Arguably, choosing your tires is the most important decision you’ll make regarding your bike. After all, you count on your bike to get you to and from a lot of places—work, running errands, or just casual joyriding—and the tires can’t fail you when you need them most.
Inexpensive, low-quality tires might not last as long as you’d prefer, even if you only ride casually. That doesn’t mean you have to shell out the big bucks for the most expensive tires, either. Instead, you should seek out a happy medium, buying durable tires intended for casual riders like yourself.
If your search for bike tires has led you here, then welcome. We think you’ll like the picks we selected for best bike tires.
Our Favorite Bike Tires:
For Everyday Riding — Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire
There are fewer better options on the market than Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin tires. While those who enjoy racing bikes might find these tires somewhat heavy, their weight is perfect for bike commuters and other casual riders.
Their Poly X Breaker construction, a Continental trademark, means you’re safeguarded from tire punctures during your rides. With their wear-optimized tread compound, you can be assured you’ll have your GatorSkin tires for a while.
For Less Risk of Punctures — Vittoria Zaffiro Pro III Tire
Although you do your best to avoid road debris and other hazards, sometimes the worst happens and you run over this debris, ruining your tires. Having puncture-resistant tires like Vittoria Zaffiro Pro III Tires will give you great peace of mind no matter where you go on your bike. These tires are designed for miles and miles of riding without succumbing to puncture damage.
This is mostly due to their PBR puncture protection. Even if you do hit road debris or other hazards, the tires should withstand the damage. That lets you get home or wherever you’re going safe and sound. The Zaffiro Pro III tires also come outfitted with an Aramid Endura 3D compound. This allows you to use the tires over long distances while enjoying low-rolling resistance all the way.
Don’t be fooled; although these tires have a racing-inspired tread, they’re as suitable for casual riders as they are for racing enthusiasts.
For Durability — Hutchinson Tubeless Intensive Tire
Another solid pick if durability is at the top of your priority list is Hutchinson’s Intensive tires. These are tubeless tires that weigh about two pounds each. Measuring 8x3x3 inches, Hutchinson promises these tires are indestructible. They can certainly stand up to punctures without popping.
For Inexpensive Tires — Maxxis Re-Fuse Road Bike Training Tire
If you’re on a budget but still want quality tires, may we recommend Maxxis Re-Fuse Road Bike Training tires? While you’re paying less than $50 per tire, you’re still protected from punctures due to the included silkworm cap and Kevlar belt.
Maxxis’ tires have a diamond knurled pattern throughout on both the rear and front of the tire. This improves durability and yes, it looks pretty good, too. You could even race on these tires if you wanted to, but that’s not necessary. They’re just as good for everyday riding.
What to Look for in Bike Tires
We gave you four great suggestions above that should serve as a starting point when you begin your search for the best bike tires. Whether you buy those tires or others, here are some qualities you should seek out:
- Thread count casing: The higher the thread count casing of your bike tires, the more lightweight they typically are. That means smoother biking for you. Thread count casings are represented as threads per inch or TPI. On the lower end, tire thread count may be 20 to 60 TPI. On the higher end, it’s 320 TPI.
- Puncture-resistant: Road debris and hazards are a risk when you’re on your bike. If your tires are puncture-resistant, then they won’t go flat if you hit any debris. This prevents you from cutting your trips short.
- Tubeless: Tubeless tires use lower tire pressure (at least 20 pounds per square inch or PSI) and thus have a lower risk of pinch flats. They also lend themselves to a smooth riding experience due to their improved traction. The Hutchinson tires we linked to above are tubeless.
- Foldable: There are also foldable tires, which typically include an aramid-fiber bead so they’re more flexible. Being able to fold down your tires and stash them in an equipment bag means you can take your bike further.
When it comes time to choose your bike tires, you shouldn’t rush through this decision, nor should you scrimp on money. Cheap tires will blow out when you hit road debris, leaving you stranded and possibly injured. By selecting any of the tire brands we highlighted above, you’ll be protected from punctures and other tire damage.
Whether you prefer foldable or tubeless tires, we hope we’ve made it easier for you to find the perfect tires for your casual bike riding needs.