Hutchinson Intensive clincher 700x23 £21.99 each

We’ve tested several Hutchinson tyres recently on RCUK, all of them made in France and all of them impressive. None has yet suffered a perforation puncture although we have had a couple of pinch flats, the more recent of them to an Equinox.

The latest model from the French manufacturer to get our thumbs up is the Intensive, which is presented as a long-distance version of the Fusion 2 race tyre. Weight for the 23c Intensive is claimed to be 230g, the additional 10g over the Fusion 2 presumably coming courtesy of the Kevlar ‘Hardskin’ layer on the sidewall which may or may not have resisted the stone-inflicted pinch flat that damaged the Equinox.

Either way, the Intensive tread compound, available in black only, is claimed to offer a service life of up to 6000km and excellent puncture resistance thanks to reinforcement with a thermoplastic. The tyre is also said to offer good rolling resistance and grip.

It is too early to judge wear rate, but in the greasy conditions of recent weeks the Intensive has proven almost unbelievably reassuring, so we’ll agree with the grip. Rolling resistance is not quite as impressive, the tyre riding stiffly and feeling a little ‘laggy’ as if severely under-inflated. Some of this may be down to the Hardskin sidewall treatment and some to the tread compound, but anyone looking for a hard-wearing and tough tyre with exceptional grip will do well to consider the Intensive. It also ticks the box for racing in severe conditions, but for fast roads is surely too slow to be a serious option. Also available in 700x25c format weighing 240g. A ‘Road Tubeless’ version is on its way.