I’ve been riding the Continental GP5000 S TR tubeless tires for this past summer. I purchased it from Competitive Cyclist back in April 2023, just before the summer started.
After 5,000 miles, here’s my personal experience about the Continental GP5000 S TR.
1. It’s smooth and fast
Switching from my old Vittoria Corsa N.EXT to the Continental GP5000 S TR was like upgrading from a reliable family sedan to a luxury sports car.
The difference? Night and day.
From the first ride, the Continental GP5000 S TR felt almost buttery smooth, and the low rolling resistance was immediately discernible. Each ride felt like I was cutting through the air effortlessly, a sensation I hadn’t quite felt with the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT. Every descent was a joy, and every flat road felt like a sprinter’s playground.
Here are some rolling resistance numbers according to Bicycle Rolling Resistance,
- Continental GP5000 S TR: 8.5W
- Vittoria Corsa N.EXT TLR: 12.1
This implies that the Continental GP5000 S TR has a 30% lower rolling resistance, with all things being equal.
2. It’s expensive
Top quality doesn’t come cheap.
The Continental GP5000 S TR is a top-of-the-range road bike tire, similar to the likes of the Vittoria Corsa Pro and Pirelli P Zero Race SL ridden by the pros at the Tour de France. Initially, I was skeptical. Could these tires truly justify their hefty price tag?
After 5,000 miles, the answer became clear. If you want a fast tire, it’s a worthy investment.
3. Don’t ride it in winter
The Continental GP5000 S TR is like that friend who loves summer BBQs but is the first to hibernate as winter approaches.
During the colder months, with roads often damp and speckled with debris, these tires showed their vulnerable side. I vividly remember one chilly morning ride; I came back with a significant cut which took my Muc Off sealant nearly a week to seal.
Though I consciously avoided tire plugs to truly test the sealant’s efficiency, it did make me reconsider using the Continental GP5000 S TR for next winter.
I’ll likely revert to the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT which has a much thicker thread (albeit a higher rolling resistance) for the coming winter months.
4. Installation is not as intimidating
Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of tussles with tricky tubeless tire setups. But the Continental GP5000 S TR?
It snugly fits onto my Zipp Firecrest 303 without me having to flex my biceps or use excessive force.
The air compressor was not needed, although I have one. Instead, I only used the Topeak Joe Blow Booster pump which did the job seamlessly, seating the tire in one clean attempt.
If you’re attempting to install a tubeless tire at home, you’ll need a tubeless tire pump, at the very least. The regular floor pump is likely not up to the task as it doesn’t have a high enough air volume flow to seat the tires.
5. Better than expected lifespan
My Vittoria Corsa G2 TLR started to wear out in the middle tread section at around the 4,000-mile mark.
The Continental GP5000 S TR, however, exceeded this. These tires not only outlasted my expectations but remained solid companions up to 5,000 miles. While the initial 3,000 miles felt like a dream ride, the subsequent 2,000 miles saw more frequent cuts, signaling that it was time for a change.
At 5,000 miles, the Tire Wear Indicator (TWI) still showed plenty of life left, but I decided it was time for a new set of tires for frequent cuts and sealant spraying all over the bike.
Do note that each of our mileage will vary depending on various factors such as rider and bike weight, road conditions, and tire pressure.
Would I buy it again?
Yes, for the next summer riding season.
If you’re contemplating an upgrade to your bike to make it (feel) faster, the GP5000 S TR is a contender worth considering. It’s available for around $70 (Competitive Cyclist), £69 (Wiggle), or A$110 (Pushys).
Alex Lee is the founder and editor-at-large of Mr. Mamil. Coming from a professional engineering background, he breaks down technical cycling nuances into an easy-to-understand and digestible format here.
He has been riding road bikes actively for the past 12 years and started racing competitively in the senior category during the summer recently.