I just installed two new Conti GP5000s on my Specialized Allez 700c 26mm aluminum wheels, using the original tubes. (Bike was purchased new 4 months ago). So I pumped up one of the tires and spun the wheel while holding axles in my hands and noticed unevenness in the height of the tire, depending on rim location. The tire seems even on center, but has variation in the height. This would definitely be felt while riding, since the height of the axle would oscillate - i.e., bumpy ride.
Attached are some pics in which you can see (with maybe 30 psi) the cross-hatching on the outside of the bead, while on the other side the cross-hatch is not visible.
Is there some sort of massaging that has to be done before inflating to prevent this variation in height?
Today I deflated both tires, massaged beads away from rims, brushed on soapy water, applied 100 psi via compressor, and the tires popped out fully - "like butter". Took for test ride, no issues. They seem lighter than the stock OEM dogmeat tires, which are listed as 26mm -- these GP5000s are listed as 700x25 on the box. Used digital micrometer and the width at 100 psi was 26.2mm, whereas the stock OEM tires were 27.5mm at 100 psi. To me, that's a lot of rubber difference, i.e., weight delta. Overall, the rotational momentum needed to accelerate seemed much lower than the OEM tires - exactly why I installed GP5000s.
Went for long ride today, and OMG!, these Conti GP5000s provide a much smoother ride than the OEM tires, even at 100 psi. They're lighter and require less energy to spin (rotational momentum) which can be felt during pedaling. Since I also upgraded from the OEM flat pedals and wearing sneakers to Shimano Ultegra (one-sided clipless) pedals, black-yellow Shimano cleats with float, and Fizik Overcurve R4 cleated shoes, the energy efficiency is much higher. Next upgrade will be to Mercury S5 carbon-fiber wheelset, then possibly a hollow Shimano Dura-Ace crankset.