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Verdict: 
One of the best tyres out there just got better, and it's now tubeless
Weight: 
302g

Continental's Grand Prix 5000 tubeless tyre – or GP5000 TL – takes everything that is improved with this latest generation tyre and adds tubeless compatibility for improved puncture resistance. They're relatively painless to set up and provide excellent performance in all conditions with low rolling resistance, good grip and durability.

  • Pros: Grippy, fast rolling, comfortable, easy tubeless
  • Cons: Pricey

German tyre giant Continental revamped its long-running and hugely popular GP4000 tyre last year with the GP5000, and in the process developed its first road tubeless offering. It shares all the same features as the non-tubeless version – you can read what I thought of that here – with updated Black Chilli rubber compound, Vectran Breaker, Active Comfort Technology and Lazer Grip. One key difference is the casing layup: three layers of 60 TPI to make Conti’s 180 TPI claim, compared to three layers of 110 TPI for a 330 TPI claim with the regular clincher GP5000. As has been pointed out in the comments below it’s a little misleading.

It's a case of lots of small changes adding up to make an improved tyre, and the good news is that on the road the new tyre has all the hallmarks of the old GP4000, but is better in every way. It's fast, grippy and puncture resistant, simply a very high-quality tyre that has no compromises.

Continental GP5000 Tubeless tyres20.JPG

The new tubeless tyre differs by having an inner liner that provides an airtight chamber and the bead is constructed with a softer outer material to ease installation. Despite that liner meaning the tyre will remain inflated on its own, Continental recommends using sealant to prevent small punctures, and, of course, recommends its own Revo sealant. This is a key difference to most tubeless-ready tyres which don't have a liner and absolutely require sealant.

A choice of 25, 28 and 32mm widths shows how the market has changed in the last decade – there's no 23mm option. I've been testing the 25mm tyre and the first thing to talk about is installation because that is the big thing putting many people off making the tubeless transition.

> What they don't tell you about going tubeless

The good news is that it looks like there'll be an update of the standards governing rim and tyre dimensions coming soon, hopefully this year. Continental has been involved in these discussions and we wouldn't be surprised if these new tubeless tyres subscribe to the as yet unannounced standards. The only thing Continental would tell us is that the GP5000 TL is compatible with all tubeless rims.

To test this out, I've fitted the tyres to a few different wheels including Fulcrum, Roval, DT, Mavic and most recently Cannondale Hollowgrams designed with a Stan's rim. Fitting was mostly painless but a few combinations required a tyre lever because of the tight fit. And while a regular track pump worked with some setups, a special tubeless inflator was needed with others.

Once fitted, I found excellent air retention with only occasional pressure checking required. I check tyre pressures nearly daily anyway but if you aren't as conscientious as me you'll be glad to know the tyres won't go flat between your last and next ride.

Performance on the road

On the road, it's possible to detect a small improvement in traction, especially noticeable in tricky conditions with a bit of dampness or grime on the road surface. They feel surefooted through the corners, where you really can lean them onto the new laser-etched shoulder patterns and get the bike properly banked over.

Continental GP5000 Tubeless tyres12.JPG

Bike reviewers – and I've probably been guilty of it in the past – like to use the phrase "confidence-inspiring". I hate to employ it here, but yes, the new GP5000 TL tyres do instil great confidence when riding fast descents with flowing corners requiring a high level of commitment. There's no hesitation when the speed is high, the tyres simply stick steadfastly to the road surface no matter how smooth or rough it is.

They're also exceptional when dealing with heavy braking forces on very steep descents; on tight corners that require lots of heavy disc braking they prove very predictable and controllable. Performance in the wet is excellent too, with no significant decrease in grip compared to riding dry roads.

Ride quality is exceptional. Continental added a sliver of elastomer material to the tyre, which it calls Active Comfort Technology, to provide additional damping qualities. It appears to work. These tyres feel as smooth and supple as the highest quality high TPI tyres I've tested in the past (a Vittoria Corsa springs to mind) with silky smooth composure over coarse road surfaces.

Durability of the tyres over the 1,000km of testing miles has been very impressive. There are no signs of damage, no cuts or scrapes across the top of the tyre. I've yet to puncture them, which could just be sheer good luck rather than anything the tyre is doing, but could point towards the Vectran Breaker doing its task well.

Continental GP5000 Tubeless tyres13.JPG

Testing rolling resistance is a tricky old job. Judged by my seat-of-the-chamois impression, the new GP5000 tyres – both tubeless and regular clincher variants – zip along the road very nicely and speedily. They certainly feel no slower than the old GP4000 tyres which I rode before switching to the new tyres.

Continental makes some impressive claims for its new tyre, including a 17% rolling resistance improvement over the outgoing GP4000. Clearly, some lab testing would be needed to verify those improvements. Unable to do that ourselves (road.cc sadly does not have a tyre testing lab), the excellent Bicycle Rolling Resistance website has tested the tyre and found the tubeless GP5000 to offer lower rolling resistance than the regular clincher GP5000.

However, Aerocoach in its testing found the regular clincher GP5000 with a latex inner tube to provide lower resistance than the tubeless GP5000, both in a 25mm width. It says, 'The GP 5000 clincher in 25mm was faster than the tubeless GP 5000 TL 25mm, saving 1.2w at 45kph for a pair of wheels.' It's worth noting the use of the latex inner tube; most people would use a butyl inner tube which would reduce some of the advantages.

Testing tyres is a tricky old business, but these two examples reveal there's very little difference between the two tyres, and my experience bears this out: both tyres feel very fast on the road. The benefits of reduced punctures give the nod to the tubeless version in my book, though.

It's also important to add that both GP5000 tyres are faster than the old GP4000 in aero and rolling resistance testing.

Value

The tubeless tyre market has been expanding in recent years and there are some very good choices offering similar performance and quality to the GP5000s for around the same price, so although 5p under £70 is pretty expensive, it's not out of the ball park. Schwalbe's Pro One is £66.95, and the new Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR G2.0 is £64.99. I've yet to test the Vittoria, but if it's anything like as good as the regular clincher version it should be another top contender. Goodyear's Eagle All-Season is a tenner less at £60, but the Hutchinson Fusion 5 does make them all look a bit pricey coming in at £39.95.

> Buyer's Guide: Tubeless tyres – all your options

One reason many might have baulked at the £69.95 rrp of the new GP5000 TL when it launched could be because they'd got used to discounted GP4000s for the past decade. It is now possible to find the GP5000s discounted, which makes them an easier buy, but don't forget to factor in the price of sealant, valves and rim tape if you need it.

Conclusion

The outgoing GP4000 is considered one of the best high-end performance tyres on the market, so the benchmark is very high, but it's clear that the new GP5000 is a small but noticeable step forward in every performance metric. The tubeless works a treat with improved puncture resistance and a silky smooth and fast riding quality.

Overall, it's an excellent all-round riding, training and race tyre. The wait for Continental to do a tubeless tyre is over – and it was worth it.

Verdict

One of the best tyres out there just got better, and it's now tubeless

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL

Size tested: 700x25

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 best allrounder in the field, brought to a whole new performance level. Ride faster, more comfortable and with increased puncture protection. Made to make you better. With the standard GP5000 already improving on the previous GP4000 S II model by 12% in rolling resistance, 20% in puncture resistance and at a reduced weight by 10g (25-622), the GP5000 TL (tubeless) further improves on this :

+5% better rolling resistance (speed) : +5% more puncture protection

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Continental lists these features:

Tubeless: The user-optimized Tubeless System

The TL technology is specifically designed to offer Tubeless for road cycling demands. Easy to install and reliable in use. Specifically developed the Tubeless bead seals through its unique shape and provides stable fitting on the rim. We recommend the usage of corresponding Conti RevoSealant.

BlackChili compound: It's all about how you mix it

With our unique tread compound, which is produced only in Germany, we have revolutionised the sport of cycling. With the legendary BlackChili Compound we have answered the eternal question of the best balance of grip and rolling resistance for cycling. Regular test wins confirm the measureable and noticeable advantages for the cyclist, established in the laboratory and on the road. The latest polymers as well as specially developed carbon black particles and filler materials guarantee unique performance

Active Comfort : The revolutionary approach in cycling. Embedded in the tyre construction the Active Comfort Technology absorbs vibrations and smoothens your ride.

Lazer Grip, to make you one with the road. The lazered micro profile structure expands over the tire's shoulder and provides outstanding cornering.

Vectran™: The benchmark in puncture protection

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 the 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 bicycle tire 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.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Really well made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Highly impressive in all key performance areas.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

After well over 1,000km of riding they are holding up very well.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

They're heavier than the clincher version but you're also dropping out a 100g-or-so inner tube.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

Comfort is very good, with a supple feel helped by the new Active Comfort tech.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

They are expensive at RRP, but you can now get them discounted, and they're in the same ballpark as other tubeless tyres, as mentioned in the review.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Fast, grippy and durable, an excellent training, race and sportive tyre.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Low rolling resistance, good grip, easy tubeless setup and no punctures.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The high price is the only negative that springs to mind.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Similar to other tubeless road tyres we've tested, but more expensive than some.

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

It's the tyre many people have been waiting for, and it's no disappointment. The high price is really the only downside to Continental's new GP5000 TL tyres.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 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, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

25 comments

Avatar
IanEdward [353 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
Quote:

the new GP5000 is a small but noticeable step forward in every performance metric

 

Except it's heavier and slower than the standard GP5000 and might require tyre levers and special inflators to fit? 

 

 

 

Avatar
Ogi [175 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Sorry to bug you all, but it's not 3 layers of 180TPI instead of 3 layers of 330 TPI. It is 3 layers of 60TPI instead of 3 layers of 110 TPI. Conti is pulling a well-known hoax of how it calculates TPI (multiplying number of layers with actual number of TPI).

Simply saying that 3x110 TPI is not comparable to say Vittoria 320 TPI.

Avatar
IanEdward [353 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Yeah, I read that and thought it sounded like three layers of fairly chunky threads instead of 1 layer of fairly fine threads (is the 330TPI in high performance tyres all one layer? Never thought to check until now).

Had always understood a higher thread count to be better simply because it meant finer threads...

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [962 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
Ogi wrote:

Sorry to bug you all, but it's not 3 layers of 180TPI instead of 3 layers of 330 TPI. It is 3 layers of 60TPI instead of 3 layers of 110 TPI. Conti is pulling a well-known hoax of how it calculates TPI (multiplying number of layers with actual number of TPI).

Simply saying that 3x110 TPI is not comparable to say Vittoria 320 TPI.

Good point, have amended that. A little misleading as you say

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4220 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
IanEdward wrote:
Quote:

the new GP5000 is a small but noticeable step forward in every performance metric

 

Except it's heavier and slower than the standard GP5000 and might require tyre levers and special inflators to fit? 

Okay, you've convinced me - just ordered one of these in 28mm. Managed to find it for £50 including delivery.

Avatar
MarkiMark [104 posts] 7 months ago
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I'd be interested to know some riding stats. Rider is 67kg, so what PSI were the tyres run at? What true size did the 25mm tyre inflate to and on what internal width rim? 

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ex_terra [40 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Are these definitely compatible with all tubeless rims?

Another early review made reference to Continental saying that low sidewall / hookless tubeless rims shouldn't be used - I think that rules out some of the Hunt Wheels amongst others but it would be really good to read the definitive answer.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2927 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
IanEdward wrote:
Quote:

the new GP5000 is a small but noticeable step forward in every performance metric

 

Except it's heavier and slower than the standard GP5000 and might require tyre levers and special inflators to fit? 

Tyre fitment is a "performance metric" ?

Avatar
Miller [296 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
ex_terra wrote:

Are these definitely compatible with all tubeless rims?

Another early review made reference to Continental saying that low sidewall / hookless tubeless rims shouldn't be used - I think that rules out some of the Hunt Wheels amongst others but it would be really good to read the definitive answer.

A hookless rim is something of a special case. Removing the bead hook allows a rim to be manufactured with more consistent quality and to be marginally lighter but it does place an upper limit on the safe pressure and that would be about 60psi in general. That points to correct usage of hookless as being for wide tyres with their corresponding low pressures.

I would not put any 25mm tyre on a hookless rim. 

 

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
Miller wrote:
ex_terra wrote:

Are these definitely compatible with all tubeless rims?

Another early review made reference to Continental saying that low sidewall / hookless tubeless rims shouldn't be used - I think that rules out some of the Hunt Wheels amongst others but it would be really good to read the definitive answer.

A hookless rim is something of a special case. Removing the bead hook allows a rim to be manufactured with more consistent quality and to be marginally lighter but it does place an upper limit on the safe pressure and that would be about 60psi in general. That points to correct usage of hookless as being for wide tyres with their corresponding low pressures.

I would not put any 25mm tyre on a hookless rim. 

 

I run my 25mm Michelin Select's at 80psi no bother at all on the Weinmann 27" hookless clinchers that I use on on my 50s Carlton. Dunno what modern hookless are like but the ones I use have been fine for a few years of casual riding.

Avatar
rix [268 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

From another article...

rogermerriman wrote:
rix wrote:

Pls try to inflate it with mini pump, simulating road side repair.

Getting the tyre/rim to seal with a mini pump does sound like a mission, but not sure it’s actually a likely to need to be done, ie if you can’t reasonably repair you’d switch to tubes.

Well, I just installed GP5000 TL (28mm) on to ZTR Grail rims and worryingly when it is deflated the bead slips to the middle, into tire channel... fortunately beads are made in such a manner that there is enough seal to pump it up with mini pump... or was I just lucky?

Avatar
fukawitribe [2927 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
Miller wrote:
ex_terra wrote:

Are these definitely compatible with all tubeless rims?

Another early review made reference to Continental saying that low sidewall / hookless tubeless rims shouldn't be used - I think that rules out some of the Hunt Wheels amongst others but it would be really good to read the definitive answer.

A hookless rim is something of a special case. Removing the bead hook allows a rim to be manufactured with more consistent quality and to be marginally lighter but it does place an upper limit on the safe pressure and that would be about 60psi in general. That points to correct usage of hookless as being for wide tyres with their corresponding low pressures.

I would not put any 25mm tyre on a hookless rim. 

 

I run my 25mm Michelin Select's at 80psi no bother at all on the Weinmann 27" hookless clinchers that I use on on my 50s Carlton. Dunno what modern hookless are like but the ones I use have been fine for a few years of casual riding.

It's not a case of can't work - more like, in general, it's not recommended over a hooked rim as the tyre pressure goes up. The shape of beads on TL / TLR tyres mate more securely with a hook, that's part of the design, but the principle is the same with pretty much any clincher bead - the tube in that case pushes the bead into the concavity under the hook and helps retain it. Hookless rims are cheaper and easier to produce, especially with carbon rims - apart from that (and a possible tiny extra strength) there's no particular reason for them.

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Torse [1 post] 7 months ago
0 likes

Great review! Have used this tires now and I also find them great.
But when will we have an review of the fantastic Cannondale Hollowgram wheels?

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Prosper0 [246 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

How can you have a tyre review (let alone about tubeless tyres) without talking about tyre pressure! What did you try them at?

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Diken [3 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

I have installed the 32mm version on my Domane with a maximum pressure of around 70 psi . First fitting needed a Pedros Downhill Tire lever on my Bontrager Paradigm TLR rims. The second time no tool was needed. The tire width is not as much as the former installed Bontrager R3 non TL tires which developed several cracks and holes after just one year.  No tire booster was needed to get the GP 5000s seated.

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Biggus-Dickkus [60 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Having been using tubeless tyres for the last 5 years I have found that the weight of the tyre is a significant factor in how the tyre performs. So far the Schwalbe Pro-One is the lightest tubeless tyre at 260grams (25mm) which is also durable. That is over 40grams lighter on the circumference of the wheel which cannot be ignored as that will make a significant difference in speed over any distance...

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froze [117 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Those tires look significantly worn and with a pretty good cut at just 620 miles of riding, I have tires with 4 times that many miles and look better than those.  Also at $75 per tire...how crazy is that price?  I can find car tires for that much money, and car tires have a lot more material and technology, not to mention a car tire will last 40,000 or more miles, than some skinny thin flimsy bicycle tire that looks like it only has another 700 miles left if cuts don't doom it sooner.  No, this tire is very overpriced, I won't be buying one ever.  This is just another example of gouging the cycling community.  No one who doesn't race in any fashion needs a tire with the least amount of rolling resistence, plain and simple, it doesn't matter to the person commuting, or riding for pleasure, or for fitness, if they arrive at their designation 1 or 2 seconds sooner.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4220 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
froze wrote:

Those tires look significantly worn and with a pretty good cut at just 620 miles of riding, I have tires with 4 times that many miles and look better than those.  Also at $75 per tire...how crazy is that price?  I can find car tires for that much money, and car tires have a lot more material and technology, not to mention a car tire will last 40,000 or more miles, than some skinny thin flimsy bicycle tire that looks like it only has another 700 miles left if cuts don't doom it sooner.  No, this tire is very overpriced, I won't be buying one ever.  This is just another example of gouging the cycling community.  No one who doesn't race in any fashion needs a tire with the least amount of rolling resistence, plain and simple, it doesn't matter to the person commuting, or riding for pleasure, or for fitness, if they arrive at their designation 1 or 2 seconds sooner.

Yes, high-end bicycle tyres certainly don't seem a good value proposition. Luckily there's plenty of companies producing cheaper bike tyres and some of those (Schwalbe Marathon Plus is an example) will last a lot longer with hardly any signs of wear. I don't see it as gouging cyclists as there seems to be plenty of competition in the tyre market.

You're right about non-racing cyclists not needing these high-end tyres, but as a mainly commuting cyclist, I enjoy using high-end equipment as it makes my cycling more enjoyable (e.g. the click-whirr of electronic shifting). As a person with access to disposable income, I'm quite happy to pay a lot for a tubeless tyre if it performs well. Compared to other living costs, spending £50 on a tyre that lasts months is not that noticeable and if it encourages me to get more exercise, then it's money well spent.

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The _Kaner [1205 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

205 R55 16...vs conti....know what I'm paying for...and it's not bike tyres....

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Team EPO [222 posts] 7 months ago
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Love the way the 25s are £50 and then the 28s jump to £64

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grand-Prix-5000-Performance-Bike/dp/B07KB5SKX1/...

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Jetmans Dad [210 posts] 7 months ago
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Team EPO wrote:

Love the way the 25s are £50 and then the 28s jump to £64

Could be to do with anticipated demand. If they expect to sell a lot more 25s, they can charge a smaller margin per tyre and possibly even manufacture in larger numbers reducing the actual cost of manufacturing the 25s versus the 28s. 

Or, with the continued fashion for wider tyres, perhaps they want to make a killing on the increasingly fashionable 28s. 

Either way, I'll stick with my 25 Gatorskins, thanks. 

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Johnnywb [3 posts] 4 months ago
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A shame there's no 23mm version, don't have the clearance to run a 25mm on the front of my BMC Time Machine.

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othello [422 posts] 3 days ago
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For racing (closed circuit, crits) would you go for 5000s tubleless or Pro One tubeless?

Pro One are lighter, but the 5000s seem to have a lower rolling resistance? Both similar money at the moment in Black Friday sales. They are going on a set of Giant SL1 carbon wheels which *really* only want tubeless tyres fitted. 

Avatar
Miller [296 posts] 3 days ago
1 like

I think you'd be troubled to notice the difference between 5000TL and Pro One TL. I love Schwalbe tubeless tyres but was unfaithful this summer and put the 5000TL on a pair of wheels. They're 28mm and do come up at 28mm wide. I run them about 70psi. They've been a pleasure to ride and have given me no hassle. Also, they are very fast on rollers which I take as an indication of  low rolling resistance. 

Avatar
othello [422 posts] 3 days ago
1 like
Miller wrote:

I think you'd be troubled to notice the difference between 5000TL and Pro One TL. I love Schwalbe tubeless tyres but was unfaithful this summer and put the 5000TL on a pair of wheels. They're 28mm and do come up at 28mm wide. I run them about 70psi. They've been a pleasure to ride and have given me no hassle. Also, they are very fast on rollers which I take as an indication of  low rolling resistance. 

I've just checked the online price for the 5000 TL is not what is advertised (£35). In the sales the 5000 TL are £43, and the Pro One are £30, on Wiggle.

£26 difference for a pair is not a small difference. Tricky...the 5000 seem to be faster in tests, but worth the extra money? Not sure.