Best Puncture Proof Tyres

No ordinary tyre guarantees to be absolute puncture free, but improvements in technology have gone a long way to reducing your chances of puncturing. For the average rider and commuter, buying a puncture resistant tyre is probably one of best upgrades to make. Highly puncture resistant tyres usually have a trade off of greater weight and higher rolling resistance (i.e. slower) but the slight decline in speed is well worth the greater peace of mind that comes from having less punctures.

Armadillo – Specialized All Condition


armadillo

The tyre feels pretty tough and resistant to small scratches. It claims to be designed for low rolling resistance; but, in practices feels a little heavy. I am quite happy using it on my commuting bike and also added to rear wheel of my training bike. I have been using them for over three years (5 days a week) During that period I have had three punctures and one was a 6 inch nail. Roughly speaking its a puncture rate of 3 / 7,000 miles or 1 per 2,000 miles. It’s also pretty hard wearing, I get maybe 3,000 miles on rear and 5,000 miles on front, which is a long time for a commuting bike. Overall this is a very good value tyre which offers excellent puncture resistance.  It really is a good investment and one of my favourite.  Armadillo Tyres at Evans Cycles

 

Schwalbe Marathon Plus

This has one of the strongest puncture resistance and is almost impregnable. Pictures show you can put a drawing tack in middle and it doesn’t penetrate to the inner tube. It comes with an extra layer of rubber which resists even a drawing pin. It is quite heavy at over 900grams, but, this is because of the thickness of the rubber. If you really want a very strong puncture proof tyre, this has one of thickest layers of protection. It has a heavier rolling resistance (but doesn’t feel totally dead), but you won’t be buying it so you can be light and fast. At £30 for a tyre, it may seem a lot, but it will reward the investment in time saved and cost of new inner tubes. Schwalbe Marathon Plus at Wiggle 700c*25 – 200c *38.

Schwalbe Durano Plus Performance Tyre

The road bike version of the Schwalbe Smart Guard puncture protection. Again heavier than your average tyre, but offers unrivalled puncture protection with only slight decline in rolling resistance. Despite the marketers claim, you definitely wouldn’t race on this as the extra weight would be a handicap, but if you are sick of getting punctures this is one of best protection you can get. Good for training bike, very low ratio of punctures. It is available in 700c*23 to 700c *25

Racing Puncture Resistant Tyres

Continental Ultra Gator Skin


Winter training Bike

The other tyre I like to use on my winter training bike is the Continental Ultra Gator Skin (all season). As as added bonus it has good handling properties in the wet (essential for winter riding). It also feels a lighter ride than the Armadillo. You can also get the Continental Gator Skin Hardshell (which has added layer to prevent tyres splitting)

Continental Four Seasons

Continental Four Seasons, weighs 250grams, but is the best Continental Tyre for resisting cuts and punctures. It has two vectran layers, plus a special tyre compound to prevent splits in the sidewall.
continental

The Continental 4000 are somewhat prone to sidewall splits, and there puncture resistance is not spectacular.

Schwalbe Ultremo ZX

ultremo

At only 195grams, these are a super slick and smooth racing tyre. They have low weight and low rolling resistance, and also are easy to put on. However, despite low weight, they still are good at resisting punctures. After 2,000Km on rear wheel, I’m yet to experience flat.

  • Advisable for summer, and not winter.

Other ways to minimise punctures include

Puncture free tyres

The only absolutely puncture free tyres are those that are completely solid. I wanted to try one, but, was told they were too wide to fit a racing bike. If anyone has good experiences with puncture free tyres and knows where you can get one for 700*25, I would be interested in hearing, you can leave a comment below.

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37 Responses to Best Puncture Proof Tyres

  1. chris August 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Bontrager R3 Plus, so far so good. http://road.cc/content/review/57132-bontrager-r3-tyre

  2. Pete X April 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Hi, a nice post. We have loads of commuters coming into the workshop with Spec Armadillo’s. They really are a bomb proof tyre and judging from the condition many arrive in, they continue to roll long after the rubber has worn through (not that I’d recommend it)! Personally, I find them heavy and very rigid feeling to ride, so I opt for the folding Conti 4 Seasons. It’s a premium price tyre, but rolls and corners beautifully with the added bonus of excellent puncture protection. One further note to your ideas on preventing punctures and that is to maintain tyre pressures – the majority of bikes that come in are well under. Radically under-inflated tyres are prone to punctures and pinch flats.

  3. Wheezer2 November 17, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    Have been using Conti Gators Hardshell, i got used to the slightly harder ride. 1 puncture in 6 months avg 120 mpweek and that a ‘sharks tooth’ that just got through the belt in a sea of flint, would have slashed many other tyres. The same roads i used to flat regularly on numerous other branded tyres.
    Funny, just before i bought the Gators, i was gifted a C02 inflator………..strangely they are my 2 favourite things now. Obviously, although the C02 beauty, is 2nd in the like list, hope i only have to use it every 6 months……happy days!

  4. paul heggie October 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Continental GP4000S-brilliant

    • Chris.B October 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      Continental GP4000S 25mm are complete garbage!

      They puncture readily and regularly and and are prone to wide open cuts from brand new.

      Avoid like the plague! Unfit for purpose! Not of merchantable quality.

      Not suitable for outdoor wear.

      Do not expect a refund from your online box shifter.

      Nor an honest response from a Continental spokesperson.

  5. Paul July 8, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Since I fitted Dutch Perfect tyres which I obtained from my local cycle shop in Norwich ( http://www.sorenscycles.co.uk )five years ago I haven’t had any punctures! I’m trying to find something similar for a pushchair with 12 1/2 tyres (why do they have pneumatic tyres!?). Any suggestions?

  6. Simon E June 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    I recommend Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase in widths of 23 to 32mm. Not too heavy, tough, rolls well and lasts ages.

  7. Angus February 28, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    You used to be able to buy green tyre polyurathane foam tyres at Halfords but now can only buy them online which is a shame. They are vastly superior to pneumatic tyres and contrary to popular opinion they are not solid but contain millions of tiny bubbles. Not only that they are made from polyurathane which lasts far longer than any rubber compound tyre. They may feel hard and uncomfortable at first but you soon get used to them and you have complete peace of mind that they will never go flat.

  8. Kev December 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    @Neil
    re: puncture-resistant knobbly tyre
    Hi,
    Spesh’s Armadillos are available in knobby MTB versions…

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