Puncture Flats. Before I started cycling coast to coast across the United States, I decided to stick with my narrow Continental Grand Prix tires I already had on my bicycle. These tires have a thin tread and sidewalls that I liked for their low rolling resistance and speed. Since I usually ride around three thousand miles a year, about the same as the cross-country ride, with only a few flats, I thought they would be fine. Unfortunately, I experienced many more flats in the first two weeks riding across the country than I would normally get in a year. In fact, in one day alone I had four flat tires .
I quickly realized that road conditions varied greatly from what I was used to and I needed to rethink my tire choice. So I changed out the Grand Prix tires for Continental Gatorskin flat resistant tires. Like other flat resistant tires, there is an extremely puncture resistant belt incorporated into the tire to help reduce flats. While I wish I could say that I never got another flat, I think I only had one flat for the remainder of the trip.
Since flat resistant tires generally have a thicker tread and sidewalls to help prevent flats, they may not be as fast as the tires with a thin tread and sidewalls. That said, I honestly didn’t notice a difference in performance with these puncture resistant tires. However, I wasn’t stuck along the road fixing my flat “fast” tires.