For 'Deluxe' substitute 'Commuter' and you'll get a better feel for what the Freedom Racine Deluxe is all about. Deluxe it isn't. It's not expensive and it's heavy for a 700x25C tyre, partly (50g or so) because it uses a wire bead. On the other hand, it's tougher than it looks.
That's due to the three things. The slick, siped tread uses a thicker rubber layer than you'd guess; there's a Kevlar 'DuraStrip' breaker layer underneath that; and the casing is a coarse and hard to cut 27tpi. It's about as tough as a Continental Gatorskin, which costs much the same in its wire bead incarnation.
It's a lot heavier than the 700x25C wire bead Gatorskin – and its own claimed weight – and it doesn't roll as well. So you don't want to be fitting these tyres to your sportive or audax bike. Probably not your training bike either. Where they belong is on a narrow-tyred commuter bike. The whole Freedom range has a utilitarian focus, so that's not surprising.
Grip is good for a budget tyre, even on wet roads. I'd put that down to the rubber compound, which isn't the hard slidey stuff of some cheaper tyres, and not the sipes in the shoulders of the tyre.
So long as traffic lights and junctions interrupt your ride, the Racine Deluxe is a serviceable tyre; you won't notice its lack of pace so much. The thing is, you pretty much get what you pay for with tyres. For £23, I was expecting something 'all right' – and got it. Even at this price, though, I'd pick the lighter, wire bead Gatorskin. That rolls better and is available in a range of sizes.
Another £10 or £20 – a lot in relation to the price of the Racine Deluxe, peanuts compared to the price of your bike – would get a Michelin Krylion, Schwalbe Durano, Schwalbe Durano Plus or Continental Gator Hardshell. They're all really good rather than all right. But you pays your money and takes your choice.
Puncture resistant but somewhat pedestrian, this most suits shorter urban journeys
road.cc test report
Make and model: Freedom Racine Deluxe Tyre
Size tested: Black - 700 x 25C
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?
They say: 'Fast, smooth and confident. These are the words that embody the design of the Racine tire. The slick centreline reduces rolling resistance while the outside sipes provide for cornering traction on unpredictable pavement. The Racine tire is the tire of choice for your favourite road ride or journey through city streets.'
I say: City streets, yes. Favourite road ride, no.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
27tpi, Wire Bead, DuraStrip
Size/ETRTO: 700 x 25C /25-622.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Fine for riding around town. Too slow for sportives or training
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Reasonably puncture resistant through the tread. Reasonably grippy. Not expensive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Heavy. Somewhat slow.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.
Would you consider buying the product? No. I'd get something faster, tougher, or both.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they were building up a commuter hack on a budget, perhaps.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
I don't want to damn it with faint praise. It's actually not a bad tyre. There are just plenty of better ones.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 1.78m Weight: 65kg
I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track (with front brake)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,