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I currently ride Continental Grand Prix 5000 clincher tires (i.e. inner tube and not tubular) and felt a noticeable improvement in ride quality between that and my previous Bontrager R3s.

I am curious if anyone else here has ridden the GP5000s along with the Vittoria Corsa G2.0 and can provide pros and cons based on first hand experiences vs. product marketing or theoretical comparisons. I plan to run them with an inner tube, but even a like for like on tubeless to tubeless would work too.

The main concerns I have are:

  • Dry Traction

  • Wet weather performance - I have not had any issues with the GP 5000, but I always felt a bit weird that there were no treads down the middle of the tire. I know in reading people say that treads are just a like a placebo like effect as the compound is what makes the difference, but one thing I am liking about the Vittoria is the treads down all of the tire. This is why I really would like to get some feedback from someone who may have ridden both.

  • Puncture Resistance - I am not super worried about this as I try to be pretty careful on the road short of swerving into traffic to protect a tire, but I figure I would include this in case anyone else is curious.

  • Rolling Resistance & Feel - I know when I first went to the GP5000 everything felt smoother and I was about 2-3% faster for the same perceived effort from the R3s. What if any performance or qualitative benefits have folks felt that have ridden both.

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    Aside - perceived effort is a bit useless. Even knowing full well about placebo effect, we still can't account for it in ourselves. The best way around it is to do a bunch of rides, log them on strava, and compare two with similar weather/road conditions. – Criggie Jan 27 at 2:49
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    @Criggie I pretty much did that. I use perceived effort because I do not have a power meter. I rode the same route back to back one day apart under similar perceived effort and was slightly faster. – Tude Productions Jan 27 at 3:18
  • Although hindsight is always 20/20, I think you would have been better off buying a power meter instead of the Varia. – MaplePanda Jan 27 at 4:52
  • This doesn't directly answer your question, but you'd probably be interested in checking out this website, which does extensive analyses of tires: bicyclerollingresistance.com – Adam Rice Jan 27 at 15:38
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    @MaplePanda - Yea I was skeptical on the whole radar thing too and purposely bought it from a place that had a 90 day return period. I thought it was hype and I would be returning it, but it works surprisingly well as in I know from a couple football fields away exactly how many cars are approaching. Regarding power meter, I want to upgrade my crankset to ultegra and/or different crank lengths plus 52 chain ring. So that is what has me holding off a bit on a power meter atm. Also, training with cadence and heart rate seems to work for me atm. – Tude Productions Jan 27 at 20:10
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You probably know the size of the tires will make a significant difference in the attributes you're looking for. If your GPs are wider than your R3s, there will be a difference in traction, puncture resistance and rolling resistance.

Another big consideration is if you are running a tube or not. If you are tubeless, both the 5000 and the R3 come in a 32mm size. I find the product lineup on Vittoria's website is confusing: online vendors list a "G2.0" while Vittoria only show a "Corsa" in their lineup. Assuming these are both the same, the Vittoria only comes tubeless in a 28mm. It will ride significantly differently than a 32mm, which will have better traction and fewer pinch flats, and many will contend lower rolling resistance (that's complicated). If your plan to continue to use a tube, you've probably seen you can get the Corsa in a 32mm.

Sounds like you've read other info about tread. Cars have tread to move water away due to a phenomenon called "hydroplaning" in which the car floats on the water. Bicycles do not go fast enough to hydroplane, so tread does not provide any benefit. If anything, it's probably worse. However, it does help with debris, though I'd be skeptical that the narrow tread of the Corsa provides any benefit. I have a bike with Grand Bois Hetres and I've noticed no traction benefit over my previous Gravelking or Pari-moto slicks.

There is a site called BicycleRollingResistance.com (BRR) which tests the rolling resistance and puncture resistance for many models of tires. The tester was disappointed in the tubeless G+ 2.0 and in their tests it was almost 4w slower than the tubeless GP5000 in the same size and inflation. The Continentual in it's tubeless configuration is the 4th fastest tire they've ever tested (all tests are conducted with a tube; butyl, I believe).

While I personally have not ridden the Corsa, I have ridden other Vittoria tires. My bike (recently stolen, sad face) was a Look 585 on which I ran Vittora Corsa Speed tires with latex tubes. They are the fastest tire ever tested by BRR and I found them to be a sublime revelation. I don't know if I was faster (though all my fastest Strava times were aboard them) but they ran incredibly quietly and smoothly.

I also recently had a chance to do a few test rides that had Vittoria Corsa Controls, in 30mm. They are a teeny bit heavier than the G2.0s, and about 1W slower according to BRR. I first rode a Cervelo R5/Reserve 50 and then an Open Min.d/Enve 3.4. Both were running the Corsa Controls. I was slow on the R5 and the ride was rough. I was fast on the Open Min.d and the ride was smooth. So in this case, the frames/wheels overwhelmed the effect of the tire, though often the opposite is the case. My point being that the Corsa G2.0 will not be so outlandishly bad or good that it will make/break a nice ride on a nice bike :)

I personally am considering the GP5000s or a Schwalbe Pro One TT. The latter is very fast according to BRR and I like that Schwalbe has a tire recycling program. However, the Schwalbe is only available in a 28mm so I may very well opt for the GP5000 to get a larger carcass.

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    One thing regarding tread: Proper tread (i.e. knobs) does help on soft surfaces like mud, grass or snow or on rough surfaces. This is because it actually interlocks with the surface (like the teeth on a cog railway) instead of just sliding over it. On smooth, clean tarmac it doesn’t help, even in heavy rain. – Michael Jan 27 at 11:23
  • @TudeProductions 28mm measured or declared? there can be still a huge difference: check clearance under the fork with a caliper ... – EarlGrey Jan 27 at 14:45
  • @EarlGrey - It is declared by the packaging. I agreed each tire has its own profile. Like GP4000 used to bulge more and cause clearance issues. In the GP5000 they bulge less so some people are upset cause they are not as wide as the GP4000. – Tude Productions Jan 27 at 20:06

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