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The Panaracer T-Serv PT Folding 700x32C tyres are, according to the blurb, 'great performance tyres for urban city use'. I found them to be swift-rolling, comfortable, dependable, middleweight all-rounders: the sort of tyres capable of inducing plenty of smiles and with scope for weekend touring. That said, traction wasn't so impressive on loose surfaces. There are better choices, at least in narrower tyres, if you fancy a quick bit of impromptu gravel fun.
Pro: Fast, dependable and versatile road-biased tyres
Con: So-so performance on loose surfaces
The T-Servs are available in in the UK four sizes. There are 28mm, 32mm and 35mm options in regular 700C road bike size (ETRTO 622mm), and a 1.75in (42mm) width in 650B/27.5 (ETRTO 584mm) size. Folding beads save a few grams and make it easy to pack a spare in a pannier or bikepacking luggage, should you fancy a marathon meander.
Some riders are more prone to punctures than others. However, tackling flats by the roadside on cold, wet nights is never pleasant. Tyres for winter, commuting, and general everyday riding need to be dependable. The T-Servs employ Panaracer's 400D light extra cord and ProTite puncture resistant belt under the tread.
Panaracer tyres have tended to come up a little narrower than the competition, so I wasn't surprised our nominally 32mm samples came up as 31mm wide, measured with a digital vernier. Of course your rim width will affect this, and it may be Panaracer's measurement is on a wider rim than mine.
Given the T-Servs are marketed as urban tyres, some riders commented on the lack of reflective sidewalls. I'm quite fond of reflective hoops but their omission isn't a deal breaker.
While hunting directional arrows, I was surprised to discover a very prescriptive pressure rating. Most tyres specify a range, say from 85-120psi. The T-Servs are marked with an unusually precise 95psi. A quick check of the Panaracer website reveals this to be the maximum pressure, not the only one, so there's still scope to experiment with lower pressures for better feel and traction.
The T-Servs have a lively, responsive nature. Run at their recommended pressure, the ride quality was surprisingly compliant, more refined than some 34mm Somas (also made by Panaracer) over some lumpy surfaces.
Their frisky persona and my bike's big, flared drops encourage quick flicks around opening car doors, holes and similar debris. This speed and agility was particularly welcome when powering away from the lights or slow- moving traffic, or just catching other riders napping.
Out on the open road, the low rolling resistance and sensible width meant keeping pace with riders on racier training bikes wasn't a chore. In fact, the 32mm sections were much better suited to these contexts, permitting greater pace on my part. I've done a couple of dusk till dawn all-nighters and reckon they're up to the job of occasional lightweight/weekend touring too.
The arrival of the T-Servs coincided with an uncharacteristically bitter March, which coated backroads and sheltered sections in an icy glaze. At a moderate 18-20mph, and at their maximum pressure, they gave ample feedback, warning of any potential traction loss.
It's worth noting the bike I tested them on is a fixed-wheel, so I could simply hold off against the cranks to scrub off some speed rather than hauling on the brake and risking a spill. They've been dependable in the wet too, holding their line impeccably when I've pushed them hard during some very wet rides and waterlogged lanes.
The more aggressively I cornered, the more tenacious their grip. I've managed 35mph down my favourite 1 in 7, and 30mph with a single-wheel trailer and 20kg of cargo following behind. No squirm, shimmy, or similar misbehaviour – just a huge grin on my part.
These characteristics have been just as welcome round town. I've had the odd impromptu slalom race through a series of cones at speed and couldn't persuade them to turn bandit. Wet manhole covers and similar ironworks were a bit tricky, especially after fresh rain (which channels spilt diesel and oil onto the surface) but that's true of any tyre.
Some riders puncture more frequently, others can go for several months or longer and be plagued with several in short succession.
I've made a habit of deliberately ploughing the T-Servs through shards of broken glass, hedge clippings and similar sharps. I've also resisted post-ride brushing downs of the tread, all with no problems to date, not so much as a nick in the casings. That said, my elderly farm cat took exception to the T-Servs when first mounted. Unleashing a spirited and sustained attack he succeeded where road debris has failed, then fled as the air hissed out!
The Panaracer T-Servs are capable all rounders that genuinely excel at commuting, training and general riding. They're pretty much what I'd hope for in a higher-end multi-purpose tyre. The T-Servs have an edge, speed and weight wise, over the Vee Tire Co Rolldiacs, whether it's stealing a march in traffic, or when compared on long, steady rides with a mix of hills, flat and descents. That said; a few short deviations along sandy gritty tracks confirmed their charms are best appreciated on the road.
Fast, dependable and comfortable tyres for general road duties.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Panaracer T-Serv PT Folding 700x32C
Size tested: 700x32C
Tell us what the product is for
Panaracer says "T-Serv ProTite is a great performance tire for urban city use, incorporating ZSG compound, 400D Lite Extra Cord, and ProTite puncture resistant technologies. Hands down, T-Serv is the best urban strength to weight ratio tire on the market today. Need to get through your urban jungle quickly and reliably? T-Serv is the answer."
My feelings: " Good, seemingly dependable all rounders for general riding, commuting and training".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* High performance urban/city use
* ZSG Natural Compound
* ProTite Belt
* 400D Lite Extra Cord
* Bead: Folding
* Weight: 250g (700 x 25c)
* Colour: Black/Black
Seem very dependable and durable to date.
Very swift and compliant. Inspire confidence in most conditions, especially in the wet.
No obvious weak spots 400 miles in.
Supple, compliant ride.
Competitively priced, when everything's taken into account.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Panaracer T-Serv PT folding are very capable road tyres that deliver a swift, dependable ride in road biased contexts, whether its training, commuting, or even a bit of weekend touring. However, traction isn't so good on loose surfaces, so perhaps not the best choice for a quick gravel-type short cut.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fast, grippy, supple and dependable over asphalt.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Loose surface performance but this is a relatively minor point.
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 overall score
Responsive and seemingly dependable tyres for general riding. 32mm weren't so good on loose surfaces but their larger counterparts may prove better.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)