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The top 6 lightest road bike tires

In this article I’m going to give you a list of the absolute lightest road bike tires money can buy.

But before we go in first we need to establish a benchmark of tire weight, so we can get a perspective on what exactly constitutes light. To do so I’ve added the weight of all the road bike tires I had and divided them by the number which were part of the equation. There were 196 entries and the average weight turned out to be 291 grams. All had 700C diameters and the tire widths ran from an ultra-thin 19 mm up to 28 mm. I’ve chosen the 28 mm as the upper bound, since there seems to be a consensus that tires with that width still can be called road bike tires.

The tires on this list all have weights of 200 grams or lower, and apart from the single Rene Herse entry are all from either the Continental or Vittoria tire brand. Now I already knew Continental made some of the lightest mountain bike tires on the market, but as it seems, they also dominate the road bike market when it comes to the lightest road bike tires.

A sub-200 gram tire is indeed extremely light, but do keep in mind that moving up to the average weight doesn’t even add 200 grams to the overall weight of your bike. And with that added weight do come benefits of added durability, puncture protection and comfort.

But as far as race day is concerned, these lightest road bike tires will help you shave off those couple of watts you’re looking for.

Continental Competition

Continental Competition
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 all-round 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 maximize 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 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.

Continental Grand Prix TT

Continental Grand Prix TT
Continental Grand Prix TT

The Continental Grand Prix TT actually has two entries sitting below 200 grams. With the 23 mm width at 170 and the 25 mm at 190.

It’s a very supple tire at 330 TPI meant for time trials. So apart from Continental’s proprietary vectran breaker for a bit of puncture protection, its centerline is a slick with the amount of rubber down to an absolute minimum.

It’s a clincher tire so you will need tubes to run this one on your wheels.

Continental Podium TT

Continental Podium TT
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.

Michelin Power Time Trial

Michelin Power Time Trial
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The Michelin Power Time Trial is, as the name suggests, another time trial entry to this list. It sacrifices durability and puncture resistance for pure speed.

The two sizes of 23 and 25 mm tip the scales at 180 and 190 grams respectively, so considering their widths, this is truly one of the lightest tires on the planet.

You’d expect from a time trial tire that it performs well in the rolling resistance department, and the Michelin Power Time Trial does indeed. Together with the Continental Grand Prix 5000, the tire has one of the lowest ones.

Vittoria Corsa Speed

Vittoria Corsa Speed
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 off 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.

Road Bike Tires Weight Rating

I’ve always been fascinated by bicycle tires, and road bike tires offer some of the most premium pieces of rubber you can put on your rims. It’s a good place to save quite a bit of weight without paying a really large amount of money. It’s not like there are titanium or carbon tires, which are traditionally materials to make bicycle products lighter that are very expensive.

The lightest 700C tire I’ve looked at is the Veloflex Record, which is a track tire sitting at 135 grams for a 23 mm version. The heaviest tire I’ve taken into account is the Schwalbe Lugano II Endurance weighing 490 grams for the same 25 mm tire width.

In the following graph you can find the weight ratings for each tire. The weight ratings represent a relative percentage irrespective of tire width and only looking at 700C versions of the respective tire. The numbers are compared against each other resulting in a percentage of 0 for the relative heaviest tire and 100 for the relative lightest tire.

Continental Competition
71%
Continental Grand Prix 5000
81%
Continental Grand Prix TT
89%
Continental Podium TT
68%
Michelin Power Time Trial
87%
Vittoria Corsa Speed
83%

Road Bike Tires Puncture Protection Rating

Nobody likes a flat tire. It’s one of the most jarring things to break the flow of a ride. That’s why puncture protection is an important factor when considering a certain bicycle tire.

Puncture protection sits at the other end of the tire weight, suppleness and possibly grip. The more rubber you add to a tire, and the more layers of protection sit underneath it, the more weight you add, and the stiffer your tire gets. That’s why racing tires have the most minimal protection, and touring or 4-season tires the most.

The puncture protection ratings you see here are a function of TPI, in combination with tire weight, and puncture protection technology added to the tire. From sidewall protection, multiple breakers and tire belts.

Continental Competition
49%
Continental Grand Prix 5000
42%
Continental Grand Prix TT
37%
Continental Podium TT
51%
Michelin Power Time Trial
29%
Vittoria Corsa Speed
38%

Specifications lightest road bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
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Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx23
23-622
200
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Michelin Power Time Trial
700Cx23
23-622
180
Black
Black
Gum-X
foldable
3/180
Michelin Power Time Trial
700Cx25
25-622
190
Black
Black
Gum-X
foldable
3/180
Vittoria Corsa Speed
700Cx23
23-622
200
Black
Tan
Corespun T
Protection Belt
tubular
320
bio vanseijen

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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