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Verdict: 
Hardy tyres that are just the job for commuting or light touring.
Weight: 
370g
Contact: 
www.zyro.co.uk
Panaracer RiBMo folding 700C 28mm tyre
8 10

Panaracer's RiBMo (that stands for Ride Bike More, fact fans) offers good puncture protection and reasonably low weight along with good levels of grip. For light touring, Audax, or commuting, it's a good choice.

We tested the previous incarnation of the RiBMo predominantly as an urban tyre, and it did very well. This time around it was put through its paces on longer rides, up to and including a 400km Audax. And once again, we've been very happy with the performance.

The RiBMo is touted as a tough tyre, with bead to bead puncture protection thanks to an 800D polyamide cord carcass, which Panaracer claim is twice as strong as a standard tyre, and an additional layer of PT Shield fabric. On top of that is Panaracer's Mile Cruncher compound, which is a harder-than-usual rubber for longevity.

You might look at all that and think that it'll add up to a pretty slow ride, but it doesn't. Well, it depends what you compare it to: obviously these tyres don't roll as well as a lightweight set of 25s but they're a lot sprightlier than most other rubber you'd consider for touring, and they're plenty fast enough for Audax-type rides; at 370g for the 28mm version they're hardly heavyweights.

The tread shape, which is ovalised a bit like the pointy end of an egg, is designed to decrease rolling resistance while still offering good grip when cornering. I can't say that I ever had any problems with grip, even with the hard compound.

One of the reasons for this is that with a bigger air chamber you can afford to run the tyres at a lower pressure. I'm 100kg and normally put 100psi into a 25mm tyre; I found I could run these RiBMos at 85-90psi without any more danger of pinch-flatting than I'd have with a thinner tyre. That means more grip and extra comfort too, and it didn't noticeably affect the tyre's ability to roll.

I've managed to puncture them twice: once was a pinch flat when I was experimenting with how low I could run the RiBMos – so not the tyre's fault – and the other was a needle-sharp piece of metal swarf that I think would have breached pretty much anything.

Other than that, they've been trouble free, hard-wearing and comfortable. Panaracer offer the RiBMo in a wide range of sizes right down to 23mm, although it's difficult to imagine why you'd want them in anything less than a 28.

Verdict

Hardy tyres that are just the job for commuting or light touring.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Panaracer RiBMo folding 700x28c

Size tested: 28mm

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?

RiBMo tyre from Panaracer is the tyre commuters and touring cyclists have been waiting for. Using revolutionary Protex technology, the RiBmo offers unrivalled bead to bead puncture resistance thanks to the strong 800D cord interwoven with super tough Vinyl thread. The protection offered against penetration and pinch flats is 300% better than standard tyres. Panaracer's new Mile Cruncher rubber compound ensures long life durability, fantastic grip and great ride comfort. The All Contact tread shape optimizes tyre performance by minimising rolling resistance and maximising cornering contact with the road.

When you need to arrive safely at your destination, RiBmo will be sure to take you there.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Long lasting, comfortable tyres

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

nothing really

Did you enjoy using the product? yes

Would you consider buying the product? yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 102kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

7 comments

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WalshyMK [8 posts] 3 years ago
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I've had these on my commuter (23mm on a road bike) for 2 years and they've been great - only puncture in that time, compared with dozens with Specialized Armadillos.

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robdaykin (not verified) [368 posts] 3 years ago
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well, based on this review, and one Schwalbe Delta Cruiser shoving it's wire bead through the tyre irreparably after only 129 miles, leaving me a 7 mile walk, I thought I'd give these a go.
Just finished fitting them, and have lost blood, skin and pinch flatting one tube in the process.. I have never had so much struggle getting a tyre on. I had to use 3 levers to get the last 12 inches or so of bead over the rim. They're certainly not coming off in a hurry.

[Edit]
And after riding them for 2 days they're actually coming off in a hurry and going back. In summary they are slow, they feel heavy, and they have poor grip to the point I consider they're dangerous to use on cobbles or off road.

All of which is down to the fact the sidewalls are so stiff, courtesy of the puncture protection, that they don't deflect even with 95kg out of the saddle trying to get them to spin up. They feel harder and deflect less at 90psi than Conti Gatorskin 23mm at 105psi. That also explains why they're so hard to get on, no stretch... This means I felt every imperfection in the road surface, and on a 15 mile ride to work arrived feeling more like I'd done 50 miles. Both derriere and hands were numb, I was late due to their slow rolling and felt tired all day. I gave them a go on the canal path this morning, but hated it. Wherever it got muddy there was no grip, and after nearly ending up in the Grand Union Canal once (skidded on dry cobbles), I had no confidence in them. All in all I skidded 7 times and wheel span twice in 50 miles on and off road. Even slow cornering on hard packed bridlepath ending up on the grass. I was riding this bike slower and more cautiously than i ride my audax bike (23mm Gatorskin, 105psi) on the same off road surfaces, and still not able to corner, which is frankly ludicrous. I've never felt less in control of a bike with the possible exception of the black route at Dalby..
I don't know if they're better at puncture resistance, but I flatly refuse to believe that you can pinch flat them without running well below the listed minimum pressure. In fact even totally flat, the tyre is holding it's shape under the weight of the bike, so the sidewalls are good for about 30lbs of load on their own...Contact strip when riding on tarmac looks about 5 mm wide, based on how they scrub off water or mud as you ride on a dry surface.

As for riding a 400km Audax on these... kudos, you're incredible.

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dave atkinson [6246 posts] 3 years ago
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interesting that our experiences are so different. what size were the ones you bought?

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robdaykin (not verified) [368 posts] 3 years ago
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that's what I thought  1

They're 700x28mm, same as the review size. RibMo PT as per the image.

Did you not have any issues with the stiffness of the sidewalls? Most puncture resistant wheels skip the puncture protection in the sidewall, or at least skimp it to provide the suppleness, and I thought maybe from the write up Panasonic had a new fiber layup that gave the flexibility as well as resistance to piercing. Didn't seem like that though.
The clincher for giving up on them, was on the canal path. When the back end stepped out under one of those bridges... Gulp
Seeing as the canal gives me a quiet, not too rough off road route from about 1 mile from home to the office, it's not a route I'm going to avoid
I think if maybe they'd not combined a very hard outer surface with the tough sidewall they'd be ok, but together they're too rigid for me.
I did wonder if maybe your review ones were not brand new, and had been 'worked in' or whether with the distance covered they eased off at all.

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dave atkinson [6246 posts] 3 years ago
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maybe they have softened up, i've done 1,000km+ on them. but i never really had any issues with them when they were new. they weren't super difficult to get on (not the easiest and not the hardest) and i've spent plenty of time on towpaths and traffic-free paths too, where lack of grip is more likely to present as a problem. never had any issues though, nor with the stiffness of the sidewalls. if i didn't feel that they performed well i'd not have kept them on the bike for the 400k

i wonder if rider weight has anything to do with it? i'm pretty heavy, 100kg. maybe the problems you've encountered are less of an issue for a heavy rider?

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robdaykin (not verified) [368 posts] 3 years ago
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Bike's a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame, built up by me with 105 components, weighs in at 29.4lbs. I'm 95kg, so no lightweight, and I was riding with panniers, one with my work laptop, shirt in a case, the other with a fair olds set of tools and so on, so not a lot to choose I suspect on the weight front.

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Glyn [8 posts] 1 year ago
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Just fitted two and used four inner tubes in the process. Tighter than a camel's ..... in a sandstorm. Also sidewalls seem quite short which effectively mens I have to pedal further to go the same distance as before I guess?