If you want to spend your way out of the credit crunch, then you might consider splashing some cash on some Planete X (sic) Artisan tubulars. These handmade racing tyres, made by FM Boyaux in France, cost a hefty £125 each. Given that they weigh 235g, that works out at more than £2 a gram!
So, are they worth it? The Artisans are lovely and fast to ride on, no doubt about that. The tyres are very supple thanks to their silk sidewalls. That means lower rolling resistance as it takes less energy for the tyre to deform over the road surface.
At 22mm wide, they're ideal for time trialling or track racing, but we feel they're a bit light to handle most road races. They're also not recommended for wet conditions, although we didn't have any problems on them during a 25-mile time trial in a torrential downpour in Gloucester.
It's difficult to quantify how much better they are than a standard tubular, but the ride quality and general wow factor at the race headquarters has to be worth something.