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Continental's Grand Prix GT tyre sits between the racing rubber such as the GP4000S and the more heavily armoured Gatorskins. It's a compromise between fast rolling, high gripping race rubber and puncture protection, and that makes it a good training tyre for most conditions.
Available only in a 25mm carcass the Grand Prix GT has a wider PolyX Breaker layer than Continental's race tyres. This tightly-woven polyester is much denser than the tyre carcass and helps to stop thorns and other sharps getting through to the tube. The GT doesn't have the DuraSkin sidewalls of the heavier duty tyres though.
I found puncture resistance to be decent rather than exceptional, although as always in a tyre test you're trusting a bit to the luck of the puncture fairies. I managed to flat the GTs once, the hole in the tube suggesting a thorn although it wasn't retained in the tyre.
The outer compound of the GTs is the same BlackChili rubber that Continental use in their race tyres. "For BlackChili we refine newly developed synthetic rubbers with natural rubber with the proven high-performance tread compound. We use these rubbers with special nanometric carbon soot particles", say Conti on their website, and they claim it's 30% grippier than their other compounds. Which is a lot. And it also has less rolling resistance, and lasts longer. Not bad, eh?
In use I've found BlackChili compound tyres to be about as grippy as they come, and the GTs are no exception. The heavier carcass and puncture layer will affect the tyre's ability to deform, so in absolute terms they shouldn't be as tenacious as a race tyre, but I've not had any issues with grip during testing, across a wide range of surfaces and weather conditions. They're very predictable.
Weight-wise our tyres weighed in at 285g each, which is significantly more than the 250g Conti claim. Either way they're not race-fast, but they're just the ticket for training rides and winter duties, and the extra room in the air chamber is certainly noticable at your backside over a 23mm. Durability wise they seem to be wearing at a similar rate to what we'd expect from a GP4000s, which considering they use the same compound tread isn't a surprise.
Many riders swear by Conti's race tyres for summer use, and switch to GP 4-season rubber when things get a bit more grubby. The Grand Prix GT gives you a bit of extra protection over race rubber while retaining the grip and feel of the top-end tread, but they sacrifice a bit of durability and puncture resistance. It's all down to your priorities, but they're a good fast tyre for less-than-ideal conditions, if not full winter duties.
Not as quick as a race tyre and not as durable as winter rubber, but quick and grippy with decent puncture protection.
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Make and model: Continental Grand Prix GT tyre
Size tested: 25mm
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?
Grand Prix GT- The long lasting tyre. erm, that's it!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Wider PolyX Breaker
* 3/180 tpi casing for stronger sidewalls
* Long life especially for marathons and multi-day races
* Outstanding grip thanks to the BlackChili compound and a proven tread profile
* available colours (23mm): black, yellow, red, orange, blue, green, white, pink
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They performed well
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good feel, grippy.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Maybe a touch under-built for British winter conditions.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? I'd probably choose something a bit more sturdy.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Depending on their priorities.
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 102kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium 853
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.