When it comes to road bike talk, there are a few classic topics that are brought to the table time and time again. Do you disc brake or not ? 23 or 25 tyres ? etc… If you’ve been following me for a while, you already know that I love these debates! Will Conti GP 4000 S II vs. GP5000 become one of them?
3:30am : who set that alarm? Oh yeah it was me. Time to catch my flight to Tenerife and escape the moody atmosphere of Southern France ! Backpack is ready, helmet is clipped onto the handle. I check in with minutes to spare as usual, grabbing a vomit-inducing aiport coffee on the way to the gate. I seriously hope the hotel booked by Continental comes with an in-house barista.
Surprise, yes it does! But hang on, I haven’t actually been invited to sit on my backside and sip coffee. Continental is presenting an apparently ground-breaking new tyre and I’m part of the lucky gang of press, media, athletes and influencers who get a front row seat. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a while. And, meet some fellow instagrammers whose work is really cool (links at the bottom of the page if you want to check them out!). We do actually test the coffee as we wait for the big announcement.
Rumours are flying: square tyre here, tubeless there… I could certainly save a couple of watts if they’ve gone for the second option!
GP4000 S II is dead, long live the GP5000
The suspense isn’t held for too long: the new baby is rather boringly christened GP5000 but it claims to offer less rolling resistance and more grip – a scientific mix of chemical ingredients does the magic here but psssst that’s a secret – and last but not least, it’s pretty much puncture-safe, good point if you want to save some grams and get rid of your saddle bag.
So that’s the theory and I’m sure the German engineers have done their job, but the only way to test that is to put them through their paces (the tyres, of course) on the slopes of El Teide – the famous (40 kilometres long!) local climb.
No holding back: we’re testing tyres here – as well as making sure the press and athletes are reassured that there are still a few “influencers” out there who can ride a bike.
Big ring, throwing up a little sand on my borrowed Cannondale System Six – yeah really. My poor SCOTT FOIL stayed at home for the short trip, but its replacement kinda does the job because I’m flying up the perfectly smooth ribbon of tarmac towards the lunar landscape at the top of the volcano…
Is the bike better than mine? Certainly not, and Cannondale apparently still haven’t solved their colour palet issues. But hey the tyres. Oh the tyres! Compared to my GP4000S IIs, I’ve definitely saved watts.
GP5000, the best tyre in the world?
I stop for a few shots, gape at the view and decide I’m coming back very soon, and hit what quickly turns into an orgasm-inducing descent. No, I’m only slightly exaggerating. The hairpins come in quick succession, the speed creeps up on the Garmin, I lean steeper and steeper into the bends and still the wheels don’t budge. The Conti GP5000 are safe, they’re comfortable and they sure grip like hell.
RIP lovely GP4000S II, the German guys did the job… again!
As promised, here is a non-exhaustive list of people to catch up with and some fellow instagrammers whose work is really cool ! Keep up the good work, guys ! Happy to share another ride soon…
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