My favorite training clincher
These are my favorite road clinchers for quite a few years now- and I've gone through many road tires over many years including high end "racing" Michelins, Vresteins, Vittorias etc as well as trying to save a few bucks with cheaper models (not worth it). As a training tire this is the top of the list IMO. The price of these has increased quite a bit in the last few years, but they're still worth it. With modern materials, road tires get a lot of miles- lots more than they did even a few years ago, and tires are the most important bang for the buck component on your bike- save on the other stuff, spend on tires. With any tire, there is always a tradeoff between durability and ride quality. This is mostly due to the casing underneath the rubber- better ride quality comes from more flexible ("supple" among bike tire geeks)casing- more, and thinner threads per inch-tpi quoted in the specs. However thinner casing means more vulnerable to punctures. Some tires make up for this with extra belted layers of kevlar-type materials- like the Continental Gatorskin models. So you make your choices- better feel, handling and traction in dicey situations, or durability and puncture resistance. I've found the 4 seasons Conti to be the right mix for me- I don't ride them in a lot of glass-strewn roads and we don't have goat head thorns here in the Mid-Atlantic. I seldom puncture with them, and they last a long time. Too bad REI doesn't carry the 28c size- those are great for fast riding on dirt roads and they fit a lot of road bikes. All sizes run more narrow than spec'ed. The 25c size feel much better and not noticeably heavier than the 23's on pavement and are nominally gravel-capable as well, so I would definitely recommend getting 25s (I weigh 160). You can also run the 25s at a little lower pressure which really enhances the road feel, cornering and handling on rough roads, a little extra cush is nice to your butt and hands on long days- I like to run them at 85psi front and 95psi rear. The 25c actual width measures between 23-24mm using my caliper. The 28c measures 26mm. My guess is that the 23c measures 21-22mm. These would not be my first choice for racing clinchers (I race on tubulars) as they are not as supple as dedicated race tires like Michelin Pro3 etc. But you could certainly race on them if you wanted- I do lots of hard competitive group rides on them. But for everything else they're my faves-worry free great feeling go anywhere training tires. I did try the gatorskins- but I didn't like the feel, and they're overkill for me, I get so few punctures with the 4 seasons that ride much better. But I do recommend the 25s unless the clearance on your bike is really too tight.
Goldilocks road tire
I wanted to chime in on these tires after getting some ride time out of them. After a little over a year of use and about 2500 miles in sun and rain, over sometimes rough roads with the odd patch of gravel and broken glass, I can say they are excellent. They replaced the OEM Specialized Roubaix tires which were flating every ride once they hit 400 miles (appalling). The original tires were extremely smooth and grippy, but the tradeoff was not a good one. These guys have been totally puncture resisitant, and have a good grip and road feel in all conditions. There looks like plenty of life left on the front, and several hundred miles on the rear as well.
They are not as supple or grippy as the Conti 4000, but those tires are extremely flat prone. Also tried Vredesteins, which seemed to lose their feel after a few hundred miles. These tires, on the other hand, feel just about as good as when I put them on.
I'll be sticking with them for my next purchase. In spite of the cost, they are a good value.
Great Tires. Highly Recommend!
After more than 500 miles on them they barely show any wear. Definitely a smoother ride and noticeably less rolling resistance then the stock Bontragers that came on my bike so I am happy about that. Actually I sold those tires to a friend and they failed on the first ride.
So far these GP4ks are working out great. They are kinda pricey so that may be the only downside. I was using the REI Novara tubes, but after switching to another brand I haven't had one flat in many many rides, which is awesome. I'm running these tires on a pair of Easton EA50's. No complaints.
Excellent All Weather Tire
These tires are highly recommended. I use these as replacements for the Continental 4000s tires when the weather gets cooler and wetter. The ride is excellent and very similar between the tires but the 4-Season rubber compound combined with the tread pattern seem to provide better traction on all types of pavement.
They wear very well and show little wear after about 1000 miles of mixed commuting and recreational riding.
I recommend using a 700x25c rather than the 700x23c size if it will fit into your frame as the gains in ride quality, rolling resistance and traction are quite noticable.
Good road tire; seems pricey
I bought this because of online cyclist reviews. It seems like a perfectly good tire; I've bought four of them. Handles well, corners fine, seems to keep tread well. I did have a problem with one getting cut, but that may just be bad luck. I can't help but think that these tires are expensive--not just this one, but bike tires in general. They cost almost as much as car tires, and are only good for about 5000 miles. Am I crazy?
Pretty good over 1000 miles.
Much more durable than the Kendras they replaced. I had on puncture flat early in the season this year. I must have hit a patch of goatheads, as there were 4-5 holes in series. The only other flat was due to a cheap imported tube.
I have been caught in the rain a couple times on these tires, and they seemed to work fine.
Good overall tire. I've tried Michelin, Kendra, Specialized, Vittoria, but always come back to Contis.
Tire design and choice requires tradeoffs. Do you want grippy or durable? Light weight or puncture resistant? The Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tire strikes an excellent balance between these competing goals. It is more durable and puncture resistant than most racing tires, and better handling than most heavy duty tires. It's one of the all-round best tires available for my fast hilly club rides and centuries.
Consider also Continental's foldable Gatorskin, which is similar and not quite as expensive.
worth the cash
I had some bad luck with Specialized armadillo's due to constant delamination. Purchased the 4 season for a back tire, and road all winter long in Madison, Wi, and I have to be honest, they worked like a champ, despite record levels of snow. The worst day was -22, and 3 feet of snow before I opted to take the bus instead of commuting. I wouldn't think of buying anything else.
Works for me
I got these on sale at REI in the spring. I have put over 1400 miles on them and hardly any sign of wear to date. I am running the 25mm wide folding version over bumpy New England back roads to get a little shock absorption. No flats and no noticeable cuts or anything on the tread. Looks like I will be running these well into into next summer.
The best balance of tires compromises
These tires replaced the Specialized All Condition that came on my bike, which were prone to puncture flats. These also replaced the Bontrager Race All-Weather hardcase, which were heavy and had a decent amount of rolling resistance. The Conti GP 4-seasons (700x25c) have a nice compromise of weight, puncture resistance, grip & rolling resistance. They are pricier than the tires it replaced, but worth every single penny.