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The Panaracer Race D Evo 4 is described by its maker as an ultra-durable road race tyre. I found them a bit snug to fit on some wheels, and they aren't tubeless compatible, but if you are after a fast-rolling, grippy road tyre with decent protection then the Race D is an excellent choice.
First up, Panaracer adds the letters TLC to any of its tubeless tyre names, so if you want to drop the inner tube then you're in the wrong place I'm afraid, as there is no sign of that here.
The Race D Evo 4 is a folding clincher, and while I found it reasonably easy to fit to some Hunt wheels, it was quite snug, especially once the tube was in. I needed a tyre lever to gently ease the final section of tyre in place as there was no way I was popping it on using thumb strength alone. After they'd stretched a little, removing and refitting was easier.
For this fourth evolution of the Race D, Panaracer says it has a 'new All Contact Tread Shape' which has been designed to work with wider rims, which are becoming more commonplace on road bikes.
Fitted to a Hunt rim with a 19mm internal width, the 28mm Race D Evo 4 measured 28.4mm at its widest point, and had a sidewall profile that was a natural progression of that of the rim.
As well as the 28mm size on test, they also come in a 25mm width, both with either a black or tan sidewall.
Probably the best thing about these tyres is the ZSG compound which Panaracer claims has increased grip by 20 per cent over the previous version, and lowered rolling resistance by 10 per cent.
These are tough claims to verify out on the road, especially if part of your daily ride routine isn't freewheeling down a hill over and over again and measuring the time it takes to the nearest hundredth of a second.
I found the Evo 3 tyres quick and grippy, and these Evo 4s are no different. The tacky feel to the ZSG compound really grabs on as you fly through a fast corner or tight roundabout.
The bike I swapped these onto was originally wearing Continental's GP5000s, one of the best out there when it comes to grip and performance, and I can barely feel any difference at all. They both offer confidence-inspiring grip and impressive speed.
The ride quality of the Panaracers is good too – very supple, even at high pressures.
The D stands for Duro, which means the Evo 4 is better protected than the lighter tyres in the line-up like the Race A Evo 4, which doesn't have the more robust 3D Double Dipped casing. Both share the Protite puncture proofing belt though.
Durability of the Race D is looking good. They haven't picked up any nicks or cuts, and wear level to the tread is looking very minimal after 500 miles.
When it comes to value, the Race D Evo 4's rrp of £39.99 compares very well to the £59.99 rrp of the Conti GP5000.
In his review, Jamie rated the Maxxis High Road SLs highly on all but their longevity, and they are light too – 177g compared to the 262g of the Panaracers – but they're £49.99, further showing how well priced the Race D Evo 4s are.
If you aren't fussed about tubeless compatibility then the Race D Evo 4 is probably one of the best performance clinchers out there. It's also well priced, and wear and durability rates are looking good.
Up there with the best in class for speed and grip at a very attractive price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Panaracer Race D Evo 4
Size tested: 700x28
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?
Panaracer says, "The toughest performance tyre of them all has had a makeover. The new all new Evolution of our ultra-durable road race tyre with enhanced puncture protection has arrived. The Race D Evo4s new 'All Contact Tread Shape' has been re-engineered to accommodate wider rim widths to continue to deliver superior grip and lower rolling resistance.
Panaracer's new ZSG Compound further reduces the low rolling resistance of the previous ZSG compound by 10%. In addition, grip in all weather conditions has been improved by 20% over the previous generation. We've further enhanced the ZSG compound by significantly increase the compound's resistance to cuts out on the road."
It's a high performing race tyre that's up there with the best of them.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ZSG Advance Compound
All Contact Tread Shape
Advance Alpha Extra Cord
3D Double Dipped Casing
Sizes: 700 x 25c / 700 x 28c
Colours: Black/Black & Black/Brown
Also available Race A Evo4 (All-Round) & Race C Evo4 (Classic)
Made in Japan
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
An impressive race tyre that doesn't feel too fragile.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The compound is very grippy.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Tight to get on some rims when new makes fitting tricky, especially with tubes.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are a fair bit cheaper than similar high-performance tyres like those mentioned in the review.
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
They're an excellent choice, offering similar levels of performance and grip to the top players on the market, but at a more attractive price.
About the tester
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,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!