While collecting my new bike (separate story coming later), the discussion at Bikesport turned to tire choice for the rough and bumpy roads in West Virginia. The roads are usually cut up from the winter, with lots of gravel and stone chips, never mind the dirt roads.
With some of the team switching to 27/28mm tubeless, my normal go-to choice of 23mm smooth and lightweight road tires (currently Bontrager R4s usually) didn’t seem like a great life choice. I still didn’t want to go too crazy with fully reinforced sides etc, and weight is a constant fun thing to keep in mind, so after some research and being sold on the minimal logo design, I went with a pair of Continental Grand Prix 4 season Black Edition. I don’t know why editions and black editions specifically are cooler, they just are, so I bought them and brought them home. The box says they’re handmade in Germany, and that these are made for the North American market, but yeah, they’re tires.
First impressions? They could be a bit more ‘black edition’, but that’s me being picky. I always nerd out and align the manufacturer logo with the valve stem (you know, because it’s P.R.O. and helps your mechanic locate it quicker in those critical race conditions), which was satisifying to do with the yellow 4, but the bright white logos could be a little less bright white. Packaging was nice, but they’re tires so really, who cares? Warning booklets were there, and I ignored them perfectly. If I crash because of a torn sidewall you’re welcome to laugh.
I’m not one for tire leavers, preferring to work them by hands while trying to make sure the tube is sitting safely away from everything. The sidewalls on the GP4’s were a bit stiff, but definitely not as bad as some of the reinforced tires out there. The bead hooked really nicely.. and that’s about it!
There’s plenty of room on the Trek Emonda SLR frame and fork for the 25mm tire, with what looks like a lot more space to go wider too.
First ride was pleasant, with around 95psi randomly selected to try as the pressure. I normally run 110 all the time all the way, but that’s on thin 23mm tires, so I figured I might as well really try out this comfort thing..
So, with all that said, here’s the rest of the photos of them mounting on a Bontrager Aeolus D3 3 clincher.