Zipp Tangente Course clincher tyre - first ride review£42.00

A premium ride at a reasonable cost

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Best known for a well-earned reputation with wheels, Zipp has also sold tyres for many years. Tyres 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.

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

With tyres — 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 tyre. 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 tyre testing as a hobby and posts the results at He tested the new Tangente Course tyre 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: the tangente course comes in 23 and 25c models, weighing 205 and 215g, respectively

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 tyre for you.

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.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 183cm / 6'
  • Weight: 82kg / 180lb
  • Waist: 84cm / 33in
  • Chest: 99cm / 39in
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

Related Articles

Back to top