Freedom Bicycle ThickSlick tires review

I enlisted the help of my younger brother Roy to put this tires through a thorough testing. For some reason, Roy had a habit of averaging 2 flats per week on whatever bike he rode, Freedom Bicycle claims that the ThickSlick is one of the strongest urban tires in the market so I thought it was a perfect fit for Roy’s riding habits.

About the rider: Roy is 20 years old, 5’10 and about 155 lbs, he is a college student and rides his bike to school and loves to go on urban adventures with his buddies.

Here are his observations of the Freedom ThickSlick tires:

Thick and Slick are two words that best describe the tires that I have been riding for about three months now. They are slightly wider than your typical road bike tires but they are twice as resilient. I come from a background of frequent flat tires due to riding through rough terrain, debris, broken glass, and sometimes even from catching some air.

Out of these last three months I have had zero problems with these tires. I use my bike as an urban bike and spend most my time riding though the streets of Los Angeles County. I have ridden through rocks, dirt, sticks, and even small shards of glass and to my surprise I have experienced zero flats. I can certainly say that I’ve beaten the crap out of these tires. Since I live in Sunny Southern California, I didn’t get to ride on the rain, however the tires never slipped on any puddle of water that I came across.

Despite looking like two over-sized inner tubes I have received many compliments by other riders, some have asked me if the tires were tubulars. I guess that is a compliment since my brother says that tubular tires are very high performance and very expensive tires!

As “Slick” as the tires appear, I experienced loads of traction on the road. Handling on these tires was a great experience, I was able to handle turns at high velocity and at low leaning angles. Braking on these tires was excellent, a couple times I needed to brake suddenly due to moving cars or other bikers, fortunately, I was able to stop with minimal skidding and enough time to avoid any collisions.

Prices for the Freedom ThickSlick vary from $15 to $30, these tires easily pay themselves off by saving on tire tubes. So if you are looking for a tire that would be able to handle all the harsh conditions of Urban riding, its durable, handles great and looks good, I highly recommend you get yourself a set of these tires.

For more information and tech specs on these tires, please visit http://www.freedombicycle.com.

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.

9 Comments

  1. brendan September 8, 2010 2:48 pm 

    i am sure it’s hard to come by in sunny southern california, but seeing as they’re so slick, testing these tires out in the rain would have been more helpful than testing them in dirt and rocks.

  2. Ghost Rider September 8, 2010 5:15 pm 

    I haven’t tested these particular tires, but I have ridden extensively with slick tires in the rain. Anyone remember Tioga City Slickers? Despite appearances, they grip like hell and there are no issues whatsoever running smoothies in the wet.

  3. Moe September 8, 2010 10:59 pm 

    Well, the tires are touted as durable tires NOT rain tires, so testing the tires on stuff that can puncture a tire IS more helpful than riding on the rain. I know that it sucks that it does not rain in So. Cal, but eh, we have earthquakes and these tires may be more useful while riding over any debris!

  4. 100poundsago September 9, 2010 6:46 am 

    Send them to me “I will break you” (said like Drsago from Rocky IV)

  5. harry krishna September 12, 2010 8:55 am 

    the slick tire in the rain issue was over a long time ago. i ran 27×1-1/8 slick avocets commuting and touring until they got too expensive. my question for these would be rolling resistance. but if a college kid didn’t note that these tires made his bike a lead sled, that’s good enough for me.

  6. Raiyn September 12, 2010 4:26 pm 

    Courtesy http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html

    Tread for on-road use

    Bicycle tires for on-road use have no need of any sort of tread features; in fact, the best road tires are perfectly smooth, with no tread at all!

    Unfortunately, most people assume that a smooth tire will be slippery, so this type of tire is difficult to sell to unsophisticated cyclists. Most tire makers cater to this by putting a very fine pattern on their tires, mainly for cosmetic and marketing reasons. If you examine a section of asphalt or concrete, you’ll see that the texture of the road itself is much “knobbier” than the tread features of a good quality road tire. Since the tire is flexible, even a slick tire deforms as it comes into contact with the pavement, acquiring the shape of the pavement texture, only while in contact with the road.

    People ask, “But don’t slick tires get slippery on wet roads, or worse yet, wet metal features such as expansion joints, paint stripes, or railroad tracks?” The answer is, yes, they do. So do tires with tread. All tires are slippery in these conditions. Tread features make no improvement in this.

    Spoke Divider
    Hydroplaning

    Car and truck tires need tread, because these vehicles are prone to a very dangerous condition called “hydroplaning.” This happens when driving fast in very wet conditions, which can lead to the tire riding up onto a cushion of liquid water. When this happens, there is a sudden and total lack of traction.

    Cars can hydroplane because: Bicycles canNOT hydroplane because:
    A car tire has a square road contact, and the leading edge of the contact is a straight line. This makes it easier for a car tire to trap water as it rolls. A bicycle tire has a curved road contact. Since a bicycle leans in corners, it needs a tire with a rounded contact area, which tends to push the water away to either side.
    A car tire is quite wide, so water from the middle of the contact patch can have trouble escaping as the tire rolls over it, if there are not grooves to let it escape. A bicycle tire is narrower, so not as much water is in contact with the leading edge at once.
    Car tires run at much lower pressure than bicycles. The high pressure of bicycle tires is more efficient at squeezing the water out from under.
    Cars go much faster than bicycles, again leaving less time for water to escape. At high speeds, hydroplaning is just possible for car tires, but is absolutely impossible for bicycle tires.

    Even with automobiles, actual hydroplaning is very rare. It is a much more real problem for aircraft landing on wet runways. The aviation industry has studied this problem very carefully, and has come up with a general guideline as to when hydroplaning is a risk. The formula used in the aviation industry is:

    Speed (in knots) = 9 X the square root of the tire pressure (in psi.)

    Also courtesy Sheldon Brown / Jobst Brandt

    Subject: Tires with smooth tread
    From: Jobst Brandt
    Date: December 5, 1997

    Drag racers first recognized the traction benefits of slick tires, whose benefit they could readily verify by elapsed times for the standing start quarter mile. In spite of compelling evidence of improved traction, more than twenty years passed before slicks were commonly used for racing cars, and another twenty before they reached racing motorcycles. Today, slicks are used in all weather by most street motorcycles. In spite of this, here at the end of the millennium, 100 years after John Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire for his own bicycle, bicyclists have not yet accepted smooth tread.

    Commercial aircraft, and especially motorcycles, demonstrate that a round cross section tire, like the bicycle tire, has an ideal shape to prevent hydroplaning. The contact patch, a pointed canoe shape, displaces water exceptionally well. In spite of this, hydroplaning seems to be a primary concern for riders who are afraid to use smooth tires. After assurances from motorcycle and aircraft examples, slipperiness on wet pavement appears as the next hurdle.

    Benefits of smooth tread are not easily demonstrated because most bicycle riders seldom ride near the limit of traction in either curves or braking. There is no simple measure of elapsed time or lean angle that clearly demonstrates any advantage, partly because skill among riders varies greatly. However, machines that measure traction show that smooth tires corner better on both wet and dry pavement. In such tests, other things being equal, smooth tires achieve greater lean angles while having lower rolling resistance.

    Tread patterns have no effect on surfaces in which they leave no impression. That is to say, if the road is harder than the tire, a tread pattern does not improve traction. That smooth tires have better dry traction is probably accepted by most bicyclists, but wet pavement still appears to raise doubts even though motorcycles have shown that tread patterns do not improve wet traction.

    A window-cleaning squeegee demonstrates this effect well. Even with a new sharp edge, it glides effortlessly over wet glass leaving a microscopic layer of water behind to evaporate. On a second swipe, the squeegee sticks to the dry glass. This example should make apparent that the lubricating water layer cannot be removed by tire tread, and that only the micro-grit of the road surface can penetrate this layer to give traction. For this reason, metal plates, paint stripes, and railway tracks are incorrigibly slippery.

    Besides having better wet and dry traction, smooth tread also has lower rolling resistance, because its rubber does not deform into tread voids. Rubber being essentially incompressible, deforms like a water filled balloon, changing shape, but not volume. For a tire with tread voids, its rubber bulges under load and rebounds with less force than the deforming force. This internal damping causes the energy losses of rolling resistance. In contrast the smooth tread transmits the load to the loss-free pneumatic compliance of the tire.

    In curves, tread features squirm to allow walking and ultimately, early breakout. This is best demonstrated on knobby MTB tires, some of which track so poorly that they are difficult to ride no-hands.

    Although knobby wheelbarrow tires serves only to trap dirt, smooth tires may yet be accepted there sooner than for bicycles.

  7. Freddy January 11, 2013 12:41 am 

    I’m a San Francisco bike messenger, trust me, these tires are bombproof, especially the white ones. Stop worrying. Freddy

  8. Vic September 2, 2013 10:24 am 

    Hi everyone ..
    i bought a pair of these white thickslicks one month ago due to their publicized resistance to wear ..
    I used it on my fixie for about one month on the way to work, about 450km .. only on tarmac, with no skids and at right pressure (6bar)
    Both tyres are now completely full of wearing marks and deep cuts on the walls .. and they get bigger day by day .. seems just like a 10 year old “plastified” tyre .. not a brand new $30 tyre.
    I wrote to WTB with pics to ask about this problem and they say it’s due to bad usage .. but i’m 100% sure i used it the rught way …
    Do yourself a favor .. DON’T BUY THESE TYRES .. to me they’re totally rubbish ..
    Cheers
    Vic

  9. Joseph May 28, 2014 7:13 am 

    I bought a pair of the black Thick-slicks a week ago. I am from Arizona and I already have a puncture in the rear tire, they have awesome grip but on the tire itself it says puncture resistance which is BS. If I was them I would go back to the drawing board and find a way to make them road proof. As well as remove the label from the tires that makes that statement.

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