Best Road Bike Tires for Puncture Resistance: Reviews (2018)
Nothing breaks the heart of a biker than bike tires that get punctured every time.
I can tell this from experience.
If you’re reading this post right now, chances are high that you have also experienced this problem when driving on the streets.
Sadly, this issue is unavoidable given that sharp objects like glass will always be present on the roads.
But we have good news for you;
Our team went on a mission to find a real solution for your problem. They consulted many biking enthusiasts, tire brands, and analyzed many tires on the market today (including the user feedbacks).
We found the 10 BEST tires for puncture protection. These are special tires designed using additional layers of stronger materials like Kevlar to block glass and other debris from penetrating.
For this reason, you expect them to be stiffer and heavier than the standard.
Nevertheless, they’ll save you time, money, and the inconvenience caused by regular punctures.
Ready to discover these puncture-proof tires that you can buy today?
Let’s roll in…
10 Best Road Bike Tires For Puncture Protection:
1. Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire Review:
With over 100 years in the bike tires industry, we can confidently assure you that Continental tires do no disappoint. They use revolutionary technologies, including the popular Vectran Breaker anti-puncture technology, which put their tires in a class of their own. The Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire- one of their most popular tires won a spot on our lost and we’ll tell you why…
First of all, the tire comes with superior durability. It’s made using Duraskin polyamide fabric. This is an ultra-tough material that enables it to roll on the harshest, roughest conditions without wearing out. Note that this material facilitates the durability of the tire without affecting its weight and ride quality.
Something else that makes this tire appear on this list is the Continental's PolyX Breaker technology integrated into it. In this technology, high-resistance polyester fabric is tightly woven in a crosswise manner. And this results in an extremely high fabric density that not only excellently resists sharp and other foreign objects but also resists puncture attempts.
Most importantly, this tire comes in both folding and wire bead versions, both of which have a variety of sizes to pick from. Cleary, not many bike tires will offer you such premium features at an affordable price. This is a must-buy tire if you want to wave goodbye to punctures.
2. Continental Grand Prix 4000s II Cycling Tire Review:
When it comes to tires that easily resist temperature attempts, you can’t get enough of this German-based tire manufacturer. In our second position, we feature another Continental product- the Grand Prix 4000s II Cycling Tire. This is also a special tire built with all seasons and conditions in mind. It’s the best choice for both training and touring.
One thing that seems to have catapulted this tire to fame is its unrivaled durability. It comes with the same Duraskin anti-tear fabric we’ve seen in our previous product. This grants it excellent sidewall protection, excellent grip, and increased lifespan. Given the fact that it also incorporates Continental’s special wear-resistant carbon compound, it’s one of the best puncture proof road bike tires you can find on the market today. Don’t forget that this special compound also promotes the tire mileage and traction in different weather conditions.
The real deal in this tire lies in the double Vectran breaker belt found under the tread. This raises the tire’s resistance against cuts and punctures to the highest possible level you can get on the market today! The tire comes in all sizes 23mm, 25mm, and 28mm, so you won’t have problems getting the right tire for your vehicle.
3. Vittoria Rubino Pro G+ Road Tire:
Vittoria Rubino Pro G+ Road Tire is also well known by cyclists all over the world. Not many tires can be compared to it when it comes to durability, grip, weight, and its all-around performance. The inclusion of G+ IsoTech in this tire has taken its performance to an even higher level, without altering its affordable price tag.
If you’re asking yourself what this G+ technology is all about, it’s simply a graphene carbon compound that has been mixed into the rubber layup- resulting in increased mileage, durability and resistance to puncture. That sounds great already, but it’s not all the tech does. It goes a step further to lower your bike tire’s rolling resistance as well as cornering grip. And that’s how you make your rides more fun and enjoyable.
As if that is not enough, the tire comes with 3C three-compound rubber layup which provide you with up to three different rubber compounds in a single tire. Doubtlessly, this will greatly improve the handling capabilities of your tire, making your even better. Couple this with the thicker tread & supple casing incorporated into the tire and its puncture resistance will get even better.
4. Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Road Clincher:
Look, it’s Continental again! The Grand Prix 4 Season Road Clincher is another fantastic tire you can rely on as an avid biker to reduce the number of punctures you deal with when cycling on-road. In fact, it has become the reference tire on the market today, having successfully passed numerous stages of revolution.
Like our previous Continental tires, this one also features the Vectran Breaker belt which is usually water-resistant, tougher and lighter than other belts (BTW: it’s also sturdier than steel), giving it greater puncture resistance capabilities. In addition to this, it comes with a 3-ply casing plus 300 TPI which offer additional reinforcement, making the tire 100% puncture-proof and long-lasting.
We also noted that nearly all the bikers who have used this tire praise its updated Black Chili tread compound. And they have good reasons for loving the compound; it improves the tire’s rolling resistance by up to 26%, offers up to 30% better grip than the activated silica models, and has 5% longer mileage. Above all this, it’s self-cleaning!
Like all the other bikers, you’ll also appreciate the treadwear indicators as they’ll help you easily tell when it’s time to replace your tire.
5. Continental Gator Hardshell DuraSkin Folding Tire:
The Continental Gator Hardshell DuraSkin Folding Tire is also among our favorite tires for puncture resistance. The new tire provides you with an excellent blend of longer-term durability and ride quality- all at a reasonable cost.
This tire boasts a bead-to-bead DuraSkin protection plus an extra-wide PolyX Breaker technology that extends from shoulder to shoulder to deliver the ultimate puncture resistance while improving the tire mileage.
On top of all this, it comes with the Supple 180TPI casing (also found in other Continental tires) for an even more responsive and comfortable ride. It’s also worth noting that this model comes with a foldable design, has a lightweight design of 260g only, and a maximum PSI of 120.
6. Schwalbe Lugano 700c x 25 Road Racing Bike Tires and Tubes:
Even with an extremely low budget, you can still enjoy a bike ride FREE of flats. This is evident from the cheaply priced (yet high puncture-resistant) Schwalbe Lugano 700c x 25 tires. What makes these tires an irresistible deal among cyclists is the fact it’s shipped in pairs (that is, two tires and tow tubes) at the same affordable cost.
As you have seen in most tires, a protective layer is put in place to prevent punctures. But in this model, things have been done a bit differently as a belt is used to keep of the cuts and punctures. Don’t make a mistake of thinking that this doesn’t work…as the belt covers the tire center for the ultimate puncture protection, diagonal stripes lie on each of the tire sides to serve the same purpose.
Once you install these tires on your bike, they roll pretty well. This is because the tire comes with a new profile and tread compound which couple up to lower the overall rolling resistance while enhancing the tire speed. Whether you use your bike for racing, training, commuting, touring, etc., these tires will prove to be real assets for you.
7. Bell Road Bike Tire with KEVLAR:
If you’re among the many cyclists who don’t agree with the Bell bike tires, trying this model might make your change your opinion about the company. We were truly impressed by its puncture protection capabilities. The DuPont Kevlar layer not only adds extra strength to the tire but also increases its resistance to puncture and cuts.
Another reason why you should invest in this affordable compound is its inverted tread pattern. Unlike in the other bike tires that feature raised knobs, this unique pattern gives the tire a textured surface- allowing you to enjoy faster and more efficient rides on the streets.
Note that the tire comes in sizes 26" x 1 3/8", 27" x 1.25", and 700c x 32-45c, to ensure you easily obtain the ideal model for your bike.
8. Continental Touring Plus Reflex Bike Tire:
When you get used to cases of frequent tire bursts and only maximum puncture protection can save you from the disappointments, the Continental Touring Plus Reflex Bike Tire becomes your answer. Just like all the other tires we featured in this list, we picked this tire because of how it excellently holds up against puncture attempts.
The main thing that attracted us to this tires it the unique Continental’s PlusBreather technology it comes with. This involves using extra-duty, highly elastic casing belt which is virtually impervious to all the dangerous elements on the road that contribute to punctures. Not forget that its lightweight nature also facilitates light steering for better-quality rides on the road.
Like all the other Continental tires, this model also comes with low rolling resistance. And that’s based on the fact that it comes with a smooth center design. The reinforced sidewalls help protect the casing from all the environmental factors that might affect its longevity or increase puncture risk.
9. Vittoria Zaffiro Pro III 23 Tire:
For all the serious riders out there looking for a truly affordable, top-quality training tire, you can never go wrong with the Vittoria Zaffiro Pro III 23 Tire. The tire is a perfect example of reduced flat tires, more secure grip, and extended lifespan on all your high mileage rides.
The secret to this tire’s ranking among the top-rated models lies in its Aramid Endura 3D tread compound. This is an extremely rugged material whose deeper middle grooves, as well as shallower shoulders, go a long way in improving cornering grip- even in the harshest of the conditions.
But that’s not all. It also features the PBR puncture protection that resists the slightest damages from all the road hazards, while maintaining a fast rolling performance. With the racing-inspired tread pattern, this tire will make long rides faster and a pleasure for you.
10. Schwalbe Pro One Tire – Tubeless:
We saved the best for last!
Before we close our list, allow us to review for you the Schwalbe Pro One Tire- a tubeless tire made to resist punctures and cuts and last a lifetime. The Schwalbe Pro is actually an upgraded tire that comes with reduced rolling resistance and a lightweight design compared to the original model.
There are a couple of other modifications that Schwalbe made to improve on their original solid tire. One of these changes includes adding Snakebite & Sidewall protection to the triple compound rubber. This teams up with the liquid tubeless sealant to help retain as much air pressure as possible and keep punctures at bay.
The Schwalbe's MicroSkin construction takes the tire’s durability to a whole new level. And this enables it to resist all the dangerous debris on the road that might end up damaging your tire and causing flat cases.
Thanks to the tire’s firm center strip, it offers you a greater rolling resistance (by up to 10%). Don’t forget it also comes with softer shoulders that strictly grip the road surfaces for the ultimate control, while cornering at fantastic speeds.
Overall, this new tire from Schwalbe is all about increased protection against punctures and more quality cycling.
Avoid Road Bike Punctures: Our Top Tips
As a biker, there are some crucial steps you can take to protect your tires from getting easily punctured. In this section, we’ll share with you our top tips that will keep your tires rolling for longer (and save you cash and time).
1. Watch where you ride your bike
One way you can prevent your bike tires from getting is watching where you ride. Most bikers tend to pedal near the edges of traffic lanes where sharp objects like grass and other debris are hidden.
This is quite risky as it leads to tire puncture most of the times.
If the road you’re driving in lacks bike lanes, we recommend you to avoid riving in the gutter as much as you can. At the same time, avoid driving in potholes as they also tend to accommodate the harmful elements.
And if you must ride in the road side (say, due to lack of space), then you must check your tires at the end to see if glass and other objects have embedded themselves on it waiting to penetrate to the inner tube.
2. Ensures the tire pressure is at its best
You should always ensure your tires are properly inflated at all times. A quick check on the tire’s sidewall will show you its recommended air pressure (expressed in PSI; Pound per square inch).
Why should you inflate your tires correctly?
Because an underinflated tire is highly vulnerable to punctures. You might also not enjoy the ride when cycling with such tires as they tend to increase the tire’s rolling resistance.
Likewise, an overinflated tire (or higher PSI) increased the chances of your tire blowing out. This is due to the air inside the tube getting too hot and expanding beyond the tube capacity.
Besides, too much air pressure would mean less traction on the streets, affecting the quality of your ride.
3. Replace the inner times regularly
Inner tubes come with a limited lifespan. And that means that an older tube has a higher likelihood of getting punctures or worn out in the middle of a good ride.
When servicing your bike, therefore, it’s always essential that you replace them with new ones to keep punctures at bay. Most of the bikers our team interacted with confessed that most of their inner tubes tend to get worn out around the valve.
Others explained that the frequent rubbing that occurs between this tube and the hole through which it enters the rim could be the reason behind its limited lifespan.
So, how often should you replace your inner tire?
The experts recommend you to do it yearly.
4. Replace your tires whenever they develop cuts
If your tire gets worn out, the likelihood of a puncture happening becomes even higher.
For any cut your tire develops, probably from the sharp objects out there, should raise concerns. It might come back to haunt you when you’re in the middle of a ride by making your tire flat.
The best action here involves parting with the worn out tires and replacing them with new ones. This way, you’ll decrease the chances of getting a tire bust.
5. Examine your tires for any sharp objects and debris
Yes, these harmful objects might get attached to your tire, and you might not even realize it. They play a significant role in puncturing your tire.
We highly advise you to carefully examine your tire every morning before you set out for that riding. This is even more important for those preparing for races or other major events.
Check for the presence of glass and any other sharp objects waiting to penetrate your tire and get to the inner tube, and remove the immediately.
Even if it means deflating your tires to get these objects out, please do it.
Did You Know?
When you get many punctures in a row, it’s usually due to an embedded glass hidden in your tires. This explains the need for regular examination around your bike tires.
How To Fix a Road Bike Tire Puncture?
Every cyclist should know how to fix a road bike tire puncture. This is because you never know where and when your tire will get flat.
Gladly, the task isn’t as hard as many people might think. You only need to follow the steps we’ve shared with you below, and your tire will get back on track:
Step One: Remove the flat wheel.
Before you start working on the punctured wheel, it’s important that you first remove it from your bike. Why? Because it’s much easier to work on than when it’s still in position.
To remove your bike wheel:
You’ll first need to disengage the brake assembly sitting close to the wheel rim. In most bikes, they come with a quick release mechanism for easy disconnection/reconnection.
Then, release the wheel with the help of the help of the quick release lever (most bikes come with it). If your bike lacks one, consider using a wrench to take it off.
Once you’ve set apart your wheel, move to the next step…
Step Two: Get the punctured tube out.
The next step involves removing the inner tube from the tire you’ve just removed above. This stage enables you to identify the cause of the flat tire easily.
For this process, you’ll need to use up to two tire levers…hook the rounded part of one lever under your tire bead to unseat it. You can hook the other lever end to a spoke to prevent the tire you’ve unseated from jumping back into its place.
Grab the other lever and hook its rounded end under the bead near your first tire. Move it around your tire in a clockwise direction until one side completely gets off the rim.
Eventually, get out the inner tube by simply pulling the tire valve stem to enable the rest of the tube to slide out easily.
(TIP: removing the remaining air in the tube makes its removal even easier)
Step Three: Discover the punctured part.
At this point, you’d want to find the culprit behind the flat. You must be extra careful when conducting this step; else you will not find the cause.
First, check the outer surface of your tire for any damage signs. Check for foreign objects embedded in the treads, or cuts and tears on the treads as well as side wall. Check for cracks and cuts along the tread lines as well.
You should also check the inner part of the tire for similar damages.
Next, inspect the inner tube for any damage signs (you should be even more carful here as tube punctures are not easy to spot. First take a trip around the entire tube, checking for the obvious signs like cuts and blowouts.
You can also try inflating your tube and check for any leaks. To easily spot the remarkably smaller leaks, you can dip your tube in water and check for bubbles or pass it through your eye to feel the escaping air.
If you have checked the tire and the tube without success, consider checking the valve. If its base or stem has get worn out, cut, or cracked, it can cause a flat as well. And in such cases, you should consider replacing the entire tube.
(TIP: don’t move the position of the wheel when inspecting it for damages. This ensures that, once you find the leaking part of your tube, you can trace location it was lying in inside the tire and check for any cuts, cracks or foreign objects).
Step Four: Repair the tube by fixing the puncture.
Congrats! You’re past the most demanding part. This step is quite simpler as it involves fixing the puncture.
If your find that your tire has only developed minor punctures, you’d most likely just repair it, and that’s all. But for bigger, permanent damages, replacement is the best option.
Repairing a puncture involves patching the puncture using a patching kit (it contains everything you need for the job, including a quick guide on how to patch).
If you opt for a replacement, just ensure you get the right size of tube- usually indicated on your bike manual or tire sidewall- to avoid disappointments.
Step Five: Re-install the tube and tire (and inflate).
After repairing/replacing your inner tube, now it’s time to inflate it to get it into its shape. This enables you to insert it into your tire easily.
Then, with the valve installed straight, roll the tire bead from yourself with your hands to walk the tire back into the rim. Using levers isn’t recommended at this step as it can easily puncture your tube.
At the valve stem, getting the tube into the tire can be tricky. Simply tuck in both tire bead sides into the rim, then push upward on valve stem.
When the tire gets to its original position, you can proceed to inflate it to the recommended pressure, while checking to ensure that the bead is correctly seated.
Step Six: Mount the wheel back to your bicycle.
The last step in your puncture repair involves getting the wheel back to your bike. This involves lining the dropouts in the wheel axle to allow you to slowly lower the fork into the axle.
Afterward, hold your bike's quick release in place and tighten the bolt. When the bolt becomes tight, you can now close the lever, ensuring it doesn’t tuck the bike frame and it’s out of the way.
Finally, reconnect the brakes and try if they’re functioning well.
NOTE: This is the installation process for the front wheel. The process might be a bit complex for the back wheel. Watch the following video on how to easily install the rear wheel:
Now you have it; the 10 best road bike tires for puncture resistance. Unlike the standard tires that get flat easily and regularly, these ten models do not disappoint. As you have noted in our reviews above, these special tires come with a unique design and are made using higher-quality, stronger materials that keeps them rolling for longer while staging a good fight against cuts, cracks, and getting worn out.
Don’t let your poor quality tires steal your time, money, and quality rides anymore. Order the ideal tire for your bike from the above list today to replace the weak tires for better riding days ahead.