Tyre choice and pressure is too broad a subject to really do justice to. So you can more consider this an introduction to choosing tyres. Here are some important things to think about:
Higher quality carcasses are generally just a good thing. They tend to produce greater comfort, lower rolling resistance and better puncture protection. They are a real get what you pay for thing. However if comfort and rolling resistance is given a very high priority it generally comes at a cost of puncture protection.
You can achieve this to a high standard with a relatively economical tyre. However puncture protective tyres tend to be very slow – so it is about finding the right balance for you.
No-one wants slow tyres but as discussed before this is generally inversely proportional to puncture protection. Generally the fastest tyres on the market have the lowest levels of puncture protection.
This is much more relevant on the road than off. Off road tread plays the biggest role in grip, on the road, compound does.
Big tyres are lovely, they roll better as an overall system, offer greater comfort, protect your rims better and offer more grip. However bigger tyres can offer more tyre drag (even if they don’t contribute as much to system drag), more weight and increase aerodynamic drag. If you have big tyres, don’t buy aero wheels! If you want aero wheels, you need narrow tyres.
Generally speaking, lower tyre pressure is better now, but there is a limit to that, in what your tyre requires to maintain its integrity.
Hookless or not?
I would say hookless is generally a good thing – very much better suited to disc brake than rim brake and better suited to bigger tyres rather than smaller. Lorries, cars, motorbikes, aeroplanes all use hookless rims – they aren’t inherently dangerous. They generally provide nicer tyre profiles, easier tubeless setup and great impact resistance and lower weight. However not all tyres can be run on hookless rims and generally if you are running hookless you need to reduce your pressures a bit if you like running them high as standard.
Well I really like tubeless on all bikes. The strongest candidates for tubeless are those who ride bikes lots, maintain them well and like to run high performance tyres in all conditions and suffer with punctures. Those who suit it least are those who ride infrequently (at least on a given bike), find bike maintenance a challenge and tyre fit/removal a challenge and are very happy to run low performance but high puncture protection tyres. So it depends really where you sit on that kind of spectrum. More details on tubeless can be found here but as a rule of thumb, I think it is generally nice to have wheels that at least can be run tubeless if you want them to at some point.
It can be a challenge to convince people that lower pressures mean less drag – it doesn’t feel like that and seems counter intuitive and the tyre itself does have increased drag. So why are lower pressures actually faster? Well, rather than do a poor job of explaining – here is a great podcast that explains it all. In summary though – lower tyre pressures are better:
https://cyclingtips.com/2016/08/cyclingtips-podcast-episode-9-rethinking-road-bike-tire-sizes-and-pressures/ (link takes you away from DCR wheels and opens in new tab)
Specific tyre recommendations:
Well its hard to stay on top of that because the subject changes all the time – new tyres come out all the time. I would say also try to take (almost all) reviews with a fistful of salt. At best they tend to lack proper methodology to really test tyres for effective comparison and at worst they are just adverts – paid for! The only source I trust for true insight into tyre sourcing is: www.bicyclerollingresistance.com
There is some scope for interpretation and the results they find don’t always bear out in real life quite how we expected. But it is by far the best resource we’ve ever come across for tyre choice and pressure. They still generally provide some qualitative data on the subject and a star rating that we all like reviews for. However they also do some quantitative testing on the tyres to give them metrics for comparison and base their evaluation on this data.