The Schwalbe Durano S tyre is firm, grippy, and resilient. While it lacks the suppleness and adhesion of sister models with more sophisticated construction, it offers a fast rolling surface sufficiently robust for winter use.
We formed an immediately favourable impression of the Durano S on our first encounter with the Raleigh Militis Comp, an aluminium crit bike with which it is supplied. Having ordered a set for our own test purposes, rather than purloining Raleigh’s, we set about the business of testing.
Reporting on the performance of a tyre in January places robustness at the top of the agenda. The Durano S has remained puncture free in our six-week acquaintance, despite its running in some of the worst conditions of the year. Flooded, gravel-strewn roads have been its meat and drink, and it’s stood up to the challenge admirably, doubtless aided by our decision to reduce pressures by 10psi from our usual.
Grip levels have been similarly impressive, although its important to keep things in context. Softer rubber, of course, offers more adhesion (its sister model, the Ultremo ZX, and Panaracer’s Race Type A EVO 2 spring immediately to mind) but within the confines of a dual compound construction, for this is what we are dealing with in the Durano S, it performed well.
We described the ride as ‘firm’ on our first acquaintance, and while we’re prepared to stand by this favourable assessment, one made after spinning along the dry and ‘clean’ roads of summer, it’s fair to say that a little more suppleness wouldn’t have gone amiss for the harsh conditions in which we now find ourselves to mitigate the harder rubber compound. The 67 TPI casing offered some flexibility, and significantly more than some winter tyres we’ve tried, but more ‘give’ would have offered a gentler transfer across test loops now littered with gravel.
Our selection of the Durano S for winter duties amounted to something of an experiment. Entirely slick, and presented in a 23c profile, it doesn’t fit the template for a cover for the onerous duties of such a demanding season. Our interest in testing them in such an arena lay in our desire for tyre with the performance of ‘summer’ rubber, but with greater robustness than the soft compounds typically unsheathed for clean, dry roads.
To a large degree, the Durano S met our requirements, and it is not its fault that during our test we encountered a tyre that matched them entirely: the Ultremo ZX tubeless. With the absence of an inner-tube offering the ability to run lower pressures and with them a reduced likelihood of punctures, the ZX tubeless ticked the ‘robustness’ box, if in an unexpected shade. Its softer compound offered superior grip to the Durano S, too.
Riders yet to embrace the tubeless revolution may find much to admire in the Durano S, which offers a still acceptable level of performance without the collateral damage one could expect from rolling on soft, racing rubber on winter roads. More supple tyres might tempt those seeking to boost comfort on the more demanding surfaces of the season, but in all other regards, the Durano S fits the bill.
Size: 700c x 23c
Colour: Black, with red, white, blue, or silver detailing