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Although Panaracer tyres are best known in the off-road world, this manufacturer also has an impressive portfolio of road tyres, including the Race series. The Race Type D is a relatively light tyre that still provides good puncture protection and excellent grip, making it ideal for winter training.
The 'D' in Race Type D stands for 'Duro' or 'durable', thanks to three key features. The first is dual compound 'Evo 2' rubber which is harder on centre of the tread (the bit in contact with the road when you're vertical) and softer on the edges (the bit in contact when you're cornering). The softer rubber provides more grip when you need it. The second feature is a reinforced casing to help prevent punctures, and the third is a protective belt under the tread to provide additional protection.
Put all that with an advertised weight of 257g for the 26mm version (pretty much confirmed by the road.cc scales at 260g), and it add up to a tyre that's well suited for faster rides on bad roads in bad weather. The Race D is also available in a 23mm width with an advertised weight of 230g. Over the past few years I've followed the trend, and have 25mm or 26mm tyres on most of my bikes now. For longer rides they're definitely more comfortable, and the boffins say there's less rolling resistance too, so it's a win-win.
Down in the workshop, fitting and removing these Panaracers was easy – for the record, on to Open Pro rims – with the tyres neither too tight nor too sloppy on the rims. Only two tyre levers were needed to get the tyres off the wheel (and none were needed to get them on – skilled mechanics say you should never need to use tyre levers for fitting a tyre anyway).
The Panaracer Race D tyre's recommended retail price is a penny under £40, though you can find it at least a fiver cheaper at some on-line stores – where it's also listed as Panaracer Race Duro. This is fair value, but not a bargain. Tyres that might be considered comparable include the Schwalbe Durano at around £32-35 (with the folding bead variety weighing around 250g), Schwalbe Durano Plus at a similar price (but heavier) and the Conti GP 4 Seasons, anywhere from £30 to £40 (and a tad lighter than the Panaracer).
So far, I've done a few hundred miles on these tyres, and found them ideal. Grip is good, even on soaking wet Cotswold lanes, and I haven't had a puncture yet despite the local farmers doing their best with the hedge-trimmings.
Having said that, maybe I've been lucky. You can definitely get tyres with more puncture protection, but they tend to be heavier. And you can get lighter tyres, but you expose yourself to more flats. For winter training rides, these Panaracer Race D tyres get the balance about right.
Good quality tyre, nicely striking the balance between light and tough; ideal for winter training
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Make and model: Panaracer Race D Evo 2 tyre
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
This is a tyre aimed at winter training. It would also be suitable for light touring, audax rides and early season sportives.
The Panaracer website says the Race Type D EVO2 tyre has the following features: '3D Casing goes bead-to-bead for optimal protection. 3D reinforced tread prevents punctures, pinch flats and sidewall cuts. Excellent distance and rough road tire. ZSG Dual EVO2 Compound provides excellent grip in all weather conditions. And the addition of our PT Belt adds even more protection under the tread. Rock solid racing tire.'
Grip is good, and puncture resistance is impressive so far.
For the amount of protection provided, the weight of 260g is impressive.
We are testing the 26mm tyres, and they are very comfortable.
Fair value, but not a bargain - though on a par with tyres that might be considered similar.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These tyres performed well in that they provided grip and puncture protection on winter roads.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Grip, puncture protection, comfort.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 53 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Trail riding and rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)