Specialized Roubaix Pro tyre - review - Road Cycling UK

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Specialized Roubaix Pro tyre – review

Great all-rounder with good wet grip, comfortable ride and palatable price

Specialized’s Roubaix Pro tyres are a versatile option, with enough puncture resistance and traction over rough roads to handle winter – whilst still being quick enough to allow for speedy rides when the sun’s out.

The Specialized Roubaix Pro’s tread is manufactured with a central slick band to minimise rolling resistance. Most tyres in this category with robust puncture protection layers tend to remind you of the extra casing over every long drag, but these roll really well. The 120tpi casing gives a supple ride over bumps, while the ‘BlackBelt’ puncture resistant sub-tread doesn’t seem to add any noticeable harshness. Functionally, I also didn’t puncture during testing.

True to its road race namesake, the Roubaix has been designed to be suited to both smooth and rough roads. Normally tread on a tyre of this size is cosmetic, but here the shoulders are siped and treaded in a softer compound to aid grip and traction – reassuring when the farmers have been out for a jolly on your local loop. While difficult to quantify how much it really helps, the placebo effect is real and they do seem to hook up well powering up on mucky roads.

The Speciazlied Roubaix Pro is an excellent all-round tyre; not the lightest but fast, grippy and puncture resistant
  • Specification

  • Price: £25.00
  • Size: 700 x 23/25
  • Weight: 260g
  • Website: Specialized

Specialized size the Roubaix Pro as 700 x 23/25, 23 referring to the tread width, 25 the casing depth. Essentially it looks and rides like a 25mm tyre with an oblong profile, making it possible to fit into a bike with tyre clearance of a 23mm while providing bump absorbing ability of a 25mm.

This isn’t a new idea from Specialized. It used to be the case that many racing-orientated bikes were a risk with any tyre over 23mm, so a tyre option with more volume yet still slim enough to sit happily in your chainstays was quite attractive.

Years ago I toured France on a heavily laden Specialized Allez and the 23/25 Armadillo Elites fitted were a lifesaver for protecting the rims. However, these days things have moved on, with almost all bikes able to comfortably fit 25mm clinchers with room to spare. I can’t see the point in persisting with the confusing denominations.

Despite the low rolling resistance, the weight of the Specialized Roubaix Pro, at 260g, may put off the most competitive riders. 260g for the 23/25 size tested isn’t light even for a 25mm tyre, comparing unfavourably with both 23mm & 25mm variants of the benchmark winter race clincher, Continental’s GP 4-Season, which comes in at 230g and 240g respectively. But to be fair, the Conti’s RRP is more than double that of the Roubaix’s. Comparing the two, it hits you how much value is being offered here.

The Roubaix Pro combines a smooth central strip with a siped tread on the shoulders


It is very easy to forget while riding on the Roubaix Pro that it is only a £25 tyre. The ride feels premium, puncture protection is good and they zip along with plenty of grip and traction over wet and broken up roads.

For year-round riders and commuters who don’t want the hassle of changing tyres for the seasons, these are an exceptional compromise. They are carrying just a few too many grams to recommend for those chasing times in hilly sportives and competing in road races, but would still serve well as a training tyre in the off season.


  • Rides well considering puncture resistance
  • Confident performer in wet weather
  • Tread seems to perform a non-cosmetic effect on muddy roads


  • 23/25 sizing approach a little outdated
  • Not light


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