Today’s question is about finding some tough, flat-resistant tires that can be used for racing and training

In Search of Puncture Proof Bike Tires

Hey Levi, I didn’t see this question in your archives, wanted to know what you think: I live on Galveston Island, and the city here isn’t so great about cleaning up the streets so there is always a lot of broken glass shards. I used to have flats all the time, and now I use tire liners on my road bike. However, they are relatively heavy and I have noticed the difference in acceleration and would like to come up with a good tire solution so I don’t have to use them. Can you recommend the best flat avoidance tire–sans tire liner? I am on a budget of course so is there something I can race with and train with?

Thanks,
Gary Glass

Hey Gary,

I don’t have any personal experience with this type of tire, so I can only pass on a few things I’ve heard. (Although I do think it would be a good thing to get rid of the tire liners.)

Tires

Continental Grand Prix (Gatorskin)

First, the toughest race tire I know of is the Continental Grand Prix 4000. People race and train on it since it offers good performance and surprisingly long life. Conti’s Gatorskin tires are rumored to be even tougher, and could be a good bet for you since they offer some puncture protection.

Specialized Armadillo series

Second, I’ve heard good things about the Specialized Armadillo series of tires. In that line, check out the All Condition Armadillo Elite Tire. It looks like it’s designed as a race-worthy tire offering good flat protection.

Schwalbe Ultremo DD

Lastly, there’s also at least one Schwalbe tire in the Ultremo lineup that’s tough but still usable for racing/training. I think it’s the Schwalbe Ultremo DD. For something heavier duty, try their Durano Plus HS 399 which should offer decent performance, too.

You should be able to find something because more and more manufacturers are coming out with race-worthy tires that have added protection against punctures. It used to be, when you wanted a strong tire, you had to get a super heavy commuting tire. But now there are tires that are basically a race tire, but with the addition of a protective belt under the tread for increased puncture and blowout resistance.

Good luck!

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