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The top 8 best lightweight road bike tires

With this article I’m going to give you a number of some of the best lightweight road bike tires.

Before I can do so I need to establish a benchmark weight to compare against. I’ve taken a list of 270 tires with a tire width up to 28mm, which is the widest tire that’s generally compatible with any road bike frame, and won’t get you into trouble with respect to frame clearance.

The average weight was 280 grams, so anything reasonably below 280 grams can be considered lightweight. I’ve listed tires up to 225 grams.

The last couple of years there’s been a trend of moving away from very skinny tires. That means that tire manufacturers almost never include sub-23mm tires in their road bike tire lineup anymore. In turn sub-200 gram tires are becoming more rare with wider tires obviously weighing more.

But you will definitely find them on this list, and not all of them are strictly for time trial purposes. I’ve added a table overview at the end of this article for you to gain more insight in weight, puncture protection, and compounds.

With that out of the way, let’s head over to my list of the very best and very lightweight road bike tires.

Panaracer Agilest Light

Panaracer Agilest Light
Panaracer Agilest Light

What do you get when you take one of the lightest road bike tires available, and decide you want to make it even lighter? You get the Panaracer Agilest Light.

I know of only one tire which is lighter than the 160 grams 23mm version (or 170 grams 25mm). That tire specifically states it’s meant for either the track or a time trial.

This one does not. And, on the other hand, still offers the same 120 TPI casing, and breaker as the clincher version. It only comes with less rubber, but obviously something had to go to get into the weight class this tire sits in, which is quite frankly, anorexic. And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way.

Sure, it might be less durable, but who cares? This tire is a weight weenies’ dream come true.

Expert Experience

#REF!

Pros and Cons

Panaracer Agilest

Panaracer Agilest
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 instantly count this road bike tire among my favorites.

Expert Experience

Steve Williams | Product reviewer – May 2, 2023

I don’t suggest you go gravelling with these, but they’ve proved confidently tenacious and communicative on dirty, gritty and often badly potholed back lanes, while still accelerating and rolling well. In these aspects they match the tubeless versions, which use the same ZSG Agile compound.

They’ve resisted punctures in the same way too, despite the poor conditions wrought by spring tractor action and winter ice, and inevitably their handling feels identical – hard climbing and braking grip is good, wet grip is great and they steer very neutrally.

Pros and Cons

Panaracer Agilest Duro

Panaracer Agilest Duro
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.

Pros and Cons

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.

Expert Experience

Thriathlon Plus | Contributor – December 10, 2011

The new Podium TT from Continental falls in the category of light and fast. Our “roll-down test” certainly demonstrated its speed credentials and the new 22mm width is not only light at 205g but also gives a better fit to bulged carbon wheel-rims (like new Zipp Firecrest carbon rims).

During a race they made every road feel silky-smooth right up until the moment it started raining. At which point the front wheel slipped on a bend and half an hour later punctured on a small piece of glass. Race-day worries are appeased to some degree by 0.7mm of tyre depth and a Vectran Breaker strip, but I’d still prefer to keep them for short races on sunny days given our test experience.

Pros and Cons

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

Michelin Power Time Trial

Michelin Power Time Trial
fallback

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.

Expert Experience

Jarno Bierman | Tire tester – April 10, 2022

I tested the Power Time Trial with a latex tube to see if it could come close to the fastest tubeless tires. The Power Time Trial with a latex tube shows us rolling resistance is the same as the ultra-fast tubeless Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ 2.0 at high air pressures. Only at very low air pressures, the tubeless Corsa Speed is a bit faster. If you’re still using inner tubes and looking for the fastest tires, the Power Time Trial with latex inner tubes is what you should be looking for.

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 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.

Expert Experience

Liam Cahill | Contributor – January 5, 2019

That brings us on to the competition. If the rolling stats are to believed, these are a class above the rest for pure speed. For racing, I’d recommend these over pretty much every other tubeless tyre. Yes, they’re a little delicate, but you get a really nice ride feel, great grip (in the dry) and the fastest ride. And though they’re not cheap, you can still spend more on tubeless tyres.

Pros and Cons

Specifications lightweight road bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx23
23-622
200
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 5000
700Cx25
25-622
225
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Podium TT
700Cx22
22-622
225
Black
Black
BlackChili
Vectran Breaker
tubular
3/180
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
Panaracer Agilest
700×23
23-622
180
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest
700×23
23-622
180
Black
Amber
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest
700×25
25-622
190
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest
700×25
25-622
190
Black
Amber
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest
700×25
25-622
190
Black
Blue
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest
700×25
25-622
190
Black
Red
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
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
700×23
23-622
210
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
TF Super Outer Shield / ProTite belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest Duro
700×25
25-622
220
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
TF Super Outer Shield / ProTite belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest Light
700×23
23-622
160
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Agilest Light
700×25
25-622
170
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
AX-Alpha / TF Super Belt
foldable
120
Panaracer Closer Plus
700Cx25
25-622
220
Black
Black
ZSG
foldable
120
Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type
700Cx23
23-622
215
Black
Black
ADDIX Race
V-Guard
foldable
2/127
Vittoria Corsa Speed
700Cx23
23-622
200
Black
Tan
Corespun T
Protection Belt
tubular
320
Vittoria Corsa Speed
700Cx25
25-622
205
Black
Black
Corespun T
Protection Belt
tubular
320
Vittoria Corsa Speed
700Cx25
25-622
205
Black
Tan
Corespun T
Protection Belt
tubular
320

Sources

#REF!
Steve Williams, Panaracer Agilest Folding Road Tyre, Road.cc, May 2, 2023
Thriathlon Plus, Continental Podium TT tubular tyre review – Light and fast, Bikeradar, December 10, 2011
Stu Kerton, Continental Grand Prix 5000 Clincher, Road.cc, March 26, 2021
Jarno Bierman, Road Bike Tire Test: Michelin Power Time Trial 25, Bicycle Rolling Resistance, April 10, 2022
Matthew Loveridge, Schwalbe Pro One TLE tyre review, Bikeradar, June 15, 2020
Liam Cahill, Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ Isotech Foldable Tubeless Ready, Road.cc, January 5, 2019
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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