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The top 8 best road bike touring tires in 2023

With this blogpost I’ll be giving you an overview of some of the very best road bike touring tires for your next cycling adventure.

I’ve done many cycling trips with my friends, and when I was younger I simply did it with the bike I had, which happened to be my father’s old road bike. I still have that bike, and it still sits on the original tires I used for those road trips. They are skinwall Michelin tires with a tire width of 23mm, because that’s what would be common width for the late nineties.

If I would do the same thing again today, I would never go for 23mm wide tires. That particular bike is from the late seventies, so I don’t know if the frame clearance even allows for a 28mm tire, but if it did I’d probably go for such a size. Tire widths make a huge difference in terms of comfort and durability, which I feel should come first for touring.

And wider tires also mean you have the benefit of improved grip for nastier sections of road. And because I’ve become so sick of repairing flat tires, I would definitely go for the most puncture-resistant one money could buy. This list includes tires of various widths, and by all means choose the one you like best. Everybody is different, and I’m just telling you my point of view.

It’s those tire characteristics I’ve kept in mind when creating this list of the best road bike touring tires. A handy table overview is included at the end of the article for your convenience.

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.

Panaracer Agilest Duro Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
The most puncture-resistant, yet lightweight road bike tire on the market
Reasons to avoid
None

Panaracer GravelKing (Tubed)

The tubed version of the Panaracer GravelKing inherits the compound and puncture protection technology of the entire lineup, but is offered in road bike tire dimensions.

This means you have your standard 23 to 28mm variants, with the durable ZSG compound, and the very reliable ProTite Shield Plus breaker. Which is a step up from their standard ProTite breaker, and also reinforces the sidewalls.

I use these tires for my daily driver, which is basically a road bike with panniers and fenders. They look great, ride even better, and though after many miles, there are small cuts on the well worn carcass, I haven’t had a flat.

All Panaracer tires are very low weight, including these ones. So whether you’re going to use them for a fast commuter, or a puncture-proof 4-season option for your road bike, know that these are some of the best road bike tires out there.

Panaracer GravelKing (Tubed) Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Fantastic fast, and supple commuter, or 4-season road bike tire.
Reasons to avoid
None

Panaracer Pasela ProTite

Panaracer makes very nice mid-level priced tires. And they also offer some of the best-looking ones for retro builds. I choose the Panaracer Pasela ProTite over the normal Pasela, because it’s lighter, comes in a folding version and has a better puncture protection.

The ProTite bead-to-bead protection covers is a tightly woven fabric covering the entire width of the tire, and sits in a mid-tier casing, offering a great combination of puncture protection, and low weight.

In general the Pasela ProTite are lightweight and true skin walls, that’ll look great on your bike.

Panaracer Pasela ProTite Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Fantastic allround tire, very light, true skin wall tires. Go-to option for retro commuter builds.
Reasons to avoid
None

Panaracer RiBMo

At 26 x 2 inches and 560 grams the Panaracer RibMo is among the lightest tires for its size on this list. Its minimal tread pattern moves it into the direction of being a slick tire, perfect for fast urban commuting.

The Panaracer RiBMo uses their proprietary ProTite technology, which is an extra puncture-resistant layer which runs the entire length and width of the tire. And they offer a more durable, commuter-friendly compound.

The conclusion is this tire will make your bike feel fast and nimble for many many miles at a reasonable enough price.

Panaracer RiBMo Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Ultra-light slick tire, affordable, durable, and supple, japanese build quality
Reasons to avoid
None

Schwalbe Durano Plus

The Schwalbe Durano Plus is a road bike tire that utilizes the SmartGuard belt.

The thought behind this puncture resistant layer is rather simple, but has stood the test of time, making it a popular choice in the fight against flats.. What you do is you make the belt, sitting underneath the center tread, so thick that you could virtually run over anything without getting a flat.

Its system is utilized in their Marathon lineup as well and has found its way into this road tire. It sits at the top of their puncture proof technologies. With an extra 5mm of material stuffed in the tire, you can basically push a thumb tack into it and still hold air.

That material does add weight, so it’s easily a 100 grams heavier than a lighter competior. It’s also not the most supple tire, so this tire definitely caters to those who are really sick and tired of finding themselves at the side of the road with their bike upside down. And obviously, it’s a solid training tire.

On the other hand, I don’t think any other tire beats this one in terms of being puncture proof.

Schwalbe Durano Plus Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very durable, extremely puncture resistant, and affordable road bike tire
Reasons to avoid
Low rolling resistance, heavy

Continental Gator Hardshell

The Continental Gator Hardshell is the on of the most puncture-resistant tires Continental’s lineup with touring and road bike qualities.

It offers a 3-ply 60 TPI carcass reinforced with a wider PolyX breaker underneath the slick center tread, which is a tightly woven polyester fibre to prevent object from penetrating the tire.

Besides the breaker, the trie also features the bead-to-bead DuraSkin polyamde fabric, giving the tire its characteristic reddish weave on the sidewall. It serves both as an added layer of puncture-protection and sidewall-reinforcement.

Naturally, all this added protection adds some weight, but as far as puncture-protection for fast commuters and road bikes go, this tire is nothing short of asthonishing in that department.

Continental Gator Hardshell Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Asthonishing puncture protection in a gorgeous slick road bike tire or fast commuter tire. Still pretty lightweight considering the added protective layers.
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Gatorskin

Very similiar to the Hardshell version the Continental Gatorskin is an incredibly road bike tire with an exceptional level of puncture protection.

It offers a more supple 3-ply 180 TPI carcass with the same PolyX Breaker, a tightly woven polyester fabric sitting underneath the center tread, preventing foreign objects from reaching the air chamber.

It also has the Duraskin bead-to-bead protection, reinforcing its sidewalls and giving the tire its distinctive burgundy appearance, and adding an extra protective layer made from an incredibly strong polyamde fabric.

This tire is the pinnacle of perfection, offering the seemingly unattainable blend of maximum puncture-protection without sacrificing to much in the weight department, all in a road bike tire with a slick tread pattern. An absolute no-brainer for people who appreciate hard-wearing, fast-rolling tires.

Continental Gatorskin Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Maximum puncture protection, distinctive looks, and a slick tread pattern makes this one of the best road bike tires for mile-crunchers.
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Grand Prix 4-Season

The Continental Grand Prix 4-Season utilizes an extra bead-to-bead layer Continental calls Duraskin, reserved for their most durable tires.

Each road tire in the Continental lineup uses a puncture resistant breaker for the center tread. The Grand Prix 4-Season uses two, effectively doubling its puncture resistance when compared with the other tires. It makes for a road bike tire with a ridiculous level of puncture resistance, and is something I haven’t seen in any other road bike tire I’ve researched.

And last but not least, the Continental Grand Prix 4-Season uses 3 layers of 110 TPI for both durability and longevity, without sacrificing to much in terms of weight, grip and ride feel. Which makes this tire one of the if not the most impressive tire on this list.

It comes in sizes 23, 25, 28 and 32 mm.

Continental Grand Prix 4-Season Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
the best allweather tire money can buy, bead-to-bead protection
Reasons to avoid
none

Specifications road bike touring tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Buy at Amazon
Continental Gator Hardshell
700Cx28
28-622
340
Black
Black
BlackChili
Hardshell
foldable
3/180
Continental Gator Hardshell
700Cx28
28-622
270
Black
Black
BlackChili
Hardshell
wired
3/180
Continental Gator Hardshell
700Cx25
25-622
340
Black
Black
BlackChili
Hardshell
foldable
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx32
32-622
345
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
foldable
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx32
32-622
420
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
wired
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx28
28-622
360
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
wired
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx28
28-622
280
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
foldable
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx25
25-622
245
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
foldable
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx25
25-622
315
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
wired
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx23
23-622
305
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
wired
3/180
Continental Gatorskin
700Cx23
23-622
230
Black
Black
BlackChili
DuraSkin / PolyX Breaker
foldable
3/180
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season
700Cx32
32-622
340
Black
Black
Max Grip
DuraSkin / Double Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season
700Cx28
28-622
295
Black
Black
Max Grip
DuraSkin / Double Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season
700Cx25
25-622
230
Black
Black
Max Grip
DuraSkin / Double Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season
700Cx23
23-622
235
Black
Black
Max Grip
DuraSkin / Double Vectran Breaker
foldable
3/330
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 Duro
700×28
28-622
250
Black
Black
ZSG Agile
TF Super Outer Shield / ProTite belt
foldable
120
Panaracer GravelKing (Tubed)
700Cx26
26-622
240
Black
Black
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
foldable
126
link
Panaracer GravelKing (Tubed)
700Cx26
26-622
240
Black
Tan
ZSG Natural
AX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plus
foldable
126
Panaracer Pasela ProTite
700×25
25-622
250
Black
Amber
ZSG
ProTite Shield / 400D Lite Extra Cord
foldable
66
Panaracer Pasela ProTite
700×28
28-622
270
Black
Amber
ZSG
ProTite Shield / 400D Lite Extra Cord
foldable
66
Panaracer RiBMo
700Cx25
25-622
340
Black
Black
Mile Cruncher
ProTite Shield / 800D Strong Cord
foldable
66
Schwalbe Durano Plus
700Cx25
25-622
385
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
foldable
2/67
Schwalbe Durano Plus
700Cx28
28-622
450
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
foldable
2/67
Schwalbe Durano Plus
700Cx23
23-622
410
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
wired
2/67
Schwalbe Durano Plus
700Cx25
25-622
450
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
wired
2/67
Schwalbe Durano Plus
700Cx28
28-622
530
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
wired
2/67

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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