Panaracer tyres are perhaps better known in the off-road world, where they have a loyal following and impressive pedigree, but the company's range of road tyres is constantly evolving and equally impressive. Unlike their names: this is the prosaically titled Panaracer Race Type A.
The Race tyre sits towards the top of Panaracer's road range and is available in three flavours: L (for 'light'), D (for 'durable') and A (for 'all-around' - which probably means all-rounder). It's the latter option that I've been testing for the past month or so.
....I'm not using the mud tyres on the muddy Dartmoor Devil event: http://wp.me/pRxYh-8A
Vittoria's Open Pave EVO CGs ride like tubulars with the convenience of a wire on and should satisfy the most demanding of four seasons racers thanks to ultra high density 320 tpi casing, puncture resistant Kevlar belt and very modest weight. However, ours initially demanded the mighty “Speed Lever” to persuade the ultra supple casings aboard a common or garden Mavic wheelset so resist the desire to mount them in the heat of competition unless you have a finely honed knack for seating stubborn tyres in seconds.
Bontrager’s race lite hardcase tyre is a mid-level puncture resistant training and commuter tyre. It’s available in widths from 23mm to 32mm for 700c tyres, 25mm for 650c tyres and 1 1/8inch and 1 ¼inch in 27inch tyres. Bontrager say they offer the best in puncture protection, offering triple puncture protection to guard against the most common causes of flats - punctures, cuts through the casing and pinch flats.
Kenda’s Small Block 8 700x32 are a sprightly and durable tyre representing good value for riders of cross bikes and higher end hybrids liking a blend of asphalt and loose, dry singletrack. However, trade-off in terms of mud churning prowess prevents me recommending them as outright competition rubber for mid winter cross meets but this aside, they’re nigh on perfect for three season’s fun.
As a new addition to Continental's popular Grand Prix series of tyres, the Grand Prix 24mm is all about about, you guessed it, being 24mm wide, a miniscule increase over the girth of the common 700x23mm tyre but supposedly offering an increase in comfort and speed.