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The top 7 best gumwall road bike tires in 2023

With this article I’m going to give you an overview of gorgeous-looking gumwall road bike tires.

If you take a brief glance at the domain name of this website you quickly realize that I feel right at home writing an article about this subject. Gumwall tires have had a dramatic rise in popularity, after have been forced out of the limelight for probaby 2 decades or longer.

I have to be honest that in creating this list I’ve made a number of assumptions about the person who landed on this article, which would be you. I assume you’re looking for what a purist would actually call a skinwall tire. You see, a purist would argue that a gumwall tire is actually an entry-level tire made with low TPI count sidewalls of cheap rubber, and could be all-black with respect to the color.

Skinwall tires on the other had are premium tires, which sacrifice protection for low weight, and speed, and still have their natural beige or tan color for the sidewalls. E.g. a skin color.

So the tires included here are both budget and premium gumwall and skinwall tires, which would look great on your recently restored vintage road bike, or your newly purchased carbon beauty. And you’ll find all of them in a handy table overview at the end of this article.

And with that out of the way, let’s see what I deemed worthy to make it onto my list of the best gumwall road bike tires.

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

Michelin Dynamic Classic

I’ve seen vintage road bike resellers dress their entire lineup with Michelin Dynamic Classic tires. The reason for this is that it’s a perfect match for any vintage road bike at probably the lowest cost for a tan wall road bike tire.

In the quality department this tire will not be top of its class, but it does come in an affordable package. And with prices ever going up that’s always a good thing.

Michelin Dynamic Classic Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Cheap, great for retro builds
Reasons to avoid
Not the most durable

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

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

Specifications gumwall road bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Buy at Amazon
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
700Cx25
25-622
230
Black
Transparent
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx25
25-622
255
Black
Cream
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx32
32-622
320
Black
Transparent
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 Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx25
25-622
250
Black
Transparent
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
tlr
2/220
Michelin Dynamic Classic
700Cx20
23-622
 
Black
Tan
 
 
foldable
 
Michelin Dynamic Classic
700Cx25
25-622
 
Black
Tan
 
 
foldable
 
Michelin Dynamic Classic
700Cx28
28-622
 
Black
Tan
 
 
foldable
 
Panaracer GravelKing SS (Tubed)
700Cx28
28-622
310
Black
Tan
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
foldable
126
Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
700Cx25
25-622
235
Black
Transparent
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
Transparent
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
700Cx23
23-622
245
Black
Tan
Corespun K
Protection Belt
foldable
320
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx25
25-622
255
Black
Tan
Corespun K
Protection Belt
foldable
320
Vittoria Corsa
700Cx28
28-622
270
Black
Tan
Corespun K
Protection Belt
foldable
320
Vittoria Corsa Control
700Cx25
25-622
265
Black
Tan
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

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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