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The top 6 best tubular road bike tires

In this article I’m going to give my list for the best tubular road bike tires.

In the industry there are a few well known brands who’ve been at the top of their game for many years, and their tires you can find on this list.

The tires vary with the intended use. I’ve added a number of Vittoria tires. The standard Corsa, and the Corsa Control and Corsa Speed, which are meant for harsher conditions and time trials respectively. You can find that decisions with other items as well. So depending on your personal preference, allround, speed, endurance, you might opt for one over the other tire.

All are excellent choices. So here’s my list of the best tubular road bike tires.

Continental Competition

The Continental Competition is a very different tire than the Grand Prix TT. More of an allround race tire, only the extremely narrow 19 mm get’s below the 200 grams at 195. Should you move up to either 22 or 25 mm the weight increases as well to 230 and 245 respectively, which is still very respectable for an allround road bike tire.

With a TPI of 180 it does pack far more rubber making this tire far more durable. Furthermore it does have the same vectran breaker and just the tiniest of tread to maximise rolling resistance.

The Continental Competition is a tubular tire, which means that these tires may very well be lighter than the Grand Prix TT which needs tubes.

Continental Competition Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Light, allround race-oriented tire, durable
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Podium TT

Another Time Trial entry, the Continental Podium TT sits at 195 grams for a 19 mm width version.

It’s extremely similar to the Continental Competition. Same weight, both are tubulars, same TPI of 180, same vectran breaker. Only the tread pattern looks slightly different, almost turning the tire into a slick, which might be the reason Continental puts this tire into the time trial section.

Continental Podium TT Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Extremely light, meant for racing and TT
Reasons to avoid
Race tire

Continental Sprinter Gatorskin

If you’re looking for puncture protection that comes in a tubular package, the Continental Sprinter Gatorskin is your best bet.

It offers the same Duraskin layer wrapped all around the tire as does the Continental Grand Prix 4-Season. Where it differs is both the breaker and the compound.

The Sprinter Gatorskin has a 3-layered 180 TPI BlackChili casing and the SafetySystem breaker is made from kevlar reinforced nylon.

The tire is available in a black 22 or 25 mm width.

Continental Sprinter Gatorskin Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
the most puncture resitant tubular tires
Reasons to avoid
tubular tire

Vittoria Corsa

The Vittoria Corsa tops many lists as one of the best road bike tires in general. And lucky for us, they also offer a tan-wall version of this beauty of a tire.

The Vittoria Corsa is a tire for the current generation of road bikes. At 290 grams for a 25 mm width it’s the heaviest tire on this list. But the combination of that weight and a extremely high 320 TPI carcass means this is one of the most comfortable road tires on the market today, and an obvious choice for many road cyclists.

Not only is this an extremely comfortable tire, grip, handling, and cornering confidence is also at a maximum with this tire. And for years the Vittoria Corsa has set the benchmark of being the tire with the lowest rolling resistance. All of these characteristics combined make the Vittoria Corsa a failsafe option for sure.

Vittoria Corsa Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Stunning tire, very comfortable, great grip and handling
Reasons to avoid
Pretty heavy

Vittoria Corsa Control

If you want a bit more puncture protection but still have Vittoria emblazoned on your sidewall, the Vittoria Corsa Control will suit your needs.

It’s obviously heaver than its other namesake, but with it comes extra protection. It has an extra tread inserted into the tire, which adds control and durability for less than optimal road conditions like cobblestones and rougher roads.

It’s also a perfect companion for those who don’t mind riding in wet conditions. So choose this tire over the normal Corsa if rough and wet is what you like.

The Vittoria Corsa Control is also the only tan-wall road bike tire on this list that comes as a tube. So if you have a very premium vintage road bike or a very premium set of modern-day wheels you can take advantage of everything tubes have to offer as well.

Vittoria Corsa Control Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Added puncture protection, tan option available, tube
Reasons to avoid
Heavy

Vittoria Corsa Speed

The Vittoria Corsa Speed is basically Vittoria’s time trial version of its regular Corsa. A tubular tire where a considerable amount of rubber has been shaved of to create a 23 mm width 200 gram tire in either black or tan.

All that reduction in weight does of course come with a penalty, so this tire is best reserved when you really want to go really fast. Or else the 140 dollar price tag for a tire that isn’t all that durable might not be the best option for the average rider.

But if you do decide to go for this tire, just to experience what it feels like, you can rest assured that the 320 TPI count will provide both a very smooth and very fast ride, which will hopefully make you forget how much money you spent for that ride.

Vittoria Corsa Speed Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very fast, lots of grip
Reasons to avoid
Meant for race day, very pricey

Specifications tubular road bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
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Challenge Strada Pro
700Cx25
25-622
 
Black
Tan
SuperPoly
 
tubular
Challenge Strada Pro
700Cx25
25-622
 
Black
Black
SuperPoly
 
tubular
Continental Competition
700Cx25
25-622
245
Black
Black
BlackChili
 
tubular
Continental Competition
700Cx22
22-622
230
Black
Black
BlackChili
 
tubular
Continental Competition
700Cx19
19-622
195
Black
Black
BlackChili
 
tubular
Continental Podium TT
700Cx19
19-622
195
Black
Black
BlackChili
 
tubular
Continental Podium TT
700Cx22
22-622
225
Black
Black
BlackChili
 
tubular
Continental Podium TT
700Cx25
25-622
275
Black
Black
BlackChili
 
tubular
Continental Sprinter Gatorskin
700Cx22
22-622
265
Black
Black
BlackChili
SafetySystem / DuraSkin
tubular
Continental Sprinter Gatorskin
700Cx25
25-622
275
Black
Black
BlackChili
SafetySystem / DuraSkin
tubular
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx25
25-622
290
Black
Tan
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx28
28-622
360
Black
Tan
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx23
23-622
275
Black
Black
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx23
23-622
275
Black
Tan
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx25
25-622
290
Black
Black
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx28
28-622
360
Black
Black
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx30
30-622
375
Black
Black
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx30
30-622
375
Black
Tan
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx25
25-622
295
Black
Tan
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx28
28-622
350
Black
Tan
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx25
25-622
295
Black
Black
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx28
28-622
350
Black
Black
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx30
30-622
370
Black
Black
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx30
30-622
370
Black
Tan
Corespun K
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Speed
700Cx23
23-622
200
Black
Tan
Corespun T
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Speed
700Cx25
25-622
205
Black
Black
Corespun T
 
tubular
Vittoria Corsa Speed
700Cx25
25-622
205
Black
Tan
Corespun T
 
tubular

Bicycle tire puncture resistance

EXO, GreenGuard, AGC, AEC, ATC, do you ever get confused with all the jargon related to puncture protection. I know I did? That’s why I’ve written a separate article about puncture resistance technologies. That way, you’ll be able to better understand what’s out there and if it’s worth your money.

Johan van Seijen

FoundeR Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His passion for cycling in general, and restoring older bikes turned into a website to share his knowledge with a broader audience. Starting out on his father’s road bike and riding classics as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege he has shifted his attention to trail, XC, and gravel riding since. No matter how much he loves writing about everything related to cycling, nothing beats actually using his ever-expanding bicycle collection.

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