The Top 5 Road Bicycle Tires Reviewed
While paint and design often catch your eye, the tires on a road bike make a huge difference in the quality of your ride.
A good set of tires can reduce the effort you exert pedaling, give you better performance when you turn, and mean the difference between a smooth ride and a lousy one.
Anyone who is serious about cycling knows that quality tires are not optional.
Below, we are going to reveal everything you need to know about choosing a good road bike tire and some of the best options on the market at the moment.
The importance of a good road bike tire
The significance of a good road bike tire should never be overlooked. When it comes to bikes, we give a lot of thought to the composition, weight, and frame. However, it is just over two cm of tread that keeps us connected to the road, and this is why you need to choose a road bike tire with a lot of care and consideration. Good tires can lower rolling resistance while also improving traction and comfort so that you enjoy a more efficient and faster ride.
There are other reasons why you need good road bike tires as well. This includes the fact that choosing carefully will enable you to benefit from tires that are highly durable and can last for months and months without experiencing a puncture. Not only is this beneficial in terms of convenience but it will also save you a lot of money in the process as well.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best Road Bike Tires are the Continental Grand Prix 5000.
Best Road Bike Tires
There are more varieties of tires available than bikes to put them on. Each were designed for specific conditions, and no two are identical. That makes finding the right set of bicycle tires for your needs a daunting task. To help you spend more time riding and less searching, we present our picks for the best road bike tires:
There is only one place to begin, and this is with the GP5000 road bike tire offered by Continental, which is a tire giant from Germany. Their GP4000 tire had long been popular, and the GP5000 is the upgraded version, so you know that you are in for a treat.
You can expect all of the features that you get with the GP4000 tire and more. It features an updated Black Chilli rubber compound. You can also expect Lazer grip, active comfort technology, and Vectran Breaker. As well as this, there is one big difference between the two tires. This is the casing layup. With the GP5000, you can expect three layers of 110 TPI for a 330 TPI claim. The former version had three layers of 60 TPI.
Another difference with this new tubeless tire is the fact that the inner liner supplies a chamber that is airtight and the construction of the bead is so that there is a soft outer material, providing greater ease when installing. The tire remains inflated on its own because of the liner, yet it is still a good idea to use a sealant so that you can stop small punctures from occurring.
As you may have gathered, there are a lot of small changes that have been made to this newer version. However, small differences most certainly add up in the end. You can expect all of the hallmarks of the previous version, which was loved so much, yet it is delivered in a much better way. This tire has no compromises. It is a high-quality product that is resistant to punctures, grippy, and very fast too.
- Black Chili - A unique tread compound, produced only in Germany, that's answered the eternal question of the best balance of grip and Rolling resistance for cycling
- Active Comfort Technology - Embedded technology in the tire construction that absorbs vibrations and smoothens your ride
- Lazergrip - Lazer micro profile structure expands over the tire’s shoulder and provides outstanding cornering
- Vectran Breaker - A liquid-crystalline polymer with enormous tear resistance at a very low weight
- Handmade in Germany - Constructed and tested by skilled craftsman in Cronbach Germany
Next, we have an offering from Vittoria, and this is their Zaffiro tire. If you are looking for a high-end option, this tire is not going to fit the bill. However, if you are looking for something more affordable that is going to tick all of the boxes, you will definitely be happy with this tire. It has a tough casing and it is very durable. You can expect a long and puncture-free ride when going down this route.
Plus, when you compare these tires to other road bike tires on the market, you will notice that they are a lot more affordable. If you do not want to break the bank on a new pair of tires for your road bike, this is a good solution to look at. You also have three different sizes to choose from – 28 mm, 25 mm, and 23 mm.
- Durable tread compound for high mileage riding
- Tread pattern optimized for low rolling resistance plus cornering traction
- 26 TPI casing for durability and toughness
- 700c and 27" size options
We’re back to the mega tire brand of Continental but this time we are looking at a different range. The Gatorskin is a tire that can do it all. It is suitable for commuting, training, and sportives. Despite not being a full-on winter tire, a lot of people do use this tire for winter riding as well. You can add an extra layer of puncture protection by opting for the Gatorskin Hardshell version.
This is a tire that has been on the market for quite a while now. It offers puncture protection thanks to the bead-to-bead layer of Conti’s Duraskin. It also comes in a number of different sizes, ensuring you are able to find the perfect tire for your bike and requirements.
A lot of people also prefer this tire because it is one of the more affordable solutions on the market. It is certainly a lot cheaper than the Continental tire we reviewed first in the post. Despite this, it has a similar tread pattern when compared with the GP4000 and GP5000. This means that it has small side grips and is predominantly slick. It also has wear indicators in the middle of the tread.
They also offer a subtle and fast ride. Most people report that they have not had much bad luck in terms of flat tires or punctures with this tire, and so that’s another plus point to keep in mind!
- CARBON BLACK MIXTURE- The Gatorskin, manufactured with a durable carbon black mixture, is as comfortable on the way to work as it is training for road races.
- POLYXBREAKER- The polyester fibers overlap during manufacturing, yielding a very dense fabric and minimal space in-between threads, making the PolyX highly resistant to any foreign body without reducing the rolling resistance.
- DURASKIN- Sidewall protection coming from the high quality polyamide fabric encasing the core casing of the tire from scuffs and cuts under the worst conditions.
- WEAR OPTIMIZED TREAD- Get the most out of your tire with the Gatorskin’s wear optimized tread compound, adding a long service life.
- HANDMADE IN GERMANY-Continental has been hand making their tires since 1871, maintaining the integrity of tradition, while evolving with the most advanced technology.
Pirelli is a name that we seem to associate more with Formula 1 than cycling. While it may not be a brand name that is synonymous with the sport, it has certainly made a comeback in recent years. This is especially the case when the announcement of the Pirelli P Zero Velo came back in 2017. This is a tire that certainly gave Pirelli fans something to get excited about.
In fact, a lot of people actually do not realize that Pirelli has a long history when it comes to road bikes. This dates back to 1909 and the first Giro d’Italia. Back then, over half of the cyclists taking place used Pirelli tires. In fact, Fausto Coppi, who won the Giro d’Italia five times rode using Pirelli tires during his peak.
Pirelli has leveraged their experience in motorbike racing and car racing when it comes to the creation of this tire. You can expect very low rolling resistance and supple due to the proprietary SmartNet rubber compound that has been used in the creation of this road bike tire. You also have three different sizes to choose from – 28 mm, 25 mm, and 23 mm.
- Superior handling for a confident and safe ride
- At its core, the patented Pirelli smart net Silica
- The PZERO VELO sets a new standard in bicycle clincher performance
- The rubber belt, the design of its pattern and the cross section all are at the heart of the performances of a tire: the contact point between the ground and the bicycle.
- Derived from our vast motorsport experience, on both 4 wheels and 2 wheels, whether on- or off-road, Pirelli’s Smart NET Silica is an important innovation in bicycle tire compound technology.
Last but not least, we have the Michelin Power series. The brand states that this range has taken off where the Pro series left off. We’re big fans of the Endurance tire but it is worth noting that there are three tires in this range in total. However, the Endurance tire is in the middle of the spectrum, so it is a good option to go for. The All Season tire is for winter miles and Competition is when you need a faster tire. The Endurance tire is made to last, and yes, it does live up to this name!
If you are looking for a tire that is going to be able to handle all types of terrain without any punctures or problems, this is definitely the sort of tire you should opt for. In fact, the brand claims that 200 tested riders rode 200,000 km puncture-free. This is a very bold claim, to say the least. However, these tires have been tested on some of the most shocking roads and there have not been any problems or incidents, so we would not be surprised to learn that the claim is 100 percent true.
There are a number of other plus points when it comes to this road bike tire over the other options that are available. This includes the fact that they provide more grip, giving you greater speed around the bends. You will not find your bike sliding about, even under heavy braking. In addition to this, Aramid Protek + has been added to this tire. This is a super high-density reinforcement that runs beneath the rubber’s central channel, stopping just short of the sidewalls. This is another great feature that adds to the quality of the tire and makes it an option you should consider very seriously.
Road Bike Tire Buyer’s Guide
Here is a great YouTube video explaining everything you need to know about road bike tires: