Rode these Panaracer road tubeless tires this morning for the first time, did about 48 miles. Thought I would share a few thoughts here.
- Wheels: Bora 50 (17mm internal width; not specified as tubeless compatiable, but works)
- Tires: 25c Panaracer Race Evo3 tubeless
2. Rider Weight: ~205 lbs (all muscle, of course; jk, but I'm more of a weight-lifter)
3. Bike: Fuji SL 1.1
4. Pump: Lezyne Pressure Over Drive (for tubeless set-up)
5. Air Gauge: Topeak SmartGauge
6. Previous Road Tubeless Experience: Sector 28, Schwalbe Pro One 25 and 28.
Initial Impression of the Tire(s):
The tires had a bit of "felt" texture on the tread section. The entire casing felt thick, especially the tire-bead section. My reference points are Sector 28 and Schwalbe Pro One tires. The tires felt very well made. Per Panaracer, weight specification for the 25c tire is ~280g, but mine is likely around ~320g, I think. As my kitchen scale is in storage, I used my bike scale to weigh the tires, so the level of precision isn't there. FWIW, the Schwalbe Pro One 25c tires I have are about 255g each.
The tire installation process was straight-forward. The fit is tight, but not overly so. I seated the tires using the Lezyne pump specifically designed for tubeless set-up. The tire-bead snapped into the rim channel immediately and no meaningful loss of air during the subsequent 12-hour period. I then wanted to see whether the tire would stay seated without any air pressure. After I let out the air using the Topeak gauge, the tire stayed seated. Initially, at ~90 PSI, the tire measured ~23.4mm -- I was surprised and a bit disappointed. Both tires measured about the same.
I then e-mailed Jeff at Panaracer (a really nice guy), who told me to inflate the tires to ~110 PSI and let them sit over-night. Jeff said the tires are designed to "expand". The tires now measure ~24.1mm to ~24.2mm -- still narrower than what I was expecting. I had heard that the Japanese tubeless tires (i.e. IRC & Panaracer) are on the narrow end of the spectrum. FWIW, the Schwalbe Pro One 25c tires on the same wheels measure ~26.1mm. Schwalbes are much more bulbous in shape.
As the tires seated so well, I could easily have ridden it without any sealant. I did put ~1.0 oz of Orange Seal into each tire for protection.
Initial Riding Impression:
- Really smooth. Did I say smooth? Really smooth. I was a bit surprised, again. From memory, the Panaracer may even be more smooth than the 25c Schwalbe. The 28c Schwalbe Pro One tires I have are certainly more "comfortable", but I'm not sure they are more smooth than the Panaracer.
- The roads here in Pittsburgh are not good. I think I've encountered many natural "roubaix" roads. haha. I recently moved to Pittsburgh from the Dallas/FW area of Texas.
- The ~48 mile ride I did this morning was all paved, from the poor asphalts roads to recently paved bike path. The Panaracer was, again, smooth. And, as a rider who loves corners, curving roads, and speed, I really tried to push the tires/bike. The Panaracer stay composed. Though, to be fair, I have just one data-point of 48 miles. Assuming tomorrow's weather does cooperate, I will take the same bike out. Will have more thoughts.
I'm hopeful this write-up is helpful to those interested in tubeless road tires.
p.s. I had to abandon one of the Schwalbe Pro One 25c tires because it now has two punctures.
Photo of the initial installation.