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The top 3 most comfortable road bike tires

In this article I’m going to give you my list for the very best most comfortable road bike tires.

As a complete tire nut, this list was much harder to make than many other lists I’ve compiled on the subject of tires. The term comfortable is not exactly easy to measure, but take out most what could be deemed subjective, I’ve looked at a combination of experience, tire volume, and TPI or threads per ince as a good starting point.

Most comfortable does not necessarily equate to fast. Riding a time trial bike doesn’t look more comfortable than riding a city commuter, and it isn’t. But it doesn’t mean you have trade one for the other. Tire manufacturers are always looking for the ways to incorporate all aspects riders are looking for, including the combination of speed, comfort, longevity, and puncture protection. But those tires that combine high numbers in those categories do command a premium for obvious reasons.

I’ve included tires with a width sitting between 25 and 28 mm. More volume obviously means more comfort, but the average road bike frame wasn’t built for tires wider than 28 mm. You should be looking in the gravel bike section if 28 mm is still too slim for you.

Another factor is suppleness, or how the tire comforms to road irregularities and absorbs them instead of sending them through to the rider. This is where TPI comes in, with a higher TPI count equating to higher levels of comfort. You do have to take tire presure into account as well, but since a tire doesn’t come pre-inflated, it’s up to you to decide what suits you best.

TPI for road bike tires goes up to a 120. Higher numbers are calculated simply by adding the TPI count of multiple layers. This would explain a TPI of 300, which would be the result of adding 3 layers of 100 each. By playing around with the TPI count, the thread material (nylong, cotton, silk) and the amount of rubber, you can infuse your tire with suppleness. Unfortunately, suppleness is not a standard in the tire industry, so for now we’ll have to rely on TPI as simply another metric that tells part of the story at best.

So that’s about what I have to say for an introduction. Let’s go to the list of most comfortable road bike tires.

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

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 in the market
Reasons to avoid
None

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 of 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.

Vittoria Corsa Speed Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very fast, lots of grip
Reasons to avoid
Meant for race day, very pricey

Specifications most comfortable road bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Buy at Amazon
Challenge Strada Pro
700Cx25
25-622
 
Black
Tan
SuperPoly
 
tubular
Challenge Strada Pro
700Cx25
25-622
 
Black
Black
SuperPoly
 
tubular
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx28
28-622
280
Black
Black
BlackChili
 
tlr
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx28
28-622
280
Black
Transparent
BlackChili
 
tlr
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx25
25-622
250
Black
Black
BlackChili
 
tlr
Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR
700Cx25
25-622
250
Black
Transparent
BlackChili
 
tlr
Schwalbe Pro One
700Cx25
25-622
235
Black
Black
ADDIX Race
 
foldable
Schwalbe Pro One
700Cx25
25-622
235
Black
Transparent
ADDIX Race
 
foldable

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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