Road Bike Tire Test: Continental Grand Prix 4 Season

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Contents and Test Summary

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Size, Weight, Thickness
  4. Rolling Resistance: 17.2 watts
  5. Puncture Resistance: 17 tread / 7 sidewall
  6. Conclusion: 4.0 / 5 Recommended
  7. Comments
  • Continental Grand Prix 4 Season
Performance compared to all other road bike tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - thickest - strongest)

Continental Grand Prix 4 Season road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Continental Grand Prix 4 Season is a top of the line, all-season road bike tire. This tire is a close cousin of the Grand Prix 4000S II (read review) as both tires use a 3/330 TPI casing and are handmade in Germany.


Ad Buy Continental Grand Prix 4 Season at Amazon.com


To make the 4 Season an all-season tire, Continental designed this tire with a double layer of Vectran breaker under the tread, an extra layer of DuraSkin from bead to bead, and a silica compound optimized for cold and wet weather.


When going for a tire like the Grand Prix 4 Season, rolling resistance is probably not the most important point to consider. Puncture resistance and grip on wet and cold surfaces will be the main selling point. I do think it's interesting to know the rolling resistance of the 4 Season, especially at lower air pressures.


Most Continental high-end tires use the Black Chili compound which always performs excellent in the rolling resistance tests. The 4 Season doesn't use the Black Chili compound but instead uses a different "Max Grip" compound. This compound is a softer silica compound which provides more grip in all-weather conditions. The compound change will probably make the biggest difference during the rolling resistance tests.


Being able to compare all data side by side with the GP4000S II data might make the decision to switch between summer/winter tires a bit easier. Jump to the comparison section of our website to compare all data of the GP 4 season and GP 4000S II side by side.

Manufacturer Specifications


Manufacturer Specifications
Brand Continental
Model Grand Prix 4 Season
Year 2015
Tire Type Tubetype (clincher)
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range High
Buy At Ad Amazon.com
Manufacturer part number 0100175
TPI 3/330
Compound Max Grip Silica
Bead Folding
ETRTO 25-622
Size Inch 28"
Width 25
Specified Weight 240 grams
Max Pressure 120
Made In Germany
Available Sizes 23-622 (700x23C)
25-622 (700x25C)
28-622 (700x28C)
32-622 (700x32C)

Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Test Results

Continental Grand Prix 4 Season road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements


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Size, Weight and Thickness Measurements
Specified Weight 240 grams
Measured Weight 215 grams
System Adjusted Weight
(tire + inner tube (100 gr)
315 grams
Measured Width 27 mm
Measured Height 24 mm
Total Tire Thickness Center 2.7 mm
Total Tire Thickness Sidewall 0.7 mm
Unmounted Casing Width No Data
Unmounted Tread Width No Data
All size measurements are taken at an air pressure of 100 psi / 6.9 bars on a 17.8 mm inner width rim.

Weight. While the specified weight of the 700 x 25C 4 Season is 240 grams, the tire used for this test weighed in at a very low 215 grams. 215 grams is even less than the specified weight of the GP4000S II.


Size. Measured width and height on a 17C rim is 27 mm and 24 mm respectively.


Tire Thickness. With a weight this low, there can't be a lot of rubber on the tire. After measuring the total thickness of the tire at the center of the tread, it turns out the 4 Season is thinner than the GP4000S II (2.7 mm Vs 2.9 mm). The sidewalls are a bit thicker at 0.7 mm Vs 0.55 for the GP4000S II.

Rolling Resistance Test Results


Rolling Resistance Test Results
Inner Tube Conti Race28 (100gr butyl)
Rolling Resistance
140 PSI / 9.7 Bar
Not Tested
Rolling Resistance
120 PSI / 8.3 Bar
17.2 Watts
CRR: 0.00516
Rolling Resistance
100 PSI / 6.9 Bar
18.1 Watts
CRR: 0.00543
Rolling Resistance
80 PSI / 5.5 Bar
19.8 Watts
CRR: 0.00594
Rolling Resistance
60 PSI / 4.1 Bar
22.5 Watts
CRR: 0.00674
All numbers are for a single tire at a speed of 29 km/h / 18 mph and a load of 42.5 kg / 94 lbs.

Use the formula: RR (Watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load.

At an air pressure of 120 psi / 8.3 bars, rolling resistance is 17.2 watts (GP4000S II = 12.2 wats). Dropping air pressure to 100 psi / 6.9 bars results in a rolling resistance of 18.2 watts (GP4000S = 12.9 watts). At a comfortable air pressure of 80 psi / 5.5 bars, rolling resistance is 19.8 watts (GP4000S II = 13.7 watts).


Rolling resistance is decent for an all-weather tire but it's obvious rolling resistance isn't as low as most other summer tires. The differences also get bigger when dropping air pressure to a more comfortable air pressure range (80 - 100 psi).

Puncture Resistance Test Results

Continental Grand Prix 4 Season road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)
Puncture Resistance Tread 17 Points
Puncture Resistance Sidewall 7 Points

One of the main selling points of the 4 Season is its claimed high puncture resistance. With a score of 17 points in the tread puncture resistance test, the 4 Season performs excellent. 17 points is a much better score than the 11 points the GP4000S II scored.


In the sidewall puncture test, the 4 season scores 7 points which is 2 points more than the 5 points the GP4000S II scored.


A more comparable tire is the Continental Gatorskin (read review) which scored 18 points in the puncture resistance tread test and 7 points in the sidewall test. The Gatorskin does have an even higher rolling resistance of 19.3 watts at 120 psi / 8.3 bars.

Conclusion


  • Continental Grand Prix 4 Season
Performance compared to all other road bike tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - thickest - strongest)

As expected, rolling resistance is higher than pure summer tires like the GP4000S II. For a pair of tires, cycling at a speed of 18 mph / 29 km/h, an extra 10 to 12 watts of power input is required to obtain the same speed. In return for this extra effort, you get a stronger tire and increased grip in cold and wet conditions. When taking both into consideration, the Grand Prix 4 Season is a great tire.


I would have given the Grand Prix 4 Season a 5-star rating if it had just a little lower rolling resistance. I was hoping it to come in closer to the 16 watts range. Still, it is a great tire with a high puncture resistance and low rolling resistance. I'm interested in your opinion about it's wet and cold weather qualities as well; let me know in the comments.

Ad Buy Continental Grand Prix 4 Season at Amazon.com


RATING: 4.0 / 5
TEST VERDICT:
Recommended


Comments



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