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The top 6 best 650b road tires

In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best 650b road tires.

Normally, you’d equate road tires with road bikes, and of those there are plenty of solid to choose from. As soon as we add 650b to the mix I had to get more creative and try harder to get a list that still makes sense. That’s because a lot of the tried-and-true brand names for road bikes are simply not available for this tire size.

What you’ll find on this list is an eclectic mix of tires, which will all perform fantastic on tarmac. And I’ve included pure road bike tires as well as slicks and semi slicks from more gravel-oriented brands like WTB and Panaracer. Those brands have a proven resume in making awesome tires, and their slicks are among the best the market currently has to offer.

But don’t be mistaken about the tires on this list, because they are among the best and fastest in their respective tire size category, and will prove to offer mile upon mile of carefree riding. So without further ado, here are the very best 650b road tires.

Continental Contact Speed

Continental Contact Speed
Continental Contact Speed

Meant for the road the Continental Contact Speed is a slick tire in the true sense of the word. A minimalistic profile will turn your bike into a city slicker.

It’s not especially light, but that’s reflected in the price, making this one of the more affordable options on this list. But even with a lower price you still get Continental’s more than adequate SafetySystem breaker technology, ensuring chances of flats are minimized.

Continental Grand Prix 5000

Continental Grand Prix 5000
Continental Grand Prix 5000

The Continental Grand Prix 5000 is a clincher tire and dubbed as the best allrounder in the field.

And on paper at least the numbers are very impressive. A 330 TPI tire (very supple) at a claimed weight of 200 grams for a 23 mm width version. It has the exact same Vectran breaker as the other ones on this list, so as far as puncture protection is concerned, this tire performs equally impressive.

And this tire comes in a tan wall version or transparent as Continental calles it. But if you want the lightest version of this tire, you’ll have to stick to black.

WTB Horizon

WTB Horizon
WTB Horizon

The WTB Horizon is a gorgeous and supple 650b slick tire, that’s available in both black and true tan-wall options.

The 47 millimeter width tire comes in both a single ply 60 TPI and a more supple 120 TPI version. The center tread has no pattern whatsoever and is flanked by dual herringbone patterns to provide a modicum of traction when riding anything else but smooth tarmac and pavement.

It’s fully tubeless compatible and the round tire ranging between 515 and 571 grams for the various versions will make a plush ride indeed for any type of light gravel riding or urban commuting.

WTB ThickSlick

WTB ThickSlick
WTB ThickSlick

Ive looked at all WTBs tires. I always loved the color of their skinwall, but the WTB ThickSlick is a fully black 650b slick tire. But the ThickSlick is true to its name and has absolutely no profile whatsoever, which makes for a very clean look on any bike.

Although the slickest of the bunch here, the dual compound doesnt make them the lightest with 713 grams for a 1.95 inch width version.

Schwalbe G-One Speed

Schwalbe G-One Speed
Schwalbe G-One Speed

If you’re a person who likes fast plush rides on pavement and slightly course roads the Schwalbe G-One Speed is probably the best tire money can buy.

It’s an exceptional big volume road tire that’s light, nimble, and let’s you rip down the road with a big grin on your face. It’s a step up in width from your average road tire, which means you get an incredibly supple and plush ride and loads of grip. Sure you have to sacrifice a bit in the rolling-resistance departement when compared to a 25 millimeter road tire, but this tire is simply more fun to ride and much, much more comfortable.

And this tire doesn’t shy away from light gravel riding as well, broadening the range of application beyond very fast commuting.

Panaracer Gravel King Slick

Panaracer Gravel King Slick
Panaracer Gravel King Slick

Starting with the amazing Gravel King, Panaracer quickly decided the gravel bike was here to stay and made several adaptations to their popular gravel tire.

The Panaracer Gravel King Slick is one of the most obvious choices for such an adaptation, though as far as gravel riding is concerned, it’s a tire meant for the lightest of conditions. The tire is covered from side to side in a minimalistic herringbone and diamond pattern. I admit that such a pattern provides a modicum of grip, but don’t expect this tire to outperform any other tire with knobbies in the cornering.

When you would use this tire for rougher gravel riding, the tread pattern will quickly diminish, giving your center tread the look of a true slick. But that’s not what this tire is meant for. It’s a very fast, voluminous, and durable road, or commuting tire, that doesn’t shy away from the occasional dirt or hardpack.

Anyone who reads my articles on tires knows I’m a big Panaracer fan. I own a set of these tires for my daily driver and can attest to the qualities ascribed to them.

Specifications best 650b road tires

NameSizeETRTOWeight (gr)Tread ColorSidewall ColorBuy at Amazon
Continental Contact Speed27.5×2.0050-584700BlackBlacklink
Continental Contact Speed27.5×1.2532-584470BlackBlacklink
Continental Grand Prix 5000650x28B28-584230BlackBlacklink
Continental Grand Prix 5000650x25B25-584210BlackBlacklink
Panaracer Gravel King Slick27.5×1.5038-584320BlackTanlink
Panaracer Gravel King Slick27.5×1.5038-584BlackBlacklink
Panaracer Gravel King Slick27.5×1.7542-584360BlackTanlink
Panaracer Gravel King Slick27.5×1.7542-584BlackBlacklink
Panaracer Gravel King Slick27.5×1.9047-584520BlackTanlink
Schwalbe G-One Speed27.5×2.0050-584515BlackTanlink
WTB Horizon27.5×1.8547-584532BlackBlacklink
WTB Horizon27.5×1.8547-584515BlackTanlink
WTB Horizon27.5×1.8547-584571BlackBlacklink
WTB ThickSlick27.5×1.9550-584713BlackBlacklink