Two weeks ago we saw Continental finally overcome their own resistance with the introduction of a tubeless version of their Grand Prix all-rounder road tire. Claiming to be better in every way than its predecessor, the new GP 5000 TL also adds a fully tubeless construction that Conti promises will take away all the hassles and uncertainties of road tubeless. So how does it do?

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires

Continental GP 5000 TL tubeless road tire, a fully tubeless modern remaking of the industry benchmark road tire

The new tubeless Grand Prix 5000 TL tire promises much improved performance over Conti’s long-running benchmark GP 4000 SII road tire. The move to tubeless brought with it a complete casing and rubber overhaul claiming 18% improved rolling resistance, 26% better puncture resistance (before even accounting for sealant), plus more comfort thanks to a new Active Comfort construction that is said to damp vibration through the use of stiffer sidewalls and more flexible casing under the tread. (Full details on the new tire in our original debut article.) All that sounded great – if a bit hyperbolic at times – so we were anxious to ride them.

Continental GP 5000 TL vs. GP 5000 – Actual Weights

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, tubeless install, setup & first riding impressions

The new GP 5000 TL has a claimed weight of 300g for a 25mm tire, which makes it a bit heavier than other claimed weights for similar levels of all around performance tubeless-ready road tires. For example, the same size Schwalbe Pro One tire claims a weight of 260g, but that tire is ‘Tubeless Easy’ meaning it still requires sealant to maintain an airtight casing. On our scale the 25mm GP 5000 TL weighed 303g (vs. a real weight of 262g for that 25mm Pro One.)

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, tubeless install, setup & first riding impressions

Looking to the regular tube-type Grand Prix which shares much of the same new tech, without the sealed tubeless liner and more bulky tubeless bead, the 25mm GP 5000 weighed a third less at 209g, a bit lighter than the 215g Conti claimed.

First Tubeless Setup Impressions – Continental GP 5000 TL

Continental GP 5000 TL tubeless road tire, a fully tubeless modern remaking of the industry benchmark road tire

Continental talked a big game about how easy the new GP 5000 TL was going to be to install, so I was really curious to try it for myself. Just this week, we got one of the first sets of production tubeless tires in the office, so I set about with trying the install on two different road tubeless wheelsets.

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, tubeless install, setup & first riding impressions

First up was a brand new Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon DB wheelset debuted earlier this fall. With a real 19.2mm internal width, a decently deep center channel, prominent bead-lock lip on the shoulders, a big bead hook, and Campagnolo’s lack of spoke holes in the rim bed, I was optimistic for the pain-free installation.

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, tubeless install, setup & first riding impressions

Unfortunately, the fit of the GP 5000 TL was too tight. And even starting opposite the valve I couldn’t get the tire on completely without a lever. No worries, a plastic lever easily got the tire in place. But again that big shoulder lip made it hard to get the tire entirely in place by hand, and I needed a compressed air cylinder to seat the bead. No luck with a floor pump alone, but the tires did air up true to size at 25.3mm.

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, tubeless install, setup & first riding impressions

Slightly dejected, I tried again with another wheelset, here the Hunt 30 Carbon Aero Disc wheels that I had already ridden tubeless with several other tires from ERE Research, Schwalbe & WTB. This time the fit of the GP 5000 TL was still very tight, but I managed to get the tire on without levers.

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, tubeless install, setup & first riding impressions

The Hunt rims are a bit wider at 22mm internal and have a less dramatic bead hook (but it is hooked, unlike the early/pre-production wheels.) Also since they use tubeless rim tape to seal over the spoke holes, even though it also has a bead-lock lip on the shoulders the lip is more smooth and easier to slide the tire over. This time (again with the valve core removed) I was able to easily seat the new Conti tire with three quick pumps of my floor pump. Success! (Final real tire width measurement of 26.7mm on the Hunts.)

Twenty-four hours later with no sealant installed, the Conti tire still held the full 90psi that I pumped it up to. And when I tried to fit another brand’s road tubeless tire to the new Fulcrum wheel, I had the same initial difficulty (so not a Conti-only issue, there.)

Continental GP 5000 TL tubeless road tire, a fully tubeless modern remaking of the industry benchmark road tire

The takeaway? The Continental GP 5000 TL isn’t magic. It doesn’t remove all complication and variability from the road tubeless installation process. Continental talked about the tires working with every major tubeless road wheel on the market. But until the ETRTO or some other industry group once and for all declares hard and fast standards for tubeless tire bead and tubeless rim dimensions, there will continue to be variation in how easy and predictable road tubeless setup becomes.

As it stands, the Continental GP 5000 TL seems from our first impressions to be as easy to work with as the best of other road tubeless tires currently on the market.

First Riding Impressions – Continental GP 5000 TL

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, photo by James Cheadle
riding photos by James Cheadle

Onto actually riding the tires… I’ve now have put in a mix of kilometers riding the new tubeless Continental GP 5000 TL tires on smooth dry Canary Island climbs, twisty damp descents, plus rough, wet & slightly above freezing central European roads. So far the tires do feel quick, and the cornering grip is real. I’ve even taken them through a bit of light dirt and gravel (I can’t help myself), and they seem hard to beat across all surfaces.

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, tubeless install, setup & first riding impressions

Can I perceive what is claimed to be 18% less rolling resistance and 26% greater puncture resistance? Nope. Should I really be able to? Well, that seems like a lot, and I didn’t set any new personal bests yet. But, it is winter now so road conditions are rapidly deteriorating, and it is cold enough that I’m not really trying to push the limits of speed. We’ll keep riding them through the winter, and report back on their continued durability.

Continental GP 5000 TL all-around performance road tubeless tires, photo by James Cheadle

Plus, I’ll keep an eye out on any KOMs or personal bests I set along the way. Remember theses are supposed to be all-rounder tires, so we’ll keep testing them all-around (and in some wider sizes soon as well.)

Continental-Tires.com/Bicycle

36 COMMENTS

  1. So, that’s great they maintain pressure w/o sealant, but what about if you get a puncture that a bit of sealant inside would take care of during a ride? To handle that, you have to have the sealant, plus the heavier Conti tire. That said, if they ride as nicely or better than the GP4000 II, then maybe the extra weight can be worth it.

    • I prefer it this way, tire that don’t maintain pressure require a lot of sealant and it dry quickly while airtight tire keep their sealant fresh much longer.

  2. Maybe it’s me, but I fail to see why one would run road tubeless at this point. Assuming the TL adds ~20+ grams of rotating weight over a non-TL with a latex tube, the rolling resistance drop would have to be pretty dramatic to make it worth it, and the puncture resistance would actually drop for the one layer of tread vs the same tread + a tube. If you add sealant, you get increased puncture resistance, but the rotating weight delta gets much larger still.

    Don’t get me wrong, i’m a big advocate of tubeless. I run tubeless in my MTB, CX bike, rain bike, etc. I just don’t really see the point of it with road racing tires, at least not until the tire weights drop down into the sub 260 gram region without any compromises in durability or puncture resistance. That said, I’d love to see a tubeless version of the GP 4 Seasons… I’d run that on my training wheelset any day (with sealant, of course).

      • Not true… I’ve pinch flatted my mountain bike, cross bike, and road bike.. all on purpose built tubeless rims, tires, and with sealant.

        • By its definition you could not have had a pinch flat (where you pinch (and cut) the tube to create the flat). You can however compress the tire so i “burps” out air, often they reseal quickly. In your case maybe not, in which case you are running too low of an air pressure for your riding style /weight.

    • 25mm Fusion 5 Galactik 11Storm TLRs weigh 219g. 25mm Mavic Yksion Pro USTs weigh 252g. As Charlie mentioned, 25mm Pro Ones are also in the 250g range. 30mL of sealant obviously weighs approximately 30g. A Michelin AirComp A1 latex tube weighs about 75g. A light butyl tube weighs around the same. So a 25mm tubed GP 5000 weighs ~280g while a Fusion 5 Galactik TLR weighs ~250g while also giving you flat protection.

    • Best reason would be the mostly no flat once sealant is in. If you’re doing that big race of the year with travel and exepense you simply don’t want to flat.
      Second reason if you do the math rolling resistance is some big player in performance, in french alban lorenzini and in english bikeblather did some extensive testing of rolling resistance on different courses (alban did a lot of climbing) and it easily trump weight or wheel inertia.

  3. Well, ETRTO just accepted Mavic’s Road UST as the standard for road tubeless rims in March. Tie beads are not standardized by the ETRTO and Mavic is not sharing their proprietary shape… if you want to know if the the GP5000 TL works really well within the new standard, try it on any UST road rim.

    • Who cares if it works well within the standard. It only needs to work well for users. ETRTO, as usual, is a step or seven behind the times and is flirting with being irrelevant.

      • Have a standard for tire fitting is super important. Because working is not enough, tire should seat reliably. In the old UST days my tire stayed on their bloody rim. Now i’ve had already 2 tire blow from rims. Sometime they are a pain to install sometime they’re easy. Heres a hint: easy is not good… And not safe. Our bloody life are at stake here. I had luck, that rear tire blows and not in dangerous places but a blowup can kill you easily.
        Manufacturer don’t take much risk here. They can say “that tire was not tested on our rim” or “that rim was not tested on our tire”. If i was a wheel/rim builder i would be horribly stressed. What is the correct dimension ? If i go slightly bigger than the norm it might be safer but many tire won’t fit and customer will be pissed, if i go smaller people can be happy but dead also.

        • Had that issue with gravel kings on stand with tunes set up supplied with bike , not fun blowing out at speed at the front. Is usually when going around a bend as well. Shop order gave that exact excuse despite him supplying both.

        • “Heres a hint: easy is not good… And not safe.”

          Amen, brother. I would be reluctant to trust a tubeless tire that did not require levers to install when new. Though to be fair to the current tubeless systems, a conventional clincher/tube setup has no bead retention, whatsoever. If you flat, the beads will unseat 100% of the time, resulting in just about the same level of control if flat..

        • Tubular tires stay on the rim when they blow out, because the tire is held on to the rim via glue.
          Tubeless tires may or may not stay on the rim when they blow out, depending on the tolerances of the bead seat area/center channel.
          Tubed tires may or may not stay on the rim, depending on the tolerances of tolerances of the bead seat area/center channel and rubber volume of the deflated tube.

          Is it really an issue of safety between tubeless and tubed tires?

          I’ve seen tubed wheels go flat and the tire has clearly moved on the wheel (the inflate pressure label is not with the valve hole).

  4. Because it’s fully tubeless, does that mean if you ran without sealant and you got a puncture you could just stick in a Dynaplug, pump it back up and keep riding all without unmounting the tire? That would avoid the sealant hassle and be way faster than patching or replacing a tube.

    • As any hole in the tire created by some intruder is probably not perfectly round the sealant is also necessary – maybe not always but most of the time – to seal the “interface” of the Dynaplug and the tire. That’s at least my experience when using Dynaplugs on road tires with their relatively high pressures. It works but it only gets perfectly airtight with the help of the sealant.

    • How heavy is a Dynaplug kit vs 60ml of sealant? How quick can you deploy the Dynaplug vs how quick can the sealant work to plug the hole?

  5. So Fulcrum (aka Campagnolo) rims/wheels are tighter than the norm. That’s not exactly news – every one I’ve ever dealt with has been like that. If a tyre is loose on a Campag rim there’s probably something wrong with it. 🙁

    • Yes, unfortunately, I found it impossible to install the 5000 TLs on my Mavic Pro Carbon UST, eventually gave up as I was afraid of damaging the wheels. Tried every trick. Broke one of my Park Tools tire levers. Very disappointed. Put the Hutchinson Fusion 5 back on. Very disappointed.

      • Yeah I’ve found other Conti tires just don’t want to fit my Mavic rims. Is that the Hutchinson Fusion 5 ElevenStorm tires? How have you found them? The Mavic UST tires cut up pretty badly and had one completely shred on me so I just want an easy to use alternative.

  6. Very disappointed with these. Fitted pretty easily but lost air overnight. Reseated, all well, but got softer over the first ride. No puncture or sealant leak, seated properly. Luckily (I think) it was tipping it down… so on closer inspection I could see air bubble all round the sidewall. Air leaking through the sidewall, unbelievable. Started at 90psi with 60ml of sealant. I hope this is just one of a bad line as the clinchers are great. Back it goes, just like the zipp tangente that slash punctured on the second ride.

    • This is the same for their tubleless mtb tires which is why I’m hesitant to try these, especially at this price point. I’ll buy plenty of 4000s II since they’re discounted and wait for more options and better pricing. Also I’m interested to see how they react with heavy braking on mountain descents with carbon wheels and rim brakes.

  7. I bought Mavic UST Ksyrium 23mm tubeless last summer (fatter won’t fit my bike). The ride is lovely, but would not recommend. Sealant has worked once but 3 times not. Tyres need disposing after they puncture (expensive) because worms don’t work on skinny tyres, patches don’t work and sealant doesn’t seal even when plenty in (but messes rear mech). And you can only use Mavic tyres it seems. Valves poor too. Remounting tyres by roadside a nightmare. Ok one time another time not. Ride on GP4000 tyres was marginally worse, but they were tougher and Conti 4 seasons better still. Avoid.

    • Hi, I’ve successfully patched a ProOne tire run tubeless using the following technique: create a patch using Tyvek material (i used a free USPS letter envelope) laminating 4 or 5 layers using contact cement. Then dry, scuff up and clean the inside surface of the tire. Apply contact cement to the patch and tire, allow to dry then press in place. Seal with some more contact cement around the perimeter of the patch. I continued riding the repaired tire till it wore out.

  8. I have had a rear tire blow from a pot hole on a 50 mph descent.
    The tire came off, wrapped in the brake, and I vaulted over the bars.
    Serious injuries ,,,, and I don’t believe a tubeless tire would have come off the rim as there is no tube to blow, and the air can only escape through the hole in the tire ( if there is even a hole in the tire ).
    I have ridden tubeless since then.
    Oh , I run Hutchinson Fusion 11Storm 25 mm on Zipp NSW 303’s.
    They weigh 255 grams plus 30 grams of sealant and are very fast.

  9. I have used road tubeless for several years. Only real issue is fitting to particular wheel sets. Vittoria Qurano are wickedly hard to fit any TL tire to even with levers. The Zipp TL tires can be fit with a lever easily but am wondering if any have tried the 5000s on this wheelset.

  10. Just got these and installed them to a Hunt Race Aero Wide aluminium wheel set. Extremely difficult to mount, but with the help of three tire levers and a third hand I eventually succeeded. No problem seating them with a standard floor pump. It just works. One wheel was airtight immediately. The other one was very slowly losing air, but after adding the sealant and tightening the valve core, the problem was fixed. Can’t wait to try them out.

    I think I stop carrying a tube. I never got a flat with my other tubeless tires and I carry a set of those ‘anchovies’ things to plug a larger hole. I carried a tube just in case, but what’s the use of that if I can’t get this tire on and off without the help of another person?

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