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The Transparent is Continental's tan wall version of the highly regarded GP5000 road tyre. It packs the same punch for grip and low rolling resistance as the black walled version, but gives a nod to tradition. Where though, you may wonder, is the tubeless compatibility?
The difference between this Transparent tyre and a standard GP5000 is that the nylon carcass isn't coated, and so remains visible. This means the tan wall is darker than on many other tyres, but as a bonus they don't get anywhere near as dirty.
This set has spent the majority of its working life on my Kinesis T2, which means they have seen more wet, muddy and salt-covered roads than if fitted to any other bike. It uses rim brakes too, so you have all the sludge and grime that comes from heavy braking. After about 400 miles, the GP5000s are still looking pretty box-fresh.
Starting at the beginning, the Contis prove easy to fit on some rims, and not so easy on others, but that's par for the course these days.
On these RSP Calavera Carbon CC35 wheels with a 17.9mm internal rim, they fitted easily without needing tyre levers to get the last bit on. That's ideal when you are running tubes.
And you're running tubes, because these ain't tubeless ready. This will be an issue for some, if not all.
On the gravel bike I embrace tubeless due to the wider tyres and lower pressures, but on the road, I can take it or leave it. I run my pressures high – 100psi in these 25mm tyres – and no, I don't find it uncomfortable, I don't find it 0.11mph slower, and I don't suffer with punctures.
I probably suffer one per 10,000 miles (though that will no doubt triple if the Puncture Fairy is reading this).
Some tan sidewalls are actually a coloured coating (as on the GP5000 Special Edition), because a natural wall construction is quite porous. As you may have discovered with some WTB tyres, they can weep like a child when you first introduce sealant to them! So, it's no wonder that Continental hasn't marketed these as tubeless ready.
Still, if you aren't worried about that, you're going to love the performance of the GP5000s. The grip is excellent. Bank these into a roundabout or tight bend at speed and you can maintain a relaxed grip on the handlebar, as there aren't going to be any sketchy moments coming your way.
In the dry they are impeccable, and even in the wet they are very confidence inspiring. They break traction like any other tyre in a greasy situation, but it feels progressive, giving you a heads up it's about to happen.
A lot of this is down to the Black Chili compound, one of Conti's best creations. Nevertheless, rolling resistance is minimal. This really is a quick tyre, something noticeable even on my winter hack with full mudguards.
Riding them in the winter has also shown how durable they are for such a high-performance tyre. With a short test period it's difficult to judge wear levels, but the GP5000s are looking good. There are a couple of little marks here and there from the hedge cutting season, but they haven't punctured yet.
They have a supple feel, too. Even at the pressures I ride, they bring a noticeable cushioning effect to proceedings.
Priced at £59.99 they aren't exactly cheap though. That's the same as something like the Pirelli P-Zero Race TLR, which aslo offers great grip, little in the way of rolling resistance but is tubeless ready (which usually adds a premium to the price).
When Jamie reviewed the Maxxis High Road SL he reckoned the 'ride quality is good and on par with the Continental GP5000,' and it's a tenner cheaper at £49.99 – and superlight at 177g. Durability isn't the best though, and that's the cool thing about the Continental – you are getting race tyre performance with training tyre longevity.
The only real issue I can see is that if you want tubeless and a tan wall, you're out of luck. If that doesn't bother you, you're going to have to go some to find another tyre that delivers the same levels of performance and durability. The GP5000 Transparent is excellent. As long as you're willing to pay for it.
If you aren't bothered about tubeless compatibility, this is one of the fastest, grippiest tyres you can fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Continental Grand Prix 5000 Tyre - Transparent
Size tested: 25mm
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."
The GP5000 really is a benchmark tyre.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
BlackChili compound: "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."
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great road tyres that bring a real balance of grip, speed and durability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can be a tight fit on some rims.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are at the upper end, especially for a non-tubeless tyre, but still competitive with the main competition (some of which I have mentioned in the review).
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
I've ridden quite a few variations of the GP5000 on various test bikes, and they have always impressed. While pricey, they are some of the fastest and grippiest tyres out there, but still manage to deliver on durability too.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!