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The top 20 best endurance road bike tires in 2023

With this article I’ll share my insights in what I feel to be the best endurance road bike tires.

With the gigantic rise of gravel bikes, it appeared there was still quite a gap between the classic road bike ridden on smooth tarmac, and those for dirt roads and hardpack. In comes the endurance road bike, which is designed for comfort, and efficiency for longer rides. But those rides still take place on tarmac.

The biggest difference between a standard road bike, endurance bike, and gravel bike is what tires you can fit. Generally road bikes have a tire clearance for a width from 23 to 28mm, whereas endurance bikes start at 28mm for the purposes of comfort, and go up to about 35mm.

As far as which tire width is best for you is depended on your favorite riding style. Upwards of 28mm, tire drag or an increased rolling-resistance will become more noticeable, while comfort and versatility with respect to your ability to ride different road conditions increases. And obviously you need to check your tire clearance to see what the maximum width is your frame will be able to handle.

Both road bikes and endurance bikes offer wheel sizes of 700C or 28 inch. No 650B for this category.

Because there are so many tires and tire sizes to choose from, I’ve added a table overview at the end of the article. So let’s see what made it on my list of the best endurance road bike tires.

Continental Grand Prix 4-Season

The Continental Grand Prix 4-Season utilizes an extra bead-to-bead layer Continental calls Duraskin, reserved for their most durable tires.

Each road tire in the Continental lineup uses a puncture resistant breaker for the center tread. The Grand Prix 4-Season uses two, effectively doubling its puncture resistance when compared with the other tires. It makes for a road bike tire with a ridiculous level of puncture resistance, and is something I haven’t seen in any other road bike tire I’ve researched.

And last but not least, the Continental Grand Prix 4-Season uses 3 layers of 110 TPI for both durability and longevity, without sacrificing to much in terms of weight, grip and ride feel. Which makes this tire one of the if not the most impressive tire on this list.

It comes in sizes 23, 25, 28 and 32 mm.

Continental Grand Prix 4-Season Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
the best allweather tire money can buy, bead-to-bead protection
Reasons to avoid
none

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.

Continental Grand Prix 5000 Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Best allround road bike tire on the market, supple, light, good puncture protection, tan wall option available
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR

Continental is known for their light-weight tire offerings and the Continental Grand Prix 500 S TR is no exception. It’s the tubeless ready version of the standard Grand Prix 5000, which is a clincher tire.

The tubeless ready Grand Prix 5000 has the same excellent stats. A 220 TPI moderately supple tire, that comes in your standard 25 and 28 mm width versions. At 250 grams for the 25 mm and 280 for the 28 mm version, these tires are pretty light. And on top of that, this tire scores extremely high markers in the rolling resistance department. That means you can check both light and fast of your list of requirements, when you go for this tire.

A tan wall version is included among the sizes for those who want to mount them.

Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Light, very fast-rolling race tire, tan wall option available
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Grand Sport Race

The Continental Grand Sport Race is a classic budget-friendly road bike tire.

Oftentimes you pay a lot extra for the latest technology, which offers marginal gains if any. Sometimes a tire is just a tire and will do the job just fine, without burning a whole in your wallet.

The Continental Grand Sport Race is the latter. It offers the PureGrip compound, and a NyTech breaker, which is a nylon fabric located directly underneath the center tread to prevent punctures.

Both the compound and breaker are slightly heavier, but make for a much more affordable tire than the more premium ones.

Continental stands out for their high-quality, yet affordable offerings, and for your standard road bike tire, the Continental Grand Sport Race is their best example.

Continental Grand Sport Race Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Solid, afffordable, allround road bike tire, with additional puncture-resistant breaker
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Gator Hardshell

The Continental Gator Hardshell is the on of the most puncture-resistant tires Continental’s lineup with touring and road bike qualities.

It offers a 3-ply 60 TPI carcass reinforced with a wider PolyX breaker underneath the slick center tread, which is a tightly woven polyester fibre to prevent object from penetrating the tire.

Besides the breaker, the trie also features the bead-to-bead DuraSkin polyamde fabric, giving the tire its characteristic reddish weave on the sidewall. It serves both as an added layer of puncture-protection and sidewall-reinforcement.

Naturally, all this added protection adds some weight, but as far as puncture-protection for fast commuters and road bikes go, this tire is nothing short of asthonishing in that department.

Continental Gator Hardshell Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Asthonishing puncture protection in a gorgeous slick road bike tire or fast commuter tire. Still pretty lightweight considering the added protective layers.
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Gatorskin

Very similiar to the Hardshell version the Continental Gatorskin is an incredibly road bike tire with an exceptional level of puncture protection.

It offers a more supple 3-ply 180 TPI carcass with the same PolyX Breaker, a tightly woven polyester fabric sitting underneath the center tread, preventing foreign objects from reaching the air chamber.

It also has the Duraskin bead-to-bead protection, reinforcing its sidewalls and giving the tire its distinctive burgundy appearance, and adding an extra protective layer made from an incredibly strong polyamde fabric.

This tire is the pinnacle of perfection, offering the seemingly unattainable blend of maximum puncture-protection without sacrificing to much in the weight department, all in a road bike tire with a slick tread pattern. An absolute no-brainer for people who appreciate hard-wearing, fast-rolling tires.

Continental Gatorskin Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Maximum puncture protection, distinctive looks, and a slick tread pattern makes this one of the best road bike tires for mile-crunchers.
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Ultra Sport III

The Continental Ultra Sport III is a budget-friendly slick tire for commuters and road bikes.

It offers a no-frills tire in an affordable package, and one of the cheapest big brand tires money can buy

It’s a solid option for people who understand they get what they pay for.

Continental Ultra Sport III Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Extremely budget-friendly, no-frills commuter tire.
Reasons to avoid
None for its price-point

Panaracer Agilest

The Panaracer Agilest is the newest addition to the Japanese tire manufacturer’s road bike tire lineup.

The standard clincher variant is one of the lightest tires available, with the “wide” 28mm version sitting at just 210 grams per tire.

They’ve achieved this weight with the new and much lighter ZSG Agile compound, which is a combination of a single 120 TPI ply with a puncture resistant breaker.

Coming in a variety of color combinations, including a gorgeous amber one, and being a long-time fan of Panaracer, I can do very little but intantly count this road bike tire among my favorites.

Panaracer Agilest Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Light as a feather, with multiple colors. Another hit with Japanese build quality.
Reasons to avoid
None

Panaracer Agilest Duro

The Panaracer Agilest Duro is without a doubt, the most puncture-resistant, yet lightweight road bike tire on the market.

The puncture resistance differs markedly by including the ProTite Belt, a breaker Panaracer also uses in their touring tires. On top of that an extra bead-to-bead breaker covers the entire casing.

By adding the extra breaker, they’ve bumped up the weight just a bit, but the 220 grams for a 25mm version is incredibly impressive.

Panaracer Agilest Duro Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
The most puncture-resistant, yet lightweight road bike tire on the market
Reasons to avoid
None

Panaracer Agilest TLR

The Panaracer Agilest TLR is the tubeless-ready variant of the standard Agilest clincher.

It offers the same lightweight ZSG Agile compound, but instead of the breaker, has a bead-to-bead air proof layer to ensure a flatless ride.

And just as the clincher is one of the lightest in its category, the TLR, having the same type of casing, also offers the lowest weight for a tubeless-ready road bike tire. With the 23mm version at just 220 grams.

This one only comes in black though. But if you’re looking for an extremely lightweight tubeless-ready road bike tire of the highest quality, you’ve found it.

Panaracer Agilest TLR Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
One of the lightest tubeless-ready road bike tires
Reasons to avoid
None

Panaracer GravelKing (TLC)

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

The tubeless-compatible version of the Panaracer GravelKing 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.

Panaracer GravelKing (TLC) Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Slick version of one of the best gravel tires on the market, gorgeous supple and round tire, extremely lightweight
Reasons to avoid
None

Panaracer GravelKing SS (TLC)

It’s hard to beat a winning formula but I believe Panaracer has done just that with their Panaracer Gravel King Semi Slick Plus.

The original Gravel King is one of the best if not the best gravel tires on the market, and with the SS or semi-slick they cater to riders who want that plush ride and some extra speed with an improved rolling-restance.

Besides that, all Panaracer tires are known for their extreme supple nature and low weight, and this tire is no exception to that rule.

And I know from experience running multiple Panaracers that the ProTite Protection ensures many miles without flats.

A big thumbs up for this fantastic addition to the Gravel King lineup.

Panaracer GravelKing SS (TLC) Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
semi-slick version of one of the best gravel tires on the market, extremely lightweight
Reasons to avoid
None

Panaracer GravelKing SS (Tubed)

The tubed version of the Panaracer GravelKing SS comes in a single 28mm width.

At 310 grams it’s slightly heavier than the 270 of the standard GravelKing version, which means you pack a bit more rubber, and slightly pronounced knobbies at the side.

And 310 grams isn’t heavy at all, 270 is just very light. I would say this tire, with this tread pattern is meant for touring, and very light gravel riding on standard road bikes. The knobbies are so small, that I’m afraid that for more heavy duty stuff, they will simply wear out too fast, turning these tires into something just as slick as the classic GravelKing.

Panaracer GravelKing SS (Tubed) Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Tour-oriented road bike tire, with slightly more grip than the standard tubed GravelKing
Reasons to avoid
None

Pirelli Cinturato

If you ask me the Pirelli Cinturato’s understated design is one of the best on this list. This tubeless-ready tire is far more robust than the P Zero on this list, going in the direction of a gravel tire.

A kevlar-reinforced breaker offers bead-to-bead protection, besides a smaller one sitting underneath the tread. The more durable 60 TPI casing is heavier, but will last you longer. Called Armour Tech, it’s the solution of choice for making these tires are truly all-weather condition tires, offering great grip and puncture resistance all through the year.

That added protection does mean they will tip the scales at 300 and 340 grams for the 26 and 28 mm versions. So it’s no weight-weenie tire.

Pirelli Cinturato Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Fantastic grip, durability, and puncture-protection for a 4-season tire, very fast.
Reasons to avoid
A bit on the heavy side

Schwalbe Durano Plus

The Schwalbe Durano Plus is a road bike tire that utilizes the SmartGuard belt.

The thought behind this puncture resistant layer is rather simple, but has stood the test of time, making it a popular choice in the fight against flats.. What you do is you make the belt, sitting underneath the center tread, so thick that you could virtually run over anything without getting a flat.

Its system is utilized in their Marathon lineup as well and has found its way into this road tire. It sits at the top of their puncture proof technologies. With an extra 5mm of material stuffed in the tire, you can basically push a thumb tack into it and still hold air.

That material does add weight, so it’s easily a 100 grams heavier than a lighter competior. It’s also not the most supple tire, so this tire definitely caters to those who are really sick and tired of finding themselves at the side of the road with their bike upside down. And obviously, it’s a solid training tire.

On the other hand, I don’t think any other tire beats this one in terms of being puncture proof.

Schwalbe Durano Plus Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very durable, extremely puncture resistant, and affordable road bike tire
Reasons to avoid
Low rolling resistance, heavy

Schwalbe Lugano II

The Schwalbe Lugano is a sort of budget fit-and-forget tire. Coming in many sizes it’s a no-fancy road tire that’s easy on your wallet.

It’s a tire that forgoes any pure premium characteristic and instead focuses on longevity and many miles on the road. Don’t expect high TPI counts, and ultra-light weight with this tire, that’s not its intended audience.

Schwalbe Lugano II Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Budget-friendly, mile-cruncher
Reasons to avoid
Premium tires are better

Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type

The Schwalbe Pro One is a top-tier tire from the German brand, which can also be used for time trials.

It’s very light and has one of the best low rolling-resistance numbers. Like many super-fast tires it’s still a clincher tire.

The 23 mm version weighs 215 grams and the 25 mm version 235 grams. The 25 mm version also comes as a tan wall.

Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Super fast, lightweight, tan wall option available, one of the very best race tires on the market
Reasons to avoid
None

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 no lightweight. 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
None

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
None

Vittoria Zaffiro Pro

The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro is the most affordable road bike tire from the Italian manufacturer.

The idea behind this tire is that what it lacks in terms of technology, it makes up for in durability. That means you get a heavy, yet sturdy tire made from their proprietary Graphene 2.0 compound, which is the same compound used in all of their other tires.

So it’s a great tire for a fast commuter, or a more affordable all-season road bike tire.

Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Affordable Italian 4-season road bike tire
Reasons to avoid
None for its price-point

Specifications endurance road bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Buy at Amazon
Continental Gator Hardshell
700Cx28
28-622
340
Black
Black
BlackChili
Hardshell
foldable
3/180
Continental Gator Hardshell
700Cx28
28-622
270
Black
Black
BlackChili
Hardshell
wired
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx32
32-622
345
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
foldable
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx32
32-622
420
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
wired
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx28
28-622
360
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
wired
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx28
28-622
280
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
foldable
3/180
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season
700Cx32
32-622
340
Black
Black
Max Grip
DuraSkin / Double Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season
700Cx28
28-622
295
Black
Black
Max Grip
DuraSkin / Double Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx32
32-622
285
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx30
30-622
255
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx28
28-622
275
Black
Cream
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx28
28-622
245
Black
Transparent
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx28
28-622
240
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx32
32-622
320
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
tlr
2/220
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx32
32-622
320
Black
Transparent
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
tlr
2/220
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx30
30-622
300
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
tlr
2/220
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx28
28-622
280
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
tlr
2/220
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx28
28-622
280
Black
Transparent
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
tlr
2/220
Continental Grand Sport Race
700Cx32
32-622
400
Black
Black
PureGrip
NyTech Breaker
foldable
3/180
Continental Grand Sport Race
700Cx28
28-622
335
Black
Black
PureGrip
NyTech Breaker
foldable
3/180
Continental Ultra Sport III
700Cx32
32-622
410
Black
Black
PureGrip
 
wired
3/180
Continental Ultra Sport III
700Cx28
28-622
295
Black
Black
PureGrip
 
foldable
3/180
Panaracer Agilest
700×28
28-622
210
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest
700×28
28-622
210
Black
Amber
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest Duro
700×28
28-622
250
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
TF Super Outer Shield / ProTite belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest TLR
700×28
28-622
270
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha
tlr
120
Panaracer GravelKing (TLC)
700Cx32
32-622
290
Black
Black
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
tlr
126
Panaracer GravelKing (TLC)
700Cx32
32-622
290
Black
Tan
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
tlr
126
Panaracer GravelKing (TLC)
700Cx35
35-622
310
Black
Black
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
tlr
126
Panaracer GravelKing (TLC)
700Cx35
35-622
310
Black
Tan
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
tlr
126
Panaracer GravelKing SS (TLC)
700Cx32
32-622
320
Black
Black
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
tlr
126
Panaracer GravelKing SS (TLC)
700Cx32
32-622
320
Black
Tan
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
tlr
126
Panaracer GravelKing SS (TLC)
700Cx35
35-622
380
Black
Black
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
tlr
126
Panaracer GravelKing SS (TLC)
700Cx35
35-622
380
Black
Tan
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
tlr
126
Panaracer GravelKing SS (Tubed)
700Cx28
28-622
310
Black
Black
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
foldable
126
Panaracer GravelKing SS (Tubed)
700Cx28
28-622
310
Black
Tan
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
foldable
126
Schwalbe Durano Plus
700Cx28
28-622
450
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
foldable
2/67
Schwalbe Durano Plus
700Cx28
28-622
530
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
wired
2/67
Schwalbe Lugano II
700Cx28
28-622
310
Black
Black
Silica
Reinforced Tread
foldable
50
Schwalbe Lugano II
700Cx28
28-622
400
Black
Black
Silica
Reinforced Tread
wired
50
Schwalbe Lugano II
700Cx32
32-622
420
Black
Black
Silica
Reinforced Tread
wired
50
Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
700Cx28
28-622
250
Black
Black
ADDIX Race
V-Guard
foldable
2/127
Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
700Cx28
28-622
250
Black
Transparent
ADDIX Race
V-Guard
foldable
2/127
Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
700Cx30
30-622
280
Black
Black
ADDIX Race
V-Guard
foldable
2/127
Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
700Cx30
30-622
280
Black
Transparent
ADDIX Race
V-Guard
foldable
2/127
Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
700Cx32
32-622
310
Black
Black
ADDIX Race
V-Guard
foldable
2/127
Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
700Cx32
32-622
310
Black
Transparent
ADDIX Race
V-Guard
foldable
2/127
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx28
28-622
270
Black
Black
Corespun K
Protection Belt
foldable
320
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx28
28-622
270
Black
Tan
Corespun K
Protection Belt
foldable
320
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx28
28-622
280
Black
Black
Corespun K
Protection Belt
foldable
320
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx28
28-622
280
Black
Tan
Corespun K
Protection Belt
foldable
320
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx30
30-622
280
Black
Tan
Corespun K
Protection Belt
foldable
320
Vittoria Zaffiro Pro
700Cx28
28-622
340
Black
Black
Graphene 2.0
 
foldable
26
Vittoria Zaffiro Pro
700Cx30
30-622
385
Black
Black
Graphene 2.0
 
foldable
26
Vittoria Zaffiro Pro
700Cx32
32-622
395
Black
Black
Graphene 2.0
 
foldable
26

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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