The Vredestein TriComps were finally removed the other week, replaced for some serious winter miles by the Panaracer Race Type D front and rear.
Briefly mentioned in a blog post a while back, these will hopefully prove a good companion for gritty and muddy winter rides. Nobody enjoys stopping to repair punctures; the black and grey brake muck, wet and cold all make me want to try and limit the possibility.
The Race Type-D, so called because it is part of the ‘Durable’ range of Panaracer’s road offerings, has a casing layered in different directions to reduce the chance of wayward flints or other road debris finding its way into the inner tube.
Panaracer have also put a reduced version of their PT Shield puncture protection band on to the Race Type-D, called the PT Belted. We are investigating what the band is made up of, but so far it seems to be surviving well and resisting my efforts to cause a puncture by riding in the gutter.
The tyres seem to roll along adequately. We weighed them at just over the promised 260 grams. In theory, the dual compound is harder in the middle section where you spend the majority of your ride and softer and grippier as you lean into corners. I have not yet really pushed the tyres hard into a corner, but have leaned them over a fair way; smooth and gentle being the best way in winter (after a recent slide on diesel, I am still a bit bruised). Panaracer have even designed a special profile to further aid this characteristic, with a smaller radius centre section and a wider radius as you move down to the sidewall. A soft bullet shape would perhaps be the easiest way to describe the sectional profile.
A ride out in Devon last week made for an interesting test. I thought that during the rolling hilly ride they were a touch draggy on climbs and even spinning along the flat, not rolling as fast as the TriComps, or my favoured Ultremos.
In one way, I think that is the point of winter tyres, possibly even wrapping winter wheels (for those of you with such things). We should be riding on heavier stock, designed to keep going no matter what, and then when summer comes, our racing threads and sprightly wheels will feel very fresh and zippy. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.
To that end the Panaracer Race Type-D is a good winter choice, especially in the fatter 25c version we have on test (a 23c is also available; both cost £40). The puncture resistance, backed up by the excellent Voss inner tubes (still free from punctures), delivers predictable performance when turning into corners and a supple ride, especially at the 80-90psi that we are running, making these a good benchmark for winter riding and comparable to classic Continental Gatorskin or even the Michelin Pro4 Endurance version.