This is a pretty good tyre from our experience and worth the little extra these cost over lesser tyres. I got these initially for my daughter’s bike as we needed a reliable, puncture-free tyre that would be a good all-rounder. As they seemed to perform so well, I have made the investment myself and I’m generally very pleased, even though I had one heck of a puncture….
Oh yeah, the puncture. Might as well get the negative stuff out of the way first. I had already cycled over 100 miles (towards Weston-Super-Mare) and I was near Congresbury on the A370 and suddenly there was a loud PSSSSSSSSST. This was slightly awkward as I was weaving my way alongside a line of slow moving traffic and I think some of the drivers were frustrated that this middle aged bloke on some old fashioned bike was making better progress. I must have hit something pretty large to cause such a gash in the tyre for the tube to be punctured so fast. I am therefore thinking that the debris in the road would have punctured any tyre. I changed the tube, not fully inflating to the normal pressure as the tube would be bulging out.
The Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons tyres are available in 700 x 23, 25 and 28 sections. This covers most of the usual sizes for training, sportives, racing and normal use. Puncture protection is from the built-in double layer of Vectran Breaker belt which Continental sum up as “Vectran is a synthetically manufactured high-tech fibre from a natural model. Like spider silk, Vectran is a liquid-crystalline polymer (LCP). Vectran is spun from melted liquid polymer Vectra and processed further to a multi-strand thread. Spider silk, like Vectran, has an enormous tear resistance at a very low weight – exactly the right properties to process into a premium Continental bike tyre as a puncture protection insert. A Vectran Breaker is lighter, more flexible and protects more effectively against cuts than the comparable nylon breaker. Vectran Breaker does not adversely affect the rolling resistance”.
The weight of these tyres is 240g each for the mid size 700×25, not bad and it appears the folding bead saves about 50g per tyre, not to be sniffed at.
I can confirm road holding is good and aside from the single puncture, these have been perfect. They have covered about 3500 miles and no other punctures and appear in good nick, certainly well made.
And yet, it could be argued there is a bit of a compromise going on. If durability is the name of your game, the Continental Gator Hardshell might be better. If performance is the number one priority, the Grandprix TT Black Chilli tyres might be faster, as well as being thinner and lighter. However, in the real world we don’t all find ourselves in the position of swapping wheels and tyres according to the weather or whatever whim we feel like. These are a good all-rounder which will prove reliable, durable, with reasonable handling. The handling is good – i.e. superb in the dry, perhaps a little care is needed in slippery conditions.
Would I buy these again?
Yes. And here’s the link to Wiggle – here – priced at £32.19 at the time of writing (List £54.95)