The Evo 3 is Panaracer's top of the range road clincher and features PT, ZSG, BAX and All Contact Tread Shape, a sufficient amount of acronyms and buzz-words for such a high status tyre then.
PT stands for Protection Technology, a bead to bead anti-puncture layer that’s claimed by Panaracer to be 3 times as puncture resistant as Kevlar. ZSG refers to the dual compound tread that allegedly leads to the Holy Grail of performance and durability, a natural rubber in the centre tread for low rolling resistance and softer stickier rubber on the edges for grip when cornering. BAX is the technology that uses extremely narrow diameter cord weaved at a super high density into the casing for lightness and flexibility improving resistance to cuts and abrasions. Finally "All Contact Tread Shape" ensures that the transition from centre to side is smooth and predictable, the tread is designed to maintain contact with the road at all times the unique shape supports all riders and riding styles (errrrr?) and the elongated sidewall surface reduces tread cuts.
With the science bit out the way, Panaracer say the Evo 3 is designed as a racing tyre that’s capable in all conditions and after 6 months use we'd agree and widen its remit to be a decent training and just riding around tyre as well. We didn't do a sportive on them so couldn't comment on their suitability in that discipline. Ours were a touch heavier than the claimed 210g.
Panaracer are big guns in the mountainbike world and it wouldn't be too fanciful to guess that every serious off-road cyclist in the world has had a Panaracer tyre on their bike at some point or other, however in the world of the thin, fast and skinny they’re virtually unknown. Crossing-over from mountain-biking to the road like Cadel Evans, will they be a success or will they just make us cry?
The Evo 3's didn’t get off to a good start, on their first ride we punctured at the end of a long day, in the rain, in the dark, back wheel too. If anything is going to test a tyre it’s a shard of flint that we’re plagued with round these parts, especially a puddle lubricated one. It didn't auger well but since then they’ve been a completely swear free tyre, a full season without a flat, so we really can't complain at all. The tyre has cut up in a few places, a perpetual punishment to tyres thanks to the aforementioned flints and the puncture-protection layer is clearly visible beneath some of the bigger gashes, so it does actually work. In that single time we had to lever the tyre off the rim it was easy, so should you ever need to venture tubewards it's not going to be a three levers and five thumbs struggle.
The hard central compound seems to wear well although the tyres are flattening off a bit now, especially on the rear as you'd expect, and we can't say we noticed much above the usual with the slightly textured and tackier sides of the dual-compound tread, although that may be just because it all works without fuss or wibble.
The Evo 3's don't feel lightning fast, nor are they sluggish, they don't feel sticky, nor are they greasy, they don't feel harsh, and yet they're not soft, they just feel like, er, tyres. They were ridden in all weathers, from metric to imperial centuries, raced round the park in evening crits and taken over alpine passes and apart from that initial hiccup have never put a tread wrong.
The best thing we can say about this tyre is that we can't think of much to say about it, and that's a good thing. It performed handsomely with no quirks or to make you hesitate leaning into a corner or take it easy over some grubbly tarmac, boringly and reassuringly dependable. Spot on.
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Make and model: Panaracer Extreme Evo3 Protex 700x23c folding tyre
Size tested: 23mm
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?
"Our newest, strongest and lightest racing tire. Evo3 Protex incorporates our newest puncture resistant technology which is almost 3x as puncture resistant as a Kevlar breaker! ZSG Dual Compound and our All Contact tread profile round out this 210g tire that Team Milram uses for racing and training. Our ultimate road clincher."
The puncture belt seems to work visibly well and rest of the technology seems perform okay too, it's a good tyre, we're not sure about the Milram bit though.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
PT, ZSG, BAX and All Contact Tread Shape, Aramid bead clincher tyre.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Aside from getting off on the wrong foot the Evo3's behaved perfectly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's no fuss performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
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: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.