Urban cycling is a thriller movie or, in the best-case scenario, an adventure game. The heroes (that’s you and your friends on your bikes) have to deal with many dangers on the road and beat plenty of obstacles to reach their destination. Some of the foes you are most likely to meet every day include uneven pavements, gravel, glass shards, debris, potholes, pins, staples, curbs, asphalt dents, and many more urban annoyances. In addition, when you ride a fixie in the city, you know the lifespan of your tires is very short.
Changing your tires every couple of months is expensive and tiresome. The city is not likely to fix all its sidewalks, bicycle lanes, or streets, so it is up to you to tackle this issue. If only we could enjoy some special urban bike tires, resilient enough to tackle every danger the city puts in our way…
Oh wait, we do have such tires!
Enter thickslick tires, the go-to choice of all riders who want reinforced tires with puncture resistance and improved flat prevention. Let’s talk today about thickslick tires and their benefits, so you make an educated choice when you buy your next set of urban tires. You will also find here some thickslick tires reviews and buying tips. So, are you ready to ride?
What Are Thickslick Tires?
As the name tells us, thickslick is a design and building technique yielding slick and very durable tires made for excellent traction on very rough urban streets. These tires feature a double-thick rubber casing that resists well when you cross over glass shards, debris, potholes, etc.
Urban riders cannot separate these tires from WTB, who wanted to give cyclists (students, mostly) a safer, faster, and slicker cycling experience. For this reason, the company upgraded and improved the thickslick tires’ design continuously, reinforcing the tires with higher quality rubber and puncture-resistance features.
When you have twice the rubber and re-strengthen sidewalls, you do enjoy a smoother ride. It is all in the natural absorption qualities of the tires’ material. Overall, thickslick tires are very slick and thick, making all urban speed demons’ dreams come true.
What is more important is that thickslick tires offer their riders the feeling that they have full control and can ride in confidence even in wet weather.
Some might think that thickslick tires are the prerogative of couriers or students always in a hurry to move from one place to the next. But you cannot be more wrong! More and more urban riders choose thickslick tires to commute, go to and from work, run errands, and even enjoy a powerful workout in the city. These tires help you understand the meaning of haste, but they are here for resilience and safety, so you should consider them even if you are not a regular speed demon.
3 Best Thickslick Tires for Awesome Rides
The time has come to discuss some of the best thickslick tires according to roadies. So check out the reviews below together with the buying tips we offer and make the best choice for your needs!
1. The WTB ThickSlick Comp Tire
Our first entry on this list is the WTB Thickslick Comp tire, a legend among urban riders everywhere. Branded as a “no-nonsense, slick design with twice the rubber tread equating to twice the lifespan of the tire,” these tires are a dream come true for all road cyclists. Available in plenty of sizes and variations, these tires deliver on what they promise: the sturdy casing withstands the coarsest urban conditions, while the slick tread design ensures you get the bite you need in urban landscapes — all with flawless style.
But let’s get a bit more technical!
Specs & Features
- High-grip DNA rubber: versatile and long-lasting WTB proprietary 60A durometer rubber compound;
- Durable, impermeable casings;
- Wire beads designed to use with a tube;
- Best for road bikes;
- Best usage and conditions: urban pavement;
Conclusion and Buying Tips
The WTB Thickslick Comp tires receive stellar reviews from their users and for all the right reasons. When you don’t get a flat even after 5,000 miles, you know you have something precious.
Nevertheless, you should know that the price you will see refers to only one tire, as they don’t come in pairs. So if you don’t pay attention, you might have to buy a second tire after receiving the first.
Another tip coming from experts is to get K-guards, to be sure. Pins and pavement debris are not something to underestimate.
The tires are road-ready, but they also make excellent indoor trainers too!
Bottom line? The WTB Thickslick Comp tires are some of the best on the market in this department. But wait, because we have more!
2. The WTB ThickSlick Flat Guard Tire
When we said that WTB upgraded their tires, making them more and more resilient as time passed, we referred to the Flat Guard Thickslick tires. They share the same specs and features with their Comp counterparts described above but bring a little more to the table.
The Flat Guard thickslick tires come with extra rubber throughout the casing and sidewalls for more puncture protection and better resilience to curb rubs or cornering on asphalt. The added rubber layer lies beneath the tread’s width, providing even more thickness in a very vulnerable region. Thus, even if you encounter pointy and sharp objects along the way, the Flat Guard prevents them from reaching the core.
Conclusion and Buying Tips
While the Comp’s and the Flat Guard’s tech specs are identical, you need to know that the latter is heavier than the first. As a result, some urban riders and couriers might have some difficulties climbing the occasional urban hills. Other than that, these tires will help you navigate city landscapes found in utter disrepair. You may also want to know that these tires are among the hardest, although the reinforced sidewall is a godsend on those streets where most people do not dare using their cars.
3. Continental Ultra Sport II Bike Tire
If you own a car and needed tires at any point in time, you surely stumbled upon Continental, the German industry leader in the production of tires. They have 100+ years of experience in creating bicycle tires, so you can rely on their reputation when it comes to urban rides as well. But let’s see what “made in Germany” means in the case of this tire!
Specs & Features
- The deeper center tread gives the tire amazing durability;
- With the silica-based tread compound, you will enjoy an outstanding grip;
- The robust 3/180 TPI casing ensures excellent handling over varied rough surfaces;
- The tire features steel wire bead;
- You can confidently and safely ride on dry and wet surfaces;
- You have a wide range of size options to choose from;
- The price varies with their size.
Conclusion and Buying Tips
If you have to cross rough surfaces or urban areas in disrepair, then you need these Continentals. Keep in mind that price tags usually refer to only one tire, making sure you buy yours correctly. Other than that, these tires corner amazingly, grip well, and offer you unprecedented riding comfort. With zero punctures in over 3,000 miles, we say you should give them a shot!
Should You Get Thickslick Tires or Stick to Your Gatorskins?
It is an interesting question because Gatorskins are as famous as Thickslicks, and beginners have difficulty deciding between them.
The answer is that it all depends on what you want. Gatorskins are ideal for long rides, as they are comfortable and easy to handle on endless mileage. Nevertheless, these tires will not spare you from plenty of slices and punctures in the long run. When you engage in cross-country touring, these things happen.
On the other hand, thickslicks might not offer you the same level of comfort, but few things can beat them when it comes to flat prevention and resilience against punctures and slices. In other words, if you are a commuter, courier, always-in-a-hurry college student, or even an urban riding exec, thickslicks are the way to go.
Can You Put Thickslick Tires on a Mountain Bike?
You can. Slick tires go great with city streets. Compared to their treaded peers, slicks give you more speed and maintain a good grip. They are great on both dry and wet surfaces. Nevertheless, MTB enthusiasts have a good question: can they put thickslick tires on mountain bikes? The answer is “yes.” You can mount the thickslicks on an MTB, especially if you are not a hardcore roadie, and enjoy one of the fastest mountain bike experiences of your life. Just make sure you don’t take your slick-clad MTB off-roading. Nobody recommends that experience.
Thickslick tires satisfy many cyclists who have to make it in one piece (with their bikes) every day in the concrete jungle. We hope this guide was of use to you, and you will try some thickslicks on your road bike or MTB for fierce-looking, more comfortable, safer, and smoother rides!
Before we leave you to your shopping, remember to note the manufacturers’ tech specs, features, and warranty policies. Moreover, we know almost all riders love to take care of their bikes on their own, but if your thickslick tires seem to be losing their performance levels, find a specialized bike shop to take care of things for you!