A tubeless alternative to Continental’s coveted endurance road tire
The Continental Gatorskin tire is revered for its incredible durability and puncture resistance. It’s an excellent option for riders who want a set-it-and-forget-it tire that can last upwards of three to four thousand road miles. However, with tubeless road tires on the rise, many loyal Gatorskin riders are switching to tubeless because of the improved ride quality, better puncture sealing, and faster roadside repair. While Continental has yet to release a tubeless Gatorskin tire, we will keep our fingers crossed and hope that someone hears our prayers. In the meantime, here is a great tubeless alternative to the Gatorskin.
Continental Grand Prix 5000 AS TR
Quietly released in Spring 2023, we think that the Continental Grand Prix 5000 AS TR is a sleeping giant. Designed around Continental’s race-winning Grand Prix tread, the AS TR (All Season, Tubeless-Ready) claims to be more puncture-resistant and provide better mileage than the more race-oriented 5000 S. To achieve this, Continental increased the thickness of the tread cap, added a multi-layer ply construction, and beefed up the sidewalls. The AS TR also offers some of the best wet weather grip of any road tires (unlike the Gatorskin which is known to perform poorly in the rain).
While they are billed as an endurance road tire, they are totally race-worthy – in the pro peloton, we saw teams using the AS TR to tackle the cobbles at the Spring Classics. With larger sizes available, the AS TR would also be an excellent tire for all-road or light gravel bikes – especially for races with a mix of asphalt and gravel. The only drawback to the AS TR is that it’s quite expensive compared to the Gatorskin. But you can expect to get high mileage out of these tires, which may be enough to justify the spend.
These GP 5000 AS TR tires have 1800 miles on them and are still looking pretty good. The tread cap on the rear tire shows some signs of flattening out but still appears to have plenty of life left. Riding in Chico, California the roads are rough, and rides often include light gravel – usually these conditions are hard on road tires.
700 x 28mm
Going tubeless with tube-type Gatorskins
In the early days of tubeless, some cyclists (especially mountain bikers) would simply use a tube-type tire to run tubeless since the options for tubeless-ready tires were slim. Today, with the proliferation of tubeless road tire options, there is no reason to go through this hassle. Using tube-type tires for tubeless is not only difficult to install, it’s downright dangerous. Modern tubeless road tires are precisely manufactured to ensure that the tire can’t be easily blown off the rim in the event of a flat. If you run tubeless with a tube-type tire, a flat could easily turn into a crash or a broken rim. It’s not worth the risk when there are so many safer options.
Interested in tubeless road tires but not quite sure what’s involved?
Check out our series of road tubeless articles: