I’ve written a couple of tyre reviews and generally they’ve been endurance type of tyres. I prefer to give up a bit of speed, or road feel, if that means I never get a flat. The last tyre I talked about was the Serfas Seca RS, though, and I felt like that was a bit overkill in terms of what you give up to get a bullet proof tyre. When I went looking for the next set of tyres, I swung the pendulum the other direction and landed on the Panaracer Type A EVO3.
Newly redesigned this year, the Type A is described as “an all around, all weather road tire” and incorporates some new tech this year. There are two main pieces of tech integrated into the full EVO3 line that have been introduced this year and weren’t part of the EVO2 version. First up is the Probead. Probead is, arguably, the more exciting piece and that’s because it’s designed to stay on the wheel in the event of a flat. It’s also been designed to be tubeless compatible, and it’s this innovation that has allowed Panaracer to introduce a tubeless version of the Type A into the lineup. While most tyres use a carbon bead, Panaracer is using its own proprietary bead material. The idea here is that carbon beads fatigue over time, or even in the packaging, and the tolerances aren’t as tight.
Panaracer has tried to solve this problem with their Probead tech. I was using the standard clincher version, not tubeless, and I can’t really speak to how well this technology works or does not. I had some flats, and the tyre didn’t come off the rim. It’s impossible to know if that had anything to do with Probead technology or not. I also blew a couple of tubes, from the tube getting trapped under the bead the first time I put the tyres on, but again, it’s impossible to say if that has anything to do with Probead or not. What I can say for sure is that I have been able to install the tyres after flats without too much trouble, and that I definitely like the idea that the tyre is going to stay put in the event of a flat.
The next piece of new technology is called Protight, and it’s the new puncture protection. Protight has been designed to be lighter, with better road feel, while at the same time provide 25% more flat protection than the previous Panaracer flat protection. While I can’t be certain about the Probead, I feel more certain talking about the Protight. If you are looking for a tyre with robust flat protection, then the Panaracer Type A is not the tyre for you. I’ve had more flats with this tyre, by a wide margin, than with any recent tyre I can remember running.
To be fair, though, Panaracer does offer alternatives, in the same range, that are designed to better resist flats. If you can run tubeless, I feel pretty confident that any of the flats I experienced would have been a non issue running tubeless and sealant. There were no huge gashes, just many small punctures and short cuts, and sealant would have had no issue closing things up. Panaracer also offers the Type D EVO3 with added sidewall protection. I’m not sure that would have helped or not since I didn’t really experience sidewall issues, but it’s worth thinking about.
What I will say about the Panaracer Race Type A EVO3 is that the ride quality is amazing. The very first time I rode with them, the word that immediately came to mind was supple. When I later was discussing the tyres with someone else who had ridden them, he described them as supple, also. It’s a completely apt word for how these feel. They smooth out the ride, and they are super sticky. Now, as I’ve said many times before, I’m not one to bomb down a descent, but it’s very confidence inspiring the way these transition from upright to the edge of the tyre. There is no change in feel. When you lean the bike, the tyre feels as good on the side as it does on the centre, and there is no need to transition in and out of a greasy feeling centre section.
That stickiness comes at a cost, though, and that is reduced flat protection compared to other tyres out there. At least one of the flats I experienced was caused by a small rock sticking to the tyre, and more than other tyre, I found these picked up small rocks and flung them at the bottom of the frame or off to the side.
The bottom line for me on these tyres is that if you want a really amazing ride quality, as well as a variety of options that all have a similar feel, then the EVO3 Race line from Panaracer is a good choice. Just be aware that you are going to get some flats if you are training with the Type A. The Race Type A carries a MSRP of $69.99, and it looks like the previous version of the Type A was available at a street price of around $50. I would expect that to hold for the new version, and that’s a bit of a bargain for a tyre that rides this nice. So, on the upside, you’ll be getting a great tyre at a relative bargain.
|Chain Reaction||Cyclestore||Evans Cycles||Hargroves Cycles|
|Merlin Cycles||ProBikeKit||Ribble Cycles||Rutland Cycling|
|Wiggle||AW Cycles||Biketart||Cycle Surgery|
|Leisure Lakes Bikes|