So you want to know what are the best touring tires out there? Great, you’ve come to the right place! 

Whether you’re planning a week long tour or a multi-year around the world adventure, getting the right tires for you trip is crucial. But with so many brands and models out there, how do you know what are the best tires for bicycle touring?

That’s where we come in. One of our goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to choosing outdoor gear. Here in this article we’ll walk you through what to look for while shopping for touring tires and how to find the ones that fit your needs best.  

If you’re about to set off on your very first tour, checkout our bicycle touring packing list to make sure you don’t leave any essentials behind. Now let’s see what are the best touring tires on the market today.

 

 

FREE BONUS! Click here to download the AJ Quick Starter Guide to Bicycle Touring

 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST TOURING TIRES IN 2016

PICTURE
TIRES
WEIGHT
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
TIRES
WEIGHT
PRICE
RATING
Schwalbe Marathon Plus
1.65 lbs
$$$
4.5
Schwalbe Marathon Mondial
1.43 lbs
$$$$
4.8
Continental Travel Contact
1.26 lbs
$$$
4.6
Vittoria Randonneur Cross Touring
1.44 lbs
$$
4.4
Clement X'plore MSO
0.75 lbs
$$$$
4.3
Schwalbe Winter
2.03 lbs
$$$
4.8
Continental Touring Plus
1.34 lbs
$$
4.2
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
0.83lbs
$$$
4.5
best touring tires
Verdestein Perfect Trek
1.76 lbs
$$
4.6
Vittoria Rubino Pro III
1.27 lbs
$
4.8

 

TOURING TIRES 101

 

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST TIRES FOR BICYCLE TOURING

 

1. TIRE SIZE

The very first thing you need to do when you start shopping for tires is to check what size tire you need. If you don’t already know the size, have a look at the sidewall of your existing tires to find out. You’ll see a number like this 26×2.5. The outer diameter in this case would be 26″ and the width is 2″. 

 

2. PUNCTURE RESISTANCE

I hate getting flats and I bet you do too. Tire issues are an even greater pain when you’re touring. Imagine having to fix a flat under the boiling heat while trucks zoom by coving you in dust. 

Luckily there are some puncture resistant tire options that will make your life on the road much more enjoyable. The downsides to these types of tires are they are more expensive and aren’t as speedy as normal ones. Also keep in mind that just because a tire states to be puncture resistance it’s not puncture proof so you might still get a flat every now and then.

 

3. DURABILITY

If you plan on touring in remote locations and/or developing countries, finding high quality tires (or any cycling gear for that matter) can be impossible. Buying tires that are built to last is important. 

One factor that determines durability is the type of rubber the tire is made from. Soft rubber is grippier but hard rubber is much more durable. High price tags don’t always equate to durability when it comes to tires so be sure to do your homework before buying if longevity is a priority for your tour. 

 

4. TIRE TREAD

To determine the type of tread you’ll need for your tires, you’ll have to consider what type of riding you plan on doing and what the weather conditions will be like.

For mostly road riding in summer conditions, slick tires will be best because they have the least rolling resistance which means they are fast.

If you plan to so some off road and/or wet weather riding, you’ll need a tire with more tread. In general, more tread means more grip. These kinds of tires have more rolling resistance, so you won’t go as fast as you would with a slick tire but it will give you the traction and handling you need in tough conditions.

 

5. WEIGHT & PACKABILITY 

If you plan on going on a long distance tour, you may want to consider bringing a spare tire along with you. This tire will be a life saver if you happen to have a blow out and are far from the nearest town. If this is your case, weight and packability of your spare tire will be important to you.

Many manufactures make folding tires which are great for packing them into your panniers, the downside is they are much more expensive than traditional tires.

 

best touring tires

Photo by Riziki Nielsen, CC BY

 

BICYCLE TOURING TIRES REVIEWS

THE TOP 10 BEST TOURING TIRES OF 2016

 

SCHWALBE MARATHON PLUS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

FEATURES: Reflective Strip, Puncture Protection Belt

WEIGHT: 1.65 lbs

BEST FOR: Long Distance All Weather Touring

PROS: Puncture Resistant, Long Lasting, Good Off Road Traction

CONS: Difficult to Mount, Heavy

 

 

VERDESTEIN PERFECT TREK

best touring tires

Check out the latest price on:
Vredestein


FEATURES: V-shaped Profile, Reflective Strip

WEIGHT: 1.76 lbs

BEST FOR: Intense Use On Paved & Unpaved Roads

PROS: Affordable, Low Rolling Resistance, High Load Capacity 

CONS: Difficult to Find

 

 

SCHWAB MARATHON MONDIAL 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon


FEATURES: Reflective Strip, Anti Puncture Layer

WEIGHT: 1.43 lbs

BEST FOR: Off Road Touring

PROS: Puncture Resistant, Excellent Quality, Tough

CONS: Expensive

 

 

CONTINENTAL TRAVEL CONTACT

Check out the latest price on:
AmazonREI


FEATURES: Semislick Profile, Reflective Strip

WEIGHT: 1.26 lbs

BEST FOR: All Around Touring

PROS: Low Rolling Resistance (Fast) & Lightweight

CONS: Vulnerable To Sidewall Damage

 

 

VITTORIA RANDONNEUR CROSS TOURING 

Check out the latest price on:
AmazonREI


FEATURES: Double Shielding Puncture Protection, Reflective Strip

WEIGHT: 1.44 lbs

BEST FOR: Mostly On Road Touring

PROS: Fast, Affordable

CONS: Difficult To Take On & Off

 

 

CLEMENT X’PLORE MSO

Check out the latest price on:
AmazonREI


FEATURES: Smooth-Rolling Center Knobs & Aggressive Shoulder Lugs

WEIGHT: 0.75 lbs

BEST FOR: All Around Touring & Ultralight Spare

PROS: Great Traction Over Variety Of Terrains

CONS: Not Long Lasting

 

 

SCHWALBE MARATHON WINTER

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon


FEATURES: Studs, Reflective Stripe

WEIGHT: 2.03 lbs

BEST FOR: Winter Touring

PROS: Lighter & Faster Than Many Other Studded Tires

CONS: Not Versatile (Shouldn’t be used on pavement)

 

 

CONTINENTAL TOURING PLUS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI


MATERIAL: Reflective Stripe

WEIGHT: 1.3 lbs

BEST FOR: All Around Touring

PROS: Affordable, Rolls Lightly, Good Value 

CONS: Difficult To Mount

 

 

SCHWALBE MARATHON SUPREME 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon


FEATURES: Puncture Protection, Fast Rolling Asphalt Tread, Reflective Stripe

WEIGHT: 0.83 lbs

BEST FOR: Long Distance, Mostly Pavement Tours

PROS: Puncture Resistant, Long Lasting, Lightweight

CONS: Not The Best For Heavy Off Road Use

 

 

VITTORIA RANDONNEUR II

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon


FEATURES: Aquaflow Tread Pattern (Hugs Curves In Wet Conditions)

WEIGHT: 1.27 lbs

BEST FOR: Light Weight Bicycle Touring

PROS: Hard Wearing, Affordable, Good Value

CONS: Stiff (Difficult To Mount)

 

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