Panaracer have added a new tyre, the GravelKing, to their range for 2014.
The name of the new rubber is a reference to the burgeoning gravel racing scene in the United States, where riders slog it out over long distances on gravel and unpaved roads. Panaracer say it’s a “go almost anywhere” tyre which opens up your road rides to towpaths and cycle tracks.
As a result, Panaracer have sought to combine grip and durability in the GravelKing, without sacrificing speed – three attributes that also mark it out as a potential four-seasons tyre in the UK, where the roads are often strewn with gravel and the weather rarely plays ball.
The tyre uses the Japanese firm’s ZSG Natural Compound, with a fine file tread, backed up by a bead-to-bead protection belt. The GravelKing is available in a 23mm width but, as you’d expect from a tyre of this ilk, it also comes in fatter 26mm and 28mm options to provide a plusher and grippier ride. All three widths are available in black only for £29.99 per tyre.
Panaracer Race A Evo 2 gets 25mm option
The trend for wider tyres doesn’t just apply ruff n tuff rubber like the GravelKing. Many WorldTour teams now use 25mm tyres, claiming an improved aero benefit when used with wider rims, as well as additional grip, without sacrificing rolling resistance.
Panaracer have responded by adding a 25mm option to the Race A Evo 2 range.
It’s a tyre we’ve reviewed – and enjoyed – in its 23mm width. The combination of a dual compound rubber and a bead-to-bead puncture protection marks it out as a multi-use training, racing and sportive tyre which proved “fast, supple and grippy” during the course of our summer test.
While the 23mm tyre is available in black, red and blue options, the new 25mm Race A Evo 2 will be available in black only, for £39.99.
Catalyst goes wider
As if you needed more evidence of the growing appeal of wider tyres, the budget Catalyst is also available in a new 25mm size.
Panaracer call the Catalyst their “all-year, all-condition” tyre. The 230g tyre has “specially angled side grooves”, Panaracer say, to provide traction in really rough conditions, though it remains an entry-level tyre.
The 25mm Catalyst is available in black only for £19.99, while the 23mm rubber continues to come in black, blue, red and white options.
RiBMo PT unchanged for 2014
Finally, the RiBMo PT range is unchanged but the winter/urban tyre continues to be a popular model for Panaracer. RiBMo stands for Ride Bike More and the tyre is billed as ‘puncture resistant’, with the thinking that the less time you spend as the roadside fixing a flat, the more time you’ll be riding your bike.
That puncture resistance comes at a cost: weight (330g for a 25mm folding tyre) and stiffness. It offered little in the way of suppleness, and while grip levels were good through corners, the rear tyre was prone to slipping on damp ascents.
Panaracer bill the RiBMo as a fast commuting/touring tyre and the bombproof design means it’s likely to provide many happy miles in such an environment.
The RiBMo is available as a folding (£34.99) or steel bead (£29.99) tyre, in five sizes from 25mm to 25mm. It’s also available in four widths for 26″ mountain bike wheels.