5 Great Tires
This rubber is ready to meet any road.
Specialized S-Works Turbo 26mm
Fast race tire in an unusual width This minimalist tire is light and lively and offers great feedback—giving the rider plenty of time to pull back when approaching the limits of grip. Flat protection is admirable, too: Ours picked up a few stray pieces of metal, but no debris got through the belt. The trade-off: Don’t expect great mileage.
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season 28mm
Tough, all-season tire with a cushioned ride Two layers of puncture protection and sidewall reinforcement give this tire a cushioned, if somewhat sluggish, ride. But it’s really all about durability. One of our testers could find absolutely no visible damage to the tires even after taking them on long sections of rocky and unpaved roads.
VeloFlex Corsa 25
Simple, light, smooth, traditional This Italian clincher is handmade in the “open tubular” style, with a cotton casing, thin tread, and minimal flat protection. The result: a supersupple ride with excellent response. The trade-off: They don’t last long. Ours showed wear after 650 miles. Best bet: Treat yourself to this tire for a summer of riding on smooth roads.
Bontrager R3 TLR 25c
Tubeless tire that feels as good as a clincher We’ve been waiting for a tubeless tire that’s light, lively, and has great road feel. This one hits the mark by having a thinner casing, a compromise that means it’s not quite airtight and can’t be used without sealant—which almost all riders who use tubeless tires rely on anyway to automatically seal small punctures and cuts.
Challenge Triathlon 23
High-quality ride for low-quality roads Thicker tread rubber, a polyester casing, and belts with double puncture protection increase this tire’s rolling resistance and make it feel stiffer. But these details also mean you’ll flat less often and get more miles out of it than most. Despite the extra material, the feedback from the road’s surface is pleasant.
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