The Continental Grand Prix 5000 AS TR tyre launched in early 2023, promising improved wet-weather grip and overall longevity versus the brand’s GP5000 S TR tyre.
Continental says this makes it an ideal high-performance, “All-Season” tubeless road bike tyre.
It’s said to manage this through the addition of an extra layer of ply on the casing and a thicker tread versus the race-oriented GP5000 S TR, while modifying the Black Chili compound to grip better in wet conditions.
In all, the AS TR is a success, effectively becoming Continental’s leading all-season road tyre, without markedly compromising overall performance versus its highly rated sibling.
Continental Grand Prix 5000 AS TR details and specifications
The GP5000 AS TR is pitched as the German brand’s tubeless road training tyre, and is said to be tough enough to see you over “rough roads in bad weather”.
Interestingly, it doesn’t feature additional dedicated puncture protection compared to the GP5000 S TR (such as the DuraSkin layer you’ll find in the stalwart Grand Prix 4 Season clincher tyre). Instead, it leans on fortifying the casing and rubber tread to achieve a similar goal.
Taking a similar approach to Pirelli with its P Zero Race 4S clincher tyre, Continental has formed the tubeless AS TR with a thicker four-ply (layer) construction. This effectively creates a larger barrier between the air cavity and any detritus compared to the S TR (which has a three-ply casing).
The tyre features the brand’s Black Chilli compound, albeit slightly modified to grip better in wet weather
Under the rubber is a 4×110 TPI (threads-per-inch) vulcanised nylon casing. The thread count used here mirrors the S TR and even racier TT TR tyre, but, as previously noted, the GP5000 AS TR uses an additional ply of it to improve durability.
Although Continental stops short of claiming it directly, these choices hint towards a tyre designed to offer similar levels of performance to the S TR, but with added resilience against real-world puncture hazards.
The AS TR tyre is designed to be used tubeless, although there’s nothing stopping you running it with a tube should you want (or need) to. It’s suitable for both hooked and hookless rims.
The tyre features a visually similar tread on the shoulders to the S TR, albeit it’s said to be thickened slightly here to boost grip.
The tyre is available with cream sidewalls, or in the black version tested here complete with a low-profile ‘Black Reflex’ reflective band around the sides.
Both weigh as near-as-makes-no-difference the same (2g difference).
The main difference is a £5 price increase for the black sidewall versions.
A 700 x 28c black tyre weighs in at 343g (including a retaining band) on my scales, 63g more than a 28c tan-walled S TR.
It’s also available in 25c, 32c and 35c widths, the latter hinting that the AS TR could be used for light gravel riding duties too.
Continental Grand Prix 5000 AS TR performance
The Grand Prix 5000 AS TR has impressed me with its near-S TR levels of overall performance.
Prior to testing the AS TR, I’d been using the S TR (also in a 28c size) as part of another test, and found the two remarkably similar.
Given dry conditions, the AS TR offered much the same level of suppleness and confidence as the S TR, which is probably thanks to Continental’s decision not to ‘compromise’ on the casing.
Tip into a corner at speed, and there’s a sense of connection with the road surface, made all the more confidence-inspiring by the use of the Black Chili compound.
When run with suitable tyre pressures (I prefer around 70-75psi for a 28c tyre under my 80kg-plus build), I could push hard and trust the rubber would stick to the road.
In wet weather, I was also impressed, although I’m unconvinced if the purported tweaks to the compound make a stark difference.
Despite the claims of improved grip, I felt equally confident descending on the AS TRs in the wet as I do on the S TRs.
The S TRs may be compensating by offering a slightly more tactile feel through the thinner construction, or perhaps I’m simply not pushing the limits of what these tyres are capable of.
Either way, it’s important to remember a supple casing can make as much difference to cornering confidence as the tread compound.
In this instance, then, what Continental has given with one hand it may have taken away with the other.
That said, the extra rubber and layer of casing material also serves to reinforce the tyre against puncturing, which will lend greater confidence to anyone who likes to seek out rough back lanes on their rides.
I put the AS TRs through a tough test on a recent 100km Audax in Devon, in the south west of England, on roads littered with potholes and no shortage of poor-weather debris. I emerged with two significant cuts (one to each tyre), with one requiring the removal of some embedded flint.
Although the incidents didn’t trouble the tubeless setup into action – I was pleased for the presence of the fourth ply, at least – to experience such cuts on a single ride on a tyre designed for year-round use concerned me.
I’ve ridden similar-state roads on the GP 4 Season tyre before now, and not seen such ingress into the compound.
Of course, luck has its part to play in this single example. Nevertheless, where the GP 4 Season tyre leans more towards a sturdy build, the AS TR would appear to favour speed and grip over sheer resilience.
For context, Bicycle Rolling Resistance has also found that the AS TR is a very efficient tyre for its type, competing with some pure race tyres in terms of rolling resistance.
For those who felt the GP5000 S TR was too delicate, this GP5000 AS TR may strike a better balance of speed and durability.
However, if maximum puncture resistance is your main priority, I suspect you may be better off looking elsewhere.
Perhaps Continental will offer a tubeless Gatorskin-esque option in the future.
I was able to set up the 28c AS TR tyres on hooked Reynolds ATRx carbon rims (23mm wide internally) without undue trouble, popping into place with the use of my track pump. These rims helped the tyres expand to near-30mm wide when inflated.
It’s also worth noting the reflective band around the outside of the tyre. It’s good to have it there (any extra visibility through the early British springtime is a bonus, in my view), and it manages to achieve its aims.
However, after two months of testing, it has started to peel away in one area on one of the tyres, which is a small shame.
My tyres are press samples, which are often taken from the first production run. I hope this is either an isolated incident, or one that will be remedied with improved quality control or application with future manufacturing runs.
Continental Grand Prix 5000 AS TR bottom line
The Continental Grand Prix 5000 AS TR tyre offers near-S TR performance, but with added reassurance of a more resilient construction.
It certainly stays true to the GP5000 family ethos – this is a performance tyre first and foremost. As a result, those wanting the toughest resilience to punctures and other hazards may be happier opting for something designed to meet those demands.
However, if racy behaviour and excellent cornering confidence is what you prioritise in a tubeless tyre, then the AS TR is a strong option for year-round riding.