Wide tires aren’t just for trail riding. On pavement, a broad tire dampens road vibration, reduces the risk of flats and increases cornering performance. Skinny tires—19–21mm—used to be popular because they created less aero drag, but wide-rim wheels changed that. Bigger tires ranging from 23 to 25mm have little or no additional drag on broad rims—in some cases they even create less drag than a narrower alternative—and they’re just more fun to ride.
Specialized debuted a version of its Roubaix Pro Endurance road tire ($55, Specialized.com) with an unprecedentedly broad 28mm-wide body and narrower tread to create a forgiving ride feel without sacrificing speed or much agility.
While 25mm clinchers are common, wide tubulars are still rare. Michelin debuted a 25mm-wide version of its Pro4 tubular tire ($120, Michelinbicycletire.com) that elevates the forgiving feel of tubular tires to the next extreme. They’re perfect for an Ironman, or any race over rough pavement.
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