The 'L' in Panaracer Race Type L is for 'light'. Panaracer bill this as a lightweight, high performance road tyre, and at a claimed 185g (191g on our scales) it lives up to its name. Lighter means less rubber and so more risk of punctures, though the suggested use is for short races such as hill climbs and TTs where puncturing is less likely.
There is, however, some protection in the form of Panaracer's 'PT belt'. And with the tyres mounted on my bike for a month, I have yet to suffer a flat. Anyone who tests tyres knows that the puncture gods are fickle, but perhaps the PT ('puncture technology') protection is doing its job. To save weight the reinforcement runs only under the tread rather than bead to bead, as on the Race Type A and other models.
Panaracer claim that the 126TPI AX casing is the perfect balance between suppleness and toughness. It does have that grippy-soft compound feel common to the upper echelons of bike rubber. The tread is uniform around the contact area and has a slight, low-profile roughness.
The tyres couldn't have come for testing at a better time, given the great weather recently. The Type L's soft compound inspires confidence when cornering and it rolls quickly on sunny, clear roads. That's not to say it would slide all over the place with a cloud in the sky but I wouldn't fancy such a light tyre during the early spring hedge cutting or when the lanes are back to their mucky autumn state. But then that isn't part of its job description.
At around £35 it is at the Michelin Pro 3 or Continental GP4000 price point, and it's a good race-day alternative to either of them. The ~15g weight saving that it offers over the competitors could be the tipping point. For those wanting to save every last gramme on their race whippet, it could just be the tyre of choice.
If you're looking for a lightweight tyre that won't puncture every ride, you won't go far wrong with the Panaracer Type L
road.cc test report
Make and model: Panaracer Race Type L tyre 700x23C
Size tested: 700x23c
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The weight weenies and racers looking to drop a few grammes. Suggested as a hill climb and TT tyre.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
126TPI, puncture protection across the tread, AX compound, 185g. Available as a 20 or 23mm
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Orbea Alma G10 My best bike is: Orba Alma G10
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,