Your tyres are one of the most important components on your bike. As the only point of contact with the ground, they affect your comfort, safety and speed. We look at some of the best options available now to help you find the pair for you.
Is tubeless really faster?
One of the most obvious benefits of tubeless is that you don't have the additional weight of tubes - you'll typically be losing about 200-250g from your bike.
Another benefit is that you can run tubeless tyres at a lower pressure so they can conform to the road surface more effectively, keeping you nicely planted. Less bouncing around generally means you reduce friction so you'll ride more efficiently.
Are wider road tyres faster?
A big question right now for road cyclists is whether wider road bike tyres are faster. Until relatively recently, 19 to 23mm tyres pumped up to within an inch of their lives were believed to be the fastest option.
However, even the pros are now starting to opt for tyres of 25mm and upwards and for good reason. Lab testing on a 'rolling road,' comparing 25mm to 28mm, has demonstrated that a wider tyre allows the rider to ride more smoothly and efficiently which equates to more power and in turn more speed. Also, because a wider tyre at lower pressure dampens road vibration, fatigue on the rider is reduced.
It's important to make sure that your tyre isn't so big that it protrudes over the edge of your rim as this can create instability, particularly when you're cornering, which can make you slower. If your tyre and rim fit nice and flush, you'll get a nice stable ride and you'll be maximising your wheel aerodynamics. Most wheel manufacturers are now actually starting to make rims wider to accommodate wider tyres.
What are the best road bike tyres available in 2021?
Available sizes: 700x23c, 25c, 28c, 30c and 32c
Weight: 205g (23c), 220g (25c), 250g (28c), 295g (32c)
The update on the legendary GP4000s, the 5000s have followed in the tyre tracks of their predecessor as one of the most popular choices of rubber for roadies everywhere, from amateurs to World Tour pros.
Continental use their proprietary BlackChili compound, developed for the best balance between grip and speed. Puncture protection comes courtesy of the high-tech Vectran™ liquid crystalline polymer.
Available sizes: 700x25c, 28c and 30c
Weight: 270g (25c)
Use with or without a tube for high-end performance on your next ride.
The MicroSkin casing provides reliable protection against punctures and slashes making these a great choice if you've got some longer rides planned.
Available sizes: 700x25c, 28c and 30c
Weight: 265g (25c), 280g (28c), 280g (30c)
The tyre that the 2018 Strade Bianche was won on, a race known for its slippy white gravel roads. A thicker tread provides excellent puncture protection whilst the Graphene 2.0 compound gives you long-lasting grip and traction, with optimal rolling resistance.
Available in low-key black or tan wall, they're a perfect choice if you've got gravelly and uneven road surfaces to contend with.
Available sizes: 700x25c
The perfect tyre for riders looking to train year-round, whatever the weather. The ElevenSTORM rubber compound gives you plenty of grip, even on slick, dirty winter roads, with relatively low rolling resistance.
Hutchinson tyres have a reputation for easy-fitting and these are no exception so if you do manage to get a puncture, you won't be fumbling with cold fingers at the road-side trying to prise it off and on again.
Available sizes: 700x24c, 26c, 28c
Weight: 215g (24c), 235g (26c), 255g (28c)
The famous car tyre brand turns its expertise to road bike tyres with the P-Zero, as used by riders in the pro peloton to help them to get the most from their training rides.
TechBELT Road casing technology uses highly cut-resistant fabric for superior puncture protection without adding too much weight. The Evo Compound is built for grip and speed, whilst also being incredibly wear-resistant.
Available sizes: 700x30c and 32c
Goodyear has used a Graphene Silica Road compound which they say delivers 10.1% more rolling efficiency, 8% more traction and 7.2% less wear compared to a standard tyre compound. This makes them perfect for races on rolling terrain, giving you increased confidence on fast descents and tight corners. Dual Integrated Tread Zones give you extra control as you roll through bends at speed.
Underneath the tread, you've got the extra reassurance of R:Shield puncture protection, delivering durability without affecting performance.
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