Rubena Phoenix tyres
Rubena Phoenix tyres
By Duncan Moore
Rubena Phoenix RO1 Racing Pro tyres
I’m sure most people reading this won’t have heard of Rubena before; well not unless they happen to be Czechoslovakian, for that is where this brand is based. Fortunately, the Rubena range of bicycle tyres is now being distributed throughout the UK by Bike Tyrestore, which sent me a pair of Phoenix RO1 Racing Pro 700 x 23C tyres.
Initial impressions on receiving them was very positive. By that I mean the parcel was very light. No doubt this is due to the use of the Aramid bead in the Phoenix tyres. For those that don’t know, Aramid is another name for Kevlar. Not only does it make the tyres extremely light it also means they can be easily folded.
Okay, I’ll admit being able to fold tyres into a small package may not seem like a benefit to everyone, but if you’ve got a growing selection of tyres and not much space at home you’ll soon understand what I’m talking about. Not only are Aramid beads beneficial if you want to fold them, it also means the tyres can potentially deform around obstacles in the road more easily than a cheaper tyre with lower TPI count and more rigid bead. The foldability of these tyres is also helped by their construction; the 127 threads per inch count means the tyres are very flexible.
Staying with the construction of the tyres for a while longer, Rubena states that the silica used in place of carbon black in the tyre’s compound offers less drag along with improved elasticity and adhesion at low temperatures.
So do they live up to these claims? Well, for me the first test of any tyre is how easy it is to mount on the wheel rim. No tyre levers were needed, so that a positive straight away. Nor were they too loose either, and once I started to inflate them, they seat quickly and easily. All good so far.
Another thing I noticed, once I had the Phoenix tyres inflated, was the profile. Some tyres I have ridden have a distinct stepped edge as the tread transitions to the sidewall, which means when you corner hard it can feel as if the bike is falling over as you roll across the outer edge of the tread pattern. Yet, thanks possibly to the completely smooth tread surface of the RO1s, there is no transition, just a nicely rounded profile.
Time to ride then. Immediately out of the door, the bike felt quicker. No doubt partly due to the fact the previously fitted tyres had wire beads which produced a matching weight penalty.
One thing I was slightly concerned to begin with was that lack of tread I mentioned earlier. Especially given how wet my first ride on these tyres was. It turns out I needn’t have worried. The more time I spent on the Rubena tyres, the more confident I became carrying speed into corners, even in the wet.
Subsequent rides have still not given me the chance to try the Phoenix tyres out in the dry, but it has shown that they work well on greasy, damp roads too, and that would suggest they’ll be a good tyre in the dry if they are this good in the wet and damp.
I’m also positive about the current lack of punctures. Normally, wet weather riding sees me experience an increased number of punctures as the rain not only acts as a natural lubricant when it comes to sharp objects slicing into the tyre, but it also washes debris into the road to cause more punctures.
Given that these tyres have a suggested retail price of £26.99, but can be picked up easily enough for as little as £19.99, I’m considering investing in a few pairs.