Want to go tubeless? Here are all your options in tyres.
Tubeless tyres are gradually gaining popularity as more riders become convinced that their improved ride and increased resistance to punctures are worth the cost of new wheels and tyres and the sometimes problematic fitting process. If you’re about to make the switch, here’s a look at your tyre options.
When tubeless tyres for road wheels first appeared you had very few choices. Hutchinson made tyres, Shimano and Stan’s NoTubes made wheels and conversion kits and, er, that was it. Now almost all tyre makers offer tubeless options, and even long-time hold-outs Michelin and Continental are on board.
Bontrager offers a range of three tyres badged Tubeless Ready, which means what you need to get them working is sealant and either Bontrager’s special rim strips if you have Bontrager wheels, or other tubeless compatible wheels and valves. In ascending order of raciness, they’re the AW2, R2 and R3. We’ve tested and liked the latter as part of the Bontrager Road TLR Upgrade Kit.
|Bontrager GR2 TLR Team Issue Gravel||440g (40mm)||£35.99|
|Bontrager GR1 TLR Team Issue Gravel||430g (40mm)||£41.00|
|Bontrager R2 TLR||235g (25mm)||£28.99|
|Bontrager R3 TLR||200g (25mm)||£38.49|
|Bontrager CX0 TLR||395g (33mm)||£36.99|
|Bontrager CX3 TLR||405g (33mm)||£36.99|
|Bontrager LT2 TLR||395g (32mm), 475g (38mm)||£41.62|
|Bontrager AW2||360g (26mm)||£27.00|
Conti was one of the last two major tyre makers to hold out against tubeless, but late in 2018 announced a new tyre, the Grand Prix 5000, to succeed the much-loved Grand Prix 4000S II, and as well as regular clinchers there are tubeless versions too.
And they were worth the wait. The Grand Prix 5000 tubeless tyre takes everything that is improved with this latest generation tyre and adds tubeless compatibility for improved puncture resistance. They're relatively painless to set up and provide excellent performance in all conditions with low rolling resistance, good grip and durability.
|Continental Terra Trail||440g (650B), 460g (700C)||£34.44|
|Continental Terra Speed||390g (650B 35mm), 400g (650B 40mm), 400g (700C 35mm), 420g (700C 40mm)||£34.44|
|Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL||300g (25mm), 340g (28mm), 380g (32mm), 290g (650B)||£44.99|
Renowned for their fast, supple hand-made road tyres, Challenge has added tubeless tyres to its range. HTLR tyres are handmade, while VTLR are a more conventional vulcanised construction.
|Challenge Strada Pro HTLR||282g (25mm)||£70.00|
Donnelly is the new name for the tyres formerly known as Clement, after Clement brand owner Pirelli decided to return to the tyre sector. Donnelly specialises in cyclocross tyres—all the 33mm tyres in the range are for cyclocross—but has a decent selection of fat rubber for gravel and bad roads too.
|Donnelly BOS 700C||456g (33mm)||£NA|
|Donnelly MXP 650B||430g (33mm)||£33.99|
|Donnelly MXP 700C||446g (33mm)||£46.95|
|Donnelly PDX 700C||426g (33mm)||£50.00|
|Donnelly Strada USH 650B||472g (36mm), 536g (42mm), 644g (50mm)||£65.00|
|Donnelly Strada USH 700C||338g (32mm), 562 (40mm)||£65.00|
|Donnelly X'Plor MSO 650B||532g (42mm), 670g (50mm)||~£45.00|
|Donnelly X'Plor MSO 700C||420g (30mm), 532g (40mm), 794g (50mm)||£43.99|
Ere Research CEO Piet van der Velde has almost three decades in the bike industry, most recently as product director of saddle maker Selle Italia before founding Ere Research in 2017. The company launched with an extensive range of tyres, with tubeless versions of almost all models, and some — the Tempus tyres for time trials — only available in a tubeless format.
|Ere Research Genus||235g (24mm) 242g (26mm) 268g (28mm)||£60.99|
|Ere Research Omnia||248g (24mm) 255g (26mm) 283g (28mm) 308g (30mm)||NA|
|Ere Research Tenaci||360g (30mm) 394g (32mm) 408g (36mm) n/a (40mm)||£60.99|
|Ere Research Pontus||255g (24mm) 276g (26mm)||£49.99|
|Ere Research Tempus||255g (26mm) 291g (28mm)||NA|
The world's biggest bike manufacturer has switched to tubeless tyres and wheels on large swathe of its recent models. Giant has come up with a ten-model range that covers a full range of applications from racing to messing about in the dirt.
|Giant Gavia Fondo 0||330g (28mm), 370g (32mm)||£41.99|
|Giant Gavia SL 1||300g (25mm)||£39.99|
|Giant Gavia SLR 1||255g (25mm)||£49.99|
|Giant Gavia Race 1||255g (25mm)||£39.99|
|Giant Gavia Race 0||307g (25mm)||£39.99|
|Giant Gavia AC 0||278g (25mm), 302g (28mm)||£49.99|
|Giant Gavia AC 1||330g (25mm), 373g (28mm)||£39.99|
|Giant Gavia AC 2||411g (25mm), 441g (28mm)||£29.99|
|Giant Crosscut Tour 2||553g (30mm)||£26.99|
|Giant Crosscut AT 2||673g (38mm)||£22.49|
|Giant Crosscut Gravel 2||573g (40mm), 705g (45mm), 725g (50mm)||£26.99|
Goodyear announced a return to bicycle tyres in 2018 with a range that includes what the company describes as 'Tubeless Complete' tyres, which have "tubeless specific bead and casings, allowing for easy installation and superior air retention". With a tyre carcass that's impenetrable to sealant but not airtight, Tubeless Complete is a sort of halfway house between Road Tubeless, which has an air-retaining coat of butyl rubber on the inside of the tyre and Tubeless Ready, which has a standard tyre carcass. Goodyear recommends the use of sealant to make sure the bead is properly seals against the rim, and says sealant won't seep through the Tubeless Complete carcass so it will still all be there when you need it to fix a puncture.
|Goodyear Eagle All Season||300g (25mm), 316g (28mm), 326g (30mm), 377g (32mm)||~£42.00|
|Goodyear Transit Speed||565g (35mm), 626g (40mm), 769g (50mm)||£41.99 - £44.99|
|Goodyear Transit Tour||722g (650B x 50mm), 565g (35mm), 626g (40mm), 769g (50mm)||£42.99|
|Goodyear County||526g (Premium 35mm), 441g (Ultimate 35mm)||~£43.00|
|Goodyear Connector||542g (Premium 40mm), 463g (Ultimate 40mm)||~£37.00|
Hutchinson launched tubeless tyres for road bikes back in 2006, so it’s no surprise the French tyre maker has a fairly big range. While most tyre makers have gone down the Tubeless Ready route with lightweight tyres that need sealant to keep the air in, Hutchinson also makes tyres to the original Road Tubeless spec, sealed with a coating of rubber inside the tyre.
Hutchinson's flagship tubeless tyre is the Fusion 5, which is available in a number of variants. There are Tubeless Ready versions that need sealant, and Road Tubeless versions that, on paper, don't need sealant, but that everyone uses sealant with anyway just to be safe. Both Road Tubeless and Tubeless Ready versions are available in Galactik, Performance and All Season variants.
Galactik is the lightest version, intended for racing; Performance is the all-rounder with a slightly thicker tread and All Season is more durable, with a thicker tread and grooves to allegedly disperse water in wet conditions. Road Tubeless Fusion 5s come in 23mm and 25mm widths, Tubeless Ready in 25mm, plus 28mm in Performance and All Season.
All Fusion 5s use Hutchinson's ElevenStorm rubber which provides very low rolling resistance and buckets of grip. Tubeless Ready versions have Hutchinson's Hardskin bead-to-bead protection to reduce cuts and punctures. Galactik Road Tubeless tyres have a light reinforcement under the tread, while Performance and All Season Road Tubeless tyres get extra protection in the form of a Kevlar band.
|Hutchinson Fusion 5 Tubeless Ready All Season||260g (25mm)||£34.00-£38.00|
|Hutchinson Fusion 5 Tubeless Ready Performance||255g (25mm)||£33.50|
|Hutchinson Fusion 5 Tubeless Ready Galactik||240g (25mm)||£44.95|
|Hutchinson Fusion 5 Road Tubeless All Season||325g (25mm)||£36.78|
|Hutchinson Fusion 5 Road Tubeless Performance||315g (25mm)||£34.99|
|Hutchinson Fusion 5 Road Tubeless Galactik||285g (25mm)||~£50.00|
|Hutchinson Fusion 3 Road Tubeless||300g (25mm)||£34.99|
|Hutchinson Intensive 2 Road Tubeless||315g (25mm)||£38.95|
|Hutchinson Sector 28 Tubeless Ready||295g (28mm)||£45.00|
|Hutchinson Overide 700C||425g (38mm)||£28.00 - £29.95|
IRC makes several tubeless or tubeless ready tyres, but they’re very rare in the UK; we’ve only been able to find one source. That’s a pity as IRC has been pushing road tubeless technology to make tyres lighter and faster. The Pro Tubeless tyres have internal coating based on latex rubber rather than synthetic butyl. That makes for lower rolling resistance, just as a regular clincher tyre is faster with a latex inner tube than a butyl one.
|IRC Formula Pro Tubeless Light||285g (25mm)||£62.00|
|IRC Formula Pro Tubeless RBCC||310g (25mm)||£55.00|
|IRC Roadlite Tubeless||340g (25mm)||£45.00|
|IRC Formula Pro Fusion X-guard Tubeless||300g/340g (25mm/28mm)||£55.00|
Kenda's line of tubeless-ready tyres focuses on gravel and cyclocross tyres, with just one road tyre, the Valkyrie. They're designated KSCT, for Kenda Sealant-Compatible Tyre. Some models seem to be quite hard to find in the UK, but we've been broadly impressed by the Kenda gravel tyres we've tested.
Find a Kenda dealer
|Kenda Alluvium Pro||558g (45mm), 495g (40mm)||£38.99|
|Kenda Flintridge Pro||515g (40mm) 481 (35mm)||£36.99|
|Kenda Cholla Pro||428g (33mm)||~£26.00|
|Kenda Happy Medium Pro||435g (32mm) 496g (35mm) 556g (42mm)||£36.82|
|Kenda Small Block Eight Pro||427g (37mm) 404g (32mm)||NA|
|Kenda Slant Six Pro||522g (32mm) 591g (45mm)||NA|
|Kenda Kommando X Pro||364g (32mm)||£35.78|
|Kenda Valkyrie||234g (23mm) 252g (25mm) 283g (28mm) 327g (30mm)||~£35.00|
Maxxis is known for mountain bike tyres, but also offers tubeless-ready tyres in a wide range of sizes and applications, plus a tubeless tyre that doesn't need sealant.
|Maxxis Padrone TR||250g (23mm), 260g (25mm), 300g (28mm)||£34.99 - £42.99|
|Maxxis High Road||297g (25mm)||£44.23|
|Maxxis Radiale TL||280g (22mm), 305g (24mm)||~£68.00|
|Maxxis Re-Fuse TR||390g (32mm), 520g (40mm)||£35.99|
|Maxxis Re-Fuse TR||610g (50mm)||£35.99|
|Maxxis Rambler TR||380g (38mm/120tpi), 415g (38mm/60tpi), 375g (40mm/120tpi), 420g (40mm/60tpi)||~£35.00|
|Maxxis Ravager||485g (40mm/120tpi), 530g (40mm/60tpi)||£25.00|
Mavic jumped into the road tubeless sector with both boots in summer 2017, announcing a new standard — Road UST — and a big range of wheels. The accompanying tyre offerings are a bit thin at the moment — the Yksion Pro UST in 25mm and 28mm widths — but Mavic clearly anticipates other manufacturers adopting the standard when it's been ratified by the relevant international bodies.
Mavic still offers its all-purpose/gravel tyre in the old Road Tubeless standard, the 30mm Yksion Elite Allroad.
|Mavic Yksion Elite AllRoad||330g (30mm)||£45.00|
|Mavic Yksion Pro UST||NA||~£37.00|
Michelin briefly partnered with Mavic to develop tubeless road tyres back in the mid-2000s, but both companies abandoned the project shortly afterwards. Having decided not to be the first maker of tubeless road tyres, Michelin has come in as the tubeless lanterne rouge, announcing a tubeless version of the new Power Road tyre in October 2019.
|Michelin Power Road||NA||£47.99|
|Michelin Power Cyclocross Mud||360g||£31.49|
|Michelin Power Jet TLR||380g||£33.30|
|Michelin Power Gravel||360g (33mm), 467g (40mm)||£31.49|
Panaracer joined the tubeless fray with the Race A Evo 3 Tubeless, and has just replaced it with the Race A Evo 4 Tubeless. The Japanese tyre maker has developed a brand new bead which it claims allows the tyre to be inflated using just a hand pump and claims this tyre increases puncture resistance by 24% compared to the previous Evo 2 tyre, thanks to a new Protite puncture proof material. The tread compound is also claimed to improve cornering performance.
|Panaracer GravelKing Slick Tread||310g (32mm), 330g (38mm)||~£33.00|
|Panaracer GravelKing SK||320g (32mm), 380g (35mm), 430g (40mm), 480g (43mm),||£29.99|
|Panaracer Race A Evo 4||210g (25mm)||£59.99|
|Panaracer GravelKing AC||300g (33mm), 360g (35mm)||~£30.00|
|Panaracer GravelKing Plus||353g (35mm)||~£35.00|
After returning to bicycle tyres with the P Zero clincher series, Pirelli has recently added tubeless-ready rubber to the range. Our Stu Kerton was impressed, calling the Cinturato "a very good tyre, especially during these winter months, offering plenty of cold and wet weather grip while also providing loads of puncture proofing. The small cost to the rolling resistance is worth it for the durability too."
|Pirelli Cinturato||290g (26mm), 320g (28mm), 350g (32mm), 390g (35mm)||£39.95|
Previously known as Compass Cycles, Rene Herse grew out of the magazine Bicycle Quarterly, founded in 2002 by Jan Heine, a Seattle-based long-distance cyclist and journalist. Heine contends that wide, supple tyres perform better in every respect than skinny tyres, and perform better than would be expected from rolling resistance tests performed on smooth steel drums. And he's put his money on it with a line of tyres that includes tubeless models.
|Rene Herse Snoqualmie Pass TC 44mm||378g/329g||£71/£87|
|Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC 38mm||430g/380g||£69/£85|
|Rene Herse Steilacoom TC 38mm||423g/370g||£71/£87|
|Rene Herse Bon Jon Pass TC 35mm||355g/303g||£69/£85|
|Rene Herse Switchback Hill TC 650B x 48mm||478g/413g||£74/£89|
|Rene Herse Babyshoe Pass TC 650B x 42mm||410g/373g||£71/£87|
|Rene Herse Pumpkin Ridge TC 650B x 42mm||480g/418g||£74/£89|
Ritchey has just one model of tubeless tyre, the 35mm version of the Alpine JB. We liked the non-tubeless 30mm equivalent, so for dirt road riding, the Alpine JB is well worth a look.
Find a Ritchey dealer
|Ritchey WCS Alpine JB Stronghold 35mm||400g||~£41.00|
Schwalbe says “The future will be tubeless” in its latest blurb for the Schwalbe Pro One tyre, which it claims is its best tubeless tyre ever. We tested the slightly less advanced One Tubeless recently and found it rode brilliantly and, unlike many tubeless tyres, it was easy to get on the rim and to then pop into place on the bead seat.
Schwalbe offers a total of seven ‘Tubeless Easy’ tyres, from the Pro One, which is being reliably reported as having a super-low rolling resistance, to the aptly named Big One, a 60mm tyre intended for mountain bike beach racing but which we’ve included in case anyone’s thinking of building up a ‘monster-cross’ bike.
|Schwalbe Pro One||255g (25mm)||£66.99|
|Schwalbe X-One||370g (33mm)||£49.99|
|Schwalbe G-One Speed||330g (30mm)||£42.00|
|Schwalbe G-One Allround||400g (35mm)||£32.99|
|Schwalbe Big One||530g (60mm)||~£25.00|
|Schwalbe Marathon Supreme||595g (40mm)||£39.99|
|Schwalbe Marathon Almotion||655g (40mm)||~£32.00|
Until recently, Specialized has focused on endurance and cyclo-cross riding with its Tubeless Ready tyres, which it spells 2Bliss because — well, who knows. Californians, eh?
Specialized also makes a Road Tubeless version of its S-Works Turbo tyre. The 26mm version of this tyre recently won a rolling resistance test against a range of standard and tubeless tyres, and looks promising as a fast tyre for UK riding.
|Specialized Roubaix Road Tubeless||295g (25mm)||£63.00|
|Specialized Terra Pro 2Bliss Ready||370g (33mm)||£42.00|
|Specialized Tracer Pro 2Bliss Ready||365g (33mm)||£42.00|
|Specialized Trigger Pro 2Bliss Ready||490g (38mm)||£40.00|
|Specialized S-Works Turbo RapidAir 2Bliss Ready||260g (26mm), 305g (28mm)||£61.00|
|Specialized Sawtooth 2Bliss Ready||615g (42mm)||£42.00|
|Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready||£42.00|
|Specialized Roubaix Pro 2Bliss Ready||375g (30mm)||£31.00|
US brand Teravail specialises in off-road tyres, both for traditional flat-bar mountain bikes and for gravel bikes.
|Teravail Sparwood 650B||614g (55mm)||£60.00|
|Teravail Cannonball 700C||430g (38mm)||£50.00|
|Teravail Rutland 700C||NA||£50.00|
Vittoria makes the big claim that its Corsa Speed graphene technology tyre is the fastest ever independently measured, and the lightest tubeless-ready tyre too. A dirt tyre, the Terreno Zero TNT G2.0 has recently joined the range.
|Vittoria Terreno Zero TNT G2.0||510g (40mm), 435g (35mm), 380g (32mm), 560g (650B)||£34.00|
|Vittoria Corsa Speed (Open TLR)||240g (25mm)||£38.50|
WTB are known for mountain bike tyres so it's no surprise that they specialise in fat 650B rubber for mixed-surface antics or, as they more prosaically call it Road Plus. The range also includes cyclo-cross and road tyres.
|WTB ByWay||535g (47mm 650B)||~£37.00|
|WTB Horizon TCS||515g (47mm 650B)||£27.99|
|WTB Resolute TCS||450g (42mm)||£36.22|
|WTB Sendero TCS||530g (47mm 650B)||£40.49|
|WTB Exposure TCS Road||310g (30mm), 315g (32mm), 370g (34mm)||£35.00|
|WTB Nano TCS||530g (40mm)||£41.18|
|WTB Cross Boss TCS||400g (35mm)||~£32.00|
|WTB Crosswolf TCS||392g (32mm)||£27.00|
Wheel maker Zipp — part of the SRAM group — offers the Tangente Speed tubeless tyre in two sizes, 25mm and 28mm. We found them easy to install and fast-rolling, but they're expensive.
Zipp recently added a gravel bike tyre to the range, the Tangente Course G40 PR. They're excellent in dry conditions, but also not cheap.
|Zipp Tangente RT25||292g||~£59.00|
|Zipp Tangente RT28||302g||~£59.00|
|Zipp Tangente Course G40||482g (40mm)||£64.00|
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Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.