Road tire recommendations

Hey folks, I’m looking for some road tire recommendations. I picked up a new bike this spring with the intention of having it serve as a dual purpose gravel and road bike with two sets of wheels. I’m all set for gravel, but not sure what would be best for road. I’m not looking for anything to race with, only cruising to Stratford and dangling off the back of G3 on the Thursday nighters.

My current consideration is a set of tubeless GP 5000s, but what’s best: 28, 30, or 32c? Comfort vs speed? Or should I consider any other tire?

Thanks in advance for any tips!

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I just watched a GCN video where they compared tire widths on road bikes on smooth road surfaces. The results were a little surprising. Wider tires were no worse then smaller tires even with 35mm tires. Worth a watch I think.

I’m actually running 32mm GP 5000s but with tubes but I really wished I had purchased the tubeless version. I’m using them both on road and gravel. My boys were running 30mm GP5000s tubeless for 3 weeks road training in Spain and they were awesome. Their feedback was that the tires were comfortable, fast, and more reliable then tubes.

For my $0.02 I would definitely recommend at least the 30mm and probably the 32mm (assuming rims that accommodate the tire). Especially since gravel bikes have a wide fork and running thin tires looks a little silly :slightly_smiling_face:


Tire width recommendation in part is going to depend on what rims you have. You may need a minimum width for the rim, this is more important for tubeless.

Are you planning to switch tires or use a separate wheel set, I will say it gets old fast messing around with sealant if you need to swap tires regularly.

I feel you are being modest suggesting that you will be dangling off the back of G3.

I appreciate the detailed feedback as always @KevinGoertz ! :+1:

@bike_daniells I’m planning on having two wheelsets - I’m not too keen on swapping tires multiple times per week, particularly tubeless, as you say. I’ll have to do some measuring and research into rim width and tire compatibility. That’s a good point - thanks. And yes, last year I was working hard to keep up with G3 down middlebrook, but I’ve been a lot more active this winter and spring, so maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised come road season.

For what it’s worth, I prefer 28mm. Comfortable yet still nimble on the road. I run 50mm deep carbon wheels with Pirelli P Zero Race run as tubeless and have been very happy with that setup.

Having watched that GCN video I would be running as wide as I could get a decent tire. Your new checkpoint has loads of clearance (nice bike by the way!).

They don’t do the 5000 S TR in 35 mm but they do the All Season in a 35 which is very marginally slower (like 1.5Ws!) Continental Grand Prix 5000 All Season TR 25 Rolling Resistance Review

Run that on a nice wide rim and I think it will be faster on nearly all the roads around here than anything skinnier.

I don’t recall you having too many problems on G3 thursdays. I’m sure the new bike will help though :slight_smile:

I have been using tubelss GP 5000s in a 28 on my zipp 303s on the road. I love them but other than skinnier I have no other tire experience on the road as of yet.
On my Aspero, I also have zipp 303s wheels and have just switched this season (for a gravel training camp and P2A at least) to vittoria Mezcals in a 35. Previously I was using Conti Terra Trails in a 38.

I have gp5000 on 25mm internal (32 external) rims, and they balloon out to 34mm. A 30mm tire measures out to 32mm. I find the ride comfy and fast; certainly feels just as fast as the 28mm I have on my older road bike that is limited to that width. I wonder how big the all season version would get on my light bicycle wr50 rims.


@pascallap on Middlebrook!

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I did the same and it was life changing. Putting 303s on an Aspero changes it into an R3. I’d use that set up with 28 GP’s next time I do a Euro road cycling trip.

The only downside is gearing. That 46-30 on the front is not big enough for fast group rides.

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Another thing to note:
I run gp5000 32s on my domane, and it did stretch (it measured around 34). Since you’re on a checkpoint this might be moot, but just in case you have another road bike and want to swap sometimes. (E.g. these 32s did not fit on my Roubaix, but the compass 32s did.)

I’m curious, have you tried the tubed gp5000s with tpu tubes? I got a pair as spares but haven’t gotten around to trying them (too far down the bike todo list :sweat_smile:).

I had heard of TPU tubes but hadn’t thought about it. They sound almost ‘too good to be true’. In my case I bought 32mm GP5000 tires but not the tubeless version even though I’ve been running tubeless for CX and MTB for years. Running TPU looks like a great compromise until I wear out the new tires. :slightly_smiling_face: Great idea Janette!

I’m also not fast enough for fast group rides which is good because my Aspero is a 1X with a mtb back end for extra fun lol

I run GP5000s with TPU tubes and I love it!

Also I have a pair of 32s in good shape that I no longer need if anyone is interested

I’m curious about TPU tubes – did you notice any difference in terms of ride or weight/watts? I suspect this is in the realm of ‘marginal gains’ but my road bike isn’t tubeless (and doesn’t have clearance for a very wide tire), so I’ve been thinking of tryings some TPU tubes and am curious if you can actually feel the difference.

@Sean_MacCormack are they the tubeless ready version?

Nope, regular clinchers

Hey, definitely a difference in weight. I think it’s close to 150g for the pair. I e just used the Ride Now ones.

They roll quick, but it’s in the range of marginal gains.

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Go as wide as you can fit with your frame and rims. Research has shown that wider tires are in no way slower that narrower, but are more comfortable, potentially making you faster:

You can use Silca’s pressure calculator to help figure out what pressure you want to run, based on tire and rim width, weight, and terrain:

If you’re okay compromising a bit on rolling resistance and want a fast(ish), comfortable tire that is nigh indestructible tire, the Pirelli Cinturato Velo really cant be beat, especially in wider profiles.

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