Continental GP4000S Review
Continental GP4000S tires are widely known as one of the fastest clincher tires on the market. It even won a big tire testing performed by the German Magazine “Tour“, having the lowest rolling resistance of all of them, along with having a good puncture resistance. They are also pretty light, coming in at around 205 grams per tire, which is very important when it comes to accelerations. It’s important to take a look on your tires when thinking on upgrades, because they play a much larger role on the speed you can achieve than any frame or wheel can give you. Just click here to read why. I have been riding these tires on my Scott Foil 10 equipped with Shimano C35 Dura Ace wheels.
I have been testing them for a year now, where it has been both as training as well as a bit of races, and I must say that I am impressed. I have experience with two other cheaper Continental-tires, the Ultra Race and Ultra Sport.
On The Road
Let me tell you about my first experience on these tires. I tried riding them for about 38 km, and when I got home, I had broken my own personal record by 3 minutes on that route. A route I had taken 100 times before. I simply felt flying all the time. I was convinced immediately, that these tires makes you fast. I won about 1,5 km/h by switching from the Ultra Race to the GP4000S, and I have not been looking backwards since.
Puncture resistance is decent. I have had a single puncture in that year (5000 kilometers on these tires), but they have saved me many times. Several times when I have come home from training, I have been able to get all sorts of small rocks out of the tires, which had not been able to enter the tubes. They do seem to pick rocks up rather easy on wet roads. Easier than what im used to at least, so if you are riding in the wet, be extra careful driving over small stones.
But it's not like it is any problem at all. I got a small story from a rainy September-day, where we were a few guys riding just 7 kilometers to meet with some other riders. Out of 6 riders, I was the only one in those 7 kilometers who didn't get a puncture. I could see the rocks trying to tear through my tires, but they never managed to do that before I got them removed. So even as very fast clincher tires, the Continental GP4000S are also extremely puncture restistant.
They seem to be almost (read 2-3 lines further down) as good as new too, so they don’t wear out that fast. The rearwheel does seem to be a bit more worn than the front wheel, though. Another thing i would like to point out is, that I have experienced something weird with reartires a 3-4 months ago. As you can see in the picture below, they have gotten some sort of damage on the side. I have no idea how this happened, but somehow the tires have gotten this beginning hole. By some simple Google'ing, I could read, that i am far from the only person who has experienced this problem. Apparantly the sidewalls of the GP4000S isn't strong enough on some of the tires they send out. I can imagine it has to do with a simple stress overload. Maybe on cobbles or something. But since I’m a lightweight (65 kg) rider, I have problems imagining how simple stress should have done this. But, there is easily 5000 km more in them as they look now, I’m sure of. This problem in the picture below has not affected anything at all.
The Continental GP4000S is for those who wants speed and decent puncture resistance too. They are really fast, maybe even the fastest clincher tires you can buy, and is a very cheap but also very powerful upgrade. If you are racing on clincherwheels, or just wants to be a bit faster in your everyday training, these are the tires to go with.
Written by René