For a commuter, having the right kind of tires for your bike can make quite a difference. It goes a long way in ensuring you have the smoothest ride regardless of the road you’re pedaling on.
There are so many bike tires road users can find in the market today and you might be wondering whether you should take clincher tires or tubeless tires, and what’s the right tube to go for to have the best experience.
You might be confused about the difference between tubeless tires and others with tubes, when the clincher tires are good, and when they can be a disadvantage.
That’s a lot of things to know but worry not. We have combined a list of some of the best tires for commuting to help you pick the right tire for yourself.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Commuter Bike Tires
- Top 9 Best Commuter Bike Tires 2020 – Our Reviews:
- 1. Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire
- 2. Serfas Drifter Tire with FPS
- 3. Kenda K838 Commuter Bike Tire
- 4. WTB Slick Comp Bicycle Tire
- 5. Schwinn Replacement Bike Tire
- 6. Continental Traffic Bicycle Tire
- 7. Continental Supersport Plus Bicycle Tire
- 8. Specialized Crossroads Armadillo
- 9. Michelin Protek Urban
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Commuter Bike Tires
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the commuter bike tires that most people buy).
- Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire Top Pick
- Serfas Drifter Tire with FPS Runner-up
- Kenda K838 Commuter Bike Tire Runner-up
Top 9 Best Commuter Bike Tires 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire
The GatorSkin type of tires is popular around the world for the everyday commuter. These are tires you can always count on if what you’re after is a tire that won’t disappoint you precisely when you’re on the road and have to cycle for miles.
These tires are durable because of their tightly woven PolyXBreaker polyester type fiber that sits well under the outer layer of rubber, preventing any punctures from tampering with the tube.
This DuraSkin tire is great for commuters who often have to use roads with lots of potholes or even roads with gravel because the sidewall of the tire has a DuraSkin layer that gives it reinforced protection.
The tire’s surface is very much like a road slick, although it comes with some grooves that give that increased traction when the road has water on it. You need to keep in mind that with the extra protection that comes with this tire, it weighs a lot more compared to many other commuter bike tires you can find out there.
Although the tire uses a steel bead, it’s designed as a foldable commuter tire, making it easier for people to take them on or off the bike compared to the non-foldable type of bike tires. This is one advantage of foldable tires—they can be carried on the bike easily as a spare or simply stored in your work drawer.
- Reinforced sidewall
- Rolling resistance
- PolyXBreaker polyester type fiber
- DuraSkin layer
- Foldable tire
- PolyXBreaker fiber for puncture protection
- DuraSkin tire protects sidewall from damage
- Foldable, portable design
- Road slick design doesn’t give much traction
- Heavy because of added protection
2. Serfas Drifter Tire with FPS
If you commute every day, then you’ll agree that the road always varies from place to place. The Serfas Drifter tire with FPS is, therefore, among the best tires for commuting if your daily road has many potholes and you don’t want tires that will wear out easily.
This tire comes with a special dual-density technology that’s responsible for the tire being puncture resistant. This technology means the tire consists of numerous rubber compounds that slowly build up the tire strength.
As for the body, it has small irregular holes that facilitate better commute on rough, bumpy roads. This tire usually adjusts on the tire hole when it rolls over any sharp object instead of leading to a puncture.
As such, it’s among the tires that ride very smoothly on different types of roads.
The Serfas Drifter Tire also comes with a super wire beading system.
Plus, it features thin nylon weaves that significantly increase any resistance against inflation. With these tires, applying more air does not cause a tube explosion, although keep in mind that the best pressure for these tires is 65 PSI or even less than that.
If you use more pressure than this, you reduce the grip and control you have while riding.
- Special dual density technology
- Wire bead
- Nylon weaves
- 65 PSI pressure
- Dual-density technology makes it durable
- Protection against punctures
- Limited inflating accidents
- Has mileage issues
3. Kenda K838 Commuter Bike Tire
The Kenda K838 Commuter Bike Tire is a budget-friendly tire from the Kenda Tires company that works well with hybrid, road, and mountain bike wheels. This makes it a great bike tire option no matter the kind of commuter style bike you’re using.
The Kenda tire is available only in a 26-inch diameter and has a steel wire bead that gives it a highly durable structure, though it adds to the weight.
This road bike tire also has excellent handling because of the nearly 2-inch tire width it comes in.
As for the surface, the tire actually takes a lot of inspiration from motorbike tires and comes with lengthwise grooves that facilitate faster water shedding. This enables the commuter to maintain a good grip on the road even during times when there’s sitting water.
Plus, the tire’s rubber whiskers make sure there is increased traction when you’re either turning or riding on the tire’s edge.
The tire also has a wide design giving it better rolling resistance and since it’s grooved, it very minimally affects the tire’s speed.
The only significant problem that you will encounter with this tire is that it doesn’t come with any additional reinforcement on the sidewall or surface of the tire. As such, it doesn’t allow for much puncture protection, meaning anything from sharp rocks to metal can puncture it since they can reach the bike tire’s inner tube.
- 26-inch tire diameter
- 2-inch wide tire width
- The tire has rubber whiskers
- They are budget-friendly
- Grooved design sheds water and gives good traction
- Two-inch tire width for excellent handling
- Only available in 26 inches
- Minimal reinforcement against puncture flats
4. WTB Slick Comp Bicycle Tire
This WTB tire for road bike is great for commuters cycling on roads that are relatively smooth. It weighs just 580 g making it very light compared to many other tires for a road bike and also an affordable option.
Since it does have small grooves on the sides, this tire is not that road slick. It allows for water to properly flow away from the tire’s center, which is handy for daily riding.
Thanks to its rugged casing and steel bead design, this WTB tire is designed to provide protection against abuse in the short sections when the tire is on rough roads.
Plus, it has a wide standing at 2.2 inches and the extra width provides it with better rolling resistance compared to skinny road tires. This width is also a big advantage when you’re riding either downhill or around any tight turns.
The WTB Slick Comp Tire has a 60PSI maximum pressure that gives it that great slight compression which improves handles when the bike is around turns.
You can get WTB tires in both a 26-inch and 29-inch diameter. However, they aren’t the standard 700cc diameter that you can find on many other tire road bike uses.
- Weighs 580 g
- 2.2-inch wide tire width
- 60 PSI maximum pressure
- 26-inch and 29-inch diameter
- The tires are light at 580 g
- Allows for faster speed
- Handles turns and descents well
- Available in two different diameters
- Not long enough for some road sections
- Not available in wheel diameter of 700cc
5. Schwinn Replacement Bike Tire
If you’re after a replacement bike tire that can be used on both bikes and motorized bikes, then this Replacement Bike Tire from Schwinn might just be what you’ve been searching for. Plus, it’s one of the best tires for commuting.
These tires make sure you get immense mileage especially if you have experience in using them. Take for example the rear tire that roughly offers the rider 700 miles while the front one offers a 1500 mileage—and sometimes, even more.
The back tire wears faster because there’s usually more pressure on it. If you’re using a motorized bike, you also get the same mileage but there’s a catch: you need to be very careful with how you inflate the tire.
When it comes to tires for commuting, the 40-65 PSI pressure should be good enough to give you that smooth ride if you’re using it on a bicycle. However, what makes it even better for commuting is just how durable it is.
This rubber tire provides the rider with an excellent grip and ensures you have great support when you’re riding on a busy road. Its outer layer is very secure and puncture-resistant.
This tire also easily fits well in a 20-inch rim and you even have the option of stretching it about 2 to 4 inches more. However, if you do more than these 2-4 inches, you might end up affecting the tire’s integrity.
- 40-65 PSI pressure
- Puncture resistant outer layer
- Fits 20-inch rim
- Provides for excellent mileage
- Tolerates steep movements on roads
- Strong grip
- Suitable for 50cc bikes
- Needs different front and rear tire sizes
6. Continental Traffic Bicycle Tire
The Continental Traffic Bicycle Tire is among those best bike tires that help smoothen your ride if you’re going to be riding on gravel, dirt, or trail.
It’s a rugged, heavy-duty tire that features a lot of hallmarks of classic mountain road bikes, including a hard rubber studs pattern covering the entire bike surface and the top of the bike sidewall and which improves the tire’s grip on the road.
The tire’s 2-inch width provides it with a lot of pressure distribution and control when it comes to handling regardless of where you’ll be taking your ride. You’ll find the width particularly handy when you’re riding on gravel as it’s easy for the skinny type of tires to slip in between the rocks and ride over small potholes.
An important note to consider is that this tire is only available in a width of 26 inches, limiting its use range for mountain bikes commuters. Also, although the bike can be used on flat roads, all the material that gives this bike tire a good grip makes it very slow since they add to the weight and increase rolling resistance.
- Rugged, heavy-duty tire
- 2-inch width tire
- 26 inches diameter
- Great traction on gravel, dirt, or trail
- Easily rides on over small potholes and gravel
- Only available in 26 inches
- Relatively heavy and slow
7. Continental Supersport Plus Bicycle Tire
Another one that makes it to our list of best tires for road bike is this Continental Supersport Plus Bicycle Tire. It’s a skinny 700cc tire that you can get in either 23mm or 28mm width.
It’s also available in a 27-inch tire size accommodating larger, older-diameter road wheels. It has tube pressure of up to 110 PSI, so keep this in mind when you’re getting a pump so that you ensure you have the right one to reach this kind of high pressure.
Compared to the Continental company’s line of vaunted tires that are road slick, this tire is great for commuting because of the PlusBreaker technology layer found right below the rubber’s outer layer. This also makes sure you have great puncture protection—you don’t want punctures breaking through your bike tire and causing a flat.
These bike tires also have a thicker casing that best protects the sidewall and will always give the tire support you need if you’re riding on a rough road that has potholes or debris.
Lastly, the treads on this Continental Supersport Plus Bicycle Tire resemble those of the Continental racing tires. This just means that you won’t be slowed down when riding because of unnecessary rolling resistance.
- 700cc skinny tire
- 27-inch tire diameter
- PlusBreaker technology
- 110 PSI
- 700cc tire for smooth road riding
- Provides great puncture protection
- Traction pattern similar to Continental’s racing tires
- Likely to get a flat on a bumpy road
8. Specialized Crossroads Armadillo
The Specialized Crossroads Armadillo has a rugged casing and well-supported side knobs. It’s one of the best tires for those commuters who ride across dirt, gravel, and pavements.
While the bicycle tire has tread blocks that add an amount of rolling resistance when it’s in contact with the road, it also has a low profile center strip to minimize any possible drag. When you move towards the edge, you’ll notice the transition blocks gaining some level of height and providing a consistent grip as your bike starts to lean over.
In the process, the knobs get great support for cornering traction.
The tires come with a wire bead and use Specialized Armadillo protection from flats that help stymie thorns, broken glass, and cuts through the sidewall.
These tires aren’t exactly lightweight but they’re very durable, so you won’t have to think of buying a new one for replacement too soon.
- Well supported side knobs
- Tread blocks
- Low profile center strip
- Wire bead
- Specialized Armadillo Protection
- 26-inch diameter
- Shoulder tread is solid
- Consistent grip on all lean angles
- Too much for tarmac commutes
- Heavy tire
9. Michelin Protek Urban
These Protek Urban tires are the best and highest grip tires from Michelin, thanks to the fact that they have a rubber compound borrowed right from the Pro 4 Grip Service Course road tires that are high performance.
This makes the tire great for riding in the rain as it hangs on to wet ground just like velcro while providing very minimal rolling resistance. The treads on the tire are light and have progressive shoulder grooving which, according to Michelin, helps a lot in displacing water although the bike tires can’t hydroplane.
So, if you want to keep your spare tire kit very safely whether be it inside your backpack or bike saddle bag, these Michelin Protek Urban tires come with an Aramid breaker that helps in preventing any sharps from causing a disturbance on your inner tube.
The Michelin Protek Urban features a reflective sidewall and wire bead and is available in different size ranges.
- Light tire treads
- Shoulder grooving
- Aramid breaker
- Different sizes 20 inches and 26 inches
- 28-40c width
- Available in different sizes
- Aramid breaker provides puncture protection
- Great for a ride in the rain
- Minimal rolling resistance
- Not able to hydroplane
When you find yourself on the hunt for tubeless tires, clincher tires, or any other, feel free to refer to this review. It’ll go a long way in helping you pick a great tire that suits your everyday needs.
If you’re wondering which of the above tires is the best, I highly recommend the Continental GatorSkin Duraskin Tire.
This is because it comes with great features that you can always count on regardless of where you’ll be riding the bike. It has very few disadvantages too and its advantages make sure it an amazing choice for everyday commuters.