5 Best Tubular Tires for Road Bikes in 2023

best tubular road bike tires

At first glance, tubular tires may seem quite similar to clinchers. However, those who have hands-on experience with both types of tires would concur that there are noticeable differences in bicycle performance when using each.

Tubular tires, often fondly referred to as “tubs,” have been primarily engineered with racing in mind. Therefore, it’s not surprising that they generally offer a lighter weight, enhanced safety, and increased durability compared to clinchers.

While they might not be as widespread as clinchers, a significant number of bikers actually lean towards tubular tires as their preference.

If you’ve recently developed an interest in riding with tubular tires and you’re seeking suggestions for the best tires to use in a triathlon, you’re in the right place.

In the following sections, we delve into an evaluation of 5 best tubular tires designed for road bikes in the year 2023.

Let’s get started….

Top 5 Tubular Tires for Road Bikes

Name Size Weight (g) TPI
Continental Competition 700Cx25 245 3/180
Vittoria Corsa Speed G2.0 700Cx25 205 320
Continental Sprinter Gatorskin 700Cx25 275 3/180
SCHWALBE One HT 700Cx26 260 127
Michelin Power Competition 700Cx25 290 3×180

1. Continental Competition Tubular

Continental Competition Tubular tire

When diving into the realm of tubular tires, one brand that irresistibly comes to mind is Continental. Hailing from Germany, this brand stands as the preferred choice for a significant majority of World Tour squads, a testament to its unparalleled reputation.

Among their lineup, the Continental Competition tubular tires shine as a versatile masterpiece, boasting impeccable traction across a spectrum of weather conditions. Remarkably lightweight yet remarkably durable, their resilience owes gratitude to the inclusion of the Vectran belt, which fortifies their structure.

This tire boasts a versatile design for racing, catering to a variety of needs on the track. The impressively slim 19 mm variant breaks the 200-gram barrier, tipping the scales at a mere 195 grams. If one were to opt for the slightly broader 22 or 25 mm options, a corresponding weight gain is observed, reaching 230 and 245 grams respectively. These weight increments, however, remain commendable considering the tire’s universal suitability for road biking.

Enhanced by a TPI (Threads Per Inch) rating of 180, this tire significantly ups its rubber content, translating to heightened durability and longevity in performance.

Drawing parallels, these tubs can be likened to the Continental GP4000 clinchers concerning their gripping capabilities. However, their distinct advantage lies in a far superior riding experience facilitated by the option to operate them at lower pressures.

While their resistance to punctures is commendable, it’s wise not to anticipate extensive mileage from them. A trade-off surfaces in the form of rapid wear and tear, an outcome attributed to their exceptional grip.

Proudly handcrafted in Germany, these tubular tires do present a challenge during the mounting process. A recommended approach involves pre-stretching them on the rims for a span of days prior to introducing glue or self-adhesive tape, enhancing the installation procedure.

In the realm of Crit racing, these tires establish themselves as a standout choice, an endorsement solidified by rigorous testing and the endorsement of elite racers worldwide.


  • Editor’s Choice
  • Superior Grip
  • Low Rolling Resistance
  • Enhanced Puncture Resistance
  • Optimized for Racing


  • Complex Installation
  • Limited Rim Compatibility

2. Vittoria Corsa Speed G2.0 Tire

Vittoria Corsa Speed tubular tire

If you’re in pursuit of the swiftest sew-up tire the world has to offer, direct your attention to none other than the Corsa Speed G2.0 Tire, a creation of Vittoria’s innovation.

Built explicitly for the demands of race day, this tire is a testament to unwavering speed. Whenever your sights are set on shattering personal records, claiming King of the Mountain glory, or seizing a prestigious state title, the wise choice is to affix a pair of these remarkable tires.

Crafted around their exclusive blend of Graphene G+ ISOtech compound, meticulously thin yet highly adhesive and enduring, it harmoniously embraces the iconic 320TPI Corespun-T casing, renowned for its ethereal lightness. The end result is a tire that delivers an astounding reduction in rolling resistance, an unparalleled pliancy that adapts flawlessly to diverse terrains, and an exceptional grip that stands unwavering even in adverse weather conditions.

Vittoria proudly asserts that the infusion of Graphene yields a remarkable 40% decrease in rolling resistance when compared to compounds bereft of this cutting-edge material. The time trial dominion is where this tire reigns supreme, garnering the allegiance of Vittoria-sponsored teams and securing podium positions at renowned events such as the Giro, Tour, and Vuelta. These exceptional tires are on offer in both 23 and 25mm widths, each available in either a sleek Black or a classic Gumwall/Black combination.

The pursuit of a tire that seamlessly marries durability and resistance to punctures with unbridled speed is no small feat. Yet, Vittoria appears to have masterfully achieved precisely that with the Corsa Speed G2.0, setting a new standard in the realm of high-performance cycling.


  • Designed to excel on the most challenging conditions
  • Corespun 320 TPI Casing provides flexibility and minimal rolling resistance
  • Rapid rolling capabilities
  • Lightweight Suppleness


  • Not built for high puncture resistance

3. Continental Sprinter Gatorskin Tubular Tire

Continental Sprinter Gatorskin Tubular Tire

Named after the resilient reptile, Gatorskins stand out as robust and enduring tubular tires designed to provide exceptional defense against punctures—a quality that renders them ideal for daily training sessions and enduring long-distance rides.

The Sprinter Gatorskin boasts a sophisticated construction, featuring a 3-layered 180 TPI all-weather casing. To enhance its protective capabilities, the tire is equipped with the SafetySystem breaker, a remarkable component crafted from kevlar-reinforced nylon. Available in a sleek black variant, the tire comes in either a 22 mm or 25 mm width to suit various preferences and needs.

Distinguishing itself from the crowd of tubular tires, this exceptional creation incorporates a specialized safeguard known as “Duraskin” along the sidewalls. This innovative addition acts as a barrier, effectively preventing cuts and shielding the tire from damage that might occur around the casing. As a result, even traversing roads laden with debris poses minimal risk of punctures, underlining its reliability.

While the Gatorskin tubulars excel in their ability to ward off cuts and punctures, it’s important to note that their durability comes at a cost—namely, a relatively shorter lifespan. Anticipate a mileage of no more than 1200 miles before they require replacement, due to their intense engagement with road challenges.

Just as with their Competition tubular counterparts, the Gatorskins exhibit a level of difficulty when it comes to mounting them onto rims. This aspect necessitates a gentle stretching process spanning a couple of days before the gluing procedure can take place.

Yet, despite their emphasis on puncture resistance, the Continental Gatorskin tubulars don’t compromise on speed. Their commendable rolling efficiency means they remain a viable option for both training and competitive racing endeavors, catering to a diverse range of cycling pursuits.


  • 3-layered all-weather casing
  • Fully Puncture resistance
  • Enhanced protective capabilities


  • Wear out quickly

4. SCHWALBE One HT Black Tubular Tire

SCHWALBE One HT Black Tubular Tire

The distinct feature of the SCHWALBE One HT Black Tubular Tire lies in its remarkable durability, attributed to the advanced Onestar Triple Compound it employs.

This innovative compound introduces a pliable foundation that not only enhances the tire’s resilience and traction on wet surfaces but also curtails rolling resistance effectively.

With the utilization of the SCHWALBE One HT Black Tubular Tire, the potential for increased velocity becomes tangible. Furthermore, its ability to maintain exceptional traction even in damp conditions remains unwavering, facilitating a level of control that is both precise and dependable. The incorporation of a diamond tread pattern further augments its gripping capabilities, instilling a heightened sense of confidence.

Integral to the tire’s longevity is the protective prowess bestowed by the Onestar Triple Compound, rendering the SCHWALBE One HT Black Tubular Tire notably resistant to punctures and reinforcing its overall durability.

At a modest weight of 260 grams, there is an inkling that this 22-622 tubular tire could potentially shed some weight without compromising its performance. However, this marginal trade-off in weight does little to overshadow the tire’s exceptional and consistent performance standards.


  • OneStar triple compound delivers exceptional grip
  • Super-fast rolling capability


  • Not as puncture-proof as Continental tires, so be careful around less-traveled city streets

5. Michelin Power Competition Tire

Michelin Power Competition Road Tubular Tire

The Michelin Power Competition road bike tire stands as a testament to meticulous craftsmanship and uncompromising quality. Handcrafted to perfection, this tire embodies the pursuit of excellence in cycling performance.

Embark on your cycling journey with the assurance of streamlined aerodynamics. As the wind resistance diminishes in the presence of this tire hugging your wheel, your pedaling effort transforms into an effortless glide. The minimized resistance empowers you to preserve precious energy, which becomes your reserve for the demanding stages of the race ahead.

Beyond the realm of energy preservation, the innate capacity of reduced wind resistance holds the potential to propel your bike to unprecedented speeds, outpacing even the machines of comparable prowess. In the dynamic arena of triathlon, where seconds dictate victories, this newfound velocity becomes your coveted advantage.

The Michelin Power Competition emerges as a paragon of durability. It weaves together a tapestry of resilience using a combination of latex inner tubing, a robust cotton and aramid casing, crowned by a meticulously interlaid pattern over the tread. This intricate architecture ensures an impervious defense against the trials of the road.

Selecting the tire that aligns with your needs is effortless, as the Michelin Power Competition is offered in three distinct sizes: 23-622, 25-622, and 28-622. For those adhering to the tradition of 23mm tires, a seamless match awaits.

In the pursuit of personalization, should your preference veer towards a wider tire operating at lower PSI, the options extend gracefully to 25mm and 28mm. The road to cycling excellence is now sculpted to your unique specifications.


  • Cotton and aramid casing delivers max performance
  • Exceptional grip in both wet and dry conditions
  • Aramid Protek provides extra layer of puncture protection


  • Slick tread design poses a challenge in low temperatures, potentially leading to shearing of the tire

Which Tubular tire should You choose for Your Road Bike?

Assuming your intention is to utilize tubular tires predominantly for competitive racing purposes, the initial point necessitating contemplation revolves around the specific terrain that will serve as the backdrop for your competitions.

Should your racing endeavors unfold upon undulating courses or encompass uphill time trial challenges where the significance of weight looms large, your prospects would be optimized by opting for featherweight, high-speed tire options such as the Continental Competition tubular.

Conversely, if the race route unfolds over terrain characterized by its relatively flat disposition, marred by coarse road textures and perhaps even cobblestone sections, the logical contenders would be resolute, rugged tires like the Continental Sprinter Gatorskin.

For riders whose paramount concern centers around the quality of ride experience on smooth road surfaces, the prudent choice would be either the Vittoria Corsa Speed. In this regard, the Corsa models claim a slight advantage in terms of speed.

An additional pivotal criterion in selecting the most fitting tubular tire lies within the realm of convenience and the ease of installation. It is advisable to exercise caution when considering Continental models, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the intricacies of adhering tubular tires, as these tend to snugly fit and require pre-stretching.

Much like other components in the realm of cycling equipment, the decisive element that warrants careful deliberation in the acquisition of tubular tires remains the pricing spectrum. The premium nature of tubulars is hardly surprising, considering that they are often meticulously handcrafted. While the upper echelons of the best clincher tire options scarcely surpass the $40 mark, tubular variants are conspicuously scarce below the $50 threshold, with the lighter iterations frequently exceeding the $100 benchmark.

In conclusion, prior to embarking on the transition to tubular tires, it is judicious to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the pros and cons intrinsic to this tire category, drawing meaningful comparisons with clincher or tubeless alternatives. Evidently, tubular tires are an acquired taste, not universally suited for all riders.

The Advantages of Tubular Road Bike Tyres

Due to the elevated inflation demands that tubular tires can endure, they exhibit a remarkable capability to minimize rolling resistance and enhance overall smoothness. Even under the most substantial pressure, tubular road bike tires adeptly absorb jolts and the irregularities of the terrain, showcasing an impressive dampening effect. This elevated pressure is uniformly distributed, facilitating consistent expansion of the inner tubes. This unique construction of tubular tires establishes a dependable and uniform contact patch where the tread intimately engages the road surface.

Consequently, this elevation in contact quality significantly bolsters traction, maneuverability, foresight, and empowers cyclists to leverage the full expanse of the tread’s lateral dimensions. A supplementary benefit intrinsic to tubular tires is their exceptional lightness.

Unlike tubeless and clincher counterparts, the tubular rim boasts a svelte profile due to the omission of reinforced sidewalls and beadless tire design. The adoption of tubular rims can result in a substantial weight reduction of over 200 grams.

Leading the pack in tubular road bike tire excellence, are those crafted with a cotton casing. Harnessing the properties of this textile fiber facilitates optimal tire deformation, amplifies grip, and augments rolling efficiency to an unparalleled degree.

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