SCHWALBE DURANO FOLDING TYRE
245g 700x25c black (as tested) £38.99 rrp
Schwalbe’s Durano folding road tyre range requires little introduction. It’s a justly popular benchmark and, in our view, has an edge over similarly priced rivals, such as Continental Gatorskin.
Ours was the winter typical 25mm section, although given the trend for bigger sections, there’s a 28mm should tastes and clearances permit.
Talking of sizing, the Durano also come in smaller 24inch and 650b versions, perfect for juniors and smaller adults. Others in the family are E-bike ready with stouter sidewalls and greater puncture protection. Since we’re on the subject, our Durano’s RaceGuard comes in at 4. Midway up the scale, some folks might be put off but it’s what we’d expect from this genre.
The race guard system weaves another layer of rubber and nylon, theoretically, stopping thorns and other sharps entering. Think of it as a diet version of that used in the Marathon range.
Dual compound technology has trickled down from pure breed race tyres and is intended to harness the soft, tarmac hugging qualities, without sacrificing durability. Interestingly, Schwalbe recommend a maximum payload of 70kilos each, 140kilos in total, which should cover most riders and their kit.
Yup, there’s some scope for weekend, as well as credit card touring, although, in this instance, unless you were doing sportives, or just determined to blast along, I’d go the 28mm route.
Pressure range is between 85 and 115psi, which again, is par for the course and comparable with something like Panaracer’s venerable Pasela.
Staying with the sidewalls, some riders were disappointed by a lack of reflective piping and I can see their point, if commuting forms part of your training diet but again, few competitive types were too worried.
These were pretty straightforward to mount on Mavic Open Pro and other standard hoops, although, directional arrows were tricky to spot. Persuading them aboard deeper section hoops demanded the combined efforts of a very sturdy composite lever and agricultural grunting. Thankfully it seated fine, with no pinch-flatting. The casings tend to stretch over time, so all things being equal, there shouldn’t be too much drama, should you flat along a dark lane.
I’ll start by saying the Durano have lived up to their reputation and they certainly brought some additional zip to my 70’s Carlton along the leafy, autumnal backroads. As any seasoned rider knows, heavy showers following a prolonged dry spell brings spent derv and oil onto the top surface, making things decidedly dicey.
Even in these conditions and at the full 115psi, they’ve felt a touch harsh but never missed a beat, quick though providing ample feedback, allowing easy, subtle correction. Flicking around holes, mud and other rural hazards inspired confidence, especially carving into corners or descending at 30mph plus.
They also behave impeccably in the dry, try as I might, they’ve never missed a beat and through town, the ability to snatch away from opening car doors, demented dogs and other hazards in a heartbeat, certainly brightens up a mundane jaunt to the office.
Bleeding a few PSI and heading for some flooded, singletrack lanes rewarded with a more compliant, grippy ride, although there’s some trade off in terms of speed. I wasn’t surprised to discover that 100-105psi hits the sweet-spot. By the same token, don’t get too blasé. Catch a wet manhole cover at the wrong angle and you could still be in for a face-plant but otherwise, there’s been no heart-in-mouth moments.
So far, despite deliberately aiming for flints, shards of glass, broken indicator lenses and other gritty debris has failed to make any impression on the casings, let alone induce a flat over the past 300 miles.
Personally, I’d be inclined toward the 28mm versions, simply for a more compliant ride and improved contact with the road's surface when things get really slimy. I wasn’t expecting them to handle anything more taxing than shared use cycle path but have got away with quick scoots across crushed lime canal path.
Reflective sidewalls would be welcomed, especially when hustling along unlit, open roads with concealed junctions on winter evening training rides. However, since most of us will be kitted out with decent lights. Jackets, tights, gloves and overshoes usually have retro-reflective detailing too, the lack of reflective pin-striping isn’t that big a deal.
The Durano remain a good benchmark for winter training, thanks to their blend of speed and dependability. Suffice to say, our 25mm sections will be staying put until spring. On reflection, I’d go for the 28mm and recommend this section for Audax and similar duties. We’ve also seen them a fair bit cheaper online too, which makes them an even bigger bargain.