IRC ROADLITE X GUARD TYRES

 

244g 700x25 (25-622) (as tested) £48 (each)

The Inoue Rubber Company – that is the IRC bit – offer a range of tyres for tubed and tubeless tyres. The Roadlite is a slick model aimed, IRC say, at training and endurance on the road. OK, it may be the case that many competitive riders like tubeless, but the tubed Roadlite offers a speedy ride and looks like a good choice for general road duties.

 

Pros: rolling, durability.

 

Cons: limited reflectives for night-time training.

Spec 3.75/5

 

The Roadlite X-Guard is a clincher tyre – Aramid bead – with a slick tread. This is the 700x25mm version, with a 700x23 version also available. With some riders now looking at 28mm, or even 30mm, for disc-braked racers, these may seem a little on the thin side. However, aimed as they are at pure road riding, there are still many who’d say that 25mm is all you need. Likewise, some will go tubeless: IRC offer tubeless versions, too.

 

120tpi is pretty much de rigeur for quality road racing tyres. This promises fast rolling, often at the expense of durability. However, IRC say that the tread is constructed from a robust abrasion resistant rubber for added durability.

Puncture protection comes courtesy of “X-Guard”. This comprises two strips of 40tpi nylon (ballistic, no less), that run from shoulder to shoulder. Hopefully, it won’t need to protect your tyres from bullets, but it should offer strong puncture protection.

IRC tire tyre roadlite cycling bicycle cycle

Recommended pressure runs for 90-115psi (the lighter 700x23 version goes higher), which will come in a bit low for some racers.

 

Note that these are slick tyres. Shape, speed, and contact area, mean that bicycle tyres do not need tread. However, even a little can offer some extra grip when the asphalt gives way to the linear dung heap. Don’t worry, but IRC designate these for “pavement” only, for a good reason.

 

There’s not a lot in the way of logo and other sidewall features. Some night-time trainers may like more reflective presence.

IMG_3114.JPG

Fitting 3.25/5

 

Stubborn, but fingers and thumbs eventually persuaded these onto Rigida and Mavic rims. Removal needed only a couple of levers. Needless to say, there is no rotation to confuse simple folk such as I.

bicycle cycle bike tyre tire lever
slick road bicycle cycle road racing slick tyre tire

Rolling and grip 4/5

 

From the off, things rolled along very nicely indeed. The IRC X-Guard had replaced a pair of Schwalbe Durano tyres that had reached the end of their useful life on the bike. I’d enjoyed the Duranos, but, in my opinion, the difference was noticeable. Getting up speed on the open road, things felt very comfortable and control pretty much spot on. True, things felt a bit harsh at 115psi, but that is the idea, isn’t it?

 

Taking in a long stretch of pretty well-surfaced, undulating, ‘B’ road, with plenty of long, sweeping curbs, riding was an absolute pleasure. Keeping speed between 15 and 30mph caused puffing and panting on the ascents, but that was down to rider rather than rolling. Turning off it, onto narrow country lanes with very mixed surfaces and a layer of mud deposited by agricultural vehicles, things were, as you’d expect, a bit less sure-footed. Dropping the psi to 90 made some difference, but very close attention was needed to avoid slips and slides. Cutting speed to around 12mph helped.

 

I pondered whether the “abrasive” rubber might lose some grip on wet roads. I’ve not noticed much in the way of more limited control. However, ironwork in the road has lead to the odd moment of concern, but that is true of other slicks I’ve ridden, and nothing to be too concerned about if you keep your wits about you.

 

Can they cope with a nip along the towpath or short-cut on a forest track? Well, yes, so long as they are firm and dry and you are looking to slalom through the trees or go full-steam ahead.

cycle bike bicycle tire tyre

Rolling and grip 4/5

 

From the off, things rolled along very nicely indeed. The IRC X-Guard had replaced a pair of Schwalbe Durano tyres that had reached the end of their useful life on the bike. I’d enjoyed the Duranos, but, in my opinion, the difference was noticeable. Getting up speed on the open road, things felt very comfortable and control pretty much spot on. True, things felt a bit harsh at 115psi, but that is the idea, isn’t it?

 

Taking in a long stretch of pretty well-surfaced, undulating, ‘B’ road, with plenty of long, sweeping curbs, riding was an absolute pleasure. Keeping speed between 12 and 30mph caused puffing and panting, but that was down to rider rather than rolling. Turning off it, onto narrow country lanes with very mixed surfaces and a layer of mud deposited by agricultural vehicles, things were, as you’d expect, a bit less sure-footed. Dropping the psi to 90 made some difference, but very close attention was needed to avoid slips and slides. Cutting speed to around 12mph helped.

 

I pondered whether the “abrasive” rubber might lose some grip on wet roads. I’ve not noticed much in the way of more limited control. However, ironwork in the road has lead to the odd moment of concern, but that is true of other slicks I’ve ridden, and nothing to be too concerned about if you keep your wits about you.

 

Can they cope with a nip along the towpath or short-cut on a forest track? Well, yes, so long as they are firm and dry and you are looking to slalom through the trees or go full-steam ahead.

tire tyre slick road racing bicycle cycle bike

Value 3.5/5

 

A couple of pounds off fifty quid is by no means unreasonable for fast-rolling, well-specced tyres. These are both, although IRC see them as primarily for training as opposed to actual events. Competition specific riders may well aim to spend another ten to twenty pounds for something like the Schwalbe Pro One (tube type) or a bit more for the tubeless version (if appropriate): discounts can be found on line.

 

Schwalbe Lugano tyres share some characteristics, but don’t roll so well or perform as well in the wet – in our opinion. Mind you, they are much cheaper. Schwalbe Durano have given me many happy miles, although I’d say that the Roadlite edge it in rolling. Equally, Schwalbe now have up-graded Durano siblings with improved puncture protection.

Then you’ve got tyres like Hutchinson’s Pro Tour – at around £82 a tyre – which, I’m told by triathlon friends, is a real treat. Likewise, Bontrager AW3 Hard-Case Lite Reflective Road Tyre. These come in 25mm (and larger options) and, according to a reliable source, “go like the clappers” 

and have prominent sidewall reflectives (£44.99 rrp).  Specialized All Condition Armadillo Clincher Road Tyre is a 60tpi model available in 23,25 and 28mm £40 rrp.

 

Summary

 

Rising with the Roadlite has been a lot of fun and not in the least disconcerting. I’d agree with IRC, ideal for road training, or just – as with me - for some speedy, easy-rolling fun on asphalt.

Verdict 3.75/5 Fun and functional for the road enthusiast.

 

Steve Dyster

 

https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/road-tyres/products/irc-roadlite-x-guard-tyre

PUBLISHED MARCH2021

FANCY A REMORP FOR YOUR ORP? $5 DISCOUNT CODE HERE FOR 7DC READERS

BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES

Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH

cycleframes@hotmail.com