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Panaracer's Crosstown range is designed as a bombproof urban tyre and it certainly does put up with a lot of abuse around town. There's a price to pay for that, though, and the price is a fairly high weight and a slightly dead ride.
The Crosstown looks rugged on first appearances, with a deep tread that's heavily grooved to move water. There's a puncture strip below the tread too just in case you roll over anything sharp enough to get through all the rubber. They're heavy tyres, the 548g 28c tyre that we tested fully 100g heavier than the 32c Kenda tyre it replaced. You feel that weight when you're rolling, and the thickness of the tread means the tyres not particularly supple. It's not a big deal on short urban rides, but it does feel a bit dead even compared to other well-armoured rubber.
Grip is very good especially in the wet, the Crosstowns start to scrabble a bit when you lean them over but they're not designed primarily for that. The reflective strip is a definite bonus about town, massively improving your visibility from the side.
Overall it's a good tyre, but you can buy better, and you can buy better from Panaracer: the RibMO that we tested earlier in the year is a much better bet for most town riding, it's lighter and the new puncture proofing technology it uses promises to make it very sturdy. Panaracer's new T-SERV, which also uses the Protex anti-flat system also looks like a good bet for around town, and we'll try and get a test of them soon.
Neither has the reflective strip of the Crosstown though, so if the combinations of tough puncture protection and increased visibility outweighs the downside of extra weight the Crosstown could be the tyre for you.
Not a bad tyre by any means, but a little heavy and slow compared to newer urban offerings.
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Make and model: Panaracer Crosstown 700x28c tyre
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? They were okay
Would you consider buying the product? I'd probably go for a newer design
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only if they wanted a super durable tyre with reflective and weren't too worried about the ride
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 100kg
I usually ride: Schwinn Moab, urbanised with 700cs My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with upgrades
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.