Two full-on race tyres go head-to-head
Both of these tyres are their respective manufacturers’ top-tier road tyre – designed for riding harder, faster and further at the expense of durability and puncture protection. The difference they will make to a bike clad in everyday commuter rubber is startling.
As a long-term user of both the GP4000s and Open Corsa Evo CX, I decided to put together this overview to help you decide which tyre is right for you.
Comfort / handling: tie
This is a very difficult one to call.
The Open Corsa Evo CX has the most amazing, buttery road feel which makes it a pleasure to ride even at full pressure. By comparison I find the Grand Prix 4000s to have a stiffer feel and to chatter more on uneven surfaces.
On the other hand, the superb grip of Continental’s Black Chilli compound – particularly noticeable when the road gets greasy – makes the GP4000s stand out over Vittoria’s offering when it comes to raw grip and assured cornering.
Don’t get me wrong – the GP4000s is very supple and the Open Corsa grips well enough – it’s just that either tyre excels at a different aspect of handling.
Durability: GP4000s II
Both the GP4000s and Open Corsa are race tyres which come with minimal sidewall protection and an emphasis on all-out speed. Neither will stand up to rough treatment and neither will stand up well to fields of broken glass either.
That said, the construction of the Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX is noticeably more slender than that of the GP4000s – the carcass is made of incredibly thin 320tpi ply while the tread practically looks painted on.
When you hold them in your hands there’s little doubt that the GP4000s is built to outlast its rival. That goes for mileage too – I’d be gobsmacked to get as many miles from an Open Corsa as I get from the Continental.
The Open Corsa EVO CX is an amazing tyre, but it makes no compromises to durability…
To be precise: in the 23mm size the GP4000s is 5g lighter (205g vs 210g) but in the 25mm size the Open Corsa Evo CX takes the lead, at 10g lighter (220g vs 230g).
Let’s be completely honest here – the grams separating these tyres won’t make an appreciable difference to you, regardless of the fact that it is rotating weight.
It’s just not a significant component of your power-to-weight ratio given that the mass of rider plus bike for the average reader of this site is probably going on for 100,000g (100kg).
Puncture Protection / Sidewall Protection: GP4000s
The GP4000s is the clear winner here, with a Vectran fibre breaker layer which does an excellent job defending the tyre from unwanted penetration.
At the end of the day, it is a race tyre and it’s not designed to spend time amongst fields of broken glass, but the Open Corsa Evo CX is sacrificing even more protection for all-out speed. I discovered this to my chagrin at a race recently, where I lost a place to an ill-timed tiny thorn worming past the Vittoria’s defences.
(GP4000s after a muddy ride. They *can* do this, but don’t get upset if you ride them to destruction…)
Rolling resistance: Open Corsa Evo CX
Both tyres perform stunningly well when it comes to rolling resistance, especially in the larger sizes.
However, bottom line it and the Vittoria Open Corsa is noticeably the faster tyre. The absolute suppleness on the road makes it feel like you’re riding with at least 15psi less in your tubes yet reaping the benefits of a hard road slick at the same time.
In many comparisons of tyre rolling resistance the Open Corsa comes out close to the top (with latex tubes) even against tubular tyres.
Styling: Open Corsa
This may be a bit of a silly category… but to me, Vittoria produces tyres which are simply more aesthetically pleasing than Continental. The GP4000s performs well and looks… utilitarian. The Vittoria performs well and looks… sporty!
Not that cycling has ever been about looks, right?
Conclusion: GP4000s II (unless you’re actually racing)
For my money, the tremendous performance of the Vittoria Open Corsa CX is handicapped by the tyre’s low mileage and lack of puncture protection. It may ride like a dream most of the time, but it’s expensive and sometimes you’ll find yourself reaching for the tyre levers at just the wrong moment!
In contrast the Continental GP4000s has the durability and enough puncture protection to give me confidence riding it further afield. It doesn’t hurt that the tyre is so tacky on greasy roads either, a condition that we have all too often in the UK.
Together these have to outweigh the fact that, deep down, I’m sure the GP4000s is not quite as nimble as the Open Corsa.
Looking for a good discount?
At the time of writing, both Chain Reaction and Wiggle have hefty discounts on the Grand Prix 4000s and less so on the Vittoria Open Corsa. However, you can often catch the Vittoria tyres going for a steal, so take a look to get the current price: