Reasonable quality touring/commuting tyre that's eclipsed by faster and tougher alternatives
Weight: 650g Contact: www.upgradebikes.co.uk
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.
As luck would have it, I had a pair of brand new Continental Contacts to hand, with a wire bead like the Ryder Deluxe and in the same width. The Conti Contact is two quid dearer at £24.95. It's more than 100g lighter and has a finer-threaded carcass; the Ryder Deluxe has 27tpi, the Conti 240tpi. That's not as vast as difference as it seems, however, as the Conti has a four-ply carcass, each 60tpi. Still, 60 is finer than 27.
Being lighter and more supple, and having a more pronounced centre rolling strip, I expected the German Conti tyre to perform better in roll-down tests. It did. With the same 5 bar in the tyres, the Conti was 3-4% faster – a difference I reckon I could feel when I was riding. The Ryder Deluxe isn't stodgy or slow; the Continental Contact is just faster.
A coarser threaded tyre should resist sharps better, other things being equal. They're not equal though. The Continental's 'Safety System' polyester breaker strip under the tread is tougher than the 'Urban Barrier' of the Freedom tyre.
The Ryder Deluxe's road holding is good enough even on damp tarmac, and you don't get the same cornering squirm that a deeper treaded cyclo-cross or mountain bike tyre can cause. Obviously the fine tread is only good for traction on fairly firm surfaces off-road.
It's available in 35mm and 38mm as well as the 32mm tested, although I could see only the 32 and 38 listed. There's also a non-deluxe version, without the puncture resistant layer: the Ryder, which is £16.99. That's a more compelling price as it significantly undercuts the Continental Contact and the other German benchmark tyre in this category, the standard Schwalbe Marathon (£24.99).
I feel like I'm damning the Ryder Deluxe with faint praise. It's all right, and you'd get a real performance boost if you put this tyre in place of a'cross tyre on a road-going CX bike. But the fact remains that you can have a tougher, more efficient all-round tyre for much the same money if you buy German instead.
Reasonable quality touring/commuting tyre that's eclipsed by faster and tougher alternatives.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Freedom Ryder Deluxe Tyre
Size tested: Black - 700 x 32c
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?
Freedom say: The do-it-all 700c platform tire. Ride across town, commute to work or enjoy your favorite dirt shortcut. The Ryder's fast centerline tread pattern, long outside lugs and deep siping was designed to instill confidence during any weather or road condition.
I say: it's a touring/commuting tyre.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
27tpi, some puncture protection
In this width, it's fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does the job, just not exceptionally.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It went on the rim fairly easily. No issues with grip.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not fast enough or tough enough.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only if better alternatives weren't readily available at a comparable price.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
It's the kind of tyre that, if it's fitted to your bike, you wouldn't be in a hurry to take it off. But if you were upgrading or replacing tyres, it wouldn't be on the top of your list.
About the tester
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,