Zipp Tangente Course clincher tire – first ride review

A premium ride at a reasonable cost

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £42.00 RRP | AUD $77.00 | USD $55.00

Our review

Fast, supple, grippy and armed with a little Kevlar puncture protection
Skip to view product specifications

Best known for a well-earned reputation with wheels, Zipp has also sold tires for many years. Tires that, in terms of ride quality, were unremarkable. The new Tangente Course clinchers, however, are fast, supple, grippy, armed with a little Kevlar puncture protection and, notably, won’t break the bank.

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The original Tangente tires came out in 2007. They were triathlon tires, basically, designed as an aerodynamic project. The new tires still take aerodynamics into consideration, but more thought and work were put towards lowering rolling resistance. The difference is immediately noticeable.

With tires — as with many things on a bike — it’s relatively easy to differentiate between low- and high-quality products. Once you get into the realm of comparing high-end to high-end, going on ‘feel’ becomes tenuous. With the Tangente Course, they immediately feel like a supple, fast, high-end tire. On a 40-mile test course with dozens of tight, sweeping bends, the Tangente Courses gripped the tarmac like Velcro in corners and floated on the straights. Are they better than a venerable Continental GP4000? We don’t know. But they are certainly in the same league.

Mechanical engineer Tom Anhalt has done extensive tire testing as a hobby and posts the results at bikeblather.blogspot.com. He tested the new Tangente Course tire recently and found its rolling resistance to be just a hair more than the Continental GP 4000 (Crr of 0.0035 to Contin’s 0.0034). You can read Anhalt’s data and discussion on the matter here.

The Tangente Course comes in 23 and 25c models, weighing 205 and 215g, respectively
The tangente course comes in 23 and 25c models, weighing 205 and 215g, respectively: the tangente course comes in 23 and 25c models, weighing 205 and 215g, respectively
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media

Made in Thailand by Vittoria, the Zipp Tangente Course clincher comes in 23 and 25c models

Three other strong points about the Tangente’s low weight, a very competitive price and real-world durability. The 23c version weighs a claimed 205 and the 25c model is a claimed 215g. Pricing varies by market of course, but the Tangente Course does seem to come in well under the Continental GP4000. In terms of durability, we have only done a single ride (without issue despite some off-road wanderings), but there is a Kevlar belt tucked under the grippy rubber.

The Tangente Course is made in Thailand by Vittoria, but it is Zipp’s design, not simply a rebadged Vittoria model.

Zipp says the Tangente Course is intended for riding in the dry, so apologies, Brits, but this might not be the tire for you.

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The line also include the Tangente Speed, which has a 220tpi casing and less puncture protection, and the Tangente SL Speed, a 320tpi cotton tubular that comes in 24 and 27mm widths.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Tangente Course
Brand Zipp

Weight (g) 205
Colour Black
Wheel Type Clincher
Bead Folding
Threads Per Inch 120
Max PSI 125
Tyre Sizes Available 700x23C 700x25C