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!