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The top 5 fastest road bike clincher tires

In this article I’m going to give you my list of the fastest road bike clincher tires.

I’ve written quite some articles on the subject of tires in general, and road bike tires specifically. And the same tires seem to float to the surface when creating these type of lists.

This list is like that with the entries listed here almost mirroring the entries for the road bike tires with the lowest rolling resistance, or the lightest road bike tires. That’s of course because those two components are very important when it comes to speed. And what you see is that the best tires score high across paramers such as low weight, low rolling resistance, high TPI count, and probably not the best durability.

Because if you want to be the fastest you have to give something in return, and speed comes at the price of possibly runner more flats.

I’ve only included foldable tires, not tubeless ready. So, provided you have the proper set of rims these tires can be mounted almost universally on any other bicycle as well, making any of them the perfect choice for your vintage road bike. But be prepared to dig deep into your wallet as well, because some of these tires are very expensive indeed.

Here’s the list of the fastest road bike clincher 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 impressive.

And this tire comes in a tan wall version or transparent as Continental calles 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 center line is a slick with the amount of rubber down to an absolute minimum.

Michelin Power Time Trial

Michelin Power Time Trial
Michelin Power Time Trial

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.

Schwalbe Pro One

Schwalbe Pro One
Schwalbe Pro One

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.

Specialized Turbo Cotton

Specialized Turbo Cotton
Specialized Turbo Cotton

The Specialized Turbo Cotton is a super-supple very fast and comfortable road tire. It’s also very pricey.

As the name suggests, the Turbo Cotton uses cotton for its casing. And this results in a buzz-free and smooth ride, that’s grippy and confidence inspring at the same time.

It has received a number of industry accolades and looks right at home at either today’s racing machine or a more vintage build. As with any fast tire, it’s alse light, which comes at a cost of durability of course. From 220 grams for the 24 mm version up to 260 for the 28 mm version.

Specifications fastest road bike clincher tires

NameSizeETRTOWeight (gr)Tread ColorSidewall ColorBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx3232-622285BlackBlack
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx3030-622255BlackBlack
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx2828-622275BlackCream
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx2828-622245BlackTransparent
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx2828-622240BlackBlack
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx2525-622230BlackTransparentlinklink
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx2525-622255BlackCreamlinklink
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx2525-622225BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Grand Prix 5000700Cx2323-622200BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Grand Prix TT700Cx2525-622190BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Grand Prix TT700Cx2323-622170BlackBlacklinklink
Michelin Power Time Trial700Cx2323-622180BlackBlacklinklink
Michelin Power Time Trial700Cx2525-622190BlackBlacklinklink
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx2323-622215BlackBlacklinklink
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx2525-622235BlackBlacklinklink
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx2525-622235BlackTransparentlinklink
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx2828-622250BlackBlack
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx2828-622250BlackTransparent
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx3030-622280BlackBlack
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx3030-622280BlackTransparent
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx3232-622310BlackBlack
Schwalbe Pro One700Cx3232-622310BlackTransparent
Specialized Turbo Cotton700Cx2424-622220BlackTan
Specialized Turbo Cotton700Cx2626-622240BlackTan
Specialized Turbo Cotton700Cx2828-622260BlackTan