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 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.
It’s a clincher tire so you will need tubes to run this one on your wheels.
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 allround 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 maximise 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 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.
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.
The Continental Grand Prix is a clincher tire.
Rene Herse Cayuse Pass
The extralight model of the Rene Herse Cayuse Pass tire is somewhat of an oddity when it comes to the picking the lightest road bike tires.
Unlike the other tires on this list the Rene Herse Cayuse Pass is relatively wide, sitting a 26 mm, but still manages to keep the weight far below 200 grams at 183. That’s an incredibly feat of tire technology.
Rene Herse’s tires are made by Panaracer but with a special homegrown compound, and somehow this compound is the lightest of all the tire manufacturers out there. Because with an 180 TPI tire, it still manages to be extremely light.
The Rene Herse Cayuse Pass is a clincher tire.
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.
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.
Specifications lightest road bike tires
|Name||Size||ETRTO||Weight (gr)||Tread Color||Sidewall Color||Buy at Amazon||Buy at Ebay|
|Continental Grand Prix TT||700Cx23||23-622||170||Black||Black||link||link|
|Continental Grand Prix TT||700Cx25||25-622||190||Black||Black||link||link|
|Continental Podium TT||700Cx19||19-622||195||Black||Black||link||link|
|Continental Grand Prix 5000||700Cx23||23-622||200||Black||Black||link||link|
|Vittoria Corsa Speed||700Cx23||23-622||200||Black||Black||link|
|Vittoria Corsa Speed||700Cx23||23-622||200||Black||Tan||link||link|
|Michelin Power Time Trial||700Cx23||23-622||180||Black||Black||link||link|
|Michelin Power Time Trial||700Cx25||25-622||190||Black||Black||link||link|
|Rene Herse Cayuse Pass||700Cx26||26-622||183||Black||Tan||link|