The tires that came stock on my Scott Plasma Time Trial bike are the Schwalbe Durano S. I’ve had very good luck with Schwalbe tires (in fact, Schwalbe’s Rocket Ron tire is my all-time favorite mountain bike tire), and so I decided to give the Durano tires a try.
The Durano S is a moderately light (225g), dual compound folding bead tire that Schwalbe rates as “Outstanding” for Durability and Grip, and “Very Good” for Speed and Protection.
My first impressions of the tire were extremely positive:
I removed my Continental Gatorskin Hardshell training tires, and mounted the Duranos. I did about 45 miles (on my road bike) yesterday, and I was pretty shocked at the difference between the Durano and the Gatorskin.
I’ve been rolling on the Gatorskin tires for so long I suppose I’d become acclimated to their extremely harsh ride. By comparison, the Durano was much smoother in ride quality, and they corner significantly better than the Gatorskins. The difference, especially ride smoothness, was night and day.
It’s going to be interesting to see if the Durano’s puncture resistance is up to the job. Some of the roads I ride on a regular basis are infamous for causing flats, so if I start flatting on the Durano they won’t work–at least as a training tire. Even the mighty Gatorskin Hardshell tire has succumbed to the mean streets of Apopka, so I’ll find out pretty quickly if the Durano is battle-worthy.
As far as ride quality and handling go, the Durano is a win. I’m also saving 70g in rotational weight over the Gatorskins, so that’s another plus. If these tires are as tough as Schwalbe claims, I may have found a new training tire.
It’s been nearly two months since I started rolling on the Durano S tires, and I’ve now put a little over 2,000 training miles on them. It’s time for a follow-up report.
After riding more than 2,000 miles on the the Durano S tires, I am still very happy with their ride quality and how they handle. The Durano S provides a much smoother ride compared to the Gatorskin (I actually did a couple rides on the Gatorskins during the past two months, and the difference was very noticeable), and cornering is much better.
I can’t provide any scientific data with regards to rolling resistance, about all I can say is that I’ve been setting plenty of PRs over the past couple of months. Of course these tires are a good bit lighter than the Gatorskins, and that makes a difference.
I’ve done a few rain rides on the Durano S, and they’ve been just fine. Aggressive corning in the rain is something I can’t speak to, as I’m not willing to push the limit and risk going down–especially on a mere training ride.
The big question mark for me was puncture resistance. I’ve suffered plenty of flats on my Gatorskin Hardshells, and I figured the lighter Durano S would be even more prone to flatting. Surprisingly so far I’ve only experienced one flat on the Durano S (a bit of steel belt wire punctured the tire like a pin). One flat over more than 2,000 miles is not bad considering some of the roads I ride on every day. Last year (2015) I had 13 flats over nearly 13,000 miles, and most of those miles were on Gatorskin Hardshell tires.
The other day I was riding along and I saw a patch of broken glass just in front of me. There was heavy traffic to my left, so I had no choice but to roll right through the sharp glass. Cursing under my breath, I expected to feel one, or both, tires go flat. They never did.
The tires definitely have battle scars, but they seem to be holding up quite well:
It will be interesting to see how many miles I can get out of these guys. If The Schwalbe Durano S holds up for a decent amount of miles and continue to be relatively flat-free, I’ll definitely choose these over the Gatorskins.