The Panaracer Closer is a new tyre for 2010 that is marketed as a "fantastic balance of high end race performance and the superb durability, comfort and confidence of a training tyre". I'll certainly go along with the high end race performance bit. At 210 grams, you can't accuse it of being heavy. It remind me a lot of my set of Michelin Pro2Race's both in terms of looks and performance.
I tested these with a pair of Shimano RS-30 training wheels and while they were not particularly easy to get on, they weren't any harder than your usual folding performance tyre either. Nothing unusual here.
Once on the bike they felt very nippy and grippy enough around corners - not quite in the same league as Continental's "chilli compound" tyres in terms of feel but not far off. For the first 200 miles I was plenty happy.
But now for the durability aspect. Three punctures in 90 miles is a bit much for me. Just bad luck? well, maybe. The first two weren't even in the wet though, and all three were caused by tiny pieces of flint working their way into the rubber. For training I'd be happier with a slightly heavier tyre where I might go slightly slower but I'd spend more time riding my bike. However, if you are after a lightweight training tyre that is cheaper and should last a bit longer than an all out racing tyre, these could be for you.
A fast grippy tyre, but not the most puncture proof for training
road.cc test report
Make and model: Panaracer Closer 700x23c folding tyre
Size tested: 23mm
Did you enjoy using the product? I did, until I had to start repairing punctures every day
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Depends on what they want from a training tyre
About the tester
Age: 32 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cervelo Dual
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, Audax