Best Fixie Tires - Guide and Review
There are a lot of features you look for in a fixie, but often what it really comes down to in the end are the tires. Unless you have the best fixie tires there is a good chance your riding experience will be uncomfortable or worse, you could end up having an accident.
So how do you choose the most suitable tires for your bike? To the inexperienced eye these tires may look the same, but the truth is these tires have different features and specs that affect your bike’s performance.
In this review guide we will take a look at the finest fixie tires available and you will see the difference between each one. In addition we are going to take an in-depth look at the factors that should be considered when you’re shopping for bike tires.
How to Choose the Best Fixie Tires
There is no single best bike tire, as it depends on how you plan to use your bike. Here are some suggestions.
Clincher tires are most suitable for road use as it provides a nice combination of performance, agility and cost efficiency. Tires with low rolling resistance let you ride your bike at speeds similar to high rolling resistance bikes but minus the effort. There are different types of clincher tires though, so read the product description first.
- Clincher tire beads are kept together by woven fabric, usually nylon. Nylon is preferable because it is stable and durable.
- Clincher tires have different thickness levels and they are measured in threads per inch (TPI). Tires with thin walls have a higher TPI count and are lighter. These tires have a low rolling resistance so you can bike faster without exerting a lot of effort. The drawback is they are more vulnerable to punctures, so make sure it’s high quality.
Tires for Off-Road
The ideal off-road tires should offer superior ride quality, stability and traction. Compared to road tires, the rolling resistance is higher here so they are slower. Off-road tires are capable of running on rough terrain, but it isn’t as comfortable as road tires.
- In terms of durability and quality, the tubeless off-road tires are ideal as they have quality beads and built out of Kevlar.
- Off-road tires are more suited for experienced riders as it is not as easy to turn corners when moving at high speeds. Unless you’re cycling off-road most of the time, it’s better to go with road tires.
Combination tires are a hybrid of the road and off-road types, and it is becoming more popular. While they have many of the features of off-road tires, it is not as difficult to maneuver.
These tires are most suited for cyclists who spend an equal amount of time on and off the road. If you’re mostly off-road go with an off-road tire, and if you use a bike for commuting, road tires are recommended.
Tire size is stated in terms of section width and the tire’s outside diameter. The general rule is road tires are measured in millimeters and off-road tires in inches. The first number in the measurement refers to the tire’s outer diameter while the second denotes the tire width.
- For example, if a bike tire is advertised as 26 x 1 ¾, the first number is the exterior diameter. A road tire may be advertised as measuring 700 x 23 mm, but it’s still the outer diameter that comes first.
- Be careful when choosing bike tire sizes in inches because the fractions and decimals used may not be the same. A 26 x 1.75 tire is not necessarily the same size as a 26 x 1 ¾.
There are few more things we have to point out when it comes to tire quality. First, it pays to buy from a reputable manufacturer. It is hard to emphasize how important tire durability is, so getting the best part is a must.
There are three types of tire treads: road tire treads are smooth, and rolling resistance is low. Off-road tire treads have knots, grooves and channels to enhance grip on soft or irregular patches. Combination tire treads are equipped with treads that merge elements of road and off-road tires.
If you often bike on the road but have to go off-road on occasion, combination tire treads will do. Treads are often ignored by new buyers, but this is what separates a good, smooth ride from an uncomfortable one so it’s going to be worth your while.
Recommended Product Reviews
Now that you know the ins and outs of buying bike tires, it’s time to for an in-depth look at the top tires.
1. Freedom ThickSlick Tire
The Freedom ThickSlick Tire is available in different types: Sport, Deluxe and Elite Urban.
These tires are sold in different sizes so you won’t have a difficult time finding one that suits your bike.
The Sport offers twice the puncture resistance as other tires, while the Deluxe provides an extra Durastrip for puncture resistance. The Elite Urban is the top of the line which comes with Urban Armor Casing for the highest protection possible.
Whichever version you choose, you can be certain it’s going to be a smooth riding experience. The components are well-designed and it is durable too. As many reviewers have noted, they can take a lot of abuse.
- Standard rubber casing
- Puncture resistant
- Available in different styles
- Suitable for heavy duty urban use
2. Continental Gatorskin Bicycle Tire
The Gatorskin is built for long term use and is equipped with the PolyX Breaker, a proven system for protecting tires against puncture.
In addition the tires are available in different styles, folding and wire bead versions.
The tires have Duraskin protection on the sidewalls, allowing it to roll without compromising performance. Furthermore the tires have been manufactured for use in different environments, and the durable polyamide fabric safeguards the tires from the elements.
The aforementioned PolyX Breaker has a tight resistant polyester fiber that makes it resistant to a lot of objects.
- Tires are built for heavy duty use
- For 650c and MTB bikes
- Can be used for winter training, commuting and riding to work
- Top of the line puncture protection
3. Retrospec Bicycles Mantra Fixed-Gear/Single-Speed Wheelset
These tires represent a serious upgrade from the previous models and have been designed for optimum performance.
Among the updated features are the Kenda Kwest Tires, one accent color spoke and 43mm stars rim.
The tire design moreover, is aerodynamically sound, and while they’re heavy it doesn’t affect performance. The sealed bearing hubs increase durability and make riding smoother. The Kenda Kwest Tires are among the most versatile in its class.
- Available in different colors and styles
- Lightweight and aerodynamic design
- Can be used for fixed, freewheel, commuter, or track bike
- Sealed bearing hubs for longevity
4. Thick Slick Ultimate Commuter Bicycle Tire
The Thick Slick tire sure lives up to its name, as it is thick enough to handle hard surfaces.
The extra thick rubber does a good job against punctures and they’re affordable as well.
If you’re going to use this for urban commuting you won’t be disappointed as the tires can go through sticks, dirt, glass shards and small rocks without any problem. The tires also roll along nicely and slide smoothly
The tires are wider than regular bike tires, but this provides extra resiliency and protection. The tires handle well and won’t slip or skid, and braking is superb.
- Puncture resistant
- Available in different sizes
- Works very well on fixed gear bikes
- Long mileage
5. Vittoria Zaffiro II Wire
The Vittoria Zaffiro II Wire tires are built for all-season use, and a look at its features will confirm this is indeed the case.
While the tires have a rather unassuming appearance, the quality is higher compared to other tires and lasts longer.
Under the tread is PRB material, essential for low rolling resistance and protection from punctures. The tread has a soft compound at the shoulders for easy corners, while the hard tread is at the middle where it provides protection against wear and tear.
- Has twisted steel wires for superior flexibility
- 26 TPI casing has carbon for comfort and longevity
- The Aramid 3D Compound design allows for lightweight performance
- The tires are comfortable but remain stiff for superior road use
There was a time when your options for fixie tires were limited to what the bike came with, but that is not true anymore. Now you can buy a wide range of bike tires and customize your bike until you’re comfortable with it.
Hopefully with this review you now have a clear idea of what the best fixie tires are and find the best one for your bike.
Everyone of course, will have a different say as to which of these tires is the best, but I would recommend any one of them as their reputation precedes them. Bottom line: you cannot go wrong with any of these.