on frozen garden hoses.

2- a 25mm gp4k wont clear your frame? Unfortunate. They measure out to 27mm on one of my bikes, but that's with an older style narrowish rim.

3- I have a set of 28mm gp4k tires on my main road bike that measure out at 31mm wide.
I also have a set of 32mm 4season tires that measure true width.
I like em both a lot. I cant actually tell that the 4season tires are slower, though I would guess they are a touch. If they are slower, it's so minimal I could chalk the difference up to any number of factors while riding and not realize it's the tires.
The 4 season tires in 32mm size are something like 30g heavier than the 28mm gp4k tires. So 1mm effectively wider and 30g heavier for the 4 season.


Edited to add- the 4 season were measured as 5-6 watts slower than the gp4k at the pressure i would ride. So that could be noticable I guess? But it certainly hasn't bothered me.
I just measured my GP4S 28c after reading your post and mine measure wider as well: 30mm, @87 psi.

Do you like ride quality of 32c any better, are you any slower? I need to replace my current set soon and thinking about the 32c.

Thanks!
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Old 11-03-19, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Do you have a good source? I've checked the usual suspects (UK retailers, the Bay) and everyone seems to be out of 23mm sizing or has inflated prices
https://www.excelsports.com/main.asp...jor=1&minor=27
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Old 11-03-19, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by steinercat View Post
I just measured my GP4S 28c after reading your post and mine measure wider as well: 30mm, @87 psi.

Do you like ride quality of 32c any better, are you any slower? I need to replace my current set soon and thinking about the 32c.

Thanks!
The 4season 32mm tire is a bit wider, a bit slower rolling, and weight a bit more.
That is all measurable, but I cant really tell the difference when riding. I think the difference is minor in how I use the tires.

I am going to build up an old 80s frame this winter and plan on using the 32mm 4season tires since I have them available.

If I were to buy new right now, I would get the gp4k in 32mm just because it's a bit lighter and measurements show it rolls a bit better.
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Old 11-04-19, 07:38 AM
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Here's a question for this thread:

If you have your spare tire/tube bundled up under your saddle,whether old school style or in a container of some sort, would that be considered a Continental Kit like the ones that used to come on cars?
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Old 11-04-19, 09:49 AM
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Heh! Why not. But at the moment mine is a Schwalbe Kit. I ride Conti tires but my spare folder for longer rural rides is a Schwalbe One V-Guard. Just happened to be the front tire from a set, which I kept after the rear was cut to pieces. Fragile tires but lightweight and great to ride while they lasted.

I lash it under my saddle bag with a Velcro strap. Same thing I did umpteen years ago in the late 1970s-early '80s when the first folding tire appeared. Back then I think they advertised it only as a spare, not for regular use. I lashed it on the back for long rides around SoCal and Baja. Never needed it. Probably don't really need a spare tire now either, but I sometimes carry one on long solo rural rides.

Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Here's a question for this thread:

If you have your spare tire/tube bundled up under your saddle,whether old school style or in a container of some sort, would that be considered a Continental Kit like the ones that used to come on cars?
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Old 11-04-19, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I'm especially interested in hearing from folks whom have used both 4000s2 and 5000 in addition to either 4 Season or Gator Hardshell.
When I switched from Gator Hardshell to 4000S2 on my road bike I immediately noted higher speeds, measured on Strava. I went from Hardshells to 5000 recently on the tandem (I also went from 25s to 32s). We experienced a significant improvement in comfort.

I would use Hardshells if flat prevention was a significantly higher priority than ride quality or speed. I have no complaints on 4k or 5k tires.
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Old 11-07-19, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
The 4season 32mm tire is a bit wider, a bit slower rolling, and weight a bit more.
That is all measurable, but I cant really tell the difference when riding. I think the difference is minor in how I use the tires.

I am going to build up an old 80s frame this winter and plan on using the 32mm 4season tires since I have them available.

If I were to buy new right now, I would get the gp4k in 32mm just because it's a bit lighter and measurements show it rolls a bit better.
I think I will give the 32mm versions a try.

Do you find them any more comfortable than the 28mm tires?

Thanks!
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Old 11-07-19, 07:14 PM
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Thanks y'all, I'm just going to upgrade to GP 5000 and stick with the 23mm width which I know will work. I'll probably pick up some 25s down the road when the tires wear out on my other bike (which has significantly more clearance).
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Old 11-08-19, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by steinercat View Post
I think I will give the 32mm versions a try.

Do you find them any more comfortable than the 28mm tires?

Thanks!
Since the 28 measures out to 31, no I really dont notice any difference in comfort. Both are supple enough that I dont notice one as being stiff or anything like that too.
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Old 11-08-19, 11:02 AM
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I like the Gator Hardshells.

This year I'm down a lot on miles, but in the past couple of years I've been doing 6000 to 8000 miles, and just dislike tires that don't last.

I had some GP4S tires, and they seemed to wear quickly, and I couldn't tell the difference between the Gatorskins, Gator Hardshells, or GP4S, other than wear, in which the Hardshells were hands above the others.

I have used the Schwalbe Marathon 25 & Michelin Protek Cross Max (32/35) tires. Heavy tires, and at least slow for the Proteks. But, boy do the Proteks hold the road. Thick soft rubber that wears quickly.

The Hardshells, on the other hand, are thin, hard rubber. I haven't had a horizontal slide, but I do have issues with spinning when climbing. Plus, I got to use the Proteks on slush which was better than expected.

I have gotten a fair amount of sidewall fuzz on the Continental tires (different models), and have learned to mostly ignore it. Nonetheless, I have a habit of squeezing and rubbing the tires to massage the valve straight. Don't do this with the Contis!!!

I had one sidewall blowout (bead separation) with a nearly new Continental Gator Hardshell. I can't say for sure what caused it, but it was extremely frustrating. So far that still is categorized as a one-tiime fluke.

No speed comparisons with tires, although I keep meaning to try some Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ tires, but man those are thin.
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Old 11-08-19, 02:49 PM
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Like most of us, I have ridden on a bunch of different tires. I did like 4000S2s, but given the conditions we ride in for a good part of the year, they were just too flat-prone for my tastes. Punctures are a huge problem here. I don't race, though, so factor that in. That said, if you look at the work that has been done on it, the rolling resistance of a Hardshell isn't shockingly higher than it is for the 4 Season, but it is obviously way, way higher than that of a 4000S2 or a 5000. That said, the Hardshell is so far and away the most puncture resistant tire that there really is no comparison.

I just think tires should be chosen based on practicality. Is there a bunch of crap and debris on the roads where you often ride? Do you enjoy changing tubes? Are you fairly regularly racing or trying to set PRs? Those are the things I believe ought to drive the tire choice decision. If you know the answers to those kinds of questions, picking a tire is easy.
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Old 11-08-19, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
Is there a bunch of crap and debris on the roads where you often ride? Do you enjoy changing tubes? Are you fairly regularly racing or trying to set PRs? Those are the things I believe ought to drive the tire choice decision. If you know the answers to those kinds of questions, picking a tire is easy.
So, "yes, "no," "yes," must mean tubeless.
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Old 11-08-19, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
I just think tires should be chosen based on practicality. Is there a bunch of crap and debris on the roads where you often ride? Do you enjoy changing tubes? Are you fairly regularly racing or trying to set PRs? Those are the things I believe ought to drive the tire choice decision. If you know the answers to those kinds of questions, picking a tire is easy.
Road Position?

I have to wonder if those that absolutely never get flats are driving down the center of the driving lane. Or, perhaps there aren't any shoulders, and there is no choice.

And, for others of us... nice shoulders means DEBRIS.
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Old 11-08-19, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Road Position?

I have to wonder if those that absolutely never get flats are driving down the center of the driving lane. Or, perhaps there aren't any shoulders, and there is no choice.

And, for others of us... nice shoulders means DEBRIS.
In a second tangential post in a row from me, I will say that one of the nice things about buying a Garmin Varia radar unit is staying in the lane more frequently and then vacating when I get a notification of a closing vehicle. Much less debris and usually significantly smoother, too.
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