Need advice on some really nice long distance road tyres for the summer



Shrike

New Member
Sep 29, 2015
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I was looking at the Continental Grand Prix 4000S II as they have lots of good reviews. Currently I have some Vittoria Rubino Pro Slicks and people say they're pants. They're the only tyres I've had on this bike so I've nothing to compare them to. Planning on a lot of miles this summer and wouldn't mind splashing out on something a bit quicker if there is anything, but nothing too susceptible to punctures. 25mm too if possible.

Been all over the place reading forums and reviews online and just ended up a bit lost by all the choice. Figured I'd ask some experience riders first hand.
 

Mr. Beanz

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Aug 18, 2015
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Heavier rider here. Average ride is 44-60 miles doing 300 average miles per month. I just got 2100 miles out of a GP400II.

Good tire and no flat problems. Actually I did not have one flat on that tire. Not a bad record for my weight (238 lbs).

But I buy them from the UK on a website called Ribblecyclesuk dotcom and/or Probikekit dotcom I pay $45 average per tire. Much better than the $75-$80 price at local shops. Plan ahead so you are never in a desperate position to pay high prices while being in need.
Heck, I get 3 or 4 at a time.

Give the tire a try, at these prices you can't afford not to! :D

My little stash!

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oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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For a light, fast tire you can't beat GP4000s. I get over 3000 miles from them, about 1000 more than from any other similar tire, and the durability and flat protection are best in class. In my humble opinion.

For even more durability and flat protection, look at Continental's GP 4-Season tires.
 
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Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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Conti tires are over priced, and you can get tires from other manufactures that will last just as long for sometimes half the price. I never pay more than $32 for a tire and I get tires that retail for over $50 all the time. However this time of the year is not good for road bike tire sale prices and the best deal I can find is this: https://www.biketiresdirect.com/pro...ail&utm_term=0_bcabc9a71b-4a63b25086-71332101

This price is only good for today by the way.
 

cyclintom

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Jan 15, 2011
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If you have been riding on Rubinos and not been getting flats than the Continental 4000's are great tires. The 25's wear well and are reasonably flat proof compared to the Rubinos which get a flat if there's a piece of glass on the road in the next county over.

If you get flats often the Continental Gatorskin, the Specialized Armadillo or the Thickskins work well.
 

Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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If you have been riding on Rubinos and not been getting flats than the Continental 4000's are great tires. The 25's wear well and are reasonably flat proof compared to the Rubinos which get a flat if there's a piece of glass on the road in the next county over.

If you get flats often the Continental Gatorskin, the Specialized Armadillo or the Thickskins work well.

I've had both the Conti 4000's and the Rubino's and in my experiences the Rubino's Pro Slick (which are no longer made but close to the new Rubino Pro Control) were superior over the Conti's in flats, cuts, and wear, about the same in handling comfort, and speed, though in tests the Contis are said to be faster but in real life you can't feel the 1 1/2 watt difference.

If you are trying to eliminate flats as much as possible while getting long wear, and speed, handling, and comfort are not your main concerns then the Conti Gatorskin (not as good as the others mentioned below but better than a lot of others), or Conti Gatorback, or Specialized Armadillo, or the Freedom ThickSlick, or Schwalbe Durano Plus (probably the best at eliminating flats in a 700c size) will be your best bets.
 

Weatherby

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Mar 20, 2015
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Conti tires are over priced, and you can get tires from other manufactures that will last just as long for sometimes half the price. I never pay more than $32 for a tire and I get tires that retail for over $50 all the time. However this time of the year is not good for road bike tire sale prices and the best deal I can find is this: https://www.biketiresdirect.com/pro...ail&utm_term=0_bcabc9a71b-4a63b25086-71332101

This price is only good for today by the way.
Are there faster and more durable tires than Conti 4000gp clinchers? They ride very harsh but there are only a couple tires with a lower rolling resistance and the are also generally the most aerodynamic. For comfort I go with compass extra legere and think they are about $80 a pop. Life is too short to ride stinky tires.
 

cyclintom

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Jan 15, 2011
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I've had both the Conti 4000's and the Rubino's and in my experiences the Rubino's Pro Slick (which are no longer made but close to the new Rubino Pro Control) were superior over the Conti's in flats, cuts, and wear, about the same in handling comfort, and speed, though in tests the Contis are said to be faster but in real life you can't feel the 1 1/2 watt difference.

If you are trying to eliminate flats as much as possible while getting long wear, and speed, handling, and comfort are not your main concerns then the Conti Gatorskin (not as good as the others mentioned below but better than a lot of others), or Conti Gatorback, or Specialized Armadillo, or the Freedom ThickSlick, or Schwalbe Durano Plus (probably the best at eliminating flats in a 700c size) will be your best bets.
That most assuredly was not my experience. While the Victorias seemed to have better traction they would get flats from sharp stones on the roadway. Finally I changed to Gatorskins and then to the much more expensive Armadillos.
 

Weatherby

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Mar 20, 2015
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That most assuredly was not my experience. While the Victorias seemed to have better traction they would get flats from sharp stones on the roadway. Finally I changed to Gatorskins and then to the much more expensive Armadillos.
You realize the cost? 50 watts down the drain not to mention a terribly rough ride. Might it not be better to learn how to fix a flat in 5 minutes?
 

cyclintom

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Jan 15, 2011
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You realize the cost? 50 watts down the drain not to mention a terribly rough ride. Might it not be better to learn how to fix a flat in 5 minutes?
Rough ride? While Armadillos cost a lot they do NOT have a rough ride nor do Thickskins. And Thickskins traction is as good as anything.

When you are descending a hill and are in a sharp turn and get a flat you don't think of how easy and fast it is to repair. You think about if you're going to survive. If you have THAT sort of idea about a flat then obviously you do not ride fast or for distance.
 

Weatherby

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Mar 20, 2015
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Rough ride? While Armadillos cost a lot they do NOT have a rough ride nor do Thickskins. And Thickskins traction is as good as anything.

When you are descending a hill and are in a sharp turn and get a flat you don't think of how easy and fast it is to repair. You think about if you're going to survive. If you have THAT sort of idea about a flat then obviously you do not ride fast or for distance.

What ever floats your boat. Just giving my input to the thread. 40 dollars per tire for a not too fast and not too uncomfortable tire in exchange for a lower risk of flats might be a reasonable trade-off for some. But. They are no where near as comfortable or fast as the two tires I mentioned let alone Specialized S-Works Cotton 26mm or S-Works Tubeless let alone a 28 mm Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless or Vittoria CX Corsa clinchers. Veloflex are also pretty fast and comfy. Challenge tires are a PITA to mount and they barely last two weeks before they are worn off. Have you ridden any of these? I have never flatted a Continental 4000 tire and although they ride a bit rough, they are very fast tires that last a long time....maybe 3000 miles or thereabouts. These are all faster and more comfortable than the Armadillo and Gatorskin type of tires.

I use sealant in latex tubes and am not scared of a flat at speed. I have never lost all tire pressure immediately although I have had three flats in total over the last 27,000 miles but never once did air just escape and I'm riding the rim. Twice last year I heard a psst and then nothing.

Whether I ride fast or far is not really relevant but I logged 15,000 miles last year and have nearly 3,000 miles to date this year. I'm more of a plodder and not terribly fast although my fat carcass seems to go fast descending but I tend to keep it below 50 mph nowadays. I do consider myself a tire *****. My spare shelf of tires is overflowing with tires that did not cut it for me. Not only do I read all the reviews on tires, I actually buy and try. I'm trying to decide whether to spring the cash for some FMB CX Setas to mount on my 1972 Masi GC that I am bringing back to life.

I don't have the best CRR data and Specialized does not publish rolling resistance for the Armadillos but the following link sheds some light on my opinion that a lot of watts are used on these tires. Where does this energy go? Much of it ends up being absorbed into your muscles creating central fatigue that makes riding longer than 24 hours more of a challenge than when using supple tires or at least that has been my experience.

http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/2013/04/more-roller-testing-results.html
 

cyclintom

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Jan 15, 2011
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Well, I wasn't trying to put you down, but you certainly must live in a place with a hell of a lot better roads than California. I covered the last 30,000 miles at the cost of over two dozen tires. When you have roads like this and people whose normal habit it is to get drunk and then throw the bottle onto the road you learn to both watch for glass on the road and stand over the worse bumps which are generally every 100 feet or so.
 

Weatherby

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Mar 20, 2015
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Agree. Drivers and your roads are horrible in California especially in the San Diego area. I was shocked. I did some Brevets and also a 24 hour race in California last year and it is scary how many cars and trucks rode me right off the road. Texting? Lot of junk on the roads but no flats in maybe 2000 km. None in Florida, Colorado, NC, SC, VA, WV, Kentucky, MD, MA, VT, NH, NY......one in PA and two in NJ along glass strewn shore roads. I usually avoid the junk but when the glass is everywhere, I will pick the glass out at traffic lights before it has a chance to work its way thru. Now, the cycling gods will bestow a flat upon me on my next ride. I'm doomed. LOL.
 

Weatherby

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Mar 20, 2015
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I think I just came...

I get all goose bumps, too. I need to tear the hubs down and repack. I can't find the damned Campy NR seatpost. I think I lent it to someone years ago or that is what sticks in my head

I think I deserve to ride on silks again before I die and that bike needs ridden although the 55 tooth ring on it is more bark than bite these days.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
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NE Indiana
Rough ride? While Armadillos cost a lot they do NOT have a rough ride nor do Thickskins. And Thickskins traction is as good as anything.

When you are descending a hill and are in a sharp turn and get a flat you don't think of how easy and fast it is to repair. You think about if you're going to survive. If you have THAT sort of idea about a flat then obviously you do not ride fast or for distance.

Exactly. The new generation of Armadillos are a lot better than the ones I used back in the early 2000's, they're lighter and not so wooden feeling for that rough ride experience, but even the older generation of Armadillos I had I also learned that I could reduce the PSI about 10 over my normal PSI and then could get a smoother ride. And in regards to weight equals lost watts...Team Action Sports of Bakersfield Ca holds the 4 person speed record in the RAAM race and the entire team used the older generation of Specialized Armadillos in that race that year, so I guess the weight didn't effect them too much.