How to choose the best road bike tyres for your use

How to choose the best road bike tyres for your use

You mainly ride your bike on the road, for competition, training or simply for your daily commute. Perhaps you also ride a little off-road. With the wide range of tyres on offer, you are probably wondering which are the best road bike tyres for you. Look no further! This article provides an answer to that question and guides you in your choice. 

What do you use your bike for? 

This is the very first question to ask because your use is the most important criterion for choosing the best road bike tyres. Do you ride exclusively on the road or do you also practice off-road activities such as gravel or cyclocross?  

Road use 

1 - Our best road bike tyres for competition 

If you are primarily focused on racing, there are some important criteria to consider to optimise your performance. In races, you need optimised rolling resistance, puncture resistance and wet grip, as these can make the difference. For time trials, an optimised rolling resistance will directly influence your speed and efficiency.  

To improve your results in competition taking these criteria into account, we recommend MICHELIN Power Cup, our best road bike tyre for competition, which is available in three versions: 

  • Tubetype (with inner tube) 
  • Tubeless ready (with or without inner tube). In the latter case, a tyre sealant is necessary to seal the tyre and the rim. In the event of punctures, the fluid seals the small holes and allows you to continue riding.  
  • Tubular: The tubular is glued to a special rim to ensure correct compatibility. 
MICHELIN Power Cup is our best road bike tyre for competition

MICHELIN Lithion is our best road bike tyre for training

Which version to choose? 

First check if the choice is possible, i.e. if your wheels are compatible with either version. If you have the choice, then we recommend the Tubeless Ready option to maximise your performance. This offer stands out as the best in competition for this type of tyre. 

Can you optimise your bike by changing the sections? 

Yes, choosing different tyre sections can optimise your bike's performance, provided you check compatibility beforehand. 

For example, if your current tyres are 25mm wide and your bike can accommodate 28mm or 30mm tyres, it is advisable to choose according to your use: 

  • If you frequently compete on good roads and are a fairly light rider and can inflate your tyres to the maximum for optimum rolling resistance, then it is best to stick with 25mm tyres. 
  • If you are an occasional competitor and ride mainly on normal roads where comfort is important, it may make sense to opt for 28mm or even 30mm tyres, provided your bike and wheels are compatible. 

2 - Our best road bike tyres for training 

For training purposes, an ideal tyre for year-round use should be versatile enough to cope with a variety of conditions. In particular, it should be able to withstand the risk of rain, have good puncture resistance and be long-lasting. It also requires a good compromise between wet grip and other relevant factors to ensure an optimal driving experience. 

If you are exclusively dedicated to training, our best road bike tyre for training is MICHELIN Lithion, which is only available in a tubetype version and therefore requires an inner tube.  

Although a little heavier, this tyre offers an interesting compromise, with a slightly lower rolling efficiency, but a higher durability and wear resistance than the MICHELIN Power Cup. 

MICHELIN Lithion is our best road bike tyre for training

MICHELIN Lithion is our best road bike tyre for training

The MICHELIN Power Cup, which is designed for year-round competitors, is still an option, but while it offers optimum rolling resistance, it is less resistant to punctures and has a shorter life span. 

Alternatively, you can fit the MICHELIN Power All Season, which offers excellent all-season performance, as we discuss below in the "All-Season" section. 

Can you optimise your bike by changing the sections? 

For training, it is recommended, when possible, to go for slightly wider sections to be able to ride longer, more comfortably and more safely. 

3 - Our best road bike tyres for everyday use 

For urban travel and commuting, there are several tyres that can meet the performance requirements and adapt to your specific needs: 

  • MICHELIN Lithion which offers good durability and puncture resistance and also a good dry and wet grip. 
  • MICHELIN Dynamic Classic, a perfect day-to-day partner thanks to its strength and durability.
MICHELIN Dynamic Classic is a perfect road tyre for everyday use

What about electric bikes? 

The majority of e-bikes available on the market are E-25, which means that the maximum speed up to which their motor provides assistance is 25 km/h. All our road tyres are E-25 compatible and can therefore be fitted to electric bikes of this standard without any problems. 

As e-bikes are heavier than conventional bicycles, we recommend fitting MICHELIN city tyres as they have a larger cross-section and therefore offer better performance for this type of bicycle. 

4 - Our best road bike tyres for year-round use 

All-season bicycle tyres are specially designed for year-round use and offer many benefits to cyclists. Our MICHELIN Power All Season tyre, thanks to its excellent grip, ensures optimal road holding in all seasons, providing a safe and comfortable riding experience in all weather conditions. 

MICHELIN Power All Season ensures optimal road holding in all seasons

MICHELIN Power All Season ensures optimal road holding in all seasons

If you are looking for the best road bike tyres to avoid punctures, the MICHELIN Power All Season will suit you with its reinforced tread that offers better resistance to punctures, thus providing greater reliability on the road. Finally, its robustness and longevity make it a wise choice for those wishing to invest in a durable, high performance tyre that can withstand the variations of the weather while providing excellent road grip. 

For training and everyday use, this tyre offers an interesting balance between performance and safety. Although the rolling efficiency is slightly less optimised, this is compensated by better grip on wet roads and increased puncture resistance on bad roads. It is important to know that when the road is wet, the stones are too, which makes them sharper and thus increases the risk of a puncture. 

Off-road use 

If you ride on the road but also practice off-road activities, this section will be more relevant to you. 

1 - Our best road bike tyres for gravel 

The use of gravel tyres has its origins in Northern America, where they have been used for a long time because of the poor road conditions. These tyres have been specifically designed to offer greater comfort and resistance to pinch-shock. The wider the tyre, the more it can be driven at low pressures, thus reducing the risk of punctures. 

We have two offers to suit your gravel tyre needs: 

  • If you ride on roads and paths with roots, stones or even a little mud, opt for our MICHELIN Power Gravel range (off-road / road use = 50/50), equipped with knobs all over the surface. 
  • If you mainly ride on the road and occasionally use towpaths or forest tracks, choose our MICHELIN Power Adventure range (off-road / road use = 80/20), with sipes on the lateral part of the tread.
MICHELIN Power Gravel is a perfect tyre for a 50/50 road / off-road use.

To find out more, read our article on choosing gravel tyres.

2 - Our best road bike tyres for cyclocross 

Cyclocross tyres are designed for competition. A specific bike is needed for cyclocross, which is mostly performed in winter. Cyclocross tyres are quite thin and equipped with knobs, suitable for muddy surfaces and obstacles.  

Depending on the type of terrain, we have two offers: 

  • For dry terrain, opt for the MICHELIN Jet tyre. The Tubeless Ready version is more affordable and suitable for amateur competitors. For those looking for performance in competition, choose the Tubular version (tubular). 
  • For muddy terrain, the MICHELIN Mud tyre is recommended. The Tubeless Ready version is also more affordable and suitable for amateur competitors. The Tubular version (tubular) is ideal for high level competitions. 
MICHELIN Mud tyre is a good choice for muddy terrain

MICHELIN Mud tyre is a good choice for muddy terrain

To find out more, read our article on choosing cyclocross tyres.

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