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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, so a few months ago I owned a Fuji Gran Fondo which came with pretty awful Vittoria tires. I replaced them with Conti GP4000S2 and was amazed at how they transformed the ride. I then traded the bike in for an Emonda SL6 which already has a more compliant ride with the better carbon frame and seat mast.

Well, 2 weeks ago I was riding to work and must have caught the sidewall on a rock creating a tiny puncture. I didn’t even know I had a hole until an hour after I got to work when my tire slowly went flat. No fear, patched from the inside, glued the outside, no bubble, ready to rock on.

Fast forward to yesterday, doing my first century ride, things are going well, and at 100.8 miles, 2 miles before the finish I catch another rock, this time tearing a gash in the sidewall and the thing lost all air within about 2 seconds, I could feel the breeze on my leg as the tire rolled emptying itself.

A buddy of mine went through the same issue with his tires and decided to retire them and move to Gatorskin Hardshells. I bought his remaining good GP4000S2 as a replacement for the time being but need to come up with a plan for when these inevitably tear again.
I LOVE the ride of these tires, they are so supple over bumps and cracks in the road, roll great, and grip well in corners. I’m looking for a tire with similar ride characteristics, which will be going on an older Boyd Altamont wheel which is a 24mm outer width and an 18.3mm inner width. I want to stick with a 25c tire and it has to be durable. I am willing to pay more for a better tire, but I am not willing to basically buy a new GP4000 every month to replace mine after they get cut over and over. 170lb rider, usually run tire pressures 85f/95r.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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1) Light, fast and supple.

2) Durable and puncture resistant.

3) Inexpensive.

Pick two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm familiar with the 1,2,3 approach since I have been playing with cars for most of my life and the same 1. Cheap 2. Fast 3. Reliable argument is widely used. I thought from my post it was pretty obvious that I'm after #1 and #2, and #3 is not a concern. I'd rather pay $60-80more for a good tire than replace these $40 GP4000 after what seems like no time at all since they have thin sidewalls.

I considered the gatorskins but their rolling resistance and ride is not up to par with the GP4000. In fact, I don't expect any other continental tire to ride as well and be as comfortable, while providing more puncture and cut resistance. Actually, I'm not sure how a tire can ride well (via having soft sidewalls) and have those soft sidewalls be somehow more cut resistant. Cut resistance means there needs to be more material there which inherently worsens the ride.

I probably wouldn't notice a small decrease in comfort, but I'm not really interested in a super hard training or commuting tire. Perhaps something in the middle
 

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Maybe analyze your riding style if you're constantly hitting rocks and cutting the sidewalls.
I run GP4000's pretty much exclusively and have tens of thousands of miles on them. I'm 165# and run 23's. I've never cut a sidewall and can't remember the last time I've flatted. And we have some of the worst roads here in PA.

That said, if you're looking for something between the GP4000 and Gatorskins, check out the Continental Grand Prix 4 Season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe analyze your riding style if you're constantly hitting rocks and cutting the sidewalls.
I run GP4000's pretty much exclusively and have tens of thousands of miles on them. I'm 165# and run 23's. I've never cut a sidewall and can't remember the last time I've flatted. And we have some of the worst roads here in PA.

That said, if you're looking for something between the GP4000 and Gatorskins, check out the Continental Grand Prix 4 Season.
I'm also in PA, near Philadelphia to be specific. It's not a riding style thing, I'm not the only person who has complaints about thin sidewalls on GP4000 tires, it's pretty well documented online, and in many reviews. It's not that I'm constantly hitting things, I do a good job avoiding what i can without putting myself in danger of cars, etc. its that when I do hit something, it basically only ends one way, a cut.

I'll look into the 4 season, but also open to other brands like Bontrager, Vittoria, Michelin, etc.
 

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After getting some new wheels with 25mm wide rims, I cut my tire sidewall on the third ride. I worried that the wide rims exposed more of the sidewall to sharp debris on the road.

But I haven't had another cut in almost two years, and at least 6000 miles. I wouldn't trade the supple ride I get on GP4000 tires for the durability of gatorskins.

I almost never ride on shoulders, and tend to ride close to the right tire track on the road. The car tires kick the sharp stuff off the track, toward the edge of the road.
 

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Maybe analyze your riding style if you're constantly hitting rocks and cutting the sidewalls.
I run GP4000's pretty much exclusively and have tens of thousands of miles on them. I'm 165# and run 23's. I've never cut a sidewall and can't remember the last time I've flatted. And we have some of the worst roads here in PA.
I live in PA also and weigh 265 lbs. I run the GP4000's and wear them out (indicators gone and threads starting to show) before replacing. I have read the complaints about sidewalls but have never seen it myself.
 

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I'm not the only person who has complaints about thin sidewalls on GP4000 tires, it's pretty well documented online, and in many reviews.
I've had similar luck with the GP 4000's sidewalls. IIRC, the guy(s) who created the low Crr for the Conti's defected to another company (Specialized??) & created a tire with low Crr. I'll probably try a pair when my stash of Conti's depletes.
 

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Pick one, more like.


Maybe. Or as tires go, I would say 2 AND 3 are possible, and maybe 1 AND 3. But definitely not 1 AND 2. I think a compromise is the best that can be done there.
 

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Maybe analyze your riding style if you're constantly hitting rocks and cutting the sidewalls.
This.

I've been running these tires for years and I've cut plenty of the sidewalls.

At first I'd go through gravel and not think anything of it. One day I went through some at about 40mph and ripped a sidewall open on the front tire, not fun.

A few months later the same thing happened. Gravel washout from driveways that's practically unavoidable around blind turns/hills.

I decided to give up on the tire and started doing a lot of research into a better or equivalent tire with better sidewall protection.

There isn't one. Go read bicyclerollingresistance.com yourself.

In fact, for me, for my pressures and riding, there is no better tire.

So... it was time to change my riding style.

I sucked it up and bought more GP4KSII tires, even for winter, and started avoiding gravel like the plague. If there was a wash that was thick all across the street I would start stopping and carrying the bike over. No tears since.

And with tens of thousands of miles on these tires I've never once ever had a traditional puncture, only sidewall tears from gravel. So just avoid the gravel and you're good.


TLDR: Just avoid gravel and keep the tire, that's your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This.

I've been running these tires for years and I've cut plenty of the sidewalls.

At first I'd go through gravel and not think anything of it. One day I went through some at about 40mph and ripped a sidewall open on the front tire, not fun.

A few months later the same thing happened. Gravel washout from driveways that's practically unavoidable around blind turns/hills.

I decided to give up on the tire and started doing a lot of research into a better or equivalent tire with better sidewall protection.

There isn't one. Go read bicyclerollingresistance.com yourself.

In fact, for me, for my pressures and riding, there is no better tire.

So... it was time to change my riding style.

I sucked it up and bought more GP4KSII tires, even for winter, and started avoiding gravel like the plague. If there was a wash that was thick all across the street I would start stopping and carrying the bike over. No tears since.

And with tens of thousands of miles on these tires I've never once ever had a traditional puncture, only sidewall tears from gravel. So just avoid the gravel and you're good.


TLDR: Just avoid gravel and keep the tire, that's your best bet.
Ill have to try this approach. Believe me, I would LOVE to make these tires work since they really are great performers. If I could get them cheap enough in bulk, I really wouldn’t care about replacing them if they got cut on a regular basis. However, it’s not even gravel that worries me, it’s glass on the road and other debris. Yesterday’s cut was my fault, I was exhausted after 100 miles, thought I was going to miss the rock, but somehow clipped it with my rear.
I’m going to install the spare GP4Ks2 that I got from my friend and see what happens. Just to give an idea of the tire that’s totally irrepairable, it had so few miles on it that I had JUST worn off the center line, haven’t even had a chance to get the tread to square off yet. I’d give it 400 miles topps
 

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If you look around you can get a pair from one of the UK retailers for price of single tire here in states.

Ribble has them now for $64.08 for a pair. Add a few other things to get over a $100.00 and I believe shipping is free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you look around you can get a pair from one of the UK retailers for price of single tire here in states.

Ribble has them now for $64.08 for a pair. Add a few other things to get over a $100.00 and I believe shipping is free.
I can get a pair on ChainReaction for $70 as well.
 

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If you look around you can get a pair from one of the UK retailers for price of single tire here in states.

Ribble has them now for $64.08 for a pair. Add a few other things to get over a $100.00 and I believe shipping is free.
They made a mistake a little while ago and offered them for 20% off the twin packs, making them only about $25 each. They noted and corrected that mistake pretty quick and will probably not go below the $32 each mark now.

So that being said, if they're $64 a pair now, I'd go ahead and pick up 4 or so for free shipping.

Since actively avoiding gravel I've had no problems. I was right about at my limit too with the sidewall tears/cuts, really mad. I've had no choice but to ride through some glass a few times, no issues thankfully. Aside from the sidewalls, I really love them. And it seems as though I can be careful enough to work with that. It sucks but it seems worth it.
 

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Like others, I've also had issues with Conti sidewalls...They're real thin which probably helps give them that nice feel but maybe also makes them a little more prone to cuts than other brands.
I've ridden the same routes with Michelins, Spec, Bontragers, Schwalbe and several tubeless setups with the only sidewall issues coming from Contis.
They do feel nice though.
 

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I really like the Vittoria Open Pave for the sometimes rough and gravel roads around me. They are good on rocks and tough pavement. But! I don't find that they have good puncture resistance from sharps like small wire shards or even tree debris. They also wear quickly. Around 500 miles until I start thinking of rotating. Definitely not training tires.

I have used GP's too and experienced some tearing but it never caused flatting or other problems. I have used one of the race oriented schwalbe slicks with no problems and decent wear. Why I am not riding those? Not sure!
 

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I use Pro4 Endurance 25's for my daily/training wheels and Continentals for my event wheels. You can still find them online. Stronger sidewalls, tread life of 2-3000 miles for the rear and slightly more road feel than the Contis.
 

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So, you bought used tires? Really? Just wait until they go on sale. You can get them for $35 in sets of two right now from various places. These are all I ride and that's the way I buy them. Wide rims, 25C tires = comfy ride.
 
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