Tyre advice needed!

Hi all! I currently have a pair of cheap schwalbe blizzard sports on my bike, but the back one has been worn down somewhat on tbe turbo. I was just going to buy another but maybe I should upgrade. I am more concerned about puncture protection, because if I get one it will take me so long to change it could be race over, than saving a few minutes due to weight. Although dont recommend those slime things.... We did a group ride last summer and the 3 punctures we got were all in the same slimed tyre of a friend! Any recommendations that wont break the bank??


  • I have michelin pro 3 tyres, they're about £24 on eBay and I swear by them. They're light enough in races but I also use them for commuting in London.

    They also come in a range of pretty colours.. I'm currently sporting a yellow one on the back and blue on the front image 

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    Pro3 is a race tyre - good tyres but they aren't particularly puncture proof.    Something like Continental Gatorskins will be much more puncture proof - really a training tyre - but most manufacturers should have something in their range.   In between there are tyres like Michelin ProEndurance or Conti 4 seasons which are marketed as race tyres with a bit more puncture protection.  

    Depends how risk averse you want to be with punctures - if you don't mind riding something horrible you can probably find tyres that pretty much will never puncture - Schwalbe Marathon Plus or Specialized Armadillos .  Personally I would only use them if I was commuting on a gravel path or bike lanes with glass on them though.

  • I've had a lot of success with GP4000s. really sturdy and fast.

    I've used the Marathon Plus for adventure races and they were good tyres - OK not so fast as others, but once they're rolling - its not too bad.
  • +1 for gatorskins i use them on all my training wheels bloody brilliant protection and i do a lot of miles everyweek and only had about 1puncture so far touch wood!
  • Thanks for the advice. I may see what is on offer from your recommendations. I don't want to be riding anything too horrible....I am doing the Vitruvian with the sole aim of being able to finish in time. I am pretty sure I can finish, but the last time I changeda tyre it took me a long time, a broken tyre lever and lots of tears. If that happened during vitruvian maybe i wouldnt finish.

    Are any of the above particularly easy to get on and off?
  • I use Specialized Armadillo tyres. No problems in the last 2 years. I managed to get them on myself, unlike the Marathon tyres that are on my commuter. 

  • I've got a few bikes - I think they're all on Continental tyres now. The ones that go out when the weather or roads are crappy (the hybrid, the singlespeed and the not so good road bike) are on Gatorskins and the others (the better road bikes) are on GP4000's. 

    Get occasional punctures but do a lot of miles and I'm happy with Conti.

    (Bet that's knackered this week and I get lots of punctures now!)

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    EllieO wrote (see)

    Are any of the above particularly easy to get on and off?

    Vittoria Corsas are very loose but they are relatively fragile.    It's partly the rim, partly the tyre and sometimes the thickness of the rim tape that makes tyres difficult to get on and off.    I'd say Schwalbe Ultremos are easy to fit too - but again relatively fragile as tyres go.   What rims have you got - Campag and some others are notoriously tight.      

  • +1 for Gatorskins

    But the best thing to do would be to practice changing the tyre, no tyre is 100% puncture resistant and you can still have blow outs where the inner tube splits

  • +n for Gatorskins

  • I have tried most of the top makes and have found gatorskins by far the best for puncture free riding, I went through a period of having a lot of puctures which was handy for finding out what gear is best for avoiding them, I also use Continental GP's which are very light and tough.

  • Another fan of gatorskins.  I always use them for winter.  Mind this year I flatted after 2 miles when I first put them on.  Sharp flint cut straight through.image

  • Hagakure wrote (see)

    Another fan of gatorskins.  I always use them for winter.  Mind this year I flatted after 2 miles when I first put them on.  Sharp flint cut straight through.image

    yep - even gatorskins aren't impervious.  I usually find that when they start to puncture then it's time to change them as they're wearing thin.   we rode on some awful roads in Colombia - some with no tarmac for up to 10k at a time, and others with huge potholes. both our bikes had brand new gatorskins on and they came through over 1000km of riding without a single puncture.  unlike the front wheel hub flange which broke off so a new wheel was needed!


  • Thank you for all your advice! I think I may treat myself to some gatorskins.... Although hubby has just pulled some michelin pro4s out that he won and has never used. Worth pinching from him?? (he has a very expensive set already that I bought him!)
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    Pro4s are great - but again are a race tyre - depends what you want.   

  • Thanks guys I might put the pro 4s on and see how they go. If they are easy enough to change may stick with them. If not gatorskins it is.
  • Thanks guys I might put the pro 4s on and see how they go. If they are easy enough to change may stick with them. If not gatorskins it is.

    And I had a look at my rims, they are just the stock mavics. Nothing fancy but no idea if they are to blame for the difficulties in changing tyres.
  • I never got on with Gatorskins, like riding on hosepipe, horrible in the wet and a bugger to change if you do get a puncture (admit, less likely but still possible.)

    I would rather go with pro 4s - I know it's a race tyre, but after all you are on a racing bike.  And don't waste them on the turbo.


  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    ProEndurance is the slightly more puncture resistant version of Pro4 - might be worth trying - they replaced the Krylions which were really good - albeit notoriously tight on rims.   

    I do agree Teddy - compared to MichelinPros Gatorskins feel a bit wooden - you can definitely feel the difference  - but I don't actually think they roll that much worse and they are tough.  The best feeling clinchers I've ridden were Vittoria Open Corsa CX - the ones they advertise as 320 tpi anyway - really nice.      

  • I find the Pro 3s easy enough to change and I have very small and generally weak hands. I think you should go for it. As Teddy above said, you're on a racing bike after all.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I know individual experiences are open to luck either way, but I've had Pro3 on my bike for general training for maybe 2,000+ miles now including all of winter and not had a single puncture. I've used Gatorskins before and they're also good, but if anything I would say the Pro3 are less prone to cutting up.

    And as someone has pointed out, they come in different colours. image

  • Thanks guys. Put the free pro 4s on on Sat night infront of the tv! They werent too bad to get on ... There were no tantrums, so may stick with them. They look good but can't say I have tried them out yet except for a couple of circles around a car park!
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