The 16 Best Road Bike Tires in 2020

Jan Poshenko
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Are you thinking about the best road bike tires for your cycling adventures? When it comes to choosing the right road bike tire, there are many options available on the market that can be difficult to choose from.

For that reason, I’ve rated over sixteen of the best road bike tires to buy overall in 2017.

If you’re having the hardest time finding the right road bike tires for your budget, purpose, and cycling scope, you’ve come to the right place!

All you have to do is scroll down to read my in-depth product descriptions and reviews.

Make sure you use your head when you’re choosing the right ones for your next cycling adventure.

Here are the best road bike tires to consider buying.

NameCategoryProduct
Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II Bike TireBest Overall
Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II Bike Tire
WTB ThickSlick Comp tireBudget Pick
WTB ThickSlick Comp tire
SCHWALBE Durano Black Wire Bead TireUpgrade Pick
SCHWALBE Durano Black Wire Bead Tire

1. Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II Bike Tire

Our rating: 9 / 10


Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II Bike Tire

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Continental is my preferred tire brand and I test every tire, of any brand, against their products first.

I still think Continental makes the best road bike tires.

2. Continental Contact Speed Bike Tire

Our rating: 8 / 10


Continental Contact Speed Bike Tire

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Pros:

  • Continental PureContact series provides grip, puncture protection, and a smooth ride.
  • Continental provides a long tread life.
  • The easy fitting Klever protection belt adds a bit of aero benefits and provides additional puncture protection.
  • Weighs less than competing tires.

The Continental Alpine Contact is a slick tubeless specific road bike tire geared toward endurance efforts. The Continental Pure Contact Tour is a mountain bike specific tire that weighs a bit more, but is an option that comes 27c.

The Continental Pure Contact is the tire that won the 2017 USITT (United States Independent Tire Technologies) race and is favored among racers who prefer endurance.

The Continental Pure Contact comes in a 29mm wide size. While it comes across to some as a skinny tire, 29mm is considered in the middle of the road when it comes to performance options. It’s not too skinny and not too fat. 29mm is the perfect balance between the two. It works with the rim size that you choose to compliment your bike.

3. WTB ThickSlick Comp tire

Our rating: 8 / 10


WTB ThickSlick Comp tire

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Pros:

  • I love the durability of these tires.
  • ThickSlick is a fantastic tire for long rides.

Cons:

  • The tread does not do well in slick conditions.

4. SCHWALBE Durano Black Wire Bead Tire

Our rating: 8 / 10


SCHWALBE Durano Black Wire Bead Tire

Check Price on Amazon

Okay, this is not the most beautiful tire on the market but boy, can it hold its own when it comes to performance. The name would suggest it, the Durano line is developed for the ultimate comfort and efficiency. It features all of the attributes you would expect from a high-end road tire: balance of grip and rolling resistance, low weight, low rolling resistance, puncture protection, long life.

Two models are specific for the US market: The Durano and the Durano Plus. Size options are 23c, 25c and 28c.

The Black-Wire casing ensures a low weight and, according to Schwalbe, 30% more puncture protection. Pricing is at a good value level which makes the Durano a serious competitor of the well-established Continental Grand Prix, Vittoria Rubino and many more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best tires for road bikes?

For the purposes of this article, we won’t be considering hybrid tires. They’re usually a compromise between versatile road tires and the durable knobbies used on dedicated mountain bikes.

Why do I keep getting flat tires on my road bike?

With the huge proliferation of puncture-resistant tires over the past couple of decades, including the trend of using tires that are more low-volume than typical training bike tires, the number of flats cyclists are experiencing has been on the decline.

However, if you occasionally find yourself with a flat tire, try not to be too discouraged.

If you have a tire that is fitted to your bike correctly, and haven't made any drastic changes to your riding habits, it is very likely that something else is to blame.

In this guide, we hope to show you the top road bike tires you can buy in 2019. Hopefully, these tires will help you avoid punctures when you're riding, but if you do, you'll be able to fix it quickly so you back on the road in no time.

How long do tires last on a road bike?

Tires that are used for road biking typically last anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 miles. This is a rather wide range that depends on many factors, including the number of miles you ride, the tires that you use, and the level of rider you are.

Many road cyclists typically top out around about 3,000 miles, but it is possible to get even more out of them if you ride sensibly and take good care of the tires.

You should definitely check for tire wear, specially when you hit the 2,000 mile mark, and replace the tires as needed.

How much difference do Tyres make on a road bike?

Although many manufacturers are now supplying their entry-level bikes with slicks and keeping the knobbly mountain bike tires (which actually make a huge difference) to higher end models, it is actually possible to find road bikes in all price points with either.

For many, the difference between a good day on the road and a bad one can come down to the tires that are on their bike and, more than that, the quality of said tires.

Many bicycle tires may already come with puncture protection within the tread, but that is likely not enough to keep the bike and rider safe. This is probably why many manufacturers are going for proper touring tires in their 2017 models.

The most important thing to remember about road bike tires is that they are not all created equal. In fact, many are at opposite ends of the range when it comes to performance, as well as cost.

Conclusion

There are a lot of things you need to consider when purchasing a road bike tire. We’ve made sure to cover all the questions that you’re probably asking yourself when looking for a road bike tire. Price, tread, durability, puncture- resistance, warranty … you name it, we’ve got it covered. We believe we’ve identified the 15 best road bike tires in the market, and even with the little time and effort we’ve put into this guide, it’s still our most popular guide. Come and see for yourself.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II Bike TireBest Overall
Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II Bike Tire
WTB ThickSlick Comp tireBudget Pick
WTB ThickSlick Comp tire
SCHWALBE Durano Black Wire Bead TireUpgrade Pick
SCHWALBE Durano Black Wire Bead Tire