As a cyclist, your tires are your only contact with the ground. They provide you with traction, some shock absorption and friction when you climb. In many cases, having the right tire can make or break your ride. Depending on the riding that you're doing, your tire will focus on different elements, but the best tires have the right rubber to provide traction on pavement or dirt, are durable enough to put up with the rigors of cycling and provide riders comfort on long days in the saddle.
Continental Competition 25c Tubular
For riders who value comfort above all else, Continental's Competition 25c tubular tire is a great option. Given Gear of the Day status by Bicycling.com's reviewers, the Competition 25 is composed of Continental's Black Chili rubber compound, which contains compressed particles of rubber that the company claims reduces resistance and provides better grip. What makes the Competition 25 stand out, however, is its wider width. It gives riders a smoother ride while maintaining an excellent grip and "telegraphs its limits well," said Matt Phillips of Bicycling.com."
Panaracer Extreme Duro Protex
As its name suggests, Panaracer's Extreme Duro Protex tire is a durable, high-performance option for road cyclists. The tired is composed with Panaracer's Zero Slip Grip carbon/silica compound for grip in wet or dry conditions and low rolling resistance. The Extreme Duro is also made with a 3D-configured casing that allows riders to feel the road while preventing sharp objects from puncturing the tire.
"Panaracer may just have made the closest thing to that perfect road tire with the new Extreme Duro Protex," said Paul Smith of Cycling Plus.
Bontrager XDX TLR
For off-road riding or cyclocross racing, Bontrager's XDX TLR has the durability and traction that riders will need. The XDX's tread can handle dirt and rough road without adding loads of resistance, and siping on the outer knobs allows the XDX to retain traction on wet terrain. Featured on Bicycling.com's buyers guide, the website's reviewer hailed the XDX's versatility, noting its prowess on both hardpack and mud, and said that the tired has a multitude of knobs and a fat, low-pressure-friendly casing, which gives it a good grip of the road.
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.