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New road tires: Continental Grand Prix 4000 S

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

August
21
2013

I know I said that I was going to try and post the 2013 Madone photo album with details on all the components early this week, but I decided to wait for my new tires to come in before doing the wide shots. I have already taken all of the close-up component photos, and now that the tires are here I’m going to try to get the last couple photos done. I should have the album ready to go for tomorrow’s blog.

Continental Grand Prix 4000 S Road Tires, 700x23

Continental Grand Prix 4000 S Road Tires, 700×23

As for the tires, as you can see I decided to go with the Continental Grand Prix 4000 S. But let me back up for a second…

Up until today I’ve been running Continental GatorSkins, and I have been very happy with them from a puncture-resistance standpoint. I switched to the GatorSkins not too long after purchasing my 2011 Madone. I flatted three times over less than 200 miles on the Madone’s stock Bontrager R3 tires, so I switched to the GatorSkins. After more than 3,000 miles on the GatorSkins, I’ve not had a single flat. They are excellent tires.

So, why the change? The GatorSkins are one of the most puncture-resistant tires out there, but they are also relatively heavy, rolling resistance is fairly high, they don’t corner particularly well (traction is not great) and the ride is somewhat rough. Finally, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I dislike the yellow sidewall pattern.

The tires came in a little over the manufacturer's claimed weight of 205 (the other tire was 229g).

The tires came in a little over the manufacturer’s claimed weight of 205 (the other tire was 229g).

I was looking for a tire that provided decent puncture resistance, rolled fast, cornered well and was fairly light. Not a full-on race tire, but a performance tire that could be used for training.

Vittoria and Michelin have a few strong contenders that fit that description, but the nearly unanimous praise for Continental’s Grand Prix 4000 S convinced me to give them a try. People seem to love this tire! The only issue I’ve seen reported are some complaints about blown sidewalls. These complaints seem relatively rare, however, and are perhaps attributable to a bad run or two. Let’s hope so, as a sidewall blowout while bombing down the steep side of Sugarloaf at 75 KPH would make for a very bad day indeed.

Both of my tires actually came in ~23g heavier than the claimed weight of 205g (confirmed on two scales). That’s a 10% increase in weight, and 10% definitely stretches the definition of “acceptable manufacturing variances”. That said, the tires are quite a bit lighter than my GatorSkins.

This amazing picture adorns the Conti Grand Prix boxes. Apparently my tires were made by four extremely serious Germans.

This amazing picture adorns the Conti Grand Prix boxes. Apparently my tires were made by four extremely serious Germans.

I did a lot of research before settling on these tires, and it seems to be nearly perfect. People just rave about it, and the reviews are all excellent.

On a lighter note, what’s the deal with this photograph found on the tire box?

Vee are going to make a foto for ze tire box. You vill make big German smile now.

I’m certainly not going to tell that lot that their tires came in 23 grams over.

I’m off for a test ride before work. 🙂

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