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26" Slick Tyre Comparisons

26" slicks are ideal city-bike tyres: fast, good on tarmac, and easy to fit to a mountain bike to make a good street steed. Here are the ones I've used, with my opinions:

ManufacturerTyreSizeRidePuncture ResistanceLifeOverall
PanaracerPasela28mmAverage responsiveness, nice and comfortable.Moderate.Pretty good.A decent touring-type tyre.
SpecializedNimbus Armadillo1.5"A little wooden and "dead".Excellent.Very good. Expect a year of commuting.Superbly robust tyre but not much fun to ride. Idea for a daily commuter.
SpecializedFat Boy1.5"Responsive but sketchy, prone to skidding on corners, especially in the wet.Excellent.Good.Designed for dry, grippy Californian roads: screaming death on wet, dieselly British ones. Poor grip lets down a nice ride.
VredesteinS-Lick1.3"Pretty lively for such a heavy tyre.Good.Very good. Expect a year of commuting.A nicer ride than the Nimbus, not quite as nice as the Sport Contact but harder wearing. And available in cool colours.
HutchinsonAirlite Top Slick 1"Superb: roadie-grade loveliness.AveragePoor: these are delicate.A beautiful ride but you'll not get more than 6 months / 1500 miles out of them. Puncture resistance and low volume makes them most suitable for unlade or lightly-loaded riding.
TiogaCity Slicker1" and 1.3"Good.AverageAverageCheap alternatives to the Top Slick, the ride's pretty nice and they wear a little better.
ContinentalSport Contact1.3"Good. The best 1.3" in terms of liveliness and grip.Excellent.Good.The best 1.3" - great puncture proofing and a great ride offset the shorter lifespan when compared to the Nimbus.

Overall? The best for ride and reliability, is the Conti Sport Contact, which is highy recommended and even comes with a puncture guarantee - a truly great tyre. The Conti has stolen the S-Lick's crown as the king of city slicks, if you ask me.

The nicest ride is the skinny Hutchinson Airlite Top Slick - real road-bike performance.

The toughest is without doubt the Specialized Nimbus, which is pretty nearly indestructible. That makes it a fine choice for a commuter where a spunky ride is less important than bombproof reliability.