The mechanic interviews from the start of the season offered plenty of insight into the changes in trends that have come to road cycling of late. One of the most referenced products was tyres.
Continental launched a few new options this month: the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR and Grand Prix 5000 AS TR.
– By Rob Arnold
Intro and details
TT is for ‘Time Trial’. AS is for ‘All Season’. TR is for ‘Tubeless Ready’. And GP5000 is for those who know about the evolution of Continental’s road cycling tyre range.
The acronyms are fairly obvious and the latest release from the German manufacturer – one of a handful of major tyre brands in the cycling market – suggests that the aim is to satisfy the needs of both racers and recreational riders. Both the TT and AS have Continental’s high-end features – ie. ‘Black Chili’ compound for grip, ‘Vectran Breaker’ for cut-resistance, ‘Active Comfort Technology’ for comfort, and ‘Lazer Grip’ for better cornering.
That’s the quick overview as explained on the press release issued at the beginning of March 2023.
Both of the new Continental tyres are compatible with hooked or hookless rims and, obviously, tubeless ready.
One, the GP5000 TT, is lighter than the other: 248g versus the 337g GP5000 AS (per 28mm tyre, as weighed by RIDE Media).
The race-orientated TT comes in 25mm or 28mm, while the more versatile and heavier AS is available in either cream or black sidewalls and in widths of 25mm, 28mm, 32mm or 35mm.
These tyres are on their way to Australia with bulk delivery of stock expected in May, but RIDE Media has been sent a pair of each for review. In the coming weeks, you will find more about the latest from Continental on the RIDE Media YouTube channel and social media.
RRP in Australia (March 2023)
- Continental GP5000 TT TR: AUD$179.99 each
- Continental GP5000 AS TR: AUD$169.99 each
Fitting to Zipp 303s wheels
Continental tyres have been known to require quite a bit of muscle to fit on some wheels but the installation of the latest in the GP5000 range was done without much wrestling. In fact, there wasn’t even the temptation to grab a tyre lever when fitting the GP5000 TT tyres to the Zipp 303s wheels I’ve currently got on my bike.
Slip the bead into the centre of the rim, thumb the tyre on, and you’ve barely raised a sweat or a callous on your skin.
Be sure to get the rotation correct and be warned, it’s not easy to find that little raised arrow graphic. (A little tip, if you consider that the GP5000 tread pattern – which is the same for both new tyres, and akin to previous Conti tyre releases – as an arrow, you’re going the right way… thin to large, and off you go.)After months of riding on Goodyear Eagle F1 (28mm) tubeless tyres, I made the switch to Continental’s new TT option. They aren’t cheap so I’ll set the odometer at zero and let you know how far I go before the wear indicator bottoms out.
At almost AUD$180 each, you want to know that you’re going to get a fair whack of use out of these tyres. I’m curious to know how the wear on the rear – and the associated skidding that usually comes with riding in Sydney traffic – compares with the front. I’ll be sure to report in.
The 303s rims have an internal width is 23mm and Zipp suggests these wheels are “fastest with 28mm”.
When inflated to 55psi on the Zipp 303s the 28mm GP5000 TT TR measure in at 30.40mm.
Installation was easy on one wheel but the other needed a bit of extra attention (ie. a visit to a bike shop and use of an air compressor rather than the Lezyne Digital Drive Floor Pump I’ve successfully used with tubeless tyres for around two years.
With the extra surge from the air compressor at Tune Cycles, the tyres seated on the hookless Zipp rims with ease.
Revo Sealant was also supplied by Continental for this review. The easy-to-use nozzle – ie. straight from the bottle, rather than via a flexible tube – prompted me to go for the thru-the-valve application option. It was fuss-free without any leakage at all.The black on black of the GP5000 TT tyres adds another layer of black to my bike and although it does look stealth, I think I prefer the cream sidewall option from an aesthetic standpoint. Performance is the same, so it doesn’t really make a big difference to me.
They tyres are sticky from the start. There’s no factory sheen that needs to wear off before the grip kicks into performance mode, allowing for safer cornering.
It’s very early days with these tyres on my bike and I’ll soon report in if the claims of the TT TR tyres having a better rolling resistance ring true.
This is part of a series of product posts that will feature on RIDE Media’s site. Sometimes they will be about new releases, other times I’ll present some tried and tested favourites. And, as always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on social media or send an email and I’ll do my best to answer you quickly.
– By Rob Arnold
Pro Team Bikes (2023) – galleries and mechanic interviews
- Jay Vine’s Team UAE Emirates Colnago
- Jumbo-Visma and Cervélo
- Bahrain Victorious and Merida
- Ineos Grenadiers and Pinarello
- Jayco-AlUla and Giant
- Israel-Premier Tech and Factor
- Astana-Qazaqstan and Wilier
- AG2R Citroën Team and BMC
- Alpecin-Deceuninck and Canyon