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Decent budget tire

Old 04-30-21, 07:37 AM
  #1  
djdelarosa25
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Decent budget tire

Hi there. My allowance just arrived and I got impatient and decided to swap out the tires on my road bike. They've got 25 mm Ultra Sport IIIs at the moment (from the 28 mm stock Giant tires which felt dead and heavy) but I want to go back to 28 mm because the roads where I live in can sometimes be brutal. Think of this (photo not mine).



My frame can fit 32 mm but I think I'd be sacrificing a noticeable amount of speed at that point so I decided that 28 mm is the sweet spot (also most 32 mm tires I can find here are touring tires like the Schwalbe Marathon). I also considered getting a race tire like the GP5000 (GP4000 are super rare here nowadays) but, as a cash-strapped college student who doesn't race and only rides on the weekends, coupled with the kind of roads I ride on, I think it's too much for me.

I do ride at decent speeds (30-40 km/h on flats) so I want something that at least rolls well. Second consideration would probably be puncture protection, although it should be noted that I haven't had a puncture riding the Ultra Sport III that I have for 2000 km. All that being said, I've narrowed down my tire choices to either get another pair of Ultra Sport IIIs in 28 mm, or get another model from Continental which are the Grand Sport Race. Looking at their specs, they seem to be identical aside from the tread pattern and the presence of a puncture belt on the Grand Sport Race, which also costs around 4 USD more than the Ultra Sport where I live. The puncture belt is NyTech and I haven't read anything about how it performs.

Unless someone can convince me to still get the GP5000s or other tires, these two are the tires I'm considering at the moment. Thanks a lot!

P.S. Schwalbe Pro Ones are 12 USD cheaper than the GP5000s but still, that's a single tire for two Ultra Sport III tires.

Last edited by djdelarosa25; 04-30-21 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 04-30-21, 07:48 AM
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prj71
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Originally Posted by djdelarosa25 View Post
My frame can fit 32 mm but I think I'd be sacrificing a noticeable amount of speed at that point so I decided that 28 mm is the sweet spot (also most 32 mm tires I can find here are touring tires like the Schwalbe Marathon).
You aren't sacrificing any speed at all with the 32. Actually it will be better because the 32 tires soak up the bumps in the road better than 28 allowing you to keep your speed up.

Just put some Continental GP5000 on my new road bike. Had them on the last road bike as well. No regrets.

Look around online...you can find Continental GP5000 for about $45 each. The Tubeless version will be about $65
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Old 04-30-21, 07:53 AM
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eduskator
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28mm Schwalbe Pro One. Much better than the Conti crap.

My OEM Giant/Cadex tires were great, but not as close as the Pro One.


Last edited by eduskator; 04-30-21 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 04-30-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
28mm Schwalbe Pro One. Much better than the Conti crap.

My OEM Giant/Cadex tires were great, but not as close as the Pro One.
But the Addix version are not "budget" and the previous Pro One had never been accused of being robust.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:02 AM
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eduskator
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
But the Addix version are not "budget" and the previous Pro One had never been accused of being robust.
I believe Merlin Cycle has the Microskin for 35$ USD a tire. A little more fragile, I agree!
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Old 04-30-21, 08:10 AM
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The Ultra Sport III is both inexpensive and has good rolling resistance. At the limited budget you are talking about($20/tire), just get those tires and call it a day. Anything else will probably be worse for rolling resistance.

...or just use the 25mm tires and save up for faster rolling 28mm tires. The 15' section of road you highlight is bad, but immediately following it looks perfectly fine. Just pick your line.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:10 AM
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prj71
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
Much better than the Conti crap.
What evidence do you have to back this statement up?

I have put thousands of miles on grand prix line of Conti tires and they have been great.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:29 AM
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ridelikeaturtle
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
What evidence do you have to back this statement up?

I have put thousands of miles on grand prix line of Conti tires and they have been great.
I have to agree, nothing wrong with Conti tyres, they're certainly not "crap".

However, they do make a broad range of tyres, according to what you need: speed, durability, grip, price, etc. This is true of all tyre manufacturers - look at Michelin, Vittoria, etc.

I've got Conti UltraSports on one bike, and find them pretty darn good overall; however, if I compare them to the Vittoria Corsa G+ on another bike, they aren't as nice (fast, light, grippy); but the Vittorias are 2x the price.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:55 AM
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For robustness I like the Michelin Power Protection+, which comes in up to 28mm and has a high TPI casing with bead-to-bead Kevlar, and laughs off embedded flints and glass (I still take them out before riding). They’re way more robust than the GP5K, but slower. And not tubeless, which I couldn’t tell from your OP if you found important.
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Old 04-30-21, 09:01 AM
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Is that picture of the road just one patch you go through or is that most all your ride?

When you say that your 28 mm Giant's felt dead, did you try different PSI's in them? With any tire, I'd try everything between max PSI and min PSI to find what feels the best to me.
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Old 04-30-21, 09:06 AM
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prj71
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Is that picture of the road just one patch you go through or is that most all your ride?

When you say that your 28 mm Giant's felt dead, did you try different PSI's in them? With any tire, I'd try everything between max PSI and min PSI to find what feels the best to me.
In all fairness...the giant tires suck. I know what he means when he says they feel dead. As do the Bontrager line of tires that Trek puts on their bikes.
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Old 04-30-21, 09:23 AM
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djdelarosa25
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Is that picture of the road just one patch you go through or is that most all your ride?

When you say that your 28 mm Giant's felt dead, did you try different PSI's in them? With any tire, I'd try everything between max PSI and min PSI to find what feels the best to me.
Most of my ride is on pretty bad roads but not on the same level as that on the picture. It's more of an extreme example of what I go through (but I do encounter that sort of stuff frequently).

Yep. I don't know but they just feel sluggish when turning and are very heavy, probably because they're wire bead. The casing seems to be thinner than the Ultra Sport, too, even if the latter is more worn. The difference in road dampening between 25 and 28 mm, though, is noticeable, hence why I want to bite the bullet and get 28 even before my current pair wear out. But yeah, it seems wasteful.
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Old 04-30-21, 12:37 PM
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32mm on those type of roads will not be calcuably slower. And if you don't ride a lot, you won't be wearing out a premium tire like the GP5K. Definitely worth it. I have a pair on one of my bikes (tubeless version) and love them. I also currently have a set of Schwalbe Pro One 25mm tubeless (not the new version) on a different bike and they seem fine, but by many accounts GP5Ks last longer than other tires in its performance category unless you ride in conditions where sidewall cuts are a concern.
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Old 04-30-21, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
The Ultra Sport III is both inexpensive and has good rolling resistance...
Yep... That's about as cheap as ya wanna go and easy to find and replace. Riding roads similar to the one you described I ended up going to a touring tire with a center bead for around 30 USD. Called the Continental Tour Ride Urban.

In the future you might want to consider a cheap wheel set that you use on your torn up roads with your wider tires and save your fast wheel set for those special rides...

Edit: Sorry, in reviewing the post I see you have disk breaks. I believe this makes it harder to switch out wheel sets like we used to.
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Last edited by zandoval; 04-30-21 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 04-30-21, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Edit: Sorry, in reviewing the post I see you have disk breaks. I believe this makes it harder to switch out wheel sets like we used to.
No, not really. If you need to, you can find or make shims for both the cassette and rotor.
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Old 04-30-21, 01:52 PM
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Just tossing my vote in the hat for Conti GP5000's. They are not the cheapest, but well worth it.

I have 28mm tubed version on one bike and 32mm tubeless on the other. The 32mm tubeless is an awesome setup that gives me a fast rolling supple road tire that can still handle summer/dry/hardpack gravel.
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Old 04-30-21, 03:40 PM
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prj71
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Edit: Sorry, in reviewing the post I see you have disk breaks. I believe this makes it harder to switch out wheel sets like we used to.
Ummmm...no.
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Old 04-30-21, 04:04 PM
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djdelarosa25
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Thanks for all your replies! I forgot to mention I only have a cheap entry-level endurance bike (Giant Contend 2) as my road bike, but I don't know if that changes the story. So far there are more people recommending the GP5Ks.
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Old 04-30-21, 04:42 PM
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If you want budget budget tires, I have Kenda Kwests on my commuter bike in 25c. They aren't as supple as the GP4ks that I have on my road bikes, but at $20ea, you wouldn't expect them to be. They've been great for flat resistance, so ideal for a round-town bike.
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Old 04-30-21, 04:45 PM
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If I had roads that bad I might look to something like the Continental Four Seasons tire.
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Old 04-30-21, 05:32 PM
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https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/specials/best-road-bike-tires
I think the Ultra Sport III sound like they meet your needs. Bicycle Rolling Resistance lists them as the recommended affordable tire. As well, 32's will likely be a better choice for rough roads. Less chance of damaging a rim.

Also, 32's generally have lower rolling resistance than a 28 at equal pressure, and similar resistance at a similar comfort level.

Good luck!

Last edited by stevel610; 04-30-21 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 04-30-21, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
If I had roads that bad I might look to something like the Continental Four Seasons tire.
Stuff like that is not actually that bad in terms of punctures; I wouldn't change my tires because of it (and I do have stretches like that around here).
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Old 04-30-21, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Are you checking online prices?

GP5000 imo is worth 2 Ultra Sport tires, more actually. I have tried the US $20 crap tires and they do not work for me. Lousy flat protection. For $42 online, I easily pay more for a much better quality tire.

What's better? 2 lousy tires or 1 good tire? With a good quality tire, you'll spend more time riding than fixing flats.
I haven't actually gotten a flat on my Ultra Sports in 2000 km so far. On the stock Giant tires I got two punctures in 500 km.

Also, I don't know if it's just me but feels weird to put a racing tire on an endurance bike with only Claris on it?
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Old 05-01-21, 12:15 AM
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Ive had Michelin Lithion 2s that I thought were good for the price

Last edited by Symox; 05-03-21 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05-01-21, 02:53 AM
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I always buy pretty expensive tires. Bought a new bike a little over a year ago and it came with Conti Ultrasport's that you can buy for less than $30. They were so good I just kept them on until they wore out. They rode fine and I didn't get one puncture. If I was smart I would just buy those, but I'm not
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