[Road Tyres] Continental GP4000, 700x23c

Discussion in 'Shopping, Services, Offers and Reviews' started by John the Monkey, 22 May 2008.

  1. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Bought from eBay Seller, Velosave
    Price: £37.94 for Pair of tyres.

    I'm planning to do this as an ongoing review (depending on how long the tyres last :becool: )

    The tyres arrived - they're unboxed, but folded neatly and well packed in a jiffy bag. Call me shallow, but the look the business - the black of the sidewall and the vibrant conti yellow of the tread look nifty.

    I fitted the tyres that night, onto the Alex DA22 rimmed wheels that came with the Giant SC2.0 as standard. I'm unused to folding tyres, so had some fun keeping the tyre in shape whilst getting them on the rim.

    Eventually, the method that seemed to work best was having the rim inside the tyre (i.e. the bead out all around the rim on both sides) and working the rim on from there. The reputation Conti's have for being difficult to fit was borne out here, with tyre lever assistance being necessary to get the last 2-3 inches on. The tyres went up to pressure nicely (I seem to have managed not to nick the tubes putting them on, hurrah!)

    The last thing to do is measure the circumference of the front wheel (2120, by my measurements, less than the value suggested for 700x23c in my bike computer's manual) and recalibrate the computer.

    22/5/2008 - First Ride(s) Tyre Mileage 32.74 miles
    Pretty good conditions for new tyres, I think - roads are dry, which is probably the main thing. I set off with the intention of taking it easy, as I've never ridden 23s before, and the tyres are new (so probably have some grip defeating anti mould stuff on them still).

    They roll so nicely though, it's impossible not to push a little, and on straights I find myself subconsciously putting a bit of extra effort in, and the tyres seem to reward it. My commute time in the morning won't break any records, but I'm probably 1mph up on a "normal" Thursday commute average. Handling seems a bit skittish when the tyre hits stones and certain types of bump etc in the road, although I've a feeling any high pressure 23mm tyre would be, and I'm being somewhat oversensitive.

    I've not noticed much difference in ride harshness between 25 and 23 as yet, but that could be due to me being overly aware of the new tyres and picking my lines a bit more carefully.

    Overall, the first impression is very positive - the tyres aren't a quantum leap from my wire on 25mm Stelvios, but the difference is appreciable, even now.

    15/06/2008 - More thoughts on grip, first wet rides, fitting to new wheels Tyre Mileage 371.27 miles

    I'm having to run a few things into one report, having not had time to update the review as they occurred to me.

    The first of these is that around the 60 - 80 mile mark, the tyres seemed to really come into their own grip wise. I'm unsure whether this is due to me losing my nervousness of them, or the anti-mould coating being abraded from the tyre or what. I've leaned into corners as far, if not further as I have on my other tyres, and the Contis have a reassuring, locked to the road feeling to them. Pushing speed on cornering and on the descents on my local loops (25 mph and up) feels secure.

    A couple of days last week (although not raining on the commute itself, had wet road surface) provided the opportunity to test the wet grip of the tyres (I'd guesstimate that at around 280-300 miles of tyre mileage, or thereabouts). I wasn't throwing the bike around, because, apart from anything else, I was knackered, this being towards the end of the week, but I didn't notice anything particularly untoward in the handling of the tyres. I did feel the back wheel "go" slightly on one occasion, but am 99% sure that this was dues to a wet road marking, and would have defeated any tyre (the wheel seemed to regain grip quickly in any case). First impressions of wet handling are good, although I'd hesitate to say definitively on the basis of my experience so far.

    On the 14th of June, the tyres were fitted to my birthday present, Motiroloboy's old Mavic Aksiums. Fitting the tyres to those was a sod, and definitely job for tyre levers, and patience. I managed to nick a tube fitting the front, which was annoying, and means I have a michelin airstop there rather than the matching Conti tube.

    On fitting the tyres, I had a look at the tread - the front is largely unmarked, save for the odd bit of tar - no cutting that I could see. The rear had a couple of cuts (sharp bits of gravel, from what I could tell) but the Vectran belt had done it's job and stopped the gravel from penetrating the tread and tube. I'd estimate the cuts at 2-3mm across. On this basis, they've fared better than my Stelvios and Kendas (so far, touches wood etc)

    On the 15th, I had a hugely enjoyable ride on the new wheels - not too far, with it being fathers' day, and there being other things to do, but the combination of the GP4000 and the Aksiums made the SCR2 a lot of fun to ride. On this occasion I was throwing the bike around a bit, revelling in the speed and responsiveness of the new wheels, and I have to say that the GP4000s seemed well up to the task of keeping the bike locked to the road.

    The GP4000 are now going to live on the Aksiums as a good weather/weekend wheel and tyre, whilst the Alex DA22/Formula hubbed wheels that came with the SCR2 will be wet weather/commuting wheels (shod with 25C Ultra Gators). I'll probably next update the review at 500 miles, unless something significant happens between then and now....
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