Continental Grand Prix Supersonic Black Chili £29.95
Claimed to be the lightest clincher in production, Continental’s Grand Prix Supersonic certainly looks and feels that way. Quoted weight for the 700x23c size is a mere 155g; lacking anything like a breaker tread to add puncture resistance, and made using a super-fine 310tpi polyamide fabric for the casing, this is a tyre pared to the minimum in the search for speed. The latest version is the third iteration of the basic tyre, which kicked off with Conti’s original ASC silica tread compound.
This proved a little fragile in this application, and was replaced by a conventional carbon-filled rubber for 2006. More recently, the German manufacturer has developed a new tread compound reviewed here that has been found to offer a roughly 30% improvement in both grip and rolling resistance over the black ASC compound, which itself was said to be faster than the conventional tread. Life is also claimed to be increased by around 5% thanks to the greater abrasion resistance of the compound, which, thanks to its exceptional flexibility, is also more cut resistant.
The new compound, which is made using carbon soot particles milled down to the size range of around 10 nanometres, is being rolled out across many models in Conti’s range of cycle tyres with black treads, and has now found its way on to the Grand Prix Supersonic. The longer life and added puncture resistance of the new compound should give the Grand Prix Supersonic a chance in road and criterium racing in addition to the track and time trial scenes for which it was originally intended. RCUK test coming soon.