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Zipp Tangente Speed R28



Awesome large volume race tyres, but they could be a little too specific for day-to-day use

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Zipp has added to its Tangente tyre range with a wide, race-ready clincher model, the Speed R28. With a high thread per inch (tpi) count and a supple rubber compound, the R28 offers a near-tubular-like ride in terms of both performance and comfort.

The Speed R28s have a 220tpi nylon, so even at their recommended pressure (via Zipp's own website) of 85psi at the front and 95psi rear for my weight, they offer a very supple ride indeed. You can barely feel washboard effect tarmac and small potholes as the large volume 28mm width just absorbs every vibration.

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They're unbelievably grippy as well, the sticky rubber compound holding onto the road surface at stupid speeds and lean angles. And even if you do manage to break traction it's progressive: they start to slide very gently, which gives you chance to change what you are doing to bring things back under control. I've had some tyres just go grip, grip, grip, nothing – and you're wiped out on the tarmac before you even know what's happened.

That grip isn't just reserved for the dry either – the Speed R28s will hold on tight in the wet as well, giving you confidence in the bends, especially when the surface is off-camber. The predominantly slick surface has water-siping on the shoulders, although as most people know, you aren't going to aquaplane on such a small surface area so it's kind of redundant.

I wouldn't say I'd confidently use them on wet days regularly as they have no puncture resistance layer at all – for that you'd need their training tyre cousin, the Course R28.

It's at speed, though, where the Speed R28s really excel. They're pretty light at 224g – 30g per tyre lighter than the 28mm Schwalbe Ones they replaced on my Mason – and it's certainly noticeable. Zipp claims a rolling resistance of 21.97 watts at 40kph when used with a butyl inner tube. Acceleration is improved, and the way they just fly over rough surfaces means they definitely feel quicker than the Schwalbes on an all-round basis, though it's not by a big margin. You'll barely notice it on your Strava data!

While on the subject of the Schwalbe Ones, it's worth mentioning that they are pretty much the benchmark large volume tyre at the moment, judging by our various reviews, so let's compare the R28 Speed directly.

> Check out our guide to the road cycling tyres and 13 of the best here

The Zipps are marginally quicker, especially under acceleration thanks to that 30g saving in weight. That comes at a cost, though, as it's achieved by omitting any form of puncture resistance, so they don't have the all-weather reliability of the Ones.

Grip goes to the Zipps, though only marginally, but then the Schwalbes are just under a tenner cheaper – £44.99 compared with the Zipps' £52. We'll call it a draw then.

So, in conclusion, if you want to run super-quick, comfortable tyres for the summer, the Zipps are an awesome choice, and will make you feel like you are absolutely flying. You need to be mindful of that lack of puncture protection, though, which makes them less of an all-rounder.


Awesome large volume race tyres, but they could be a little too specific for day-to-day use

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Make and model: Zipp Tangente Speed R28

Size tested: 28mm

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?

Zipp says: "Some of the greatest roads in cycling aren't particularly well paved. Sometimes, the fact that they aren't manicured like a golf green is part of the charm. Or maybe all of it. Today's bikes, handlebars and other components are stiffer than ever, but the emergence of disc brake technology has created an opportunity for riders to run a high-performance 28mm clincher. The Speed R28 is chance to double down on traction, trim rolling resistance, improve your comfort on long days and even better your bike's aerodynamics.

"We've introduced the Speed R28 to give riders a race-ready tire for those days when you want all the performance of a top-of-the-line racing clincher at a pavé-swallowing width. Wet or dry, it combines the grip of a bigger contact patch plus the reduced rolling resistance that comes with a larger casing."

They certainly are quick tyres and perfect for racing on if you've got a race bike that'll take 28mm rubber.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Zipp says:

High performance race tire

28mm width

220 tpi nylon casing

216 grams

21.97 watts of rolling resistance at 40kph (with Zipp butyl tube)

60 ShA durometer rubber (Shore A)

New water-siping tread pattern

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:

Pretty much benchmark in terms of rolling resistance, speed and acceleration.

Rate the product for durability:

Stood up fine to the test miles in wet and dry conditions on a range of roads.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

Impressive for a tyre of this size.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

Very supple.

Rate the product for value:

Not as bad as expected price-wise for a top end race tyre.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

As a tyre for racing it's hard to fault.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The suppleness.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lack of puncture protection.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I raced on 28mm tyres and had confidence in that I wouldn't puncture.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

For a race tyre, which is exactly what it's designed to be, the Speed R28s are hard to fault. They are so fast, grippy and downright comfortable even at the higher pressures I prefer that they are a joy to ride, really transforming the feel of the bike. The only downside for me is that I'd prefer a little in the way of puncture protection if I was going to use them as a quick road tyre rather than just on a race track.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Kinesis T2  My best bike is: Mason Definition

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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