Last Updated on November 24, 2020 by Johannes Kristjansson
The only thing between you and the road are your bike tires. When you are cycling at fast speeds, dodging obstacles, and flying around sharp curves, who’s got your back?
The best road bike tires are. It’s no secret that road bike tires can make or break your performance.
Don’t settle here. Get the best road bike tires you can for you and your bike.
Top 4 Picks for Best Road Bike Tires
1. Continental Grand Prix 4000s II Cycling Tire
The Continental Grand Prix 4000s II Cycling Tire is in a word, sublime. They are quickly becoming a favorite among road cyclists and for good reason.
This is a road bike tire that is going to enhance your performance. Let’s take a look at what makes these road bike tires so special.
- Vectran Breaker
Tear resistant and low weight; a lethal combination
- Substantial Grip
Some riders even claim a “sticky” feeling
- 5 Sizes Available
650×23, 700×20, 700x23C, 700x25C and 700x28C
- Extremely Low Rolling Resistance
For faster speeds
- Puncture Protection
Don’t sweat the small stuff
- 2 Tires Per Package
We’ve got all the cyclist jargon out of the way. Now let’s see where these specifications really shine through.
Connected to Road
That sticky feeling? It’s one of those things that is hard to describe until you try them out. It really connects with the road though.
It makes taking sharper turns and accelerating quicker. If you are a racer, you know how much this will help your time. If you aren’t a racer, it’s going to make you feel more safe and in control of your bike.
This one should be easy to see. If you can accelerate quicker, take sharper turns, and keep a higher speed, you are automatically going to enhance your performance. More control of your bike means better control of your performance.
Variety of Sizes
I like that you have 5 different sizes to choose from with the Continental Grand Prix 4000s II Cycling Tire. You have options to pick from that suit your needs and style the best. Finding the right tire size can be a priceless asset for your performance and comfort.
Two for the Price of One
Can’t beat that deal. Two tires per package is a great steal.
This is some crazy stuff. It is very high-tech and pretty insane to hear how they make it. It’s a synthetic fiber that they took from a natural model.
Not just any model, but spider silk! So, Vectran is actually an LCP, or liquid-crystalline polymer. They melt the liquid down into a multi-strand thread.
Why go through all this trouble for a road bike tire? Easy answer here. It’s really light weight, it’s tear resistant, more flexible, and has major puncture resistance.
All this is accomplished while maintaining that sticky, grippy, quality you are going to love. Anyone else thinking of Spider-man right now? I sure am.
- Increased Speed
Vectran material allows for more control to increase speeds safely
- Increased Traction
Grippy tires adhere to the road nicely
- 2 Tires in Package
Quite the bargain
- Puncture Protection
Safely travel without fear of a small rock or stick blowing a tire out
Seem to be issues with tires blowing out after high mileage.
- Defective Bulging Issue
This one ties in with the durability. After high miles, a bulge can settle in and your tire would need to be replaced.
A little on the spendy side, but well worth it if you are serious about your road bike tires.
The Continental Grand Prix 4000s II Cycling Tires are premiere quality road bike tires. I love the Vectran material and all the ways it can enhance your performance.
I would snatch these up as quick as you can if you are wanting the best road bike tires. Spidey senses sold separately.
2.Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire
The Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire are one for the books. They are known worldwide for being superior quality.
It was hard not to rank these higher, but I think you will see why I chose them for second place on my list.
- Continental’s Poly X Breaker
Two words: Puncture Resistance
- Designed to be Durable
What Continental is known for
- Wear Optimized Tread Compound
Talking some serious high mileage here
- 10 Sizes Available
27 x 1.25 inch, 650 x 23 mm, 700 x 23 mm, 700 x 23 mm Folding
700 x 25 mm, 700 x 25 mm Folding, 700 x 28 mm, 700 x 28 mm Folding
700 x 32 mm and 700 x 32 mm Folding
- Folding Options
All sizes come in folding or not
- Multiple Uses
Can be used for racing, commuting, or leisure
The Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire is consistently ranked high across all reviewers. It’s just known to stand up to about anything. After all, you never know what you are going to come upon during your ride.
Let’s really dive into this section because I think this is what makes this tire one of the best on the market.
The Duraskin is one of the best, if not the best, sidewall protection for road bike tires.
It is a high-quality fabric that will keep your tires sidewall safe against all kinds of different wear and tear. This is huge for avoiding flats or blowouts which can lead to rim damage and accidents.
Poly X Breaker
Puncture resistance is such a critical part to a road bike tire. The Poly X Breaker made by continental is one of the most superior puncture resistant technologies I have seen on the market.
It is actually a polyester fabric that is woven extremely tight crosswise the tire. It makes sure that all of those random objects on the road don’t mess up your ride.
All of this is done without ever compromising efficiency and speed.
I really like that the Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire can be used from leisure riding all the way to competitive racing.
It just shows how confident they are in their tires durability and efficiency. It’s a deadly combination in the best possible way.
Vast Variety of Sizes
So many sizes to choose from along with folding and not! I love that you can really dive in deep with customizing your experience with these tires.
High Mileage Capability
This goes along with the durability but, man, you just can’t be the quality on these tires. There are people saying these tires just don’t quit. You don’t have to worry about flats so you can just keep going on them forever.
- Well Made
Durable, durable, durable
- Worry Free
No flats here
- Many Sizes
These aren’t a hat, they are made to be tailored to you
- Great for Everyone
If you are a beginner or a expert racer, they won’t disappoint
- Improve Performance
It’s ability to still keep major control over your bike while preventing flats or blowouts is uncanny.
Depending on size, you can still grab a pair of these for about $100. It may seem like a large investment after already paying for the bike, but it’s well worth it if you want this type of quality.
- Poor Customer Service
It’s a real shame the customer service isn’t better with this brand. Let’s hope they improve and soon.
- Subpar Traction
The tire boasts a smooth center but that boils down to not a very grippy center. While the outside portion of the tire has great tread, the middle does not. I don’t like this because it opens itself up to you losing control of your bike.
The Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire was a very, VERY, close second choice for best road bike tire.
It has everything you are looking for in a road bike tire and more. The design itself really speaks loudly from the Poly X Breaker to the Duraskin, to the sheer versatility of this tire.
I would highly recommend getting this tire if you want to be worry free and just focus on your ride.
3.MICHELIN Power Competition Road Tire
Third up on my list is the Michelin Power Competition Road Tires. They are notoriously well received among avid cyclists and have incredible wear and tear. Let’s dive in and see what makes them do what they do.
- Aramid Protek Flat Protection
Nothing worse than worrying about flats, no need with these
- Compound Caves 10 watts
Basically, it’s going to be fast
- Low Roll Resistance
No need to fight the road, work with it to increase speed
- Derived from MotoGP
A racing compound that is built for speed
- 2 Sizes Available
700 c x 23 mm
700 c x 25 mm
- TPI 180
Good for all sized riders
All of those numbers and techy words can make your head spin. Let’s break it down a little bit.
Built for Speed
Race compound and low roll resistance combine to make these tires ready for speed.
You don’t necessarily want bulky or thick tires when it comes to racing. However, with the Michelin Power Competition Road Tires, it’s a plus. They hold up to more adversity and get more high mileage out of them.
There’s nothing worse than hitting something sharp and blowing out a tire. It can mean the difference between winning or losing a race.
It also is a serious safety hazard when going high speeds. Lucky for you, the Michelin Power Competition Road Tires are cut resistant. Put your mind at ease.
Two Sizes Available
I really don’t believe in a one size fits all approach to things, especially in road bike tires.
If you have a tire that is not the right size, you are going to sacrifice speed and control over your bike. Get the right size for you right off the bat so you can operate at your optimum level.
- Made for Racing
These babies are built for speed and endurance
- Aramid Protek
No flats or blow outs here, just you and the road
- Low Roll Resistance
Take control of your bike
Enhance your performance
- Sidewalls Are Thin
While the tread seems to be excellent, the sidewalls are thin. This can be an issue of safety if your tire decides to blow out.
A little over $100 for a pair
- Weird Goo
Some complaints from buyers on the white substance that covers the tire right out of the box. It does wear off after you ride for awhile, but it can get all over you when you are installing.
The Michelin Power Competition Road Tires do what they say on the box. They are a powerful road bike tire that are built for competition.
They are durable and made of high quality materials. I like how dependable they are on flats as well as enhancing your performance.
You can see why they were my 3rd choice for best road bike tires.
4.Schwalbe Pro One Tire – Tubeless
The Schwalbe Pro One Tire is a super 4th choice for road bike tires. It is durable and lightweight without losing efficiency.
It has had some upgrades from it’s previous model like Snake Bite to make it the best version that Schwalbe has put out.
Allows for lower air pressure to decrease friction
- Microskin Protection
Durability against debris
- 3 Sizes Available
700 x 23c, 700 x 25c and 700 x 28c
More efficient at a lower weight
- Lower Rolling Resistance
Grips the road without the drag
Helps resist punctures
There is really a big following on this type of tire now. It means less air pressure in your tire so you can have more control over your bike.
Snakebite and Triple Compound Rubber
This adds up to a very durable tire that is going to withstand the elements and anything else you may throw at it.
Low Rolling Resistance
Great traction while eliminating any unnecessary drag
Three Sizes Available
Easy to pick the right size for you instead of hoping the only available size works for you and your bike.
Won’t drag you down or effect your speed.
- Quiet Ride
Nice if you are racing not to be distracted
- Run Well
Has a smooth feel
- Multiple Sizes
Find the right size for you
- Less Air Pressure Required
A lot of cyclists want lower air pressure and the Schwalbe Pro One Tire allows for that
- Tough Installation
A lot of complaints on installing these tires and how difficult it is
- Puncture Prone
I think this is partially due to people trying to get away with really low pressure but it also could be a manufacturing issue. Proceed with caution if you are putting low air pressure in.
- Price is Mediocre
Depending on what size you get, the price is decent. You are going to still pay $100+ for a pair.
The Schwalbe Pro One Tire are a tubeless road bike tire that are reinvented. The company has added Snake Bite Protection and triple compound rubber to be the best it can be.
I like these for a tubeless approach to road bike tires. I also really like the smooth feel everyone keeps talking about.
There’s nothing better than just focusing on you instead of all the elements of your bike.
What’s the best road bike tire for me?
Great question! It’s going to be a tough choice choosing between these 4 incredible tires. There are two questions I would ask before purchasing.
What are you going to use them for and how much are you willing to spend?
If you are going to use these tires for commuting a short distance or leisurely, I would go with the Schwalbe Pro One Tire.
They are a little less expensive and still durable. However, I would highly recommend the Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire, too because of it’s versatility and high ratings.
Are you more of a triathlon or century rider? I would go with the Continental Grand Prix 4000s II Cycling Tire.
They are really making a name for themselves among competitors because of the intense grip on the road allowing for some serious control of your bike.
However, again, I could also highly recommend the Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire or the Michelin Power Competition Road Tires as well.
Budget is not something fun to deal with, but it’s a reality we must all face. Luckily, most of these tires are about the same price.
Granted, it depends what size you pick, but you are going to find little difference across the board. If you are hard up for cash, I’d go with the Schwalbe Pro One Tire.
If you want to splurge, get the Continental Grand Prix 4000s II Cycling Tire or the Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin tire.
There’s nothing better than cruising at top speeds on your road bike and NOT worrying about your road bike tires.
If you have to worry about them or tinker with them a lot, they aren’t worth it and it’s high time for a new pair.
After reading my guide, you should have a good idea of which to buy and why they are so great. Nobody wants a flat tire or a crappy tread.
Just do the right thing and grab the right tires the first time around. You won’t be sorry.
Image taken by Glory Cycles.