Road tire recommendation

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Anonymous's picture

"I'm looking at a new set of road tires. Weight is not a major issue to me. Cornering/wet pavement/flat resistance are. I've been riding Michelin Axial Pro (now ""Pro Race"") based on a top rating from Bicycling. They're kind-of pricey. Any alternate recommendations? Any experience with the Performance Forte Pro Kevlar?

Anonymous's picture
ITNOC (not verified)

Conti Grand Prix 4 seasons, does it for me and meets all of your criteria. Great in wet weather, grips extremely well for cornering and has the same puncture resistent features of the Conti Ultra Gator Skin. Comes in 700Cx23 and 700Cx25. The cost is about $50.00 per tire.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
GP 4-season (edit)

$35 each for the 700x25 right now at

I have ~400 miles on a pair of these - too soon to say anything about durability but they shouldn't be any different than any other Contis - thicker tread rubber than many other tires but at the expense of thinner, sometimes fragile sidewalls to keep the weight down, the 4-season seems to answer the sidewall problem. The ride is pretty much the same as any other clincher - pump them up really hard, the ride is hard. Let out a few psi, the ride is softer.

Vredestein Fortezzas are good - excellent flat-resistance. A recent manufacturing problem that caused a run of lumpy tires is now resolved.

Avocet Carbon 12s are not so good - the tire carcass squishes down and gets fatter and the rubber starts to crack at ~1000 miles, and then they start to develop chronic flats.

Paribas are soft and comfy ... and cut like butter.


Check out - prices just a little higher than biketiresdirect but include tubes and (if you but 2 or more) free shipping. And they're local too - LawnGuyland. They carry Panaracer T-Serve - haven't tried them yet but they get good word-of-mouth.

(Note to Peter - Vred Fortezza 700x25 are black-n-tan)

Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
Conti GP4 700x25

Best winter tire I've used. The larger air volume makes pitch flats less likely. I'm not too optimistic that the road repair crews in NY/NJ/CT are going to do much to fix the roads, so I may run 'em all year.


Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

$35 each at

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

I got a pair of these last week - no one else bid on them. An hour after the auction another pair went up. Wanna bet the same thing happens again?

Anonymous's picture
MT (not verified)
"A ""Tired"" Subject"

"I won't recommend anything specific, especially since I have no experience with the current offerings. I bought a huge stash of my favorite tire at below-blowout prices several years back when it was discontinued, so I'm all set for a long time.

But one fact to remember when considering bicycle tires is that they cost about a dollar to make, regardless of the ""technological advances"" that the Marketing Department dreams up to justify a high price tag. It's pretty hard to go wrong. So if anyone starts giving you that ""you get what you pay for"" line, just chuckle to yourself and walk away.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

"My ""OEM"" Contis wore out & got brittle pretty quickly and flatted often. I replaced them with the same and had similar experience. The Michelins have been decent & I felt really confident on them during that wet CT Shoreline ride in the fall (when Kouletsis broke his whatever.) I find it outrageous that they cost more than car tires."

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
in search of tyres

".. I find it outrageous that they cost more than car tires.

That's because the ""middleman"" (whomever that may be..importer, distributor, etc.) gets their cut or the bike tire companies dictate to resellers on retail prices or both. And yes, this is a bit of here-say and rumor I've heard and read many times before, but if I really knew, I suspect I'd be whacked by now by the QBP roughnecks or by one of their colluding cohorts. ;-)

Bike tires cost much less overseas in Europe. Usually if you buy in bulk, the savings are worth it w/ respect to shipping and possibly custom costs. One source is Although looking at their prices, it's much in line w/ Evan's stated proces and more so than of recent memory. I reckoning the weaking of the dollar's purchase power is much to blame.

Color preference aside (I miss black-n-tans), I'm perfectly happy with Michelin Hi Lite Prestige sold exclusively by Performance. I've ridden them on plenty of wet roads, glass-phalt, hardpack, gravel and cobbles - they work well for me. I've tried a few other makes and models, but keep coming back to the Hi Lites (since the halcyon days of tires w/ black treads & tan sidewall :-).


As for the other poster's comments about choosing tires, it is possible defintely go wrong. I've and other clubmembers have had a few Vittorias in the past that like to suddenly come apart and another clubmember can attest to lumpy Vreds of recent past."

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)

"""I find it outrageous that they cost more than car tires.""

I agree. I used to like the Michelin Hi-Lite Comps (treadless, black/tan) which are no longer made.

I liked the pre-Carbon 12 Avocets which were made in Japan by IRC. I hear that the current Avocets are made in Korea.

BTW, don't laugh but I've had good luck with the IRC tires sold through Nashbar (Triathlon and Road Winner II). I think these use the same casing as the older Avocets, but with a different tread compound and a minimal tread pattern. They're reasonably light, puncture resistant, and get good mileage. Hard to beat at ~$13.

As for Total Cycling, I bought some Look pedals from them at a great price a few years ago. But their shipping prices now are getting pretty steep.


Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)
kind of pricey?

do you know about

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)
Riv Rolly-Poly

Riv Rolly-Polys in 700x28. Kevlar bead, nice round casing, tan sidewalls, and precious little useless tread. Made by National (Panaracer). They're about $40 each.

I have about 2000 miles on my current set and couldn't be happier.

Also available as Ruffy-Tuffy, with a Kevlar strip to protect from punctures and cuts.

Anonymous's picture
JB (not verified)

No experience with Performances' Forte's. I recently got the Vittoria Tecno Pro's (1/2 off at Performance). They feel more supple compared to the Specialized S-Works I had before, same psi. They have a decent tread which I was concerned about, but don't seem to add any resistance if anything they feel faster especially on smooth surfaces. Cornering and grip in the wet are very good. They are supposedly designed for wet conditions. One of the reasons I switched. One word of caution if you have Mavic Ksyrium's they are difficult to get on. At least I got a workout. I now carry metal tire irons. Ask me after my first flat.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

Thanks everyone.

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