Continental Grand Prix 4000S Clincher Tires: 3 month review
Three months ago I purchased a set of Continental Grand Prix 4000S Clincher Tires (700×23) for my Madone. I’ve put a lot of miles on the tires over the past 90 days, and this morning I’d like to share some of my thoughts.
Prior to the Continental Grand Prix 4000S Tires, I was running Continental Gatorskin clinchers. I really liked the Gatorskins for their extreme resistance to punctures, but they are relatively heavy and I found them to be a little stiff/uncomfortable. Aesthetically speaking, I can’t stand the yellow weave on the Gatorskin sidewalls.
After reading countless positive reviews of the Continental Grand Prix 4000S Clinchers, I decided to pick up a set and give them a go. I mounted the tires just over three months ago, and since then I’ve put over 2,500 kilometers (almost 1,600 miles) on them:
The above chart, by the way, came from Strava. I use Strava to automatically track mileage on all of my bikes’ components. If you’d like to learn about this handy, but often overlooked feature, I have a how-to article here.
The only negative reviews I’d read about the 4000S tires involved some accounts of catastrophic sidewall failures. I got the impression, however, that these failures were related to either bad batches, or a manufacturing process that had since been corrected. Still, it took some time for me to feel confident in the tires: a sidewall blowout while bombing down the steepside of Sugarloaf at 74 kilometers per hour would likely result in death–or wishing you were dead.
The sporadic reports of sidewall blowouts were definitely in the back of my mind for a time, but after a month or so of problem-free use my confidence in the tires was high.
Note that I use Sunlite Tubes (700×18-23, 80mm, Presta), almost always inflated to 115 PSI (occasionally I’ll run them at 110 PSI).
The performance of the Grand Prix 4000S tires has been outstanding in every way! I love how the Grand Prix tires roll: the ride is noticeably smoother than the ride on Gatorskins. These tires also track and corner extremely well.
Like most cyclists, I really hate flats. Even though I was looking for something lighter than the Gatorskins, I was not willing to sacrifice puncture resistance for weight–especially on my daily ride tires. I’m pleased to report that after more than 2,500 kilometers I have not had a single flat on the 4000S tires. In fact, even when I wrecked in the rain a couple months back and destroyed a Zipp 404, my tires never lost air pressure.
I closely inspected my tires this morning, and there are numerous little nicks and cuts that probably would have resulted in flats on a lesser tire.
The Grand Prix 4000S tires are fairly soft (which is why they grip so well and have such a comfortable ride), and so I didn’t expect them to last as long as Gatorskins. As you can see in the photo to the left, the wear indicators (a nice feature) show that these tires don’t have a great deal of life left in them. I figure they are going to be good for about another 800 kilometers (500 miles), which would put their useable lifespan around 3,300 kilometers, or 2,100 miles.
Overall I could not be more pleased with the Continental Grand Prix 4000S Clincher Tires. For a daily use tire, Continental has struck what I believe is a near-perfect balance between puncture resistance, handling, ride quality and weight. While the lifespan of the tires is perhaps a little less than I’d like, that’s a tradeoff I’ll happily make for everything else these tires have to offer.
Excellent product, and highly recommended.