The all-new Grand Prix 5000 Tire from Continental is a worthy successor to its Grand Prix 4000 S II, a tire that stood atop its road clincher tire range for a dozen or so years and a favorite among cyclists worldwide. What made the GP4000 so universally loved was that it was truly a competition-worthy tire in terms of weight, grip, and rolling resistance, but unlike typical racing rubber, the tire was actually durable enough to fend off debris so you could train on it daily, while also lasting quite a while so you could rack up some miles before the threads began to show.
We'll start with its rubber compound as it continues to use Black Chili balance. The rubber compound is critical because it defines the tire's grip, rolling resistance, and longevity. Typically, you can't alter one without it affecting the other which is exactly where Black Chili shines. Using the latest knowledge of polymers and raw material research, Conti uses special synthetic rubbers along with proven natural rubber, creating a high-performance mixture. To it, it adds super-tiny carbon black particles, optimized in shape and surface properties.
The complex compound technology is so exclusive that Conti only manufactures tires using Black Chili compound in its Korbach, Germany plant. The tiny size of Black Chili particles allows them to mold to variable road surfaces more readily. It gives the tire greater ability to conform to imperfections in the road surface for excellent grip in demanding situations, such as high-speed cornering, while also reducing rolling resistance. Since the Black Chili particles are so small, more particles fit into the contact patch of the tire, reducing wear and increasing longevity.