Tires.... Oh, have we have gone to school on this subject. With our group riding 50,000+ miles a year we eat up plenty of tires.

The team generally rides on Continental, Michelin or Vredestine tires when training or on daily rides. Nothing feels better than a fresh set of tires.  Sadly most tires are worn to the point of replacement in less than 2000 miles. When you ride 8000+ miles in a year you can spend a few bucks on rubber.

The tires you use for training, racing or day rides differ greatly from the tires you tour with. Again here we look at where the tires are manufactured. For us this is important thing to consider when you may be flying down a hill at 55mph. Many top manufactures sub out their cheaper line of tires to Asia we try and not buy these.

You can buy Vredestine tires that are handmade in Holland, Michelin from France or Continentals from Germany for the same price or just a couple dollars more.

For touring as far as we are concerned there is only one tire to use. The Continental line of Touring  tires.  We have had the best luck and are amazed with the miles you can put on these tires.  While most racing tires are spent after 1500 miles these touring tires can go over 5000 miles carrying a load! Without question the best tires on the market.

The 23mm smooth tire is just what you want for a day ride but on tour you need something with a little more "meat" on the road.  Tread slows you down slightly because of the added surface contact on the roadway. When touring this added contact means safety and stability which is well worth the trade off.

Sadly the bicycle tire specifications are not as regulated as the automotive tires are. One companies 32mm tire may be only as wide as another companies 25mm.  The Continental touring tires seem to run a little narrow for example.  Their 32mm is more like most manufactures 28mm.

For touring we like the 32mm tires.  They will keep you upright on most dirt roads and still roll nicely on the pavement. The wider tire offers a softer ride when loaded too.

We see many touring cyclist riding with huge tire widths and feel this is unnecessary from our experience.  Unless you are planning your tour to be mostly off road 32mm tires will work fine and still roll nicely. Those balloon Schwalbe tires made in China are not for us.