The LCV is the latest high performance tyre from Clement and with a price tag of nearly 50 quid it's gunning for the big boys like Schwalbe and Continental. Those are pretty huge reputations to challenge, but do you know what? The LCV has them well in its sights.
Clement was a big name back in the day, the brand of choice for the likes of Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx, who took many of their victories on Clement rubber. After disappearing from view towards the end of the last century, the company is now back, under the wing of Donnelly Sports.
Clement has mostly been concentrating on cyclo-cross and gravel tyres, but it did launch the LGG road tyre back in 2012, one that is currently sitting on a test bike I'm using, and providing very good results.
The LCV, though, is designed for all-out performance, and the moment you pull it out of the box you can feel the stickiness of the rubber so you're pretty much expecting a very grippy ride, and it doesn't disappoint.
Straight out onto the road and the LCVs feel supple thanks to having a 240tpi (threads per inch) carcass construction, which is impressive – and why they actually feel like riding tubulars. Clement says it varies the thread count around the tyre to change its characteristics. How, it keeps close to its chest, but it seems to work.
Like most, Clement also keeps its rubber compound on a need to know basis, but, as I expected, once on the road the LCV is very, very grippy. It's one of those tyres where you really think the grip levels are going to fail as you go flying into a bend. The LCV provides unbelievable levels of confidence.
I prefer to see a completely smooth tyre, if I'm honest, but Clement has gone down the treaded route with the LCV, albeit a very subtle dimpled approach. I once spoke to a bloke in the bike tyre trade who said that their marketing department made them add tread to give consumers confidence.
Whatever way you look at it, the Clement deals with everything in the dry, and that performance drops very little in the wet; you can't take quite the same risks, but in the rain the LCV never becomes sketchy.
Durability isn't looking to be a problem, either. I've puts hundreds of miles in on them over the last seven weeks without the slightest issue – no punctures, no cuts and the tread isn't wearing on the rear either. Pretty impressive for a set of lightweight race tyres. (They do have a puncture protection belt.)
To take value into consideration, you need to look at the competition, and I mentioned Schwalbe and Continental for a reason in the opening paragraph. The Schwalbe One and Conti Grand Prix 4000s II are my favourite fast-yet-durable-enough-for-anything tyres. A tough act to follow for the LCV. It copes admirably, right across the board, and with all three mentioned tyres being within a fiver of each other, I'd say the Clements are right on the button for value.
Overall, if you want a tyre for racing but without the worry of puncturing if the road becomes wet or covered in debris, the LCVs are an excellent choice.
An impressive return for Clement to high performance road tyres
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Clement LCV
Size tested: 700x25
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?
Clement says: "The LCV is a race-bred road tire that inspires absolute confidence. Whether it is winding descents, hard cornering or dancing up a climb, its supple casing rolls effortlessly and is just begging to go fast. The LCV has an innovative vulcanized casing that incorporates varying thread counts so it can be tough and supple at the same time. The end result is a tire that is light, fast and durable."
I reckon the LCV is up there with the best of them at this price point.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Clincher sizes: 23/25/28 x 700
Designed to race and win
Supple casing with superb ride characteristics
Excellent grip in wet or dry conditions
Integrated puncture-protection belt under tread
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very quick, tacky tyres for when you really are in a hurry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really to dislike.
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
The LCVs are excellent and fully deserve a score of 9/10. They're right up there with the likes of Schwalbe's excellent One in terms of speed, grip and durability – that's some company to keep.
About the tester
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.