The Continental Grand Prix Tire is one of those timeless products that helped define the modern racing bicycle through its innovative clincher design. Since its inception in the late '80s, the Grand Prix has been significantly refined using advanced rubber compounds and an updated puncture...
Strengths: Awesome grip on dry and wet. Great road feel, induces confidence through corners and rolls like crazy on straights. Very fast tyre. Totally silent.
Weaknesses: Difficult to mount. Pricey.
Awesome road tyre. Probably the best 26" for racers and commuters with a sweet tooth for speed.
It's supposed to be 100 g lighter (per piece) than my old Maxxis Detonators, but it almost felt heaver in my hands. Mounting it on was such a chore. Usually I can change a tyre in a few minutes, but this time it took me ages and I got blisters in the end. Very impractical -from now on I'll have to leave my tube mending kit/tyre levers at home and take them only when I leave the city (when I have no choice).
Acceleration through the first 6-7 meters from the stop hasn't changed for me, but the difference in the nex few m is very real. They really like to "roll" and you feel tempted to up the tempo all the time. ...all while being dead silent. I love how they produce no sound. I think that from now I'll scare even more people. :/ :)
My first downhill (road) brought a grin on my face. They are insanely fast and you have to mentally remind yourself to behave. Good brakes are a must! They pick up speed like crazy.
Cornering is why I bought these beauties. They managed to drive the sharpest angle of attack on dry road from 84 tyres tested in one review! They have lots of grip and you can brake harder while leaning and cornering. Great road control, very inspiring to drive. Smooth direction changes.
The ride is sporty but still comfortable. They absorb minor road irregularities very nicely and they won't tire you or bother you with the irrelevant stuff. You can even climb the sidewalks, but they are not made for that. You'll spontaneously start avoiding bigger stuff on the road. It still is a racing tyre. :)
All in all this is a great product and if you can afford it, go for it! It's fun, fast and guaranteed to make you smile. A real drivers tyre.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 9, 2009
Strengths: Weight (198gm on my scales) - lightest 26/650 x 1/25 tyre available.
Grip (given width), even when wet
Absolutely minimal rolling resistance
Responsive, quick turning
Weaknesses: If over 110psi, none, IMO, unless you ride roads that are more stone chip than ashfelt, in which case ride is harsh (unless you have a Ti frame :¬)
If pressure under 90psi you risk both pinch and debris flats but Ive even got 3ft airs/drops (skatepark) on these with no probs, on a 1"/25c tyre! What more can you ask for?
Best 650/26" x 25/1" tyre there is. Full stop.
If you want speed and the lightest tyres possible on your 26/650 wheelset, there is no comparison. OK, so Ive not tried any other slicks (worth mentioning) but why bother when these are available? Overtaking roadies on 4K bikes with a mtb you can jump stairs on; lmao :¬)
However...if you arent good on the brakes, get scared on 1"/25c and dont like running over 100psi, get something else. But it will be heavier. And slower. And probably less grippy too. But these now.
Similar Products Used: None, but I bought the best first time around; thanks to the Weight Weenies site members!
Bike Setup: Street weapon: ultralight Kona Hei Hei (Ti) HT. Easton EC90 HB. USE Alien SP. Syntace F99 stem. Pace RC31 forks. Mavic x517/DT Swiss 240s/Revo spokes. All Ti cassette (167gm). Pauls brakes (are there any better Vs ?). Suntour XC Expert thumbies (lightest shifters there are I believe) Proshift rear (lightest production rear mech) XTR Front mech. 2007 XTR cranks. Tune QRs. Wellgo Mag/Ti pedals (yes, flats, but at 312gm pair!). Basically all WW Carbon/Magnesium/Ti kit. Sorry, admit I sound like a right poser/show off but I love lightness. Andf all I need do is change tyres (and forks to SID WC) and Ive got a demon off road setup.
a Weekend Warrior
from Denver, CO
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2008
Strengths: Very fast in 26 x 1.0 size-almost road bike speed, limited by MTB gearing. Pump 'em up to 120 psi! Seems more durable than the Hutchinson Top Slicks I have used-those will get slits and cuts in rubber after a very short time. These seem to wear very well.
Weaknesses: $$ Pricy, hard to find even on the 'net. Noted some threads protruding from sidewall-keeping a close eye on this.
Can lose a few POUNDS with just a wheel change, and it totally transforms the road experience. On local roads and Denver bike trail system you are as fast as the roadies. However, must keep them pumped up to prevent pinch flats when I ride too aggressively on the street, and impossible to reach proper inflation pressure with my MTB road pump. Need to use a narrow XC rim to safely use the 1.0 size. 650c 18-25 tubes work great.
Similar Products Used: Hutchinson Top Slicks 26 x 1.0.
Bike Setup: 96 Trek 970 hardtail/Z-2 Atom 80/BB7 disc fronts. Double wheel set: Contis for commuting and road fun, another set for winter commuting/off-road with Dart/Smoke combo. Takes 3 minutes to switch wheels!
a Cross Country Rider
from Columbia, MO USA
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2007
Strengths: Very light! Mine weigh in at 206 grams on my postal scale. Thick enough to protect from road debris. They last quite a while.
Weaknesses: Too expensive and can be very hard to find.
This is an awesome tire! I use them a lot in the fall when the trails are mostly closed due to too much rainfall. They're ridiculously light, so your MTB bike will feel like a road bike so long as you have a lockout, rigid fork, or pump the air chambers to max. They cost a lot for such a small tire, but I only use mine occasionally, so they last me for years. Get some Forte UltraLite tubes and you're all set to keep up with your roadie buddies.
Bike Setup: Gary Fisher SuperCaliber, Rock Shox SID, Rolf Dolomite wheels
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: March 6, 2006
Strengths: Very low rolling resistance. Awesome traction
Weaknesses: Hard to find in stock, locally.
The tires were given to me because a guy said "they make my bike look heavy". Okay, free isn't bad in this case. I went to Lantau Island in Hong Kong, China and let me just say you can almost reach out and touch the road; the hills were that steep! On the way down, this set of tires hugged the road as if they were on roller coaster tracks. With the very low rolling resistance, I easily coasted to over 50mph downhill. Would I try that with a total slick? Perhaps but, cornering at those speeds...Ooo, I don't know! I did it with those and I never had a flat with them. Wear, only the sidewalls but after two years... okay!
Of the other tyres I've used, these are the best. They're light, quick, responsive and accelerate pretty well too and I'm using the wire bead version! I had 2 flats on my first 2 rides but I'm willing to forgive the tyres when they've had nails punched through them. I haven't had a flat since though. The only other trade off I found is that the ride is a little more harsh than the Hutcho's or Specialized's I've used previously, but when you consider that you can pump these babies up to 120 psi, and rolling resistance is minimal, I'm happy to make some concessions. All round great tyre. If you're a MTBer looking for a road training tyre or something to commute on, then look no further.
Similar Products Used: Hutchison Top Slick, Specialized Fat Boy, No-Name slicks
Bike Setup: Diamondback Axis Pro set up for commuting
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 26, 2003
Strengths: These are the best tires I have ever run, although the vaunted Conti durability against puntures is a laff,,the first ride, I flatted both tires in a slow leak situation. Since then, for five months,,no problem, oh,and did I say they were the fastest tire on earth!!!!
Weaknesses: Not as good at flat protection as most say !
Great tire, and if you can get them at a reasonable price like I did, all the better. Dont buy if you are in a high broken glass area though, the flat resistance isnt as good as a heavier tire at all.
Similar Products Used: Spec fat boy, IRC Primos, etc
Bike Setup: Burley Limbo, recumbent with a few add ons.
a Cross Country Rider
from Beijing, China
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2003
Strengths: Superlight (206g), superfast, doesn't puncture, and mounting is a real breeze.
Weaknesses: None so far.
* As a sad old 80-kg gramhead I love these tires, and even my riding buddies (http://themob.404.com.au), who used to scorn them, now want a pair too. * This tire is normally used on roads, but I also use them when I do uphill MTB rides and races where the dirt road is in a fairly good condition. This saves a lot of energy during the ride, and you go much faster. But don't try them on downhills! * They are indeed pretty hard to ride on, but we are looking for speed here, and my motto is: hard = responsive = fast. * I haven't decided whether or not I like the brown side colour yet, but apart from that, they are worth 5 genuine flamin' chilis.
Strengths: Amazing straight line speed. Lightweight. Not as hairy in the wet as one might think. Very reasonable price. Silent ride.
Weaknesses: Very harsh ride.
These Contis are the easiest and cheapest way to increase your top speed on asphalt. If you only ride your mountain bike on the road then it makes sense to lose the road hum, gain some speed and make it easier on yourself if you get a puncture - thin slicks require less air in them. (Keep them pumped up to 90-100 psi and punctures are not really an issue.)
The small grooves in the Contis seem to make for surer-footed cornering in the wet compared to (totally slick) Fat Boys though whether this is a psychological thing is uncertain since the Contis are 1/4 inch thinner than the Specializeds.
I personally like the thin rimmed MTB e.g. Cannondale Bad Boy, but 2 of my friends who ran the Hutchinson Airlights which come as standard soon changed after a spate of punctures. Contis are the same dimensions as the Airlights and in my eyes look a classier ride with the brown sidewalls - not to mention more puncture resistant.
The ride is harsh since the air pocket is small but it is really a small sacrifice; and anyway, if you're on the road all the time, suspension is more or less redundant. Any concerns in this area - buy the Specialzed Nimbus which is wider.
Exercise common sense when riding in the wet - avoid manhole covers and painted lines and these tyres will get you places on your bike more quietly, not to mention more importantly - quickly.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Fat Boy, Michelin Citygrippers
Bike Setup: 52T single Tiagra crankset with single LX shifter. Deore rear derailleur/LX cassette. X221s with Deore V's. Specialized rigid cro-mo fork. Claude Butler 7005 w/Cane Creek integrated h/set. Deda Nero stem.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 9, 2003
Strengths: Light and super fast
Wow, this feels good! My bike feels like a small rocket, super fast! The rolling resitance is minimal to none! I feel G-force when I enter a corner:)
Bike Setup: Cube Airwing Blackline, XTR, Magura HS33, Thomson seat and post, King/X618Ceramic/CX-Ray wheels, Sid front and rear and SLR Evolution
from L.A. CA USA
Date Reviewed: March 8, 2002
Strengths: Super light weight, true 1.0, stury
- Fatboys: For going to the post office, riding over rough pavement and maybe a little dirt.
- Turbo ATBs - Great for the occasional century.
- Contis - They are awesome for staying up with friends who are fast on their road bikes. No doubt about it - these are the lightest, narrowest tires for making my mt. bike feel like my road bike. These tires are far lighter than any other 1.0 mt. bike tire designed for the road. Push on the pedals and acceleration is near instantaneous. Turn the handlebars and response is almost scary.
These tires add a new dimension to biking - they turn any mt. bike into thoroughbred hybrid. When they see my bike with the Contis on, bike riders will frequently ask me "What kind of bike is that?" Hybrid, maybe, cyclo-cross? Street machine? They're even more amazed when the pick up my bike and discover how light in weight it is with the Contis.
I don't baby these tires. They are not afraid of a little road debris or rough sections of pavement - for example, they've rolled over the rough "back road" above the Griffith Park Observatory, in Los Angeles - one of my favorite locations for a workout on the road - with nary a flat.
Five flamin' chilis - they are worth the whole enchilada!
Favorite Trail: Griffith Park - Observatory via the "back way"
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: cambria bikes - online
Similar Products Used: Specialized Fatboys and Specialized Turbo ATBs (discontinued)
Bike Setup: 2001 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp hardtail
from Gig Harbor, WA
Date Reviewed: August 6, 2001
Strengths: Light weight, responsive - great street ride.
Weaknesses: The are glass magnates. Soft rubber attracts and holds onto glass until it causes a flat.
Great street tire if your streets are clean, otherwise expect a lot of flats. I'm giving up on mine and buying something with better protection. Hate to do it because I love the ride but I am tired of getting flats.
a Cross Country Rider
from Mountain View
Date Reviewed: July 11, 2000
Strengths: Light, fast, no flats so far
Weaknesses: none so far
These tires make a lightweight mountain bike into a rocking road bike. They are light, fast and great handling. I think the small wheels make for faster acceleration than the larger wheels on a traditional road bike. My Kestrel weighs about 22 lbs with this set-up and that is with a front shock and a suspension seat post. And it is just a tire change away from being back to a classic NORBA racer.
I have used Avocet road tires for about 50,000 all weather commuting miles on my mountain bike and they hold up well but are hogs compared to these. Think Checker Marathon versus Ferrari.
I normally wouldn't review a set of tires before I wore them out, but these feel so great I couldn't resist. I don't know how they will wear, but so far after about 500 miles they still look new. I have not babied them either - they are paving my commuting route and have really ground up the road. I have missed transition jumps and run them through road debris and still no flats.
I would recommend these to anyone that wants to go fast on the road on their mountain bike. Kudos to Continental for making a great road tire in a 26 inch size.
Weaknesses: sidewalls get abraded easily when used off-road (but they're not meant for this...)
I've been using a pair of 700x23C Kevlar bead GPs since 1992 (!) on my road bike, and they're still going. I have had zero punctures on this bike... The tyres are light, reasonably comfy, the tread is just starting to crack due to UV/ozone (but hasn't worn out in 20,000+++ km). The sidewalls don't hold up well to use on gravel; they tend to get frayed looking -- but still no flats...I would recommend any Conti tyres to anyone who doesn't like flats or wearing tyres out. I will probably replace these with GP3000's in 28C to get a softer ride, or use the new lightweight 23s for hilly rides.
After a big series finale at Mt Stromlo we have some very exciting news regarding the 2011 series: as you can see in the title SHIMANO is on board as principal sponsor which means that you can expect even more great gear to be tested and scored next season.
The first round will be the ... Read More »
The Rocky Trail MTB GP Series is in it's second year now and we have added an 8 Hour endurance racing option to the original 4 Hour race.
I'm a passionte mountain biker myself and work with Sydney-based MTB events organiser Rocky Trail Entertainment. It was really important to us to provide begin ... Read More »