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review

IRC Roadlite Tubeless road tyre

7
£45.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Solid and reliable tyre that doesn't skimp on performance
Good all-round performance
Good grip levels
Limited to smaller widths
Weight: 
339g

The IRC Roadlite Tubeless tyre is designed for training and endurance riding, with a high level of durability and good wear rates. It rolls quickly, too, so you don't need to sacrifice huge amounts of performance for the sake of reliability.

The biggest factor determining whether you go for the Roadlite Tubeless is likely to be how wide you like your tyres. With 28mm becoming the norm on many disc brake-equipped road bikes, and even 30mm now coming as part of a standard build, the maximum width of 25mm for the IRCs might not be big enough for some. For me, 25mm is plenty on the tarmac, and these Roadlites have been fitted to my T2 since autumn and are still going strong as we head into winter.

> Buy this online here

Higher thread counts in a tyre's construction normally mean a more supple ride, as the carcass can deform to the surface easier. This is why you see some of the open tubular clinchers on the market having numbers up to around 350TPI (threads per inch).

The Roadlite has just 120TPI in its casing but still manages to be fairly supple, offering plenty of feedback and comfort, even at the higher pressures I tend to ride.

Rolling resistance feels impressive, too, allowing you to tap the miles out at a decent pace, and with impressive grip levels in the wet and dry you don't have to back off much for the bends.

2020 IRC Roadlite Tubeless Road Tyre Fitted 1.JPG

The IRCs give a surefooted ride on all of the conditions I encountered, and I see no reason for that to change as the road surfaces get colder.

The compound feels slightly tacky to the touch, which suggests it should still be supple in really cold conditions. I'll come back and let you know if that is the case in the winter.

2020 IRC Roadlite Tubeless road tyre 700x25c 1.jpg

I've been using this pair of tyres for around six weeks now and they are showing no signs of wear or damage. Considering the variation in weather and testing coinciding with the hedge cutting season that's pretty good going.

As well as the models on test, non-tubeless versions are available if you want to stick with tubes. Fitting these tubeless ones to a couple of different rim sizes (18mm and 21mm internal rim widths) was quick and simple, and they inflated easily using just a track pump to seal them onto the rim.

IRC uses a butyl coating on the inner walls of its tubeless tyres which give an airtight seal, so once the sealant is added and the tyre inflated you won't see it leaking out through the tyre carcass. It means only weekly top-ups of air are needed.

Priced at £45 rrp, the Roadlites compare well to offerings from the likes of Goodyear with its Eagle F1 Tubeless tyre, priced at £50. Reading Jamie's review, I'd say the IRCs have a nicer ride feel.

Hutchinson's Fusion 5 Galactik road tyre is only available up to 25mm too, and is a very good performance tyre. It sacrifices some of the puncture protection of the Roadlite but that is shown in the weight – 233g compared to the IRC's 339g. The Hutchinson costs £44.95.

> Buyer’s Guide: All your tubeless tyre options

Overall, the Roadlite Tubeless is a solid all-rounder. The performance is good, as are the grip levels, and from what I've seen so far I'd have no worries about running these throughout the year.

Verdict

Solid and reliable tyre that doesn't skimp on performance

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road.cc test report

Make and model: IRC Roadlite Tubeless road tyre

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?

IRC says, "The Roadlite tubeless is specifically developed for training and endurance riding. IRC uses a high abrasion resistant rubber compound for the tread to increase durability and lower rolling resistance. Additionally, the 120 tpi casing promises a silky ride performance."

It is a hardwearing road tyre that gives a decent performance.

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

From IRC:

Sizes: 23mm and 25mm

Bead: Aramid

INTERNAL AIR SEAL

To eliminate casing leaks and offer additional protection against air loss due to punctures, we apply a butyl coating to the inner walls of all our tubeless tires. This internal application of butyl also means you can repair a cut tire with a traditional tire patch kit.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

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

It works for a large range of conditions and riding styles.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Surprisingly supple feel for the low thread count.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Its 25mm maximum width could be a barrier for some.

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

For a quality tubeless tyre it is competitively priced, sitting around the same sort of mark as the two mentioned in the review, but cheaper than others like Michelin, Schwalbe and Continental offerings.

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

It doesn't exactly excel anywhere, but puts in a solid performance across the board. It's a good all-round tyre, especially when you consider the price.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 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,

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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