Rivendell's Jack Brown touring tyres aren't just for the long-distance crowd, as our testers found out on their commuter bikes. The 700x33.3 chubby Jack Browns are some of the best high-performance tyres available, which, depending on fork and frame clearance, make them ideal for tandems, touring and cyclo-cross bikes.
Rivendell believe that fatter tyres can still be light, fast and reliable, so they developed two versions of the Jack Brown tyre, the blue label (435g each) and the green label (295g each).
The Jack Browns are made by Panaracer for Rivendell, and go for US$45 each. They have a checkerboard tread pattern, rely on a kevlar bead for easy carrying as a backup on long rides (like a tubular), but differ in the blue label having 2mm of rubber in the middle, versus the green's 1.5mm.
In keeping with Rivendell's, er, quirky style, the recommended inflation range is 51 - 87 psi. Our testers ran their Jack Browns at 80 psi, with no flats recorded.
One of our testers commutes daily, and noticed the puffier ride of the tyres immediately. Although she doesn't commute more than two miles each way, she deals with traffic, potholes, road debris and the occasional uneven road surface. The Jack Browns, she said, ride over things her 700x28c Schwalbe Stelvios couldn't. In her estimation, the fatter Jack Browns don't lose performance, they enhance the overall ride.
© BikeRadar 2007