Tyres at this price need to deliver one important quality: they have to be light, with anything around 200g classed as such. But, in addition to this, they have to offer low rolling resistance and predictable levels of grip whatever the riding conditions. The Panaracer Race Type A satisfies all of these criteria but – and probably even more importantly – it’s a very high quality tyre.
The Evo 2 is a dual compound tyre, with a harder wearing centre strip and a softer compound elsewhere offering higher levels of grip. Its slightly triangular profile reduces the contact patch when it’s vertical, increasing it when you’re leaning over into turns.
But their performance, whether upright or cornering, is absolutely beyond reproach, although they didn’t inspire quite as much confidence in the wet. They did offer predictable grip, but always with a slight feeling of ‘looseness’. And while some unclipped forced slides confirmed this, they did ‘let go’ in a predictable and controllable manner – making them a very well behaved tyre overall.
To balance our wheels we had to add almost exactly the weight of the valve on almost exactly the opposite side of the wheel – it’s never precisely the same weight, because of having a hole in the rim, and also the extra layer of inner tube around the valve assembly.
Without cutting the tyre up, this is usually a pretty good indication that the carcass and the tread are of a constant thickness – and that quality also results in a tyre that’s ‘rounder’ when inflated. With the bead seated properly, these were out by just 1.2mm vertically, which on balance is pretty impressive and totally undetectable.
Add in Panaracer’s PT Shield anti-puncture system and its AX casing that gives a quick but comfortable ride at lower pressures – 95psi front/105psi rear worked well for our 75kg (165lb) tester – and you have an excellent tyre that’s equally at home racking up the big miles or tackling the local crit.