Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tempe AZ
Bikes: Mondonico Road, Novaro Randonee Touring
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The term Gumwall isn't used much anymore. Skinwall is better. Gumwall tires had rubber on the sides, just tan in color. Skinwalls have little to no rubber on the sides.
Rolling resistance is mostly a function of width and tire pressure. But you want durability, so don't go too narrow. I would suggest 28 or 32 mm width min depending on your weight and road conditions. If city more than long rides 32 may be better.
Another suggestion is to look for some kind of flat protection - kevlar belt, or armadillo, etc... flats are never fun.
I have two bikes - one running 23 mm racing tires, one with 35 mm touring tires. There is a difference in rolling resistance - maybe 5% ??? but the touring tires last 3-4 times as long (I am on set 3 at 10,000 miles with some tire left).
As for brands, lots of opinions out there, but really, most are good.
Hope that helps.