Awesome racey commuter tire: Conti GP 4 Seasons- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Awesome racey commuter tire: Conti GP 4 Seasons

    Just wanted to post a quick review of the tires I've had on my bike for the last few months.

    I am a big proponent of Continental Gatorskins for city riding but wanted something a little lighter in a 700x28 size since I've been increasing the miles to get home in the evening and have done a few local criterium races on my cross bike commuter.

    My Gatorskins started shedding threads from the beads/sidewalls at an alarming rate after a few years of use so I decided to go ahead and replace them with the Grand Prix 4 Season tire. For the same size (28c) the 4 Seasons are 100grams lighter, much more comfortable, and just as reliable.

    In 4 months I've yet to have a puncture or pinch flat on these tires despite riding on some nasty roads covered in broken glass (Atlanta city streets). I've probably got 1500 miles on them and have ridden them confidently in the rain, sleet, and summer heat.

    If you're considering Gatorskins for an urban bike, look around for a good deal as the 4 Seasons do everything better except probably longevity. They use a softer rubber compound and the rear is starting to show a little wear but I'll take that for the increase in handling in all weather conditions. I've never had a squirmy tire over slick/wet lane markers or train tracks with these, unlike the Gatorskins which were made of such hard rubber.

    In terms of volume, these look and ride like a really high volume 700x25 tire. Continental road tires always run narrow but tall and these are no exception to that rule.

    Just wanted to share the rave review for those of you that want a tire that is reliable and indestructable for your commuter, yet still lightweight and high performance. I really cannot say anything bad about these tires, my favorite road tires so far.
    Continental Bicycle -Grand Prix 4-Season

  2. #2
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    The only downsides I can see are price and possibly longevity. However, the softer compound more than makes up for it, I'll second your opinion on the harder compound of the Gatorskins sucking terribly in the wet. These are also the go-to tire for training when it comes to my coworkers during winter months.

    During drier months or on very, very rough road surfaces I still think the Gatorskins may have better value for money as grip is less of an issue, and softer compounds wear down faster on rougher surface.

    Dual compound tires like the Race Lite Hardcase tires also attempt to solve this issue by having a hard wearing center compound with a softer compound on the edges for cornering. If you like the Continental GP 4 Seasons, take a look at online reviews for tires like that too.

  3. #3
    Wierdo
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    Not sure why people diss Gatorskins so much in the wet? I've ridden them year-round over the past four years in wet conditions (hunter006, I live in the Seattle area too) and I have never once lacked for traction.

  4. #4
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    Not sure why people diss Gatorskins so much in the wet? I've ridden them year-round over the past four years in wet conditions (hunter006, I live in the Seattle area too) and I have never once lacked for traction.
    I like the Gatorskins for what they are - a good long distance tire that has very few penalties for the extra distance they will go. But they make no claim to be grippy tires, especially in the wet, and I've found they're at best average, at worst a little below average for grip in the wet. I also punctured more frequently on those than any other tire I've owned in the wet season - during winter on average I'd pick up a puncture once a month (700x28 @ 85-95 psi), starting winter on a new set of tires every year. They are great when the road is hot and average when the road is dry. I rode my way through 4 Gatorskin rear tires across 22,000 mi, which is pretty good in my books.

    I'm willing to accept the theory that I've been spoiled after riding on softer compound tires and moving to the Gatorskins as a potential replacement, but I do notice significantly less grip than Vittoria Rubino Pro III and Continental 4 season tires. The comparison is relative after all; if the 4S tires are exceptional in the wet and I think the Gatorskins are not quite as good, they'd still be above average.

  5. #5
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    I've been riding the GP 4-Seasons for years and can't find any flaw with them. I'm not sure why I don't just run them all the time - they seem better than "race tires" in pretty much every way, other than a little weight. If I wasn't a lardass, that may actually matter, but I'm afraid it doesn't in reality.

  6. #6
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    I've been riding them for while on my commuter-mule, too. They are o.k. but I wouldn't rave about them. I already had too many flats with them. My 20 miles commute is about 80% road and 20% gravel road. interestingly all of my flats occured in wet conditions.

    however, my main concern is the the width. I have the 28s but these measure only 26mm. Others report the same actual width. If the tires were wider I'd ride more on gravel roads. In town we also have a lot cobble stone roads and bike lanes are partly quite rough. Would be nice if Conti offered an additional 30 or 32 mm width.

  7. #7
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    i have not ridden Conti road tires, but we sell tons of them at the shop. they cost a bit more but they are worth it.

  8. #8
    jrm
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    Love um

    ive ridden um for sometime on the defy. Only drawback is they run about a 1/3 more then a panaracer tserv.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by quax View Post
    I've been riding them for while on my commuter-mule, too. They are o.k. but I wouldn't rave about them. I already had too many flats with them. My 20 miles commute is about 80% road and 20% gravel road. interestingly all of my flats occured in wet conditions.

    however, my main concern is the the width. I have the 28s but these measure only 26mm. Others report the same actual width. If the tires were wider I'd ride more on gravel roads. In town we also have a lot cobble stone roads and bike lanes are partly quite rough. Would be nice if Conti offered an additional 30 or 32 mm width.
    Crazy about the flats, I'm normally 270-280lbs with gear and havent gotten a single flat, normally running 90psi front and 100psi rear.

    They're definitely skinnier than 28mm but have really tall sidewalls relatively to a 25/26mm tire, just a funny way of sizing tires but all Conti road tires are sized this way IME. 700x23 Contis look like really tall 700x20-21s, 700x25s look like really tall 700x23s.

    I mainly wanted to post this here since I couldnt find much information about these tires, particularly the 700x28 model. FWIW, Gatorskins dominate the road/commuter scene around here, I just wanted to try something different after riding Gatorskins on several bikes for almost the last decade. These were ~$10 more per tire than Gatorskins, totally worth it for the better ride quality, handling, and weight.

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