Editor’s Note: A month ago, we launched a new regular feature called RBR Favorites, providing a rundown from RBR Contributors on our favorites across the spectrum of components, nutrition, clothing, accessories, you name it. That first column focused on tires: The Tires We Ride. (Click to read that column.)
In launching the new feature, we also wanted to hear from readers about your favorites, urging you to join in the fun either by commenting below the article or using the form at Tell Us About Your: Favorites (you can always find that link in the Talk to RBR section on every page of the site.) We’ll gather up your submissions and run them as a follow-up to each RBR Favorites article).
What follows is reader feedback to that first piece, The Tires We Ride. Enjoy!
Alan Medcalf of Brockville, Ontario
I average about 6,000 km a year (northern climate!) and have tried many different tires for countryside cruising and supported touring. My touring bike is built on a CX frame and I run Conti 4-Season 28’s. My road bike is a Specialized Roubaix Di2, running Conti GP4000SII 25’s. Conti’s Grand Prix 4000 tires seem to get incrementally better and better, and the 25’s run so well on all roads and in all conditions.
I like Vittoria Diamante Pro tires. I’m not a “pro” and cycle only ’bout 1,200 miles a year, but they have served me well. The first time I put them on I thought they were going flat. The difference was that striking. They don’t claim much duability but I’ve found them to wear well.
In order of price (descending): Vittoria Evo Corsa CX, Conti GrandPrix 4000 S II, Vittoria Diamonte Pro, Michelin Pro 4 Endurance. The more expensive “race” tires are grippier but at the expense of durabilty/wear. Would like to try the Schwalbe Ones but they’re hard to find and expensive.
My favorite tires are whatever expensive tires I can find on a really cheap sale price that received high reviews in wear and puncture resistance. Thus, I never pay more than $32 for a tire and still get $55 plus tires. I’m not brand-specific because I’ve ridden several brands that I was very pleased with.
Compass 700×26, 700×28 extra lite, Specialized S-Works 700×26 Turbo. All are light and have extra-resilient casings.
Favorite tires are Schwalbe One tubeless 700 X 23’s with Stan’s sealant.
Conti GP4000 tires in several evolutions, starting many years ago with 23 mm and now on 25 mm. The colored tires (last ones were silver) get about 1,000 miles less per tire, but with all-black tires I got about 4,000 miles out of the 23 mm and closer to 4,500 with the 25 mm. Now on Conti GP4000S II, 25 mm. Should have added my weight – 175-180 lb. Power output is the biggest determinant of the rate of tire wear, and heavier riders put out more power to hold the same speed.
I saw the LIT tires on sale and as I had already decided to go to a wider tire than the Specialized Armadillo 23’s, I decided to take a chance. They just clear the frame of my 1992 Specialized Epic Allez. I find the ride to be very comfortable and the tires grip very well in corners. I find myself cornering faster and leaning the bike harder into turns. These tires only come as 28’s but I think that with my rims they are actually a bit narrower.
Was running Conti 4000sll in 700×25 on my Cervelo S3 until a jammed stone sliced a tire. Now trying Ultegra tubeless rims with Schwalbe One Pro easy tubeless tires with 80/90psi. Absolute magic. Smooth and comfortable and fast. I race on them and have done 200km brevets on them. Will eventually change all wheels to tubeless.
Love 28mm Grand Bois or Compass tires. They’re 29mm wide on my 23mm rims, 27+ on narrower Mavics. I get a great ride, about 3,000 miles on the rear tire (after it’s been on the front that long), low rolling resistance and very few flats. I also use the 32mm versions when I want to slow the steering when carrying panniers on a multi-day tour.
I ride 25 mm Continental Gatorskins on both bikes, Trek 2500 Aluminum and Litespeed Siena. Although I’m 195 pounds, I get away with air pressure as low as 80 front and 90 rear. I get a comfortable ride, hardly ever flat and good mileage of around 3,500.
I ride Panaracer tires, which last forever. I also use Panaracer tubes (the ones that come in plastic boxes), which are more expensive but lightweight, last a long time and have talc inside to point out holes without having to find water.
I live in a rural area where a variable patchwork of hard surface road greets the bicyclist. Band-aid repairs are prevalent. I use Continental’s variably named Gatorskins, Duraskins, Gatorshells.
Continental Gatorskins, 25c with 80lbs pressure front and rear. I’ve ridden this combination for over 20 years. Every ride takes me over approximately a mile of clam shell’s compliments of seagulls. When I get a puncture it usually means the tires are worn out.
Tell us what your Favorites are by commenting below this article or or using the form at Tell Us About Your: Favorites.
—John Marsh & The RBR Team
Roger Fobair says
I have always ridden on tubulars for 50 years now and still counting. Over the past 10 years I switched from riding on Tufo S-33 Special 21mm tubulars to something more comfortable and durable. Six years ago I switched to Continental Sprinter Gatorskin 22mm tubulars and consistently got 3000+ miles on the rear tire and 6000+ miles on the front tire. Three years ago I changed to the 25mm version of the same tire and wondered why I didn’t do that sooner. I weigh 145 and have adjusted air pressure accordingly for thewider section tire to 58psi in the front and 90psi in the rear with no negative affect on speed or rolling resistance and a very good improvement in comfort. With this combination of tire and air pressure I’m consistently getting 4000+ miles on the rear tire and 8000+ miles on the front tire, with no flats since using the Contis in the past six years, and just one flat with the Tufos about eight years ago. Tubulars have only continued to improve over the years and with this kind of reliability do not present any hassles for me. I use sealant to stop any slow leaks that might develop (over 5 years since I last had to do that) and I use Carogna Tubular Gluing Tape (as reviewed and recommended by Jim Langley) which was a good improvement over the Tufo gluing tape I used previously. I typically ride 3000+ miles/year on plenty of rough pavement in Iowa and Illinois and must say my experience with these Conti tubulars is worry-free, fast, yet comfortable riding.