8 Best Commuter Bike Tires in 2020

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Imagine you’re cycling through your neighborhood or on one of your favorite trails and suddenly, you suffer a tire puncture. This is every cyclist’s worst nightmare and we wouldn’t wish it upon our worst enemy. Unfortunately, it will happen to every biker at some point which is why it’s advisable to invest in the best commuter bike tires possible.

To help you along, we’ve put together the following guide. Also included are some helpful pointers on what you should look out for in order to narrow down your options.

Best Tires for Commuter Bike

The thing about living in the 21st century post-consumerist world is that we’re inundated with multiple options of each and every product that we want to buy.

There’s a vast selection of options for you to choose from on the market right now, which can make it difficult to figure out which is the best option for you. Luckily, we did most of the digging so you don’t have to and the following section is the result of that research.

Read on for our list of the best commuter bike tires on the market.

1. Continental Gatorskin Bike Tire

These Continental Gatorskin bike tires are the best road bike commuter tires at the moment. They can easily handle long-distance journeys and are less likely to puncture or get flat. 

This is because these tires are constructed from PolyX Breaker polyester fiber, a material that’s placed beneath the outer part of the rubber and is designed to help prevent punctures from happening.

On top of all that is a layer of DuraSkin to provide further protection on the tire’s sidewalls. Note that these different layers of protective material lead to added weight but are well worth it for the benefits that they provide including improved traction on wet road surfaces and such.

The Gatorskin is a foldable tire which means it’s easy to put on and take off, and you can bring it with you as a spare if you like.

Pros
  • Fully portable thanks to the foldable design
  • DuraSkin layer on tire sidewall to protect from potential pothole and gravel damage
  • PolyX Breaker fiber to prevent punctures
  • Handmade tires
  • Made with durable carbon black mixture
Cons
  • It’s heavy to carry

2. Schwinn Replacement Bike Tire

With its puncture-resistant and resilient design, this Schwinn tire is a great replacement model for whatever you have going on in your bike at the moment. It’s a great commuting tire because of its ability to handle road and pavement surfaces with equal ease.

It’s constructed with folding wire bead and Kevlar treads that make it resistant to punctures as well as wear and tear. It has less rolling resistance and comes with steel beads to handle muddy trails and dirt roads alike.

They’re perfect for beginners who are just starting to explore different trails and types of terrain on their bikes.

Pros
  • Great for light trails and street riding
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to mount
  • Made for 20” bicycles
  • Extremely high grip
Cons
  • This tire is extremely heavy to carry

3. Continental Supersport Plus Bike Tire

The Continental Supersport Plus is one of the best road bike commuter tires available for a number of reasons. For one, it has a slight frame at just 700cc and is available in different widths to suit different needs and preferences.

There are the 23mm and 28mm width versions as well as a 27-inch version which is designed for massive road wheels. Just keep in mind that to achieve such high tire pressures, a high tube pressure of up to 110 PSI is needed which can only be achieved through the use of a pump.

But, what really makes this a great commuter tire is the fact that it comes integrated with Continental’s proprietary PlusBreaker technology. This reinforced layer of protection over the tire’s sidewalls helps to prevent punctures and flats when cycling through rocky terrain and roads that have potholes and debris.

The best part is that Continental has designed this tire in a similar manner to its racing tires to avoid rolling resistance.

Pros
  • Designed similarly to Continental’s racing tires
  • Comes with a layer of PlusBreaker technology for added sidewall protection
  • Skinny 700cc tire for smooth road riding
  • Wide bead tire
  • Extra thick casing
Cons
  • It might not be able to handle bumpy roads due to its skinny frame

4. Vittoria Evolution Tire

For over six decades Vittoria has cemented its reputation as one of the best bicycle tire manufacturers in history. Does the Evolution tire live up to the company’s reputation? Let’s find out.

Let’s take a look at some features of the Vittoria Evolution tire. It has a diameter of 26 x 1.9 inches and can go up to 29 inches rims. It’s suitable for commuting and recreational applications, and can easily handle wet and dry road conditions.

This means that whether you’re a city-slicker who has to go through asphalt every day or a trail-loving triathlon rider who likes challenging himself with rougher terrain, this tire will work for you.

Pros
  • Suitable for different rim sizes
  • Applicable to all types of different terrain
  • Made by a trusted brand
  • Very robust
Cons
  • It’s not resistant to punctures
  • It weighs 840 grams making it a heavy tire

5. Continental City Ride II Reflex Tire

The Continental City Ride II Reflex Tire is designed for the daily commuter who rides their bike to work, to the shop for groceries and other daily activities. The tire’s light tread pattern paired with its large contact surface, is designed to handle asphalt road surfaces and wet conditions effortlessly.

This tire only requires a low-pressure PSI of 56 to 70 which makes them easy to inflate. They also come in different sizes including 700×37 and 700×42. You’ll find that it’s relatively easy to roll through typically difficult obstacles smoothly and without affecting your comfort levels.

It’s no surprise that a tire known as the City Ride II is one of the best urban commuter bike tires. It also comes with flat-protection features such as Continental’s “PunctureProTection” system and reflective sidewalls for added safety during low-light conditions.

Pros
  • Designed for urban cycling
  • Resistant to punctures
  • Light tread pattern is complemented by a large grip surface
  • Unique tread shoulder
  • Very comfortable
Cons
  • The fenders might make it hard to mount this on the average bike
  • It weighs 600 grams which is quite heavy

6. WTB All Terrain Tire

As the name implies, this tire from WTB is designed to handle all kinds of different terrain. It performs particularly well on hard surfaces as it measures 26 x 1. 95.

It comes with features like a dense tread with independent knobs to handle rocky surfaces, asphalt, wet surfaces, and even loose sand. There’s nothing this tire can’t handle! This tire also offers impressive rolling resistance with great traction.

Pros
  • Can be used for different types of terrain
  • Great for wet conditions and cold season riding
  • Offers superb traction
  • Suitable for daily commuting
Cons
  • This tire is tacky

7. Serfas Drifter Tire with FPS

The FPS featured on the name of this tire stands for Flat Protection System, a proprietary technology from Serfas that makes this tire resistant to punctures. This, coupled with the fact that it’s constructed from a combination of soft and hard rubber materials, make this a long-lasting and well-made tire.

It rides smoothly while providing rolling resistance thanks to its dual-density tread feature, and it’s perfect for the daily commute. The best part about this tire is that it comes in a wide variety of sizes, from 26 x 1.5, to 26 x 2.0, 27.5 x 1.5, 27.5 x 2.0, 29 x 2.0, and 700 x 32mm.

But, if you want to use this tire for your daily commute, then you should stick with the 26 x 2.0 size.

Pros
  • Suitable for different surfaces and applications including dirt, gravel, and normal asphalt
  • Offers rolling resistance courtesy of its tread design
  • Super durable thanks to the added rubber compound
  • Resistance to punctures, thanks to FPS protected armor casing
Cons
  • All the layers of protection are great, but they also make this tire quite heavy

8. Kenda Tires K838 Commuter/Cruiser/Hybrid Bicycle Tires

The Kenda K838 is one of the best tires for commuters. However, this versatile tire is also suitable for other types of bikes including mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and road bikes. It’s designed with a steel wire bead that adds weight and substance to the tire while helping to prevent punctures.

Other features of this tire include a 26-inch diameter which is complemented by a two-inch width that makes for easier handling. The tire surface features unique grooves that allow it to achieve a firm grip on the road so that you don’t veer off in an undesired direction when the road is wet.

This is in addition to rubber whiskers that help to offer improved traction when making sharp turns. You’ll be glad to know that this tire offers rolling resistance and optimal speed due to its wide frame.

However, unlike the previous tire there is no added layer of protection on the tire’s sidewall which means it doesn’t offer that much resistance to rock or metal damage and can be prone to punctures when riding through rough terrain.

Pros
  • Handles sharp turns flawlessly thanks to the two-inch width
  • Offers added traction and water resistance thanks to the grooved design
  • Budget-friendly commuter tire
  • Wire beads for more durability
Cons
  • It doesn’t offer that much protection from punctures due to rough terrain
  • It only comes in a 26-inch diameter size

How to Pick the Best Commuter Bike Tires

When it comes to finding the best bike tires for your commuting bike it’s important to keep in mind what your needs and preferences are. Some of the most important features to look out for include durability, a stable grip and comfort. You should also consider getting a bike messenger bag if you commute to work.

Road tires, touring tires, and cyclocross tires all tick these boxes.

Type of Tires

There are typically three types of tires that you’ll come across when looking for good quality commuting tires. First, you have clincher tires that come pre-installed into most new commuting bikes for 60 year old woman.

Part of what makes these tires so unique is the fact that they’re designed with a tube that’s located in the middle of the rim and the tire itself. This inflated tube is replaceable and you can patch it so that you can keep going in the event of an unexpected puncture. The sides of this type of tire are covered with protective Kevlar/ steel fiber for extra durability.

The next type of tire that you have access to is the tubeless tire. You can attach these tires directly onto the wheel using a sealant which helps to protect from flats and punctures. This type of tire thrives on low pressure. But, you have to install them onto compatible wheels like you do with bicycle wheel lights in order to benefit from the traction and comfort they provide.

The third type of tire that you have at your disposal is the tubular tire. This tire is not particularly popular in commuter biking circles and for good reason. It’s specially designed for road bikes.

Tire Construction

Commuting tires are designed and constructed in a very unique manner using very unique materials. It’s important to understand what those materials are when looking for a tire.

For instance, clincher and tubeless tires are usually constructed from Kevlar wire. Kevlar often makes for a pricier tire while wire material tires are more affordable. Both options keep the tire close to the rim.

Next, you have the tire casing which is designed to keep the tire beads together. In addition to that, tire casing helps to keep the air within the tire intact. Most tire casing is constructed from materials like nylon, cotton, and silk and they all have their pros and cons. It’s also worth noting that tire casings are measured in terms of TPIs.

If you want a puncture-resistant tire, then you should look for one whose TPI rating is lower than 60. At this rate, you’ll most likely experience poor rolling resistance. If rolling resistance is very important to you, then you should look for tires whose TPI is over 120, but this means that you’ll experience compromised puncture protection.

Puncture Resistance

Most of the tires featured on our list are puncture resistant and this was no mistake. This is one of the most important features to look out for when shopping for a tire, especially if you’re doing draft cycling.

Resistant tires are typically constructed from a combination of synthetic coated fibers which adds an extra layer of weight, making the tire heavy.

Aside from making sure that the tire is constructed from puncture-resistant materials you should also maintain it at optimal pressure levels for further protection.

Tire Grip

When it comes to ensuring optimal grip, there are several measures that tire manufacturers take. For best results, avoid tires with added treads because this often makes it difficult for the tires to make contact with the road. Tires with softer rubber construction offer better grip as do lower pressure models.

The general rule of thumb is that the softer the rubber that the tire is made from, the better its grip. But, you have to be prepared to replace the tire more often than not as soft rubber leads to a shorter lifespan and less durability overall.

The good news is that newer tires often combine these two features. They’re designed with a hard center strip which is built into dual-compound treads that allow you to turn corners comfortably and with better precision.

Width of Tires

If you’re buying a brand-new urban bike then you should have to worry about buying tires because it comes with them already. But, through regular use and wear and tear, you’ll have to replace these tires.

At this point, you should consider measuring the correct width of your tires so that you know what to look for. Mountain bike tires are typically narrower when compared to commuting tires that have a wide width.

For best results, look for grip-friendly tires that measure between 28c to 42c and put them on your bike with the help of a bike repair stand at home. Tires in this size range are usually comfortable and perfect for daily use. Larger tires, on the other hand, require less pressure.

Conclusion

When looking for the best commuter bike tires, it helps to know what to look out for. Luckily, this article covered all the important factors to consider when shopping for a replacement tire that’ll take you from asphalt to rocky trails effortlessly.

But, a winner must be chosen to make for a more decisive conclusion, right? In that case, we recommend the Continental Gatorskin Bike Tire.

We crown these as our winners not just because they’re the best wet commuter bike tires but because they come with features that matter.

This includes a foldable design that makes them portable, a puncture-proof PolyX Breaker polyester fiber protection layer, DuraSkin fiber on the sidewalls, and the ability to handle gravel and potholes with equal ease.

What more could you ask for?

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

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