Superseded recently by successive models bearing ever more impressive supplementary designations, Continental’s Grand Prix clincher disappeared from the UK a couple of years ago despite remaining a best-seller in some European markets. Following a major redesign, it will be relaunched at the Eurobike show and will be back in the UK for 2009 with a new tread pattern, in a wide selection of sizes and with Conti’s latest anti-puncture protection.
Already supplied to cycle manufacturers for ‘OE’ fitment, the new Grand Prix features a Black Chili tread compound laid over a polyamide puncture protection double thickness belt labelled PolyBreaker, which has been developed as a less-expensive alternative to the Vectran layer used on the Grand Prix 4000, 4000S, 4 Season and Attack/Force models.
While positioned as a lightweight, performance tyre, the 2009 Grand Prix range will include a wire bead option in all sizes of a range that includes 28-406, 28-451, 28-559 and 28-622 formats. A folding bead will be available on just three sizes: 28-559, suitable for the standard mtb wheel, and two ‘700c’ sizes. Interestingly, at 22-622 and 24-622, these are the same as the two used for the Grand Prix Attack and Force pairing, although there is no suggestion from the German manufacturer that the Grand Prix be used as a differentially-sized pair. Instead, ignoring the 22mm tyre, Conti says that, since ‘wider tires roll easier, yield higher mileage and offer more comfort and grip’, the new Grand Prix profile is 24mm. This, they say is ‘wide enough to exploit the advantages of wider tires, but still light and slim enough to improve the performance of any racing machine.’
Weight for the 24-622, or 700x24c folding tyre is a claimed 230g against 210g for the GP Force; price is projected to be £23.95 for the wire-bead and £27.95 for the folder. Expect the 24mm Grand Prix to make a great training, light touring and sportive tyre.