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review

Cadex Classics 28 Tubeless

9
£64.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Really excellent for good roads, bad roads and light gravel action. Recommended
Fast-rolling
Grippy
Supple
Easy to seat
Expensive
Weight: 
333g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Cadex is a high-end, in-house brand of Taiwanese behemoth Giant. This Classics 28 Tubeless clincher comes from the same range as the Race 25 Tubeless but, as the name suggests, it's more robust. Available in 25, 28 and 32mm widths, it offers really impressive grip and speed – it's not cheap, though.

Cadex says the Classics tyre is designed for long distance, mixed-surface challenges. The choice of sizes is an interesting one – in particular, the 25mm width is unusual in a modern tyre with all-road aspirations.

Given the mass of bikes still out there with rim brakes or other clearance limitations, that may be a smart move. You can't get other fast all-road favourites, such as the Schwalbe G-One Speed, in such a narrow size.

> Buy these online here

> Find your nearest dealer here

I fitted this 28mm pair to my well-worn Hunt 30Carbon Gravel Disc wheels, which proved very simple. I get the impression the bead here is somewhat more elastic than most; certainly there were no thumb wars to win to get them on.

2021 Cadex Classics Tubeless 28 mounted 3.jpg

They inflated pretty easily too. Air retention is reasonable – at 80psi, they lose around 20psi over a fortnight.

The spring classics races are known for taxing riders with combinations of poor weather and worse surfaces, such as the dusty limestone of the Strade Bianche and the brutal cobbles of the Paris-Roubaix. What makes for a good tyre for such conditions? According to Cadex, it's a combination of puncture protection, grip and suppleness.

Grip

Two of the three are pretty readily apparent. These are grippy tyres, thanks to the combination of the RR-S AR rubber compound and a fine file-tooth texture. It's noticeable when climbing 20%+ gradients in the wet, but I found the Classics outstanding when descending fast on loose, poor quality tarmac.

2021 Cadex Classics Tubeless 28 mounted 2.jpg

Back-to-back against another favourite road tyre – the Vittoria Corsa Control G2 – I was measurably faster on the Classics, thanks to the predictable, rock-solid way they cling to the road.

Suppleness

The Cadex Classics do well in ride feel, too – on long rides you'll appreciate the comfort on offer here. My gravel bike could accommodate the 32mm versions easily, though, and they would probably be my choice for lower pressures and even more comfort. Certainly I'd want something bigger than the 28s if I was riding Paris Roubaix.

If you're venturing far from the tarmac, you probably want something from the chunkier end of the growing gravel tyre spectrum anyway.

> The best 700c gravel tyres you can buy - tried and tested adventure rubber for all conditions

We tend not to dwell too much on manufacturers' claims of puncture resistance, as it's so hard to measure meaningfully. The Cadex Race Shield+, is a layer of Kevlar which offers, for instance, exactly 34% more puncture resistance than the basic Race Shield.

They do feel suitably resilient, though. And having tested them for a few months, I can report that wear rates are very respectable too, especially for something so grippy and supple.

Value

At £65 a pop, these are not cheap, and there are good options for an awful lot less if you just want something to rack up big winter miles. If you like to take your bike on bad roads, but stay away from anything like singletrack, these are definitely worthy of consideration.

> 71 of the best road bike and gravel bike wheels — reduce bike weight or get aero gains with new hoops

If you'd asked me before this test to recommend a fast-rolling tyre for good and bad roads, I'd have suggested a 30mm Schwalbe G-One Speed – now, though, I'd just as likely recommend the Cadex Classics. And that's high praise indeed.

Verdict

Really excellent for good roads, bad roads and light gravel action. Recommended

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Cadex Classics 28 Tubeless

Size tested: 700c x 28mm

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?

Cadex says: "The CADEX Classics Tubeless tyre is a premium all-conditions road tyre designed for optimal performance on the roughest of roads. With RR-S AR compound offering outstanding grip, Supple Race Casing delivering maximum ride feel and Race Shield + layer protecting against cuts and punctures, the CADEX Classics Tubeless is the superior choice for the most demanding conditions."

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

RR-S AR Compound for outstanding grip and maximum speed in all conditions.

Single-layer SRC casing for an incredibly supple ride at a super low weight.

Race Shield + for 34% more puncture protection without compromising on speed or ride quality.

All-new all-conditions tread pattern for increased grip and water shedding.

Specs:

Size: 700x28c

Weight: 315g

ETRTO: 28x622

MIN - MAX Pressure PSI / BAR: 50 PSI / 3.4 BAR - 95 PSI / 6.5 BAR

TPI 170

Bead Kevlar/Carbon Composite

Bead Type Folding

Casing: Supple Race Casing (SRC)

Puncture Protection: Race Shield+

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Really strong performance across a range of surfaces; fast, supple and grippy.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

For a fast, grippy tyre, these do pretty well in terms of wear.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

I ran these at around 80psi on the road, and they are lovely at that pressure - really supple and comfortable.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

The price is in line with other high-end rubber, such as the Schwalbe G-One Speed and Continental GP5000, but they are among the best available.

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

Very well – fast, extremely grippy and supple.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy tubeless installation, high grip in all conditions, decent wear rate, comfort and suppleness.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I wouldn't much enjoy paying RRP for a pair of them.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At £64.99 it's comparable to the Schwalbe G-One Speed, and undercuts exotica such as the Challenge Strada Biancha Pro TLR. It's about on the money for this type of rubber.

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

These are as good as any tyres I've tried in the 'light gravel' category.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 188cm  Weight: 83kg

I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh  My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels.  His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding. 

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