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68662 Views 49 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2010 9:29 AM by Roland541 1 2 3 4 Previous Next
artgould Rookie 1 posts since
Sep 10, 2009
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Sep 10, 2009 9:59 AM

Best Road Bike Tires for combination of performance and no flats


I ride between 80 and 120 miles per week.  Mostly flat with some hills (function of where I live).  I'm looking for recommendations on tires to buy and where to buy them that are at the intersection of good riding tires (smoothness and handling) and good protection against flats, and where to buy them online.









  • metalrings Rookie 2 posts since
    May 19, 2009


    That is a tough question.  Depending on why, commuting or training or just for fun.  How much do you weigh, what kind of bike, what kind of roads....



    I ride in and around Atlanta GA, in town the roads are atrocious and I'm out for fun but I like to be with the front of the group.



    On my fast bike I run Contintal Ultra Gatorskins 700 x 25.  These are durable and handle OK, good wet and dry traction. The key to durability is thread count thehigher the more durable.  Kevlar and other puncture resistiant liners are good the Gatorskin has;



    "a super-fine 170 tpi casing, a bead-to-bead layer of DuraSkin™

    (polyamide fabric), with a Kevlar® reinforced layer. Lightweight tire

    provides excellent cornering and minimal rolling resistance." from the Continental website.



    You can get these almost anywhere just search for GATORSKIN and you'll get lots of hits.  I prefer REI as my source.



  • Gerry Rhoades Amateur 15 posts since
    Apr 9, 2009

    I bought some Maxxis Re-Fuse, 700x25 last winter and have put aobut 2,000 miles on them without a flat.  I was riding Continental Ultra Race and was getting flats at an alarming rate.  The Re-Fuse is cheaper than Ultra Gatorskins which is one reason I decided to try them, plus some people complain that the sidewalls on the Ultra Gatorskins are not very durable.  I don't know about that but the Re-Fuse is a very durable tire.  I often ride with a bunch of pretty fast guys on Saturday mornings and these tires are fast enough to keep up and I have no complaints about ride quality.  I just ordered a pair for my wife's new road bike, her first in over 20 years, so she doesn't have to worry about flats when she goes on rides without me.

  • vortexrob Rookie 2 posts since
    Jul 20, 2009

    I ride about the same amount of weekly miles as you do. I ride in

    northern New Jersey where the roads are, for the most part, in need of

    repair due to high bus and truck traffic. I also encounter a fair

    amount of curb or gutter trash where I'm forced to ride sometimes in

    high traffic situatiions.


    I ride 700x23c Vredestein Fortezza Tri Comps @ 130 lbs. and I have not flatted all season. Knock on wood!!! I used to ride Continentals, same

    size, the Attack/Force set, but flatted way to often. I ride with guys that had recently switched to the Michelin Pro

    3 Race tires and they seem to flat on a regular basis also. Another friend rides thetubeless Hutchinson Fusion 2 road tires and he has not flatted this season to my knowledge. They're expensive though and difficult to mount correctly.



    I get my tires, tubes, bar tape, etc., online from

    Their pricing and shipping rates are reasonable and I have not had a bad experience with them after 2 years.




    Be safe.














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  • centrider Rookie 3 posts since
    Sep 10, 2009

    Well, for sure you'll get a lot of info.  I'm running 700X23 Conti Gatoskins and have had good luck with them  Luck, I repeat.  I even run them at less than suggested psi.  Now that's on my Giant TCR.


    On my CoMotion Nor'Wester ( a touring bike) I'm using Schwalbe Ultremo 700X25 .  Both brands have been very good to me  (I live in Long Beach, CA).    Schwalbe is the tire if money is no object.  I would check out their website which if nothing else has lots of tire information.




    By the way, although I live and ride mostly in Long Beach/Orange County, CA I spend my summers in the Midwest (as Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin) and also in the Southwest (Arizona and Texas). which is known for sand burrs and goat heads without flatting in around 1500 miles/bike. Usually my flats occur in my home territory, reflecting the fact that I spend most of my riding time here, and that the streets are really loaded with sharp things.


    Message was edited by: centrider

  • Arawaks Rookie 3 posts since
    Jun 16, 2008


    I currently use Shimano  SPD pedals, they are very sure footed, once you are in you feel very secure. However the outside of my foot has been hurting and I am constantly looking at the pedals when clipping in. The Zero speedplay looks like a good fit but I am very worried about unintended releases.



    Any thoughts?



  • centrider Rookie 3 posts since
    Sep 10, 2009


    I have used speedplay frogs (their mtn bike peddles) for over 5 years.  No problems.  I ride with a woman who had the Speedplay Zero for longer than I've been on the Frogs and she's never had a problem.



    Follow instructions on set up, and care you'll never have a problem.



  • Silky__4 Amateur 34 posts since
    May 30, 2007


    In my opinion, the Contintal Gatorskins are the best high performance/all around tire for durability.  I ride 2-3,000 and then change them.  You can get more miles out of them if you rotate your front and back tires. had the best deal with free shipping on some of their promotions.  I always keep a new set on hand so I don't have to shop when I am desperate.



    I just checked and they are now $42.98



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  • TrekCasey Rookie 1 posts since
    Sep 11, 2009


    My average weekly miles are comparable, mainly thru the rolling hills around Gettysburg, PA, coupled with several rides on the eastern shore.



    At 6'4" 245 lbs. I've found that the Continental GRAND PRIX 4000's  - 160 psi (700x20) are ideal. The minimized rolling resistance (I think is rated at up to 20% less than other tires) is quite noticeable. My Trek, has a carbon fork and carbon rear wheel stays, which dampens any vibrations that might be generated by the high PSI. They ride smooth and handle well. They love the switichbacks, climbs and long descents that are afforded by the roads that run thru Gettysburg battlefields.  They really eat up a freshly paved road. You almost feel no resistance at all.



    I have over 1400 miles on the set, with only one flat. The flat was caused by a shard of metal, which would do in any tire.



    I bought the tires per a review in a prior edition of  Bicycling magazine, (spring '09), whereby the article's author, had ridden the recommended tires for over 5000 miles before experiencing his 1st flat.



    Hope this helps.









    Cheapest place to buy the tires, that I'm aware of....





    The GP4000 is one of the few tires that miraculously delivers on all fronts. It is light (205g 700x23), offers tremendous puncture protection (due to a Vectran puncture protection layer), and provides amazing handling and low rolling resistance (Continental is an industry leader in developing rubber compounds).



    For years, Continental has been known as an industry leader in bicycle tires. The GP4000 is a byproduct of ingenious engineers employing the most advanced materials available. The result is one of the fastest, most durable and best feeling tires on the market.





    • Vectran Puncture Resistance - Vectran is a liquid crystal polymer that is both light, flexible and strong. It has been used by NASA in the construction of both space shuttles and suits. Continental has patented its use in bike tires, which allows their tires to remain extremely light, while offering tremendous puncture protection.

    • Black Chili Rubber Compound - The new Black Chili material incorporates rubber compound particles roughly ten times smaller (10nm in diameter, otherwise known as 0.00000001m) than what is typically used in bicycle tires. This creates a denser rubber, without adding more material. Denser rubber increases a tires ability to conform (grip) to the road, while also increasing durability. The Black Chili compound is also more resistant to UV rays, which contribute to cracking and premature tire wear.

    • Tire Wear Indicators - There are two little dimples in the center of the GP4000, these are wear indicators. When the dimples wear flat, it's time for a new tire.


    Available in 10 different colors and 4 sizes (650x23, 700x20/23/25). Kevlar bead, folding tire. Max pressure: 125psi (700x23) 160 psi (700x20). Weight: 190g (650x23/700x20), 205g (700x23), 215g (700x25).



    Black Chili rubber is rich in Silica, which happens to be black. The colored versions of the GP4000 use a slightly different rubber compound with a lower silica content.






  • Neibe1 Rookie 3 posts since
    Jul 24, 2009

    Vredestein tricomp over 6000 miles and no flats

  • RobertoM Rookie 1 posts since
    Aug 21, 2008

    I run Michelin Krylion Carbon 23mm tires on my Giant OCR C2 road bike. I weigh about 175-178 lbs, and ride about 5,000 miles a year on that bike. I finally wore out the rear tie after about 5,000 miles, with only one flat. I was worn through to the belt in two little places, so I changed it out to a less worn tire before a Century ride. Good tire. Conti Gatorskins are good tires as well--a bit tougher and perhaps longer wearing than the Krylion, but the Krylion has a smoother ride. Neither corners as well as say a Michelin Pro Race, but if you don't race or corner really aggresively, go for longer wear over grip.

  • blbrown470124 Rookie 2 posts since
    Aug 24, 2009

    I've ridden with Speedply Zero's for the last five years and have had no problems. They offer an adjustable "float" that allows you to have a little more range of motion as you pedal. The only downside is the size of the cleat; make sure to get the "coffee shop" covers if you buy them

  • Trifrick Rookie 2 posts since
    Nov 26, 2007

    You can't go wrong with Specialized Armadillo's. I ride the Elite - lighter weight but bullet proof.  Not race tires but great for commuting and just riding.

  • centrider Rookie 3 posts since
    Sep 10, 2009


    I think I've already cited the Schwalbe Ultremo.  But I have an addition:  A couple of days ago, I was inspecting those tires and noticed what seemed to me to be a separation of the tread from the rest of both tires.



    Keep in mind I mounted these tires in Feb of this year and had 1500 miles.  I emailed Schwalbe who then requested pictures of the tires and the lot numbers. Anyway, I'm getting a new set of tires.






  • Road Bike Amateur 10 posts since
    Aug 9, 2008


    My commute back and forth to work takes me over busy city streets.  Sometimes I run over glass before I see it.  I have to have puncture resistant tires on both of my bikes. 



    I've had great luck with 700 X 23 Bontrager hard case tires on my Giant FCR-1 fitness bike.  8,000 miles later, I just bought my 4th set.  In all those miles, there were only 2 flats.  The first was from a huge staple.  The second was from glass that got imbedded in the tread when the tire was really worn and ready to replace.  There is a slight weight penalty for this tire, but they do okay at 120 psi and last about 2,500 miles per set.  They're solid, strong, great commuter tires and good bang for the buck. 



    In April, I bought a Trek Madone road bike.  Right away, I started asking opinions for replacement tires.  I wanted tires that would be high performance, yet still offer better than average puncture resistance.  Most of those surveyed chose Continental Grand Prix 4000 tires.  They have favorable rolling resistance, give a nice ride, and have great puncture resistance.  I installed a set on Saturday and have ridden 80 miles on them so far.  My first impression is that they are better than the Bontrager tires that came on the Trek.  The rubber is grippier; I like the handling.   I would recommend them based on the 80 miles.  We'll see how they stand the test of time.  






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