Continental Grand Prix 5000 – 28c clincher
$63.96 $52.87 at Amazon US (opens in new tab)
Continental's flagship GP5000 tyres are a firm favourite here at Cycling Weekly. The best road tyres always require a balancing act – there's no point in being the lightest if that means puncturing every ride. Likewise, neither grip nor rolling resistance can be sacrificed in favour of the other. Fortunately, though, the GP5000s are excellent example of how to do this right.
Pirelli P Zero – 28c clincher
$62.38 $44.75 at Amazon US (opens in new tab) £58.00 £41.99 at Tweeks UK (opens in new tab)
Pirelli has been expanding its tyre range at a high pace over the recent years. Although still a little way off both Continental and Schwalbe in terms of sheer breadth, Pirelli's new models – especially the P Zero Race – have continually impressed. Here, that fine balancing act of speed and puncture protection has been pulled off whilst managing to undercut on price.
Continental GP5000 vs Pirelli P Zero
First off, both Continental and Pirelli have a plethora of permutations available for their respective flagship tyres.
On the German side, you can get the Grand Prix 5000 tyres in both 650b and 700c; sizes spanning 23, 25, 28, and 32mm; carcasses designed for use with inner tubes (clincher), tubeless, and tubeless + hookless; there's at least three sidewall options from black to transparent (kind of dark brown) to cream. There's also a TT version now too.
From the Italians, things are kept a little simpler. Sizes span 26, 28 and 30mm – all in 700c; sidewalls are either black or tan, but you do have the choice of the logo in four colours; and there's the option of either a clincher casing or a tubeless (and hookless) compatible one.
But we've chosen to focus in on 700c x 28mm and a clincher carcass. Partly because that combination provides a fast and capable tyre with a low fuss setup, and partly because that's what the good offers are on right now.
From our reviews of the Continental GP5000 and the Pirelli P Zero Race, there's not too much between them. We found both tyres to be fast, grippy and with good puncture resistance.
Both tyres don't give quite as supple a ride as those with cotton casings, the Vittoria Corsa G2.0 and Specialized Turbo Cotton are great option there. But with that wider 28mm width, lower tyre pressures bring the gap a little closer than when comparing tyres around the 25mm mark.
Plus, the good offers are currently on the Contis and Pirellis.
Overall, you're probably best off going for whichever is currently cheapest. At the moment that means the Pirelli P Zero Race. But we have been seeing the Continental GP 5000 dip lower from time to time – so definitely worthwhile just checking that one first, in case the deals have changed again.
For the best bike deals of Black Friday 2022, check out our main hub over here.
After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back.
But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia.
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