Tyres on aero wheels

Ok, so it’s been a while since I had carbon clinchers to get tyres for. I’ve ordered some new 60mm wheels and am going to need some tyres. I used to have Gatorskins on the hoops but I’m wondering what is good these days. Thanks


Below is a website that analytically breaks down “good” tires and “bad” tires. Your use case will vary from others so ultimatly this is user preference. I’ll make the assumption this is all purpose wheelset and you need an all purpose tire, different than a race day setup. Personally, i use the Continental GP 5000s, I feel like there the best purpose tire when you consider rolling resistance, grip, and puncture protection.



Do you know what size tires your rims are optimized for? Sticking with tubes or going tubeless?

for 25mm, and they are AERO ULTRA 60 1504g - Zed Bike Wheels

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Gators are robust maybe too robust some folk find them slippery in the wet. I think a lot of it is folk having them pumped too hard but there’s definitely still something about hard wearing tyre being slippery. You may want to try something lighter and better rolling @Mgalex , which used to mean not robust and p’ture prone but those tyres seem to have come on on that front. My favourites before I went tubeless was the Mitchelin Pro 4 Race which have now evolved to the Michelin Power Race.

First of all, Gatorskins are not good tires.

First of all, you should look up the inner rim width of your new wheels and/or look at the tire size recommendations. For example, many modern 40–50 mm deep wheels are optimized for 28 mm wide tires. 60 mm deep wheels typically are made for 25 mm wide tires. Once you know that, look at e. g. SRAM‘s tire pressure calculator for a good baseline. If you are used to “traditional” tire pressures, then the recommendations may seem low, but they work very well in my experience.

Then you should decide whether or not to run tubeless. I don‘t think it is necessary to run tires with lots of puncture protection, especially on a super deep wheel. Run your tires tubeless instead. This is where things are going on the road.

Once you got that figured out, here are a few good tires:

  • Continental GP5000s are goldilocks tires: low rolling resistance, good puncture protection, good performance in all conditions. Usually they are not the best tire in each category, but they offer an excellent compromise.
  • Vittoria Corsa: these are the most supple tires I have ever ridden by a long shot. They also offer excellent grip and have low rolling resistance. Some people have noted that they aren‘t as good in terms of puncture protection, but I haven‘t had a problem with them.
  • Vittoria Corsa Control: these are the burlier brother of the normal Corsas. Still very supple, but the casing is thicker and offers more puncture protection. They also have a herringbone tread on the side that gives you additional grip in the corners. I love them, too.
  • Schwalbe Pro One: similarly to the GP5000s, these are great allrounders.
  • Pirelli P-Zero: These are my current tires. They are good and dependable, but don’t stand out to me. I‘ll likely return to my Vittorias.

Agree with all of this, but I would add that the OUTER width is also important in terms of getting the most out of aero wheels. The outer width should be slightly wider than the installed width of the tires you intend to run.

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You are completely right, thanks for mentioning it: it determines which tire width is aerodynamically ideal. :+1:

Thanks all, I have an Argon 18 E-112 that the tyres sit nicely into the arch. The Gatorskins never had a puncture four years of TT’s 10s to 12hr. Puncturing is the reason why I avoided the 4000’s. That’s interesting about the resilience of 5000’s. I’m more aware of the road surface and cornering involved for triathlon . DC’s aren’t as taxing in the wet!

I’m also aware that I’m not a fan of changing tubes in the rain at the side of the road. I’m happy to sacrifice 0.5 of a Watt to get to make it to T2.

First define “good” for yourself :wink:

the statement above that the gators are not “good” tires depends on the circumstances.
For solo training, the rolling restistance doesn’t matter -anything- (except your avg speed on strava… ;))

For a TT or any competition, I would not use them… it kinda defeats the purpose of the gains you are seeking with 60 mm carbon wheels… (gains, marginal or big)

So good might be 2 tires for you, 1 for training, where you don’t worry about aero and rolling, and the perfect smooth match for your rims for raceday.

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It is not just about rolling resistance, it is about grip in varying conditions, ride comfort and ease of use when setting them up tubeless. Unless you need tires to be cheap, in my opinion there are much, much better options out there.


They are not designed to be used tubeless. Therefore saying something isn’t good when trying to use them in a way they are not designed for is a bit moot. It’s a bit like saying a sieve isn’t good for collecting water.

Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR review | Cycling Weekly

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I don’t think your analogy is apt: if tubeless is a requirement, then this just further disqualifies the Gatorskins. Even when you take tubeless compatibility out of the equation, there are way better tires on the market. You don’t even need to change tire company, just go for the GP5000 instead.

For those wheels I would use 25mm Continental GP 5000 tires. Decent puncture protection. Great rolling resistance. Very good aero qualities when combined with a good rim. Run them with latex tubes and you’ll have industry leading rolling resistance for sure.

Gatorskins are sort of a ‘training’ option. They offer very good puncture protection but come at a very material rolling resistance penalty. That’s ok if you just want to train, commute, tour. Not if you want to race, though.

If puncture resistance was my primary concern I would STILL GO WITH THE GP 5000. But instead of latex tubes I’d use a tubeless setup. But if you don’t want the added headache of tubeless gatorskins are a pretty good option.

I use continental four season 28mm tires. They feel a lot swifter than gatorskins (my last tires) and I have yet to flat on them. Use them on roval rapides.

Theyve probably improved since I last used them circa 15 years ago. Great, grippy tyres, good rolling and robust :point_up_2: Then they suddenly fail over night :point_down:

I’m leaning towards the GP5000’s now. The Vittoria do look the business though…

Agree, four seasons are a great middle ground option. Faster and grippier than the gatorskins but cheaper and more durable than 5000s. Never sure why they don’t get more love, guess people tend to be polarised between wanting puncture resistance and not caring about speed or wanting the fastest tyre that’s not too fragile.

Since when did tubeless become a requirement? You said they were not good for tubeless setup. Well yeah, duh, they are not designed for it.