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Verdict: 
Excellent big-chambered race tyre with a fast and smooth feel
Weight: 
266g
Contact: 
www.i-ride.co.uk/Grand-Prix-4000s-II.aspx
Continental Grand Prix 4000s II 28mm tyres
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Tyres are getting bigger, and the Continental Grand Prix 4000S II 28mm (let's just call it the GP4000S from now on, eh) is a great example of why this is A Good Thing. Assuming you can fit these tyres into your frame, there's plenty of reasons why you should. They're excellent.

The GP4000S is Conti's top racing clincher; they call it the "Undisputed market leading race bike tyre", and while we wouldn't go that far it certainly has a big following. It's been available in 23mm and 25mm widths since the update from the last incarnation, but the 28mm is a new departure for Continental in the racing sphere.

At 266g per end (claimed 260g) it's heavier than the 25mm (claimed 225g) and 23mm (claimed 215g) but the plus side is that the air chamber is much bigger than the smaller tyres, and you can run it at a lower pressure. Continental suggest 110psi for the 23mm and 25mm, and 95psi for their big brother. Construction is the same: Black Chili compound tread, Vectran puncture strip, three-ply 110TPI carcass and a kevlar bead. The 23mm tyre you can have in a variety of sidewall colours, Pantone-matched to your Fizik bar tape. But if you want 28s, it's black or black.

Out on the road they feel extremely smooth and fast. Continental (http://www.conti-tyres.co.uk/conticycle/ti_GP4000SII.shtml) point to a recent Tour Magazine test that found that the 28mm GP4000S not only had lower rolling resistance than its narrower siblings, but also the lowest of any tyre on test. We're only talking a few watts but it all counts, right? Anyway, the take-home message from that is that big doesn't necessarily mean slow. It certainly doesn't here. I didn't notice the extra bulk of the tyre when accelerating, and once up to speed they do have a very supple feel and excellent all-round grip. Continental's Black Chilli rubber is predictable in both the wet and dry. I've used these tyres for everything up to a 300km cross-country day trip and I've never found them to be wanting for grip.

As for comfort: well, I'd only normally put 95psi in a 25mm tyre so I immediately knocked these down to 85psi and they give excellent cushioning at that kind of pressure without sacrificing any speed that I could discern. If you want them even plusher then they're fine at 75psi too; once you get down to 60psi you're starting to risk a pinch flat and on narrower race rims they start to lose their composure a bit in the turns. They're best on a wider rim, 23mm or more, which flattens out the profile a touch and means you can run them softer because they're not quite as tall. A wider rim will make the whole package more aerodynamic as well, as the tyre won't bulge out from the rim as much.

Continental's Vectran breaker does a pretty good job of resisting any unwelcome intrusions. I had one puncture during about 800km of testing, so they're not infallible, but for race-spec rubber they're pretty hardy. Adding extra protection adds weight and reduces the suppleness of the carcass. They wouldn't be your first choice for winter conditions but they're a good all-rounder for summer and autumn conditions. There are a few cuts in the tread now, but nothing serious.

Assuming you can live with the 70g weight penalty over 25mm tyres, and you can squeeze them into your frame, there aren't really any downsides. These are big tyres that feel like race tyres, only more comfortable. And comfort is a performance advantage, don't forget.

Verdict

Excellent big-chambered race tyre with a fast and smooth feel

road.cc test report

Make and model: Continental Grandprix 4000s II 28mm

Size tested: black 28mm

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well, a fast and smooth tyre.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfortable, fast, puncture protection is decent.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A bit tall on narrow race rims.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The legendary GP4000S tyre has been updated to include a broader range of sizes which now also benefit from the latest cutting edge rubber compounding available in the bicycle tyre industry - BLACKCHILI. This technology is constantly evolving and what better way to introduce our latest version than to update the tyre that launched the compound back in 2007. Featuring lower rolling resistance, higher mileage and maximum wet weather grip, riders who already use the GP4000S will continue in the knowledge that they are riding the best all-round performance road bike tyres that money can buy. Newbies to the Continental brand will gain from all the factors that make countless professional riders insist on riding Continental tyres. The coloured versions of the tyre now also feature a BlackChili compound with the colour coding moved to the sidewall. The wide range of available colours are Pantone matched to the Fizik saddle & bar tape range for those riders who love to colour coordinate their machines. The new sizes of 23-571, 20-622 and 28-622 cover a broader range of customer requirements, with 28mm now a genuine race tyre size thanks to the availability of the new GP4000 S II 700x28. This size is in fact, the lowest rolling of all the sizes available. Don't belie ve us? Read the independent test report from TOUR magazine below... Vectran™ breaker for unsurpassed puncture protection

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 189cm  Weight: 91kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

34 comments

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pedalpowerDC [334 posts] 1 year ago
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I've always found Conti's 25mm tyres to be the narrowest of all 25s I've ridden (with Michelin Pro4 SC the widest). Do these look like most other brand's 25s?

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 1 year ago
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amazing tires

Recently put a pair on my Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 and 28c volume at 90psi feels incredibly smooth and grippy, yet very quick rolling.

Visually the large volume tire works great with the semi-aero disc specific wheels that come stock on the bike

Previously using Conti 4-seasons in 25c on the same bike, for reference, and also had 'new' S-Works Turbo in 26c before the 4-seasons.

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dst [38 posts] 1 year ago
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Used the 4seasons 28's on the Paris-Roubaix Challenge (140km) this year and didn't have a single issue, let alone puncture.

Have the 4000s II 25's on my other bike and never had a problem with them either. Can't say the same for the Hutchinson Equinox or Schwalbe Lugano's I've used before though! I guess you get what you pay for  1

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Kelly's Eye [5 posts] 1 year ago
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The undisputed market leader they maybe, but not worth the extra £10 - £15 per tyre over Vredestein Fortezza Senso. Each to their own I guess.

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cyclesteffer [139 posts] 1 year ago
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+1. I'm giving the vredesteins a try. Ribble has some awesome deals on for a set.

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AJ101 [272 posts] 1 year ago
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Prices can vary wildly on GP4000s, as can stock levels. If you want to see which shop has got what sizes in stock in an instant...

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SuperPython59 [548 posts] 1 year ago
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I accquired some 28mm Giant P-SL2 folders at closeout last year from Rutland, they're 270g.
Completely slick tread they are going on my audax bike in the next few weeks to see if they're any good, at 105kg I use a very lightweight, fast 32mm folder on my do-it-all bike and they really are the best all round tyre I've ever used in 25+ years so they'll need to be impressive for me to keep them going.

I use 24mm 4000's on my Carbon wheels but gonna fit some decent 27s when they wear out (I don't cycle seriously so they'll last ages), that said people saying they can't justify the expense but spend shit loads on other pretty useless stuff that gives them nothing performance wise doesn't make sense considering the very small differential in price you can get the Contis for.(Sub £27 incl post)

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Cyclosis [71 posts] 1 year ago
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I think you may be mistaken that running a 28mm tyre on a wide rim means they are not as tall. In actual fact they get *taller* as the side wall is forced straighter and not pulled in toward the rim.

http://www.slowtwitch.com/articles/images/3/86683-largest_1_SlowtwitchTi...

It's dependant on the rim tyre combo, but certainly something to look out for on the clearance for your frame and/or mudguards.

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TheHound [117 posts] 1 year ago
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pedalpowerDC wrote:

I've always found Conti's 25mm tyres to be the narrowest of all 25s I've ridden (with Michelin Pro4 SC the widest). Do these look like most other brand's 25s?

That's odd. I find the GP4000s 25mm much wider than the 4seasons 25mm and Vittoria Open Corsa 25mm.

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jstone1 [20 posts] 1 year ago
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Agree - I changed from 28mm 4Season to 28mm GP4000s and the tyres only just squeeze through the brakes. I read somewhere they inflate to more like 31mm...the do feel great however...

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andyeb [20 posts] 1 year ago
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I wonder if these will be any better than 2013-2014 vintage Contis for blow-outs? I've heard of far too many cycling buddies having blow outs on Contis over the past 18 months.

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rpjwhite [11 posts] 1 year ago
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Possible stupid newbie question but the pressures run for the test seem to be way below recommend pressures from the manufacturer.
Just wondering people's thoughts on this now I have pulled the ring pull on this can of worms...

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rpjwhite [11 posts] 1 year ago
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Possible stupid newbie question but the pressures run for the test seem to be way below recommend pressures from the manufacturer.
Just wondering people's thoughts on this now I have pulled the ring pull on this can of worms...

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WDG [50 posts] 1 year ago
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I bought a pair of GP4000s and one of them got a bulge in the tyre tread in short order. Think it was a one off as now have 3 pairs of Contis (GP4000, GP4000 II and Gatorskins on the winter bike) with no issues.

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joules1975 [342 posts] 1 year ago
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rpjwhite wrote:

Possible stupid newbie question but the pressures run for the test seem to be way below recommend pressures from the manufacturer.
Just wondering people's thoughts on this now I have pulled the ring pull on this can of worms...

My view on manufacturer stated pressures is that if it states 'recommended pressure' or similar, then it's just that, a recommendation, otherwise I take it as a 'do not go above/below.

Think of it as like difference between best before and use by.

That said, running outside stated pressures regardless of wording will likely nullify warranty claims.

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1860 [35 posts] 1 year ago
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I am having an issue getting them round with my new set of Campagnolo Eurus wheels...

what happens is that you can't put the tire in far enough near the valve, but seems to go in far enough everywhere else. Then when I pump up to 20 psi, the thing is quite out of round mainly around the valve. I am not sure if I need to push the tire in more near the valve, or not push it in as far everywhere else.

Otherwise have nothing but the best experience with the Conti GP 4000s

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fukawitribe [1686 posts] 1 year ago
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rpjwhite wrote:

Possible stupid newbie question but the pressures run for the test seem to be way below recommend pressures from the manufacturer.
Just wondering people's thoughts on this now I have pulled the ring pull on this can of worms...

There's a lot of variables that go toward working out a recommended pressure - and unfortunately we don't know what the manufacturer was thinking... e.g. if you were always rolling on billiard table smooth tarmac, then you expect the recommended pressure to be (relatively) high and if you wanted more grip you might go a bit lower - at the top end you also have things like comfort to consider (no-one wants to ride on a stone over British roads) and at the bottom end pinch flats and losing a tyre off the rim (the latter nasty and open to liability issues)... it really all depends.

It think one this is reasonably safe to say and that's the days of believing a 19mm tyre pumped up to 140psi is the universal answer to speed are long gone.
Personally, for general road use i'll run 25mm clinchers at roughly 80-85/85-90psi (front/back), and 23s about 10psi higher (on 17.5mm internal rims) tweaked for what actual tyres they might be - i'd probably try the 28s at 80/85 to start and go from there.

The comment about warranty and out of range tyre pressures is pertinent, but I doubt they have a clandestine way of measuring it without you knowing...  3

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krealby [12 posts] 1 year ago
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Another possible stupid newbie question; are there any wheels out there (in the £300-£400 price range) that are wide enough to run 28mm tyres without the ballooning effect described?

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fukawitribe [1686 posts] 1 year ago
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krealby wrote:

Another possible stupid newbie question; are there any wheels out there (in the £300-£400 price range) that are wide enough to run 28mm tyres without the ballooning effect described?

Plenty in that price range - quite a few less than that too... One name that is coming up a fair bit at the moment is Superstar (who seem to have long lost their old reputation) - they seem to really be putting out some good value kit at the moment e.g. the Pave 28 that were reviewed on here

http://road.cc/content/review/140076-superstar-components-pave-28-wheelset

and some quite tasty looking, even wider rimmed ones (19mm internal/25mm external) here

http://www.superstarcomponents.com/en/arc22-ultrawide-wheelset.htm

More of their stuff here...

http://www.superstarcomponents.com/en/shop/road/road-wheels/

There's quite a few more just a Google away, but no direct experience apart from Bontrager Race - bought second hand, 17.5mm internal/23mm external ~1700g, far from flash but they've had a lot of abuse from me and run great with wider tyres.

If you are going for more like your original range, i'd seriously consider some handbuilts maybe using using H Plus Son or Pacenti rims - Google is your friend as always (you could do far worse than looking up Ugo Santalucia, a wheelsmith and moderator at The Other Place - he seems well respected and able to tell it like it is).

Edit : oh, I have no link with any of those mentioned above, just been looking myself.

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Polocini [20 posts] 1 year ago
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It could be worth road.cc adding a bit more info in by showing photos of them on different rims. For instance on a h plus son rim they are huge. I'd doubt they'd clear most frames.

I've used these for all the spring classics and they've been excellent. Highly recommended. If they fit your frame!!!!!

AL

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 1 year ago
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Polocini wrote:

It could be worth road.cc adding a bit more info in by showing photos of them on different rims. For instance on a h plus son rim they are huge. I'd doubt they'd clear most frames.

I've used these for all the spring classics and they've been excellent. Highly recommended. If they fit your frame!!!!!

AL

i'll do that, they're currently on novatec r3s which are 19mm and we have some reynolds ATRs that are 28mm, so those are at the two extremes really

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climber [72 posts] 1 year ago
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+1 for H Plus Son.

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Polocini [20 posts] 1 year ago
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That would be great Dave. It could save someone a few quid on buying tyres that don't fit.

Here's a pic on the h plus. It's on a bmc gf02 that actually comes with 28mm tyres. You can see how big they blow up. https://twitter.com/polocini/status/575641771662778369

AL

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fukawitribe [1686 posts] 1 year ago
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Polocini wrote:

That would be great Dave. It could save someone a few quid on buying tyres that don't fit.

Second that, it would be a really useful feature to show - thanks Dave.

Polocini wrote:

Here's a pic on the h plus. It's on a bmc gf02 that actually comes with 28mm tyres. You can see how big they blow up. https://twitter.com/polocini/status/575641771662778369

AL

Oh wow, that is .... tight, isn't it ? How are they riding ? Looking for something a little bigger than Vittoria Open Pave 25s and was thinking of the 27s, but these look large and light - might well be tempted....

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madhouse [52 posts] 1 year ago
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can only get 25's into my frame but I'd recommend the GP4000S II's to anyone, certainly my favourite dry weather tyre (although by no means bad in those spring showers either). Obviously I've their 4Seasons tyre on the winter wheels  1

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Polocini [20 posts] 1 year ago
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Fuka - They've been absolutely brilliant. You do notice the drag/resistance on the 28's over about 37kmh when pedaling on the flat. But I rarely pedal that fast!! and I didn't buy them for smashing it anyway.

I've now changed the setup to run 28 up front and 25 on the back (rear brake refitted). I've got a set of 23mm and will be testing them back to back in the mountains next week. I'm interested to see how the 28/25's descend compared to 23.

Can I just say I'm not even a tyre geek but the 25mm/big tyre hype intrigued me.

Cheers
AL

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 1 year ago
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here they are side by side. you can see that it looks like a much bigger tyre on the wider rim  1

it is a *much* wider rim

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giles [24 posts] 1 year ago
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I have recently fitted these in 25 to my bike and love them, very grippy and a slightly nicer ride, having just measured them on the bike they are 26.6mm on the rim so coming up slightly wider

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Polocini [20 posts] 1 year ago
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Cheers Dave. They look like hybrid tyres on those wide rims!

AL

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 1 year ago
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@1860

try soaping the tires/ rims before inflation

mix some detergent (fairy liquid) and warm water. use a paintbrush or old toothbrush and apply a light coat to the rim / tire bead interface

pay attention during inflation and take it up in 10psi steps, try 'seating' the tire during this procedure and the soapy water should help the tire settle into the rim

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