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The Continental Grand Prix 5000 is a hugely popular road tyre and, in honour of the 2020 Tour de France, it's got a stylish new look. This limited-edition 'cream' sidewall is only available in 25mm clincher though, which is sure to upset fans of both tubeless and wide tyres. It has substance as well as style, rolls and grips extremely well, and did we mention it has style...?
This limited edition is extremely similar to the standard GP5000 clincher, and uses the BlackChilli compound, a Vectran Breaker puncture protection layer, and three layers of 110tpi casing. The creaminess – some would call it tan – adds a claimed 30g over the standard 25mm clincher (255g vs 225g), though the road.cc scales say 245g for a 20g increase.
Why are they heavier? They're painted. I'm sure it's a lot more technical than that, but in essence these are painted Vulcanized rubber tyres rather than cotton walls, which are naturally tan coloured.
Continental isn't alone in doing this – Schwalbe offer similar products. To some, this concept sounds absolutely absurd, whilst others will give an arm and a leg to roll up to the café with their bike looking just so.
Although in my eyes the painted-on cream isn't quite a match for a proper tan wall aesthetically, it is much easier to wipe clean, meaning your tyres look new for longer.
Whilst I'm perfectly happy on 'boring' black tyres, I've been amazed and also slightly concerned at just how excited some people get about these. I can confidently say these are the most conversation-provoking tyres I have ever used.
If you're not fussed about the cream (would you eat cream that colour?) or conversations about rubber, the standard GP5000 is available tubeless and non-tubeless in 23mm to 32mm widths, and in both 700c and 650b diameters.
This tyre blows up true to size on today's average wheels, measuring exactly 25mm on my 19mm internal width rims. By contrast they come up at 26.3mm on my Roval Rapide CLX wheels with their massive 21mm rims.
Fitting isn't as easy as some, but this could have just been that I was unfortunate with my rim choices. Either way the first fitment resulted in some pretty sore thumbs before reaching for a tyre lever to get the stubborn and rather tough bead over the lip of the wheel.
Having removed and refitted them a week later, they loosened up a bit, making the fitment process a lot easier.
I'm afraid to say that the next part is as predictable as the GP5000's grip, which is very good... it really is hard to find fault with a tyre that does everything quite so well.
Take these out in the dry and traction is great, but more impressive is the wet weather grip. I found them much more confidence inspiring in the wet than the Schwalbe Pro-One for instance, which, although excellent in the dry, has a tendency to slip on moist climbs.
As far as rolling speed is concerned, they feel proper fast and this is backed up by strong results in independent testing. Bicycle Rolling Resistance's results show the GP5000 non-tubeless is not only significantly faster than the old GP4000S II, but nearly as quick as the Grand Prix TT, which should be reserved for just racing.
And that brings me on to my next point – durability. Although the rolling rivals race tyres, the GP5000 can be used for day to day training.
After a month of testing my set is showing very few signs of use, and I can't think of any tyres this quick that will last as long. S-Works Turbo Cottons – nope, Vittoria Corsa Speed – nah, Pirelli P Zero Velo TT – not a chance. Plus during the test I had the grand total of zero punctures, though as with all tyres that is partly down to luck.
For my 70kg weight I found 85psi worked best in the dry, and at this pressure comfort is impressive although not class leading.
At £59.95 this tyre compares reasonably to much of its competition, such as the £54.99 Vittoria Corsa G2.0 or to a lesser degree the Goodyear Eagle F1 at £45 – though in reality it's far less likely to be discounted (at the time of writing, for instance, the standard £59.99 GP5000 can be had for around £35).
The Continental Grand Prix 5000 grips really well in both the wet and dry, rolls like a race tyre yet can be used every day. This limited-edition version is great if you want to ride the same tyre as everyone else (for good reason) without looking like everybody else – so long as you're after a 25mm tubed tyre, anyway.
Fast, grippy and durable tyre with cool retro looks – shame there's only one width, though
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Continental Grand Prix 5000 - Special Edition Tour de France 2020
Size tested: 25-622 (700x25C)
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?
Continental says the GP5000 is "The new era in cycling – the best allrounder in the field, brought to a whole new performance level. Ride faster, more comfortable and with increased puncture protection.
"This Special Edition comes with all the technological features you know from the regular Grand Prix 5000, plus a lush cream sidewall and the official Tour de France licence logo."
The GP5000 is certainly an extremely strong all-rounder. I enjoy using them and the cream sidewalls gather a lot of attention.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Size: 700c x 25
Recommended inflation pressure: 95psi
Max inflation pressure: 120psi
Very impressive: rolling resistance is akin to a race tyre, grip is excellent both wet and dry, and puncture protection/durability is also good.
There's more rubber than on other tyres this quick; after roughly 1000km I've had zero punctures, and there's no sign of wear or damage.
Still a competitive weight, but the tan adds 30g (claimed) over the standard black version.
Comfort is very good, with a supple feel.
These are expensive for a non-tubeless tyre.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent for racing and, unlike many tyres this fast, for training as well. Dry and wet grip is class-leading, but I found them harder to fit than some other non-tubeless tyres.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They get a lot of attention.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sore thumbs whilst fitting them.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £59.95 this tyre compares reasonably to much of its competition, such as the £54.99 Vittoria Corsa G2.0 or to a lesser degree, the Goodyear Eagle F1 at £45 – though in reality it's far less likely to be discounted. At the time of writing for instance, the standard £59.99 GP5000 can be had for around £35.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Still the all-round tyre to beat; race performance with everyday durability and puncture protection. This 'cream' version adds some retro cool, too.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...