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The top 7 best gumwall road bike tires

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 having 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 hand 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

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 impressively.

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

Expert Experience

Stu Kerton | Senior Product Reviewer – March 26, 2021

Riding them in the winter has shown how durable they are for such a high-performance tyre. With a short test period it’s difficult to judge wear levels, but the GP5000s are looking good. There are a couple of little marks here and there from the hedge cutting season, but they haven’t punctured yet.

They have a supple feel, too. Even at the pressures I ride, they bring a noticeable cushioning effect to proceedings. The only real issue I can see is that if you want tubeless and a tan wall, you’re out of luck. If that doesn’t bother you, you’re going to have to go some to find another tyre that delivers the same levels of performance and durability. The GP5000 Transparent is excellent. As long as you’re willing to pay for it.

Pros and Cons

Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR

Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
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.

Expert Experience

Simon von Bromley | Senior technical writer – December 21, 2021

Though the claimed decrease in rolling resistance versus the outgoing GP5000 TL appears to be too good to be true, the Continental GP5000 S TR nevertheless remains a benchmark tubeless road bike tyre.

It strikes an ideal balance of low rolling resistance, durability and puncture protection that makes it very hard to beat.

That it is now compatible with hookless rims and is available with a choice of black or transparent sidewalls, plugs what were arguably the only two chinks in its armour.

I’ll be sticking with my Vittoria Corsa Speed TLRs for time trials then, but for everything else on the road it’s hard to look past the GP5000 S TR

Pros and Cons

Michelin Dynamic Classic

Michelin Dynamic Classic
fallback

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.

Pros and Cons

Panaracer GravelKing SS (Tubed)

Panaracer GravelKing SS (Tubed)
Panaracer GravelKing SS (Tubed)
Pros and Cons

Schwalbe Pro One

Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
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.

Expert Experience

Matthew Loveridge | Senior Writer – June 15, 2020

I’m very light and therefore tend to run my tyres at quite low pressure. I’ve been impressed at how tolerant the Pro Ones are of being run properly soft. Even at the very lowest pressures, the Pro Ones feel accurate and controlled, they don’t flop around on their sidewalls like some purportedly racy road tyres.

On tarmac, the Pro Ones are like any other modern road clincher. Without comparing rolling resistance data this is highly subjective, but the Pro Ones feel fast, even at those very low pressures.

Pros and Cons

Vittoria Corsa

Vittoria Corsa
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 not lightweight. But the combination of that weight and an 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.

Expert Experience

Liam Cahill | Contributor – August 4, 2020

I’m very impressed by the Corsa G2.0. They feel incredibly fast in a straight line, the graphine compound working perfectly to hold speed. They’re not quite as fast as the Corsa Speeds that I tested last year, but they’re certainly suitable for fast riding.

The soft sidewalls and soft compound would usually make me think of punctures, but I’ve experienced no flats, and it’s not like I’ve been overly careful with where I ride. Road races usually descend into a fair bit of moving up in the gutter, hardly where you find the best tarmac, and these have not let me down yet.

Pros and Cons

Vittoria Corsa Control

Vittoria Corsa Control
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 heavier 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.

Expert Experience

Liam Cahill | Contributor – July 21, 2020

At 323g, this isn’t the lightest tubeless option out there, but it does come with the added casing reinforcement and thicker tread. If you compare these to summer race tyres then you will notice that the Corsa Control TLR feels a little slower, but I’ll trade that for the increased mileage and added protection against punctures.

If you’re after a set of fast and grippy tyres for wet weather, or you want a posh tubeless tyre for winter, this is a very good option. The plush ride, confidence in the rain, and robust compound make the Vittoria Corsa Control TLR G2.0 easy to recommend.

Pros and Cons

Specifications gumwall road bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
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

Sources

Stu Kerton, Continental Grand Prix 5000 Clincher, Road.cc, March 26, 2021
Matthew Loveridge, Schwalbe Pro One TLE tyre review, Bikeradar, June 15, 2020
Liam Cahill, Vittoria Corsa Fold G2.0 tyre, Road.cc, August 4, 2020
Liam Cahill, Vittoria Corsa Control TLR G2.0 tyre, Road.cc, July 21, 2020
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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