Lab Tested – What’s The Fastest Road Bike Tire?

What’s the best road tire on the market? Is there really much of a difference between the best ones?
(NOTE – The Continental GP4000 S2 was tested, but we accidentally left it out of the list of tyres at the start of the video)
And what air pressure should you use in yours? We sent ten of the best road tires to Wheel Energy for testing, and did plenty of our own tests in Boulder, CO too.

This video contains a paid product placement on behalf of Easton Cycling.

Steve Gribble’s cycling tool –

The Tyres on test were –

Bontrager R4
Continental GP4000 S2
Zipp Tangente Speed
Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless
Clement LCV
Michelin Power Competition
Vittoria Competition Corsa
Hutchinson Fusion 5 Galactik
Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton
S-Works Turbo Tubeless


Charles BISACCIA says:

My choice goes to the Michelin Power Competition .

ricric says:

Not mentioned is the fact that wider tires do pay an aero penalty. This is why Zipp recommends 23c front and 25c rear. The aero penalty is in part due to the rimtire transition.

Dan Hawman says:

Almost went on a No GPS4000II

John Paton says:


allgoo19 says:

For me, the best tires are the ones wear the longest.


Has anybody tested tires on wearability?

lastinline bruce says:

Thanks for the work you put in to make this video …. GREAT

Harley Breakout Guy says:

which is the best and fastest tubeless road tire?

Tv Wou says:

Dear Bike Radar, I like the amount of work and effort you’ve put into this test.

What doesn’t come out very clear is the distinction between the commonly used relatively stiff sidewalls (vulcanized, nylon threads with lower TPI) vs the more supple sidewalls/casings (ie the Vittoria, Bontrager, Specialized and others with cotton thread and high TPI). In my opinion this is because:
1) in the Wheel Energy Lab test the suspension losses (vibrations absorbed in body tissue) are not accounted for;
2a) your field-tests seem to be performed on very smooth tarmac, also minimizing suspension losses by having less rougnesss;
2b) you field-tested in cold conditions, possibly reducing the difference in suppleness between the two categories of tires;

I would be very delighted to see test results in summer conditions on a bit rougher tarmac (e.g. with a top layer of small crushed stone as is quite common for local roads). It wouldn’t surprise me if your findings would line up more with the findings of Jan Heine & co, who actually found a large difference in rolling power for supple vs stiff, a more flat relationship between rolling power and pressure for supple tires, and also generally arrived at much higher Rolling Wattages if I’m correct (due the suspension losses). They claim a 20% reduction in total power required at 25 kph for a low-end stiff to a high-end supple tire, which is huge.

Besides there is an aerodynamic effect, not only from the tire-width, but also from the fit of the tire on the rim, as well as the rim depth. These effects play a more important role at TT speeds. It thus demonstrates that the choice of wheel (rim+tire) has an effect both at lower speeds (rolling resistance) as well as higher speeds (aero resistance).

Hobby_Cycling says:

what tire width would you recommend on rim shape about 22,3 mm wide (external) ? Because based on many videos out there, I found , the best combination should be tire which match width of rim as close as possible, some people say also that rim should by 5 % wider to get the best results … so my vision trimax 35 carbon, 22,3 mm wide should go with 23 mm tire rather than 25 ? Thanks

李ゑゐ says:

I really want to see tubular tires performance, because I’m using tubular wheels

SecretAgentJames says:

S-works turbo cotton is not even performance tyre… it’s main strength is grip and cornering.

Wouter Scholten says:

The use of ‘exponential’ as pointed out in some comments is wrong (the air resistance force goes up quadratically, and the corresponding required power goes up with the 3rd power of speed). If you’re making a video about scientific evaluations then it’s stupid to use the wrong technical terms. The evaluation in the video is ok, just could have added some example calculations of how much the difference in power of different tyres influences the speed, which at 40 km/h is going to be very very little… It’s refreshing to see the comments here, which are a lot more interesting and critical than with the videos of GCN where I’d have to say all videos they made about ‘scientific’ evaluations are not scientific because general analysis is the essence (and measurenent are only a tool used in that), which they don’t do, but worse is the sycophantic responses to their videos in the comment section.

BigChunkyy says:

Can anyone identify those bright green cleats he’s wearing??

Cycling Moven says:

It appears the wattage difference of the tyres is an insignificant amount compared to other resistances to forward motion. One thing i have found in my research on the net, is that running a smaller tyre on the front, say a 23mm over a 25/28mm can give more aero advantage than rolling resistance gains of a wider tyre. Also 23mm vittorias are more like 24.something, if you measure them. Maybe why they sent them.

LM C says:

Awesome video and presenter !

Ewa Kaczmarek says:

Thank you 🙂

pinoyeh says:

Very informative, however, for my own personal preference, the results does not in anyway matter for me. The 25C tire for is more comfortable against my 23C, regardless of what the current road, terrain and atmospheric condition is. An my bottom line consideration is the PRICE as CASH is KING. I am not a racer or a hard core rider who closely watch the numbers and etc. I just ride and ride and ride for as long as I can…..

Sills71 says:

The pros, who are much lighter than the average rider, USE NOT LESS THAN 115PSI when not on the hardest cobbles. Most pros run 120psi or MORE.

VideoNOLA says:

Are those high PSI numbers above the rated max. PSI for specific tires? For example, my Conti GatorSkins spec 102 PSI as a practical maximum, but I’ve ridden them at 110 PSI (accidentally, mind you), and everything went fine. Any thoughts on exceeding specs?

87cigs says:

is spherical correct? i feel like it should be cylindrical when talking about the drum

Pian0Mon says:

sounds like Conti GP 5000 TL is 17% improved from the GP 4000 S2.. if that’s true, it moves to 20.1 watts of rolling resistance which would edge out the Schwalbe Pro One tubeless by .8 watts. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s true. They’re 100 bucks a tire though!!

James Bowser says:

A 110 pound load test is not real word for a man’s weight.

Donald Polson says:

Conti GP 4K and Ultra are all round speed demons.

James Bowser says:

I noticed the difference between 23mm and 28mm tires 30 years ago. Since, I have bought larger tires than 23mm. These days, I am more likely to ride 28mm than 23mm or 25mm.

jlebrech says:


Diego Silva says:

if change from 700×32 to 700×25 and preserve the road, can have a problem?

Mike Bertelsen says:

His voice is so smooth and relaxing. He’s the cycling-worlds answer to Geralt of Rivia. A true silverfox.

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!