Hutchinson Equinox clincher 700×23 £14.99 each
Catalogued in Hutchinson’s ‘Cyclo-tourisme’ range of road clinchers, the Equinox is apparently available in both folding and wire-bead versions; given the price of the tyre and the advantages of a folding bead in terms of weight, ease of fitment and portability, the folding type is the one to choose.
There is also a version with some sort of sidewall protection going by the name ‘Hardskin’, but here we have the simpler tyre with a Kevlar belt under the tread to help reduce the frequency of punctures. Judging by the complete lack of cuts to the tread after 500 miles of mixed London commuting and riding on unclassified lanes, this belt may not get much work. The tread is described as combining Hutchinson’s exclusive SRB synthetic rubber compound with a thermoplastic to increase longevity. It also boasts a ‘droplet’ profile and ‘granular’ surface, the latter designed to improve grip on greasy surfaces.
Whatever the claims, this is one impressive tyre so far. Offering exceptional grip on wet and dry Tarmac, the tyre also provides plenty of the kind of feedback that lets the rider use said grip with confidence. The section is a real-life 23c, with plenty of air volume. The 66tpi carcass delivers a fast, supple ride that belies the tyre’s price and market position.
The Equinox is available in 700x23c format only with a choice of black/grey, black/silver, black/red and black/blue colourways. There is also a Tour de France-licensed version for the budget flash Harry.