German brand Continental is one of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers and has been creating bicycle tyres since its inception in 1871.



Continental was founded in Hannover, Germany, in 1871, 15 years before the first automobile was manufactured. It started out by manufacturing rubberised fabrics for raincoats, hot-water bottles, and solid tyres for bicycles and carriages.

After 20 years, Continental had its first major breakthrough, becoming the first German company to create a pneumatic tyre for bicycles in 1892. While the technology has changed over time, most modern bikes still use pneumatic tyres of some kind.

With the emergence and popularisation of motor vehicles, Continental’s attention turned to automobile tyres for the first half of the 20th century, leading to multiple innovations. The first Mercedes car was fitted with the brand’s tyres, plus the company developed a cord tyre, adopted carbon black material for its tyres, and filed a patent for a tubeless car tyre in 1943.

A period of international expansion ensued over the second half of the century, but by the time the company reached the 2000s, it was ready to move its cycling production to China to protect profits. That all changed when Jörg Malcherek, then marketing director for the cycling division, came up with the ‘Deutsche Technik’ (German Technology) slogan. With that German-inspired slogan, the brand kept most of its production in Germany where the majority of its premium tyres are still produced, including the famous Grand Prix and Gatorskin ranges. In 2018 that production expanded with Continental creating its first tubeless road tyre, the Grand Prix 5000 TL.

Alongside the road range, Continental also manufactures mountain bike and gravel tyres, plus also has a wide range of tubes, clothing and other accessories.

Did you know?

The horse on Continental’s logo was first used in 1875 and has been present ever since. It’s inspired by the coat of arms for the city of Hannover, where the company was founded, with the horse symbol used regularly throughout the region.

Pro cycling

Current sponsorships

  • Tour de France
  • Bahrain Victorious
  • Groupama FDJ
  • FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope
  • INEOS Grenadiers
  • Movistar
  • Arkéa-Samsic
  • UAE Team Emirates
  • UAE Team ADQ


  • Just over twenty years after it was founded, Continental became the first German company to create a pneumatic bicycle tyre in 1892. The same concept is still used on modern tyres.
  • Even by the early twentieth century, Continental was already a global company which sponsored multiple professional athletes, most notably Lucien Petit-Breton who won back-to-back Tours de France using Continental tyres in 1907 and 1908.
  • With the industry increasingly embracing tubeless technology, Continental released its first tubeless road tyre in 2018, the Grand Prix 5000 TL. Multiple versions have been released since.
  • In 2019 Continental became one of the main sponsors of the Tour de France, cycling’s biggest race and one of the largest sporting events in the world.
  • Continental’s success at cycling’s biggest race continued in 2023 as over a third of stage wins at the Tour de France were taken using tyres from the German brand, eight in total.

Top Continental Stories

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The ContiTPU is Continental's lightest inner tube

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