NEW Continental GP 5000 Tyres | GCN Tech’s First Ride

(electronic swoosh) – Continental made its first tire in 1871, it’s fair to say the German
brand knows a thing or two when it comes to making tires. And it’s no coincidence that they are the most popular brand in the pro peloton. Now the GP 4000 was first
introduced 14 years ago and it’s long been regarded as the best all-round road bike tire
available to humanity. I’m a big fan of the GP 4000, but now it’s being replaced. (dramatic music) This is the Continental GP 5000, yup, it’s not the 4000 S3, because it’s a completely new tire, with a completely new design. Outwardly, well, it’s got
a sleek new black look and a sexy new box, but
let’s get them on my bike and learn a bit more about them. I can’t believe I’m this
excited about a pair of tires (laughs) I think I’ve got a problem. (gentle music) So this is my first go at
mounting the new GP 5000. You’ve got a more precise
tread pattern on the new tire and this is down to Continental’s molds now being laser-cut, rather than machine. And it’s said to improve cornering grip, but I’ve got ’em on my bike now, so let’s get ’em out on the road. Continental reckons that the new 5000 has 12% lower rolling
resistance than the 4000. And this is in part down to a new improved Black Chili compound and a higher, 330 TPI, that’s
threads per inch carcass. It’s also got 20% more
puncture protection, which is attributed to an
improved Vectran Braker. And it’s five grams
lighter in a 25 millimeter, than the previous 4000. It’s also said to offer more comfort and reduce road vibrations and this is down to a new
way in which Continental actually constructs its tires
and the way the tire is built. But one of the most exciting things, is that there’s actually
also a tubeless version of this tire, it’s a separate tire. Now I haven’t got one
here, but rest assured, once I manage to get my hands on one, I’ll be testing it out
& I’ll show it to you, because it’s really exciting. The tubeless version is
said to be even faster, with 17% better rolling
resistance than a GP 4000. But how was it developed and
what makes it so special? Well this may surprise you, but Continental isn’t
claiming that the 5000 is the fastest tire, or
the one with the most grip, or the one with the
most puncture protection or the lightest. But that’s the whole point, the design objective with
the GP 5000, like the 4000, is to produce a tire with the
best all-round performance. You could have the
lightest tire in the world, but it’d be pointless if it
meant that you got a puncture before the end of the race. You could have a tire with
the lowest rolling resistance, but that also would be pointless if it meant that you had no
grip and slid out on a corner. Much like a track stand,
it’s all about the balance. (smooth music) Continental has performed
extensive research and development into road bike tires. And a key component of that has been the development
of the new compound. But why is the compound
so important, you ask? Well, you can’t design
the optimum compound until you fully understand the
demands placed upon the tire. Now, Continental’s research suggested that the actual contact patch on the road is much smaller than previously thought. So take a look at this road, for example, from here it looks pretty smooth, but when you get down close
and take a closer look, you can actually see that
it’s very bumpy and imperfect. And well if you were a bacteria, this would be like the Himalayas. Now the result of this is that, well Continental thinks
that the contact patch is actually just 15% of
what you’d actually expect. Of that measly 15%, Continental believes that 98% of a tire’s grip is
attributed to the compound. That said, the material properties of that compound become
hugely significant. You want it to be grippy, but not too grippy as
that will make it slow. You want it to have
low rolling resistance, but if it has too low
a rolling resistance, then it won’t have enough grip. Some other tire companies buy
in their rubber compounds, but the Black Chilli compound
is exclusively developed and constantly improved by Continental. Now the exact ingredients and procedure that go into making it are top secret. But how do you have good
puncture protection in a tire, without compromising
the rolling resistance? Well the answer is Vectran. But what is Vectran? I hear you ask. Well, chemically speaking,
it’s a polyester, formed by the polycondensation
of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, with 6-hydroxynaphthalene-2-carboxylic
acid. But in non chemistry
nerd terms, it’s a fiber that has really high tensile strength, similar to that of Kevlar and in actual fact it’s
used in Mars Rovers. It’s used in tires like the 5000 as a very densely woven layer, but still very thin,
so it adds a great deal of puncture protection, like a stab vest, but without compromising
the rolling resistance. Something else I should tell you is that the tires are gonna be available in 23, 25, 28 and 32 millimeter widths. And the tubeless version, well that’s gonna be
available in 25, 28 and 32. Now if you’ve enjoyed this video, then please give it a thumbs up and if you’d like to watch
another tire related video, then click down here on the tires, for one on how to set your tire pressures.