Ever wonder what happens when you put a tire on the wrong way?

Which way is the correct way for conti 5000s?

I’ve always gone pointy end forward on top of the wheel but was never really sure

1 Like

Why does the rolling resistance get (a lot) worse?

Thats correct but there is also an arrow on the side of the tyre.

Pretty sure it makes no difference for GP5ks though.

1 Like

It makes a massive difference. You can’t go to any coffee stop without someone pointing it out if it’s the wrong way :wink:


That’s half of what coffee shops are about: trendy folks imposing trendy social norms.

The other half is addicts feeding their jones. ;-D If you kick your habit maybe you can roll with your tires on backward unimpeded by social pressures.


Continental GP5k…This is looking from the drive side.

And this is from Continental is all I’ve ever really found regarding the directional arrow. Again, for the GP5k if it makes a difference it’s not noticeable. Not saying there couldn’t be. But, just not worth much worry IME.

Now to be clear, for some off road tires the direction plays a much more noticeable roll and care should be taken to mount directionally correctly.


I don’t think the GP, GP3000 or the original GP4000 had those arrows. I certainly never noticed them. I only read on a forum 3 or 4 years ago that there was a hard to read arrow and sure enough I had my tires on backwards. :slight_smile:

I think they added the arrows around the time of the GP4000 II S.


I remember there being a big discussion about running Motorsport slick tyres (specifically Kart tyres) backwards (they tend to wear heavily on one side and this could be a way to extend their useable life in theory).

There was a point made, though I never really knew if it was true, that if you ran the tyres backwards they would essentially unravel due to the way the rubber is applied.

From what I’ve seen of tyre manufacture I’d have no qualms running a tyre the wrong way in terms of failure or anything. I’d see it as having a potentially dramatic effect (both positive or negative) on MTB/maybe gravel, but I can’t see there being much effect at all on road. The siping is so miniscule :man_shrugging:.

I understand that Brandt is a giant in the history of cycling… I’m not willing to take everything as gospel though.

I have more than a few issues from my (admittedly non-tire expert stance) reading of that quoted info.

I don’t generally like any sort of moto - bike comparison, but since it was brought up in there…
Why do they use specific wet tires with pattern/grooves in MOTOGP rain? It’s a way bigger money/tech/science sport than road bike racing is, so I assume it’s done for reasons after careful development/consideration.

1 Like

In this case, he is correct….the contact patch is so small and the pressure applied in such a finite area that whatever tread patterns are used on road tires are for marketing purposes only. Even in wet roads it doesn’t accomplish what tread does on a car tire (give water a place to go) because the contact point is so small, it pushes the water pit of the way anyway.

The above is all based on multiple conversations with tire product guys over the years….


I’ve heard schwalbe mention this too. They said the tread on the pro ones was only for marketing because there were people out there that wouldn’t purchase a slick even though tread served no purpose on a road tire.


I purposely did not mention car tires for a reason…

I have a bit of background experience in vehicle dynamics etc, yes it is super clear to me in terms of cars given the very different shape of a car tire vs a bike/moto tire, the way a car turns vs how a bike/moto turns, the PSI in a car tires contact patch and how it is distributed vs a bike/moto…

I don’t at all deny that there is a visual and marketing perception aspect… Even for me it is easy to simplify and associate slick with road, patterns with more aggressive all-around or off road use etc… Product people love creating constructs of differentiation so that there are more categories and more products that people must have.

Right, but most people don’t get that….they associate tread with “performance” or something that is “necessary” on a tire.

On a road tire, tread doesn’t accomplish anything in terms of performance (I’ll leave aside the discussion of aerodynamics as it pertains to tread patterns as that is not what we are discussing here)


I still am not 100% there in agreeing with such a black/white statement in the Jobst quote… But of course I’d also say that I’ve never had the sensation of hydroplaning on even the wettest rides my bike with slick tires, whereas I’ve definitely had it on numerous occasions in the car.

I think you just answered your own question. It may be because how we relate to car tires that make us feel like we need tread on a road bike tire. At same time manufacturers say its useless, but we’ll put tread on to make people all warm inside.

1 Like

I know I’m being a PITA, but going to my original response, it was regarding the quote that “motorcycles have shown that tread patterns do not improve wet traction.”. I still think that is not a true/up to date statement.

Because of physics, you really can’t compare two completely different sports. A wider motorbike tyre can go fast enough to properly aqua plane and they want to avoid that. Whereas cycling, a completely different sport, has a tyre which is too narrow and can’t go fast enough (relatively) to properly aqua plane. On road at least, tread is only for show (a sales gimmick, folk expect it so its better selling), a narrow tyre (on road) actually cuts through water like a knife through butter. Off road, with loose surfaces adding another dimension, tread is needed on a bike however :+1:


I’d heard the tread on a GP5000 is for aerodynamics. Contis are supposed to test well in the wind tunnel and to do that you need a small amount of tread on the shoulder