Panaracer Trailraker PR tyre review£30.00

UK-designed mud pluggers

BikeRadar score4/5

Designed in the UK for the worst British weather, the Trailraker delivers the ultimate in mud-plugging trail grip. A direct ancestor of  Panaracer’s discontinued but widely copied Spike, it's the nearest you’ll get to football boots for your bike. 

The mix of tall, buttressed square knobs down the centre and long fangs on the shoulders mean astonishing grip on anything the tyre can sink into. On sodden climbs, woodland slop, slick off-camber slopes or wet grass, the Trailraker leaves everything else sat on its arse.

A thin, tall carcass means deep trenching bite and it’s light enough to pick up short-burst speed okay on drier sections. The soft compound and well-supported knobs mean it’s not as lethal as you might expect on rocks, wet roots or Tarmac. 

Panaracer’s ASB sidewall protection and the long spikes resist pinch flats, while this puncture resistant version (hence the 'PR' tag) gets extra carcass reinforcement.

You might ping off rocks at unexpected angles if you really push the pace. It’s certainly not a fast roller either and the tread drags on soggy slogs where you might not need all that traction. It holds onto clarty mud and summer wattle and daub, making it a potential bike clogger if you have tight clearances.

Steel bead (£19.99), normal folding (£27.99) and UST Tubeless (£34.99) options mean there’s a version for all who want the ultimate trail grip.

It's a great winter trail tyre if you're more concerned about definitely getting through and up the worst sections rather than how quickly you do it.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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