Remember back when Panaracer’s Smoke and Dart were competing with the WTB Velociraptor set for your hard earned dollars and only IRC’s Mythos XC gave ’em a run for your money? Yeah, it was a long time ago, but the brand used to be hot.
From the looks of their latest offerings, they could be again. The 2015 collection bringing options for all the hot categories, offering up gravel/dirt road tires, fat bike tires, cyclocross tires and an updated version of the FirePro that maybe, just maybe, could pass as an enduro tread.
Shown above are the Comet Hardpack (front) and Pacenti Pari Moto tires for adventure/gravel/dirt road bikes. The Comet has been available in 26″/27.5″/29er sizes ranging from 1.95 up to 2.25 widths, but now it gets a proper 700x38c size in both folding and wire beads. Claimed weights are TBA, but they have a rounded profile for predictable grip at any lean angle.
The Pacenti Pari Moto gets two versions of a 27.5″ slick. One’s for pavement, the other gets a puncture protection strip to guard against gravel and other off road pokey things. Width is 1.5″, and it’s available in all black or with gumwalls. Weight is 300g.
The Gravel King is their third new tire for the category, and it actually has two completely different tread types. All are 700c, but widths of 23/26/28 all look very similar to the Pari-Moto, but with a nubbed center section rather than grooves.
Jump up to a 700x32c Gravel King and the tread comes to life, offering nearly continuous sidewall ridges and closely spaced, neatly aligned knobs in the center. All sizes are folding bead, and weights range from 220g up to 320g.
Both the Pari Moto and Gravel King use their ZSG (Zero Slip Grip) natural rubber compound for the tread.
The CG CX cyclocross tire was designed by Cedric Gracia and borrows much of the CG XC’s long bars of tread blocks. The idea is that it’s fast rolling without letting the knobs roll away in the corners. Fortunately, the CX model gets more traditional square knobs on the sides to bite into the soft grass. To further enhance grip, it uses their unique dual compound rubber that puts a firmer rubber on the outside with softer base rubber in the knobs. That supposedly lets them deform to the ground but makes them last longer. Size is 700×32 and weight is 300g.
The other new CG tire is his DH beast. It’s a 26×2.5 monster weighing in at 1,220g. It’s been in development for two years and gets their “slow rebound” rubber strip in the sidewall and four-ply casing that they say reduces pinch flats by 40%. The knobs are a super soft 40a rubber. Wire bead only.
Even wider is the new Fat B Nimble fat bike tire, which comes in a 26×4.0 size for under $100. It gets shaped center knobs for faster rolling that transition to block-cut edge knobs for cornering traction. They’re widely spaced to prevent getting gummed up in the winter. They’re also working on 27.5+ and 29+ versions that’ll be 3.0″ wide and retail for $60.
The FirePro line isn’t new, but it’s grown over the years. There’s now a FirePro XC (shown), an XC UST, a TC (Tubeless Compatible) and FR (Freeride). The last one is the only version to get a 2.4 width, and it’s tall, spiky tread pattern could be just the thing for damp conditions…but they’re 26″ and 24″ only for now.
The Driver Pro is their answer to the lightweight, low profile XC race tire. It’s dry conditions specific, but is available in 26×2.1 / 27.5×2.22 /29×2.2 with tubeless compatible versions coming. Weights are just 560g to 590g.
There are quite a few more new models for XC to Marathon on their website, more than they had on display at either Eurobike or Interbike, and the patterns look good.