Test: Grand Prix 5000 TL tubeless tyres

Test: Grand Prix 5000 TL tubeless tyres

Cycle Magazine's technical editor, Richard Hallett reviews the Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL tubeless tyres.

Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL
Price: £69.95

It may have been a long time coming, but Continental’s first dip of the commercial toe into the turbid waters of road tubeless tyres looks, albeit on the basis of 400 miles of test riding on one tubeless-ready wheelset, to have been worth the wait. Introduced earlier this year along with a non-tubeless clincher version that directly replaces the old GP4000 tyre, the new GP5000 TL is a true tubeless tyre rather than ‘tubelessready’, with an impermeable butyl-lined carcass that should retain air without the need for sealant (although Continental recommends sealant).

The TL’s three-ply carcass uses a 60tpi casing rather than the clincher’s 110tpi, the heavier material said to work better in the tubeless format, and its bead has a specific shape moulded in a soft rubber to provide a better seal with the rim. Both clincher and TL tyres use a BlackChili tread compound, remixed to improve grip and rolling resistance, and employ a technology named Active Comfort. This comprises a thin layer of special rubber under the tread to dampen road vibration.

Conti’s customary Vectran anti-puncture belt is retained, and the tread gets a laser-etched micro pattern for better adhesion in slippery conditions. The TL is heavier by 90g in 700×25C size yet offers a claimed 5% improvement in rolling and puncture resistance over its tubed sibling, which itself is claimed to be 12% and 20% better respectively than the old GP4000.

All very well, but road tubeless technology needs to be easy to use if it is to attract cyclists. I tested the sample tyres on Hunt’s 4 Season Aero tubeless-ready wheelset, inflated to 80/90psi front/rear, at which pressure they measured 27mm wide. Both tyres seated near-instantaneously with a smart ‘pop’ and, inflated to 80psi, lost about 40psi overnight without sealant, which reduced to around 5psi once Conti sealant was added.

The riding experience is entirely convincing, with a supple, comfortable ride quality and an intriguing sound from the sidewalls like that of a fast tubular. On a club ride through the Cambrian mountains, the tyre and wheel combo impressed me with its speed, comfort and grip, especially on shaded hairpin bends, where dry tarmac can turn to wet and back in metres. No punctures or cuts on wet, gritty Welsh back roads suggests they’re tough too. Sizes: 25-622, 28-622, 32-622, 28-584.

Verdict

Conti’s new tyre combines comfort, speed, grip, and ease of installation with the expected tubeless benefit of riding uninterrupted by minor punctures

Other options


Schwable Pro One £60

Impressively fast tubeless road clincher with a decent size range, but the tyre can cut easily. Weighs 260g in 700×25C. 


Hutchinson Fusion 5 Allweather £60

Sturdy, grooved, wetweather ElevenSTORM® tread means this tubeless tyre is 325g in700×25C.

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