Time for a tyre change? No matter how much you read and how much research you do, you never quite know which tyre is the best to go for. Tyres can all seem to merge into one, and you can end up going with what you know and have used for years. Well, It’s time to try something new.
All tyres vary in tread pattern, compound and handling ability, and what works for some riders doesn’t work for others. There are a lot of brands on the market with dozens of models to choose from, so don’t be scared to try something new; it may work for you.
Here we have tried to make it simple, keeping the key features to look for in a tyre, depending on what you intend to use it for.
I know from experience that when it comes to brands and styles, most of us stick to our old favourites and use the same tyre for every event. But it is in your interest to look around and find a tyre that is suitable for you. A lot of your decision should come down to the type of riding you are doing and what the weather is like that day. So it’s wise to choose carefully, don’t choose a slick if it is chucking it down with Rain!
I like to break it down into sections to keep it as simple as possible:black bee
Everyday training and commuting tyres
For training and commuting you need something that is going to grip when the road surface changes a bit. You may come across some mud, gravel or a few puddles, but will need your tyres to feel and perform well in all weather conditions. After all who’s got time to be changing tyres every time you go out for a ride? We can call this your staple tyre. There are a few brands you can choose from that vary in weight, Threads per inch and tread pattern.
The tyres: the Continental Grand Prix 4000S II Clincher Road Tyre Weighs in at only 230g, or the Continental Grand Prix 4-Season Clincher Road Tyre at 230g – both which offer all-year-round use. The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Clincher Road Tyre, weighing at 250g is a hard-wearing, high mileage much cheaper option. Alternatively, the Vittoria Rubino Pro Clincher Road Tyre weighing at 240g, is again great value for money.
Racing and Performance tyres
Racing and performance tyres need to be chosen with a little more thought. If you are road racing, you would be looking to go for a lightweight tyre with plenty of grip, that also has low rolling resistance. You could also go for a tubular tyre, although these are generally only useful in racing, as repairing a puncture is almost impossible if you are out on a training ride.
The pros of tubulars are that they are able to take more PSI and are less prone to punctures. On top of this, you can still ride with a puncture on a tubular tyre if push comes to shove. It’s not recommended and could damage your rim. But racers, in some cases will risk this in order to finish or wait for another wheel!
The tyres: The Continental Attack Comp II and Force II Comp Set Tubular Road Tyre and the Continental Grand Prix Attack II and Force II Set Clincher Road Tyre are all great places to start. Other go-to race tyres are the Vittoria Open Pave CG Black Edition Clincher Road Tyre at just 240g, or the Vitoria Diamante Pro III Radiale at just 210g, which is also great value and lightweight.
The Michelin Pro 4 Race Service Course is light, fast and comes with different colour options. The Schwalbe Durano, weighing at 225g, is a lightweight and competitive tyre. From Schwalbe again, the One Folding Clincher Tyre fast competition tyre with extra sidewall protection and lower rolling resistance than a tubular.
Endurance tyres and something different
I would go for a similar tyre to the training tyre as you will get a lot of miles out of them, and they offer comfort and reliability. There are also many other types of tyres, such as the Continental Grand Prix TT Ltd Clincher Road Tyre, a great time-trial tyre that are very light at 178g each.
For something different, try the Vittoria Diamante Pro Light Road Tyre for a light ride at 185g and a high PSI-threshold at 140. Alternatively, if you want something more puncture-proof and premium but just as light, try the Schwalbe Ironman Folding Clincher.
Tyres are in fact one of the most significant things you can change on your bike to make marginal gains, so don’t dismiss them. Something simple as a model or brand change could make all the difference to either the handling or performance of your bike.