Freedom ThickSlick Elite Tire Review
The latest crop of flat resistant tires are pretty incredible when it comes to preventing punctures from tacks, glass and other common road debris, and double thick rubber for resistance to skidding works out well for those looking for long term durability as well. The Freedom ThickSlick Elite combines a thick rubber tread surface and their Kevlar based Urban Armor Casing undertread to provide a long lasting tire that in my experience is near impervious to flats. I rode the pictured pair of tires for about six months on my lock-up bike and can’t remember a flat tire in that time, and through countless miles at home and on road trips to NYC and Boston I was impressed with how long the rear tire lasted as used on a brakeless track bike. It wore to a squared off profile and then just kept going and going until finally the casing was showing through and the rear retired, lasting much longer than I’d anticipated, even for the double thick tread.
The wire bead ThickSlick Elite is heavy at 480g and certainly isn’t the most supple tire on the market, but neither is it meant to be. These are flat resistant city tires, not performance road versions and shouldn’t be compared to such in ride quality. While marked a 25c, the tires measure 27.5mm wide on my bike, confirming that the tires are larger than some competitors 28c tires—worth taking into consideration depending on frame and fender clearances. People either love or hate the graphics, but I must say I’m a fan of the dragster effect. For next year larger 28c labeled versions are slated to become available, along with white ones to match your belt.