£54.99 › Su­per-sup­ple clincher tyres to see you through the win­ter and over cob­bled sportives

Cycling Plus - - NEW KIT -

IN RE­CENT YEARS, THE BIG talk­ing point when it came to tyres has been tube­less. We are big fans of los­ing the in­ner tubes in favour of the tube­less sys­tem for nu­mer­ous rea­sons: its abil­ity to run tyres at lower pres­sures, the elim­i­na­tion of pinch punc­tures and the way that tube­less sealants quickly seal up small holes without any fuss.

How­ever, there is one thing that tube­less sys­tems haven’t quite mas­tered – the feel of a top-qual­ity cot­ton-cased tyre – which is ex­actly what Bon­trager has de­liv­ered here with this all-new R4.

The 28mm R4 Open Clas­sics is a to­tally new tyre com­pared to the brand’s stan­dard R4. Yes, they share a sim­i­lar cot­ton side­wall, but they re­ceive a file-like tex­tured tread on the gummy black rub­ber. Its su­per-sup­ple 320tpi [threads per inch] cot­ton cas­ing is as close as you’ll get to hand­made clas­sic tubu­lar tyres, which is im­pres­sive. Cou­pled with their 28mm size, they look to be the ideal fast win­ter tyre, fea­tur­ing Bon­trager’s Hard case Lite punc­ture-pro­tec­tions trip.

On the road the R4s are sim­ply lux­u­ri­ous, rolling with con­sum­mate ease, while the com­pli­ance of the cas­ing helps to elim­i­nate road buzz at its source. If you plan to ven­ture over to the con­ti­nent to ride any of the cob­bled clas­sic sportives, the R4s would make su­perb ad­di­tions to your bike, not just for their smooth rolling prow­ess, but for the great grip they of­fer, too. The R4s hold on to slick sur­faces well and pro­vide enough feel on the limit to stay on the safe side of trac­tion.

On our scales they weigh in at 284g (claimed 280g) and, when fit­ted to a pair of Zipp 202 Firecrest CCL wheels, they mea­sure 27.2mm wide. We wouldn’t hes­i­tate to rec­om­mend these sup­ple yet tough tyres for your fast win­ter miles.

WE SAY Ver­sa­tile and smooth-rolling tyres that’ll defy the el­e­ments

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