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Verdict: 
Great all-round tyres that are quick enough to race on, at an exceptional price
Weight: 
232g
LifeLine Prime Race
8 10

The Lifeline Prime Race tyres offer an excellent all-round package for a very minimal outlay. If you want decent grip, low rolling resistance and high levels of durability then put them on your shopping list.

Lifeline is an in-house accessory brand of online retailer Wiggle, and of all its products I've tried so far, none has disappointed – and that doesn't change here with the Prime Race.

For starters their 120tpi (threads per inch) casing gives a much more supple ride than I expected, which means comfort is fine even at the maximum recommended pressure of 110psi. On that subject, if you like to run things soft then it's worth noting that the recommended minimum pressure of the Primes is 90psi.

The real star of the show, though, is the rubber compound. Lifeline says that these tyres are "inspired by cyclists sprinting for 'primes' (pronounced 'preems') in criterium races", and that they are "designed for high speeds, tight bends and the pursuit of victory". That's exactly what you get, a tyre compound that is great for fast riding and racing, with very good grip levels in the wet and dry. Really bank the bike over, for a large roundabout, say, and the grip starts to break away ever so slightly but it quickly regains traction so it's easily controlled. It certainly didn't affect my confidence as I knew what was going to happen, and it did this consistently.

As far as weight goes, the Lifelines also score well here at just 232g for the tested 25mm models, which benefits acceleration and climbing.

On the road the Primes feel fast, so I wouldn't expect there to be a whole lot of rolling resistance, and they are definitely quick enough to race on.

Durability is often the big deal breaker with tyres. You want to find that compromise between puncture resistance and overall wear against grip levels and weight. The Prime Races are a well-rounded package using a Kevlar belt for puncture resistance and this does its job well. It's hedge-cutting season around here, which, paired with the rain, makes for increased puncture risk, but I haven't had a single issue with these, not even a cut or mark.

> Read our guide to road cycling tyres and 14 of the best, here

Should you puncture, you might find the Primes a bit of a faff to fit, depending on your rims. I tried to get them on a set of DT Swiss RR21s and basically gave up – if I'd managed to get them on I wasn't going to be getting them off again – and although they fitted okay to some Superstar Components Pave 28s and Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, they were noticeably tighter than a lot of other tyres.

Overall, Lifeline is on to a bit of a winner with this package and that's before you take the price into consideration. Just £14 a tyre is pretty impressive, especially against the opposition.

Running them on a Verenti test bike, I swapped out the similarly priced Continental Ultra Sports and the difference was marked, even though the Conti is no slouch, and found the same up against Michelin Lithions, another well respected training tyre.

Verdict

Great all-round tyres that are quick enough to race on, at an exceptional price

road.cc test report

Make and model: LifeLine Prime Race Road Tyre

Size tested: 700 x 25mm

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?

Wiggle/Lifeline says: "Inspired by cyclists sprinting for 'primes' (pronounced 'preems') in criterium races, LifeLine prime race tyres are designed for high speeds, tight bends and the pursuit of victory."

They certainly offer good levels of grip and low rolling resistance.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Fast rolling slick centre tread

Channelled shoulder tread for wet weather cornering traction

Kevlar breaker for effective puncture protection

Lightweight 120 TPI Casing

60a rubber compound for superior traction (68a / 62a on coloured options)

Aramid folding bead

Available in various colour options

Specification

Sizes: 700 x 23c/25c

TPI: 120

PSI: 90-110

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)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

There feels like there is a bit of give in the sidewalls even at the upper recommended pressures.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

At £14 they offer excellent value for money against the opposition when you take into account the performance.

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

Fast-rolling tyres that offer decent levels of grip and durability.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A bit tight to get on and off.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Very good high performance tyres at an entry-level price point.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Mason Definition

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

12 comments

Avatar
mike the bike [1081 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

All of which makes you wonder about the profit margins on better known rubber.

Avatar
drosco [428 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Second that. List price for GP 4000s £50!

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rapid4 [61 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Sadly completely out of stock at present- may well stick a couple of these on the fast bike see how we get on. 

Avatar
bigshape [184 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

this is how much a bike tyre should cost. many tyres now are getting on for the price of mid range car tyres! plus needing replacing three times more often...

Avatar
BBB [479 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Guys, it may be only £14 but we don't know how fast/slow it really is unless someone actually tests it against competition on steel drums.

You can get branded tyres from as little as £12-15, e.g. Vittoria Zafirro Rubino etc...

There's plenty of choice.

 

 

Avatar
mike the bike [1081 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
BBB wrote:

...... You can get branded tyres from as little as £12-15, e.g. Vittoria Zafirro Rubino etc...

There's plenty of choice. 

 

Indeed there is, but none that attract such glowing reviews.  

Avatar
wycombewheeler [1330 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

However, giving up on fitting them does seem a major drawback.they are only good value for money if you can use them.

Avatar
Simon E [3338 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The Lifeline tyres will be made by one of the big brands, probably a superseded model.

Just because these are cheaper than big brands doesn't mean that the latter are necessarily overpriced. Otherwise B'twin and Planet X would be the only bike brands that get a look in and you would drive pre-registered Kias, sagely shaking your wise old heads at those fools who buy anything costing more.

Avatar
pants [239 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
mike the bike wrote:
BBB wrote:

...... You can get branded tyres from as little as £12-15, e.g. Vittoria Zafirro Rubino etc...

There's plenty of choice. 

 

Indeed there is, but none that attract such glowing reviews.  

 

i use Schwalbe duranos all year round and they are usually around £20 and they are excellent. I agree with the post that said the above tyre is how much bike tires should cost, especially if you consider the money to mileage ratio in bike tires are a lot worse than car tires.

Avatar
systema [3 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:

The Lifeline tyres will be made by one of the big brands, probably a superseded model.

This tyre is a badge engineered version of the Chaoyang Flyfish: http://chaoyangtire.com/index.php/pro/pro-details/1/170?type=Road&name=F...

Not what I would consider a premium brand and I would rank them behind Maxxis or Kenda. Chaoyang also manufacture s car tyres using brands such as Westlake and etc.

OK dry grip but poor wet grip. The two tyres of the same model that I have seemed to be too easy to fit on the rims compared to my Schwalbe previously. Considering the reviewer's tyres were difficult to fit, it sounded like the build quality isn't that great with such big range of tolerance.

Avatar
systema [3 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
BBB wrote:

Guys, it may be only £14 but we don't know how fast/slow it really is unless someone actually tests it against competition on steel drums.

You can get branded tyres from as little as £12-15, e.g. Vittoria Zafirro Rubino etc...

There's plenty of choice.

 

 

Not if you are aftering something with a high tpi casing and a decent puncture protection belt, sadly...

Avatar
jollygoodvelo [1715 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
systema wrote:
BBB wrote:

Guys, it may be only £14 but we don't know how fast/slow it really is unless someone actually tests it against competition on steel drums.

You can get branded tyres from as little as £12-15, e.g. Vittoria Zafirro Rubino etc...

There's plenty of choice.

 

 

Not if you are aftering something with a high tpi casing and a decent puncture protection belt, sadly...

Ever so slightly more, but I use these: Rubino Pro Tech, they're 150tpi and have a puncture protector.  

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/700x25-rubino-pro-tech-road-bike-tyre-id_8314...

Been running them for over three years and 2000km now.  That's 2000km on London roads, across the chippings and canal towpaths of the Olympic Park, round Ride London twice,  and occasionally along gravel paths in the forest.  The P fairy has never visited.  Not once.  And they're comfy, grippy even in the wet, what's not to love.  They're getting superseded by their new graphene range soon, so I've just picked up another set.