We’ve reviewed five of the best clincher tyres for triathlon to give you the verdict on the latest racing rubber.

Triathlon Gear Reviews - Mini Test Tyres1 Maxxis Xenith Equipe Legere


Weight 151g



Xenith’s light weight means they accelerate fast and stick like glue so you can let rip with the power. Rapid direction change and super road suction means they’re crazy-quick in corners, making them ideal shortcourse/ hill-climb race rubber. But they pick up grit, debris and punctures easily, wear quickly and are slower in a straight line.

Overall 3/5

2 Continental GP Triathlon


Weight 204g


This flower logo version of the legendary GP4000 tyre delivers a proven balance of mid-weight speed, very predictable handling and reasonable survivability, thanks to a Vectran protective sub layer. The full Black Chili compound is fast, but it still gives a confident feel as you lean into wet, greasy corners despite the full slick design. These tyres aren’t as much of a fight to get on as they used to be either.

Overall 4/5

3 Hutchinson Atom Comp Reinforced


Weight 187g



This race tyre is a lighter version of the durable Fusion 3 and it’s an impressive performer. Weight is low so acceleration is good and straight-line speed is rapid. Once the slippery silicon moulding coating has scrubbed off, the thermoplastic tread gives an impressively predictable, confident and comfortable ride feel too.

Overall 3/5

4 Michelin Pro 3 Race Service Course


Weight 202g



Michelin’s Pro 2 was an awesome tyre, but the Pro 3 seems to have swapped slightly increased performance for significantly reduced longevity. The dual compound means it’s impressively fast, fluid in feel and sticky enough in turns to take liberties with once you’ve wrestled the tight fit on to the wheel.

Overall 3/5

5 Schwalbe Ultremo ZX HD


Weight 197g



Schwalbe’s Ultremo has always been a top performance choice, but definitely on the fragile side. This new ZX HD version adds more shoulder rubber over an ultra-high-density protective layer and initial longevity signs are very good. The RaceStar triple compound feels great too – it’s fast, but very reliable through turns, and buoyant enough for back-road comfort.

Overall 4/5

6 Bontrager R4 Aero


Weight 174g


Bontrager claim the R4 Aero’s airflow-smoothing wings save 9+ seconds over 10K, but they actually left a more pronounced gap on our test wheels than a conventional tyre, as the supplied flange didn’t fill the gap as it’s meant to. Low weight and size certainly make it straightline quick, but ride feel is hard and it isn’t as surefooted or confident in corners as the other tyres here. Best left for straight, fast courses.

Overall 3/5

This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine – click here to subscribe

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