Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been shooting off mails to my buddies on various parts of the planet asking them to tell me their most trusted, most dependable, most comfortable, most bestest priced training tyre. This question is particularly relevant now we are riding into different seasons. For us down here in Australia, it may be time to begin thinking about taking the slicks off and getting something a little more grippy on your hoops. All you freaks up there in Japan, the US and Europe, you’re probably thinking the opposite, if you even give a damn.
Are tyres even that important on a road cycle? It’s a question that many people who are new to the sport ask. All I could say in response is that next time you are on the treadlie, take a look down at the contact points between you and the ground. Do this when you’re cruising at 30km/h and then take another peek when you are descending at 80km/h. Important….. that’s an understatement.
Here’s 5 of my tested and trusted faves.
1. Continental GatorSkin
compliant, hardwearing, grippy and all that shiznit
My favourite long distance tyre. Has everything you need. It’s fast, good puncture protection, grippy, lasts for ages. The only downside with these is that sometimes the threads peel off from the sidewalls. Just look after them when you’re putting them on. Sweet tyre and reasonably priced.
2. Continental Ultrasport
$20? yep. Any good? yep!
I had to get a pair of these when I saw them for $20 odd on Wiggle. 3000kms later and they are still going strong with only one puncture. That’s pretty damn good if you ask me. They aren’t visibly the most attractive tyre, not the best made, but they are comfy, hard wearing, grippy and CHEAP!
3. Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick
colours stick out like dog's balls
You’ll be surprised by the mileage you can get out of these puppies. Far from expensive at $25 odd, depending on where you get them from. Slick for all you punks up there in the Northern Hemisphere who want to train on a slick now the misery of Winter has abated somewhat. Give ’em a crack if you need/want the pony colour scheme on your single or fixed gear cycle.
4. Vittoria Rubino Tech
looks grippy, is grippy
You’ll be surprised with the way this tyre runs in a shitty Winter season. Freakishly cheap at less than $20. I’m guessing something like 5000kms were racked up on these last Winter and they did really good with puncture resistance. They’re not fast, but they wear well, come in a range of colours if you are that way inclined, grip like a hungry monkey on a banana and may have one of the most comfortable rides I’ve experienced.
5. Michelin Krylion
twice the price, half as good
You’d think that paying $45 odd (at best) for a training tyre is going to go a long way to ensuring it’s good tyre, wouldn’t you? You’re wrong. I’ve run 2 sets of these and I can’t justify the price. They’re fast, for sure, but you don’t need uber speed when you’re training, and if you’re looking for a race tyre go buy some Vittoria Corsa’s, pop in some latex tubes, pump ’em up to 14o psi and jizz yourself stupid. These Michelin things are purportedly built for training and miles but they cut easily, square off quickly and are expensive. Almost $90 if you are tempted to get them retail.
Have I missed anything? You got a better suggestion?