9 Best Road Bike Tires to Avoid Punctures in 2020 (Reviews and Guide)

Tire punctures are about the most inconveniencing challenge any rider could be faced with especially in the middle of a race. We take a look at the best road bike tires to avoid punctures.

I took part in the last season of Tour De France and as a first timer, I was super excited and had my bike inspected and ready a week from the challenge. Come the day of, I had every intention to beat my friends because I knew I wasn’t going to win any championship.

To cut the long story short, the race ended abruptly for me when I got a tire puncture and I had to drop out to fix it. What a bummer. I’d spent time and money getting my bike ready and a tire puncture was the last thing on my mind.

So, when we got back home, my friends and I headed out to discover the best anti-puncture tires in the market. We came up with a few great suggestions for me and my bike.

9 Best Road Bike Tires to Avoid Punctures – comparison table

 
Tire Size
Price
GatorSkin Urban Bike Tire
28mm
Endurance Bike Tire
25mm
Intensive 2 Bike Tire
28mm
Pro III 23 Bike Tire
28mm
Re-Fuse Folding Bike Tire
28mm
Pirelli Cinturato Road Bike Tire
26mm
Roubaix Pro Bike Tire
27mm
Durano Bike Tires
25mm
S-Works Turbo Bike Tires
23mm – 32mm

9 Best Road Bike Tires to Avoid Punctures Overview

GatorSkin Urban Bike Tire 

Sale
Continental GatorSkin Urban Specialty Bicycle Tire with DuraSkin (26x1...
  • DuraSkin Protection: lightweight sidewall protection
  • Safety System: superior puncture protection

These tires are leading in puncture resistance because they use a special PolyX Breaker insert and DuraSkin sidewall offering super puncture resistance to your tires. Featuring a reptilian design, these tires have been around since the 1870s.

Made up of heavy polyester fibers and encased with polyamide fabric, these tires uphold premium quality and technological innovation. This Gator skin tire has three main elements that make it hardy and strong.

Features

  • A perfect balance of durability and quality
  • Dense overlapping polyester fabric
  • Polyamide fabric encasing
  • 3 layered hard shell

The hard shell is indestructible with an overlapping deep case which adds to the side walls protection then the PolyX breaker caters to the strip and the casing has a bead to bead layer of DuraSkin fabric.

Pros

  • Great rolling resistance
  • Both for wet and dry conditions
  • Grippy tires

Cons

  • Skids in wet conditions

Verdict

This tire is perfect and effective in avoiding punctures and more to that, it is well-built and can handle trips in any kind of weather. For all those commutes to work and back, these are the tires to go for.

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Endurance Bike Tire

Michelin Unisex's Power Endurance Bicycle Tyres, Black, 700 x 25c
  • The power endurance is the best tyre for distance and speed with -8. 6 watts power gain -20% more resistance to punctures
  • Disc brake ready: designed for perfect compatibility with disc brakes

Known more for automotive rather than road bike tires, Michelin has a great reputation. These tires have 20% resistance to punctures with the Aramid Protek+ reinforcement which is resilient to road bumps and extreme weather conditions.

They are built for everyday intensive riding and they are durable. It is therefore not light in weight and the speeds attained with these tires will depend on the balance between your weight and that of the tires.

Features

  • Aramid Protek + technology
  • X-miles compound
  • Tread wear indicators

True to Michelin’s reputation these tires are durable and resilient to long use. What’s more, they provide a long mileage due to the X-Miles compound designed for this specific purpose. This clincher type of road tire should be quick to fix if ever a puncture happens.

Pros 

  • Durable
  • Grip in wet and dry conditions
  • Lightweight
  • Longer mileage possible

Cons 

  • Hard around the edges

Verdict

On the road, they ride quite smoothly and they have a heavy weighted and long-lasting ride against all prevailing conditions. They provide exceptional grip to anyone doing intense riding all through the year with no puncture risks.

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Intensive 2 Bike Tire

Hutchinson Intensive 2 700x28 Tubeless Ready Black Bike Tires, 700cm x...
  • Recommended for training and long-distance riding in all conditions
  • Tubeless ready, folding bead

This tubeless tire has undergone 5 years of testing and construction before it was introduced as a leader in durability and weatherproof properties.

This tire features a 25mm wide casing reinforced in the bead to bead puncture-resistant material that is resilient to wear and tear regardless of the prevailing weather conditions.

These tires weigh 315 grams and they are made from bi-compound material that is both soft and heavy-duty.

Features

  • Tubeless
  • 315 grams heavy
  • Puncture breaker
  • Made of bi-compound material

With the rolling tread built with an added layer of compound and a puncture breaker built into it, these tires are super durable and effective puncture resistance without slowing down your bike’s performance.

Pros 

  • Great in any weather
  • Includes a puncture breaker
  • It is it light in weight
  • Made of resilient and durable material

Cons 

  • A bit too thick for most riders

Verdict

With a heavy-duty casing, these tires make for a reliable and durable tire that will provide you a great riding experience regardless of the weather conditions.

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Pro III 23 Bike Tire 

This is mostly used as a training tire because of its super-secure grip with a long mileage on rides and crucially best protection against punctures and flat tires.

These tires are made form the best puncture-resistant material which is Kevlar and it has deep grooves in the middle and shallow shoulders. This combination gives your tires a great grip and will afford you long-lasting and stable riding in the face of rough terrain and unpredictable weather.

Features

  • Aramid, Endura 3d thread
  • Deep grooves and shallow shoulders
  • BPR puncture protection

The tires employ a BPR puncture-resistant mechanism and give dense protection against road damage. The rolling experience is ideal for a quicker ride that does not interfere with the ride quality.

Pros 

  • Great for longer mileage rides
  • Super puncture protection
  • Fast-rolling performance
  • Durable and stable

Cons 

  • Narrow frame

Verdict

If you are on to a big race, these are the best tires to choose from. Their rolling resistance is well regulated to make the ride faster in tough terrain or terrible weather conditions.

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Re-Fuse Folding Bike Tire 

Maxxis Re-Fuse Folding Tire, 700cm x 28-Inch
  • Race winning tires
  • Used by professionals and amateurs alike

This tire serves both the commuter and the trainee all the same without breaking the bank. It features unrivaled traction and lasts longer than most bike tires.

Using the ultimate puncture-proof material, Kevlar plus combining it with a silkworm cap ply casing, makes this tire super resilient to weather and riding conditions.

Features

  • Diamond knurled design
  • 270g
  • Kevlar and silkworm material
  • Debris repellant tires

Unlike other tires, these Re-Fuse Folding tires handle debris and you can be sure that none will get stuck in between the tire tracks. These tires are light in weight and offer the most comfortable and stable rides ever. A significant improvement in speed and efficiency should be obvious.

Pros 

  • Great quality tire material
  • Lightweight
  • Keeps dirt off
  • Durable

Cons 

  • Slow roll

Verdict

These are well-rounded tires with a heavy-duty wheel that is suitable for both racing and short distance rides around town. They are available in multiple colors and this allows you to max your bike and tires perfectly.

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Pirelli Cinturato Road Bike Tire 

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Pirelli Cinturato Velo, Tire, 700x26C, Folding, Tubeless Ready,...
  • The cinturato vela is designed around reliability in bad road conditions and heavy usage
  • Its patent pending Armour TECH construction combines a Bead-to-bead high density

This is a tubeless tire designed to be hardy and is great for riding across gravel and pavement grounds alike. They measure anywhere between 26mm to 35mm and they ride effortlessly on the road and copes brilliantly against rugged terrain.

They use the Smartnet Silica tech that offers good road grip in wet conditions and the Armour Tech with added protection on the side keeps punctures at bay.

Features

  • Smart Silica Tech
  • Armour Tech
  • Measure 26mm to 35mm

Pros 

  • Swift on the road
  • The super grip on roads
  • Puncture resistant
  • Tubeless design

Cons 

  • Heavy tires

Verdict

These tires will give your ride a significant swiftness and stability. The tubeless design makes them premium quality and super resistant to punctures whether on flat roads or rugged terrain.

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Roubaix Pro Bike Tire 

Ride quality and puncture protection are well balanced in these tires that are also weatherproof. The cap has 120TPI count which makes it an endurance tire alternative. Combined with the infused Gripton compound, these tires are formidable.

Features

  • Gripton Compound
  • 120 TPI casing
  • Bead to bead Aramid casing
  • Flat protection – Blackbelt design
  • Dual compound tread

The casing is done in a bead to bead design which gives the puncture protection properties while keeping them lighter than others when other materials such as Kevlar are used. A strip of woven material running under the tread is incorporated to match the Blackbelt technology.

Pros 

  • Strong casing
  • Great pressure to speed ratio
  • Super resistance to punctures
  • Smooth-rolling

Cons 

  • Challenging to mount

Verdict

These tires are the perfect match for any cyclist with an expectation for high performance with minimal impact. The comfortable and large casing plus the fast-rolling tread guarantees that the bike rides fast and maneuvers corners effectively.

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Durano Bike Tires

SCHWALBE Durano Plus SmartGuard Tire 700 x 23
  • Maximum puncture protection
  • New dynamic profile

These are long-lasting tire set for your road bike. The RaceGuard protection makes the belt a bit harsh and makes the ride a tad bit uncomfortable but a sure puncture-proof design.

Even after 600 miles, the tires are resilient to wear and tear with little rear cuts and no punctures. Get ready for a smooth ride with awesome grip especially through corners and even in wet conditions.

Features

  • 5mm SmartGuard
  • Dual rubber compound console
  • PSI 100

These tires have high mileage and dual compound for better grip and long comfortable trips on all-weather roads. A Race Guard protection belt adds to the bike’s security on the road.

Pros 

  • Good rolling resistance
  • Easy mounting and installing
  • Superior puncture protection
  • Rubber grip

Cons 

  • Smooth outer tread

Verdict

If you are big on training, these tires have superior protection against punctures and are super easy in installation too. They stand the test of rugged terrain and sharp objects and you won’t have to worry about replacing them soon.

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S-Works Turbo Bike Tires 

Continental Grand Prix 4-Season Bicycle Tire (700x25, Black)
  • HANDMADE IN GERMANY-Continental has been hand making their tires since 1871, maintaining the integrity of tradition, while evolving with the most advanced technology.
  • VECTRAN PROTECTION- Reinforcing and matrix fibers made of Vectran are 5X as strong as steel yet still extremely lightweight and abrasion resistant, protecting your tire from punctures more effectively than two layers of Nylon.

These have to be the best tires for riding on dry roads and days but they do not do well in cold or wet weather conditions.

Because these are cotton tires, their wear and tear are quick and within a few months but you can ride them at any time and go as long as 25kms with no risk of a puncture.

They are available in different weights and sizes and they use 320 TPI polycotton that is softer than most. Gripton compound is used to make them even more resilient to punctures.

Features

  • Infused with Gripton compound
  • 321 Polycotton

Pros 

  • Fast-rolling
  • Availability of 3 widths
  • Great quality

Cons 

  • Tanned Sidewalls gets dirty

The tires roll well and have an excellent grip on them although they are not as durable as other tires on this list. They do make up for this with their quality and sophisticated look that upgrades any bike type.

Verdict

These are pretty grippy and responsive tire alternatives that will add some zing to your bike. They function optimally in hot summer days but you could get lucky even in wet conditions.

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Road Bike Tires 

Size 

They come in limited size selection because they are creatively driving from the pro cyclist performance and expectations. The best road tires are those ranging anywhere between 23c, 25c, and 28c.

To minimize rolling resistance, pick the 25c tire size while for maximum comfort, select the 28c tires. Wide tires are ideal for maneuvering rough roads and if this is what you need, you may be lucky to find 30c or 32 c tires.

Tread 

This refers to the pattern on the top of the tires and it affects the steering precision, grip, and water displacement of the tires. Most road bikes feature smooth and sleek designs largely to reduce rolling resistance.

Smooth treads also support you at sharp turns and bends by helping to keep your speeds high. To increase water displacement and preventing slippage.

Compound 

This refers to the rubber quality used and it characterizes the rides feel and performance. While the softer compounds have a greater grip, they wear out more quickly. The harder compounds last longer but their grip may be wanting.

Protection 

A layer beneath the tread helps prevent punctures and the top-quality tires have a balance of strength and weight. This balance is ideal in improving a tire’s rolling resistance and bike handling.

Pressure 

Increased pressure helps to prevent punctures and reduces the rolling resistance. To optimize your performance, you need to find and apply the right tire pressure. This is dependent on more than just the tire type you choose and your weight.

Tire pressure is the only suspension a bike has ad it is crucial to balance between rolling speed, protection, and cushioning.

Tire Type 

Tubes

Tires with inner tubes are easy to inflate because these tubes are available in multiple shops. Clincher rims are best to use with tubes because they use beads around the edges to fit into the rim’s hook. Unfortunately, they are easily punctured compared to tubeless tires.

Tubular

Best tires for the serious cyclist and racer. They miss the tube and are fully enclosed with no opening. They are also lighter than other tires and this is why they are best for great rolling at very fast speeds.

These tire types need to be glued onto the rims and if a puncture happens the whole tire needs to be replaced and another glued back on.

Tubeless

The tubeless sealant in the tire dries up when in contact with air making punctures automatically sealed up.

Even at low pressures, you can ride these tires with no puncture risks while being quite comfortable and stable. With fewer layers between you and the ground, the rolling resistance is reduced making your ride faster.

Conclusion 

Based on your expectations and preferences regarding your riding conditions, any of the tires listed here will be a great addition to your bike and will save you the unpredictable inconvenience of fixing a flat tire.

For my bike, I settled on the GatorSkin Urban Bike Tires but I would also highly recommend the Re-Fuse Folding Tires as well for their great performance and quality puncture-resistant qualities.

FAQs

When should I change my bike tire?

Make a point of changing your tires immediately signs of wear and tear are realized or if you have punctures often.

Be sure to replace them with puncture-resistant tire options which are made of dense material good enough for all road surfaces. These types minimize the need for the replacement and the occurrence of flats.

Depending on the type of tire and the road terrain you are riding on, the road bike tire should last anywhere between 1000 and 3000 miles.

What PSI should my road bike tires be?

The right PSI makes for a smoother ride depending on the tire type and the rider weight. Road bikes need a PSI of 80 to 130 and if you are unsure, use the manufacturer’s suggestion that is found on the tire’s sidewall. This makes certain that your bike is operating optimally.

How often do I inflate my road bike tires?

The air in bike tires gradually leaks out as you ride. This calls for you to check and pump your tires regularly to keep them from going soft and to give you a smooth and enjoyable ride.

Tire inflation frequency should be dependent on tire size and pressure. However, more specifically for road bike tires, they must be inflated every week.

You can inflate your tires using the pump or the CO2 cartridge. In worst-case scenarios, your mouth can work just as well.

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