Long term Review – Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard tyre

I’ve run these tyres on my Thorn Audax for well over 3000 miles and time to share a few thoughts about them. During this time they have grown on me and I’m fairly positive about them.  There is perhaps, there’s a limit to how excited I should get about a tyre and yet its something every cyclists rely on and ordinarily don’t care until something has gone wrong.  Mine are the 700x28c size which I reckon is pretty good for general use, sitting somewhere in between those really skinny racy tyres and those wallow-inducing hybrid tyres.  Unless I’m touring, next time I’d go for the slightly slimmer 700x25c size but I’ll worry about that when the time comes.

The range, the details

According to the official website, there’s quite a wide range in 26″, 27″ and 700c although not every retailer will automatically stock every size.  In the 700c width they come as 23, 25, 28, 32, 35 and 37c sizes.  They are available in two tread patterns, both suitable for road or trail use providing it’s not to muddy.  All sizes are available as a rigid bead and some have a choice of a folding bead.  Having a folding bead makes it easier to store or post.  It also saves about 60g per tyre in weight and this might be a consideration if you’re a sporty cyclist or you do long distance touring overseas and need to carry a spare tyre.  They are also available as Tourguard versions.  This is where a Aramid belt forms part of the construction and gives added puncture protection.

I run mine at 90 to 100psi which gives a pretty solid, firm ride and fairly safe handling without any mishaps to date.  There is also a direction indicator which I certainly adhere to but in my mind I question how important that is with these tyres.

What I don’t like

I had three punctures in the first 1000 miles, twice was in the countryside at night and pouring with rain.  These were bits of sharp grit causing the problem and the third was a particularly nasty thorn (see below).  Serves me right for having a Thorn bike?

What I do like

I have not had any punctures for well over 2000 miles.  That’s really good and has restored my faith in them quite a bit.  I have occasionally checked over and have prised out bits of glass, grit and a drawing pin – all of which were being held back by the Tour Guard belt.

I also like the way they are wearing.  The photo right at the top shows the rear tyre.  If you look carefully, the tyre isn’t even half way through its life, so that’s pretty good going.

They weigh 340g which isn’t too bad.  Better still the folding bead version is just 280g which is sufficiently light enough to make a noticeable difference in performance, especially when applied to both wheels.


Not a bad tyre, pretty good in fact.  They have survived some heavily laden trips, trails and potholes very well.  They are wearing well and I am now minded to forgive those early punctures.  Cost, about £22 to £30 which makes them a mid-price tyre and reasonable value for money.

Would I buy them again?  Yes and No.  Yes because they perform well and could be even lighter.  No because I think I could get a better tyre, which although may costs a little more, the extra money is negligible over the life of the tyre.  Besides, it’s nice to try out different things!




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19 Responses to Long term Review – Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard tyre

  1. Relayer says:

    Nice review of the Paselas, I run the 700 x 25 folding version and I will probably buy them again. I agree it is good to try others, but as yet I’m not sure which would give the same versatility in terms of good rolling on the road and yet provide some grip for the very occasional foray onto a “trail”.

    I also run 26 x 1.75″ Paselas on my Thorn Raven Sport Tour bike at lower pressure 45/50 psi and wouldn’t say they are “wallow-inducing”, they provide fantastic levels of comfort and yet still roll along the road at a good rate of knots – not as good as 700 x 25 but good enough combined with the extra comfort. 🙂

    Finally I have to say what a fantastic photo/banner/header on this new part of your blog, it certainly illustrates the beauty of getting up early and out on the bike!

  2. doug says:

    Many thanks Relayer.
    Glad you liked the header photo – taken last year in Cumbria. Every time I see it I am reminded of a lovely holiday which included that unforgettable early morning ride.
    Re Wallow-inducing…. I will never EVER in a million years come anywhere near exaggerating even the tiniest of things!

  3. Bike tyres says:

    I read your blog, Its so nice blog and also provide good knowledge for us. I really like it. Thanks to write this blog.

  4. Lisa says:

    Hi there – I’ve just bought Schwalbe Marathon Pluses to fit on my Giant racer. Front not a problem with clearance – the back is a different story entirely! No room in the frame clearance to turn the wheel (700×25 version)!
    My question is how ‘beefy’ are the Paselas??? Would a 700×25 fit my rear wheel do you think??? Are they true to size or ‘bigger’ than stated?
    Just wondered if you might know!
    Thanks in advance!

  5. doug says:

    Hi Lisa

    I think they might be slightly “beefy” and bigger than some tyres of the same so called size but perhaps there’s not too much in it – but depends on what you’re comparing against. Do you know what is the original tyre size with your bike, I guess it must be smaller than 700×25?

    Does this help at all?


  6. jammietart says:

    Hi Doug – the bike came with a set of smooth Michelin 23s.
    I managed to borrow a 23 Pasela to trial the fit (not tourguard – I think it says puncture resistant on the side – similar tread to the tourguard).
    Anyway, the 23 works fine – I think there might even be clearance for a 25 – which is definitely preferable for me (23s are too skinny!!!).
    Will let you know how I get on!!!

    • doug says:

      Thanks Lisa and good luck with this. Yes please for letting me know how you get on; others will find this useful.


  7. Lisa says:

    Hello again!
    Fitted the 25s – there is just enough clearance on the rear. The wheel turns fine – but there really is little scope for anything untoward happening! Looks like one of those very aerodynamic wheel/frame scenarios on the Cervelo time trial bikes.
    Not sure if I’d be comfortable riding with them – though maybe I am over-reacting??? Since the wheel turns fine and is not impeded!!!
    Might be safer to stick with the 23s (and suffer a harsher ride!!!).

    • doug says:

      Good luck with this Lisa. Enjoy the softer ride and, if it seems to work, don’t worry too much about the compromise, you can always switch back to the 23s if absolutely necessary.


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  9. rick elliott says:

    Been riding Panracer Tour Guards (700x28c) all last year and I’m just about to swap them for Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres even tho there’s loads of tread left on them. Why? I’m fed up with punctures – 7 in the year. I just don’t think the puncture protection is up to the mark. Never had a single puncture on my previous Marathon Plus tyres doing a mix of road and trail.
    PS My (new) bike is the exact same as the photo at the head of this page! Fabulous bike, apart from the tyres.

    • doug says:

      Hi Rick,
      Since I wrote the review above I had a run of punctures in quick succession and so ‘enough was enough’ . I went for Gatorskin 25s for durability and speed but those Schwalbe have a good reputation.
      And wow you’ve got the same bike? Clearly a man of excellent taste!
      Regards, Doug.

  10. Robert Cross says:

    My 26×1.75 punctured with quite a bit of wear left. I repaired the tube and re assembled, but could not get the tyre back on the rim without the bead blowing out. After three attempts I binned the tyre. Not very helpful if it had happened on a tour and not outside my home!!!

    • doug says:

      Hi Robert,

      Sorry to hear of your punctures. You know since I swapped to Gatorskin and Grand Prix 4 Season tyres I have not had a single puncture despite some awful roads. I’ve gone off Paselas completely now – while they’re not bad, there are better tyres on the market.

      So what did you go for instead?

      Regards, Doug.

  11. Robert Cross says:

    Hi Doug,
    Re read my review!
    I have no beef about punctures.
    My complaint is the deformation of the tyre bead and the fact it would not stay on the rim.
    I fitted both back and front on my Thorn Nomad with Paselas.
    It was originally equipped with them, but I am not really impressed by the blow out problem.
    Granted it is my second bike and the 1.75’s have been on a long time and worn well, but should they have stretched?
    I’m having a change to Continentals. I have them on my Claud Butler and they are OK.

    • doug says:

      Hi Bob,

      I think I must have been still waking up when I replied earlier, sorry! As for tyre beads ‘stretching’ I believe this is a possibility, to a point, but I doubt if any tyre manufacturer would ever admit it.

      I often find using a little talc thinly spread over the inner tube helps the tyre and tube slip into place. When inflating the tyre/tube I stop pumping when 15-20psi are reached, spin the wheel to see if there are any bumps or if it is uneven. If it is, I wriggle the tyre so it seats in position.

      These things might help make sure the tyre is properly seated and less likely to blow off the rim. Having said that, if the tyre bead is loose, there’s not much you can do about it except replace the tyres as you have done.

      The Thorn Nomad is a classy bike!

      Regards, Doug.

  12. trgz says:

    ‘Mk1’ Thorn Audax (’96) – 18 years and only two pinch punctures (rock/pothole). Went over to Gatorskins 2 years ago and a thorn got my Thorn yesterday (and a bitch to get on/off the MA40 rims) Thinking of going back to the Paselas now and I’m running an old, new, spare Pasela after having to literally cut the Gatorskin off the rim to fix that puncture

    • doug says:

      Hi Trgz
      Sorry to hear your bad luck. I can understand your frustration with a Gatorskin getting a puncture. I don’t know how many miles you’ve done but it’s probably not bad puncture resistance over two years. I wouldn’t go back to Paselas myself.

  13. The Pasela is my Go To Tire for commuting and winter training. Very few punctures in an urban environment. The 10 year record for the Panaracer tires is exemplary for me.

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