The Panaracer Cinder Cross is a very versatile all-round tyre for hitting the trails on 700c wheels. Sturdy and grippy enough to deal with technical terrain and slippery roots, it's still light enough to race on.
The Cinder Cross is, Panaracer tell us, "based on the all condition tread pattern of the Cinder mountain bike tyre and uses Panaracer's ZSG ultima compound to maximum effort, handling everything from boggy grass fields to the rapid descent down Pen-y-Gent. It Includes ASB chafer to help prevent pinch punctures." That's quite a wide remit but the Cinder Cross does pretty well at living up to the hype.
I haven't been down Pen-y-Gent on my set but they've been through the rock gardens and across the old stone tramway sleepers of my normal MTB runs without much fuss. An early pinch flat was a reminder that you need a bit more air in a CX tyre than an MTB one, but since then they've been working really well. There's plenty of grip from the softish compound and even though the blocks are quite closely spaced they shed the mud well, so they're a good fit-and-forget compromise for winter. The 35mm carcass soaks up trail shocks as well as can be expected of a cyclocross tyre. On the road they're pretty buzzy but apart from a bit of extra noise there's no real problems, other than increased wear over harder, more road-oriented rubber.
The overall impression is of a tyre that is as good a do-it-all option for your CX bike as you're likely to find, assuming that cyclo-cross – or at least off-road riding – is what you do most with it. Great for general riding and fine for racing, plenty of grip and a nice big air chamber to soak up shocks. At £30+ a go they're not cheap, but they're decent value considering the performance.
Versatile MTB-inspired CX tyre that thrives off road
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Panaracer Cindercross folding tyre
Size tested: 700x35c
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I\'m testing... My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.