Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres are essentially heavy duty, ultra reliable commu-touring tyres that inspire unprecedented confidence without feeling sluggish or barge-like, as the 970g weight for a pair would imply.
Fast, light, grippy and impressively durable, Michelin's latest top-level Pro4 Service Course tyres are perfect for summer racing and training.
Michelin revamped its road clincher tyre range at the end of last year with the introduction of the new Pro4, a range which now encompasses tyres for a range of conditions. They save the best for the Service Course though, the lightest and fastest tyres.
12 months of racing, training and commuting - that's the ultimate test of the Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyre, designed with longevity and puncture resistance in mind.
Michelin's new Pro4, the latest line of top-end performance tyres, was introduced in 2011. It's now available in six guises, Service Course, Comp, Comp Limited, Grip, Tubular and, tested here, Endurance. This is the tyre intended for going the distance and lasting a long time.
The Specialized Tracer Pro is a truly versatile tyre for those that roll their cyclo-cross bike over a variety of surfaces.
The tread design belongs to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) school of thought, and that's no bad thing. Four rows of staggered squarish knobs are slightly beveled on the drive edge but square on the braking side and are bracketed by slightly longer blocks along the sides to provide lateral steering stiction. And it's a rubber combination that works.
Freedom describe the Ryder Deluxe as a 'do it all tire'. (Spelled that way because it's an American brand, a division of the WTB company that's focused on utility cycling.) It's touring/commuting tyre, designed for tarmac and sensible tracks. That puts it head to head with European favourites like the Continental Contact and Schwalbe Marathon.
The Maxxis Raze is a cyclo-cross tyre billed by Maxxis as the "solution to the diverse terrain a cyclo-cross race requires". Weight-wise, the folding version sits in the middle between the Mud Wrestler and the Mimo CX, both of which are billed by Maxxis as more suitable for wet terrain, while the Raze's selling point, according to Maxxis, is its versatility.
The tread design features a central ridge of closely spaced square knobs for reduced rolling resistance on harder terrain, while the square side knobs are spaced wider apart.
A fast-rolling tyre with good durability and impressive comfort the Vredestein Fortezza Tricomp 700x25c tyre is a good choice for the winter.
Vredestein's Fortezza Tricomp tyre uses a triple-compound tread construction, harder in the centre and softer at the sides. This makes them fast-rolling with little rolling resistance when upright, and when cornering they exhibit good grip. Traction in the dry or wet is equally impressive and there's barely any drop-off in performance the wetter it gets.
The Giant P-SLR1s are lightweight and grippy clinchers for fast road riding.
These tyres are built around 120tpi casings and they're unusual in that they're front and rear specific. They're both dual-compound, the front one designed to be stickier for extra grip while the rear one is designed to be fast and durable. As you'll doubtless know, your rear tyre generally wears faster than the front one so the idea seems sound to us.
These Kenda Super Domestique tubulars are fast rolling and they're durable too.
Kenda are best known for their mountain bike tyres but they do a whole road range as well. The Super Domestique sits in the middle of their three-model tubular line-up.
Fitting was easy enough... Well, as easy as fitting tubs ever is. I put them on some wheels unglued overnight to stretch them out and they were fine to fit the following day.
Onza is a Swiss brand producing tyres mainly for commuters, BMX and mountain bikes, plus a few road options, including this Lavin folding clincher. Although billed on the Onza website as a 'Fixie tyre', the packaging indicates it's a 'Road/Fixie tyre', and a test pair fitted to a (geared) training bike turned out to be ideal for spring conditions on a wide range of road surfaces.