Written by Alan Starrett Monday, 17 April 2006 00:00
What I took off was a Panaracer Extreme Duro 700x23. Panaracer came out with these tires about a year ago and that is about how long they have been on my bike. In the past year I have put around 3500 miles on them on all types of usage. Slow training, fast training, rollers. You name it that is what I used them for.
In those 3500 miles I can remember about 3 flats. One was on the road and if memory serves I think it was a nail of some sort. The other two were on the rollers, go figure. I found the problem was actually a faulty rim strip that was allowing the tube to squeeze itself into a nipple hole and damage the tube.
Panaracer bills this tire as a fast training tire. It shares the same grippy next generation ZSG compound tread as Panaracer's top racing tire the Extreme. The Extreme Duro has an all-new proprietary 3D casing that make the tires more resistant to pinch flats and debris punctures. Part of this technology is a "double dipped" casing. I am still not completely sure what that means but I know it is TOUGH. The great thing is that this extra flat resistance doesn't come with a huge weight penalty. The 700x23 weighs in at only 240g, which is only 30g heavier than its non-Duro counterpart. That is a small penalty to pay for the mileage and flat resistance I experienced. There is also a 700x25 version available now if you like a little more cush.
As you can see from the photo I wore this tire right down to the casing. Normally when you wear a tire down this much the tread area becomes so thin that even a small pebble will cause a puncture. Not so with the Duro, flat protection was exactly the same at the end of its life as it was at the beginning. To be clear though I don't recommend running this tire or any other to this point of wear because it is not safe. Without even tread around the circumference of the tire you are severely limiting grip of the tire and you could easily wash out at high speed. For the sake of pushing the boundaries of experimentation I assumed the risk. I just reached the limit of my risk and changed out the tire.
What I also like about the tire is the balance between grip and tread wear. In particular what I mean by tread wear in this case is resistance to cutting. I used the original Michelin Axial Pro for a while and loved the grippy handling. Problem was they would cut up like you wouldn't believe. After a day of rolling across debris littered New England roads they looked like they had been on the loosing end of a knife fight. After that I tried the venerable Continental GP3000. This tire, in typical Continental fashion, wore far better than the Axial Pro. The problem with these however is that I never felt quite as comfortable throwing the bike into the corners. The Panaracer Extreme Duro is the perfect balance for me. All the grip I want, phenomenal flat resistance and great wear.
So, what did I replace the Duro with? Well, another Duro of course. If a tire works this well it is worth my hard earned green backs for a repeat performance. You may have noticed I said previously I replaced A tire. Being my frugal self I only replaced the rear because the front looks almost new and is still going strong after 3500 miles. Maybe I will have to replace it next year.
|Panaracer Extreme Duro: 700x23, Kevlar, Black/Brown. In order to win races you've got to train for races. This is where the Extreme Duro makes its mark. Its more robust and all new proprietery 3D casing helps prevent those sharp objects lurking on the road from puncturing your tires. Tough and lightweight compared to other protective casings...|
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