Team R-002 completes Two-Day Tyre Test

Test Day 1
The R-002 rolled out in windy but dry conditions on a new pair of Serfas Seca Sport tyres. Initial pressures for the 700x28mm set were placed at 82R/74F. What I immediately  noticed was how smooth they rolled, it was like gaining a bit of free speed. Now considering that the Ultra Sport 2s have become my personal Benchmark for performance, the Seca Sports were impressive right out of the gate.

Billed as a training/performance tire, the Hard/Medium Soft intermediate tread and carcass design utilizes multiple silica and rubber compounds for both durability and performance. The center of the tyre is rated at a hardness of 65h for longer wear and puncture resistance while the edges are at a medium-soft 58h, which gives it plenty of ‘stick’ when flicking it or railing through the corners.

Left @ Dunham II

On the first run, the Seca Sports encountered lumpy and bumpy roads from smooth new pavement to weathered worn tarmac, sidewalks and bumpy park paths. The tires handled every surface with ease, providing solid feedback and inspiring confidence at every turn. The main focal point of today’s run was to test low to moderate speed corner entry and exit, hard braking as well as lower speed trail braking.

Bump compliance was another main consideration as there was very minimal ‘slippage’ off of debris, small rocks and pavement irregularities. The Seca Sport tires soaked up obstacles just enough to keep bike and rider planted, while still maintaining a good amount traction and control. Which means that  in ‘loose’ sections, the Seca Sports negotiate less than perfect surfaces and transmit a real ‘feel’ back to a rider in order to respond accordingly.

The tires were predictable yet precise, edge grip and stability were both top notch. Though smooth rolling they are not vague either. Allowing a rider to feel the road surfaces and all of its subtleties. As you can see from the whitish lines on the post-ride photos, I pushed right to the edge of both front and rear without so much as a whimper from the Seca Sports.

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Having never ridden on Serfas tires prior, they were performing a bit better than expected. Initial feeling at lower to moderate speeds were not too different from my usual stalwarts, the Conti Ultra Sport 2s. Even tipping the scales at 35 grams less than the Conti 2s. So now looking ahead, day 2 will attempt to push the limits of higher speed cornering and find the limits of high-speed braking performance.


Test Day 2 (official)
Once again weather was hot with dry roads, so right to it then. Pressures were set at 85 rear and 74 front. At about mile 5, I increased the pace and started to push on. Right from the get go stability at turn-in and under braking at higher speeds provided good feel at the onset and all through the range of  turning and braking.

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I blasted down Quill Penn, then headed towards the curves of Ferguson Rd where the tyres just kept biting and biting. Then it was on to the Top of the World a fast and bumpy sweeping descent. (had the pleasure of stealing the KOM while I was at it!) I also managed to clip 42 mph with not so much as a hint of protest from the Seca Sports. Again, bump compliance was spot on, soaking up the uneven and torn up pavement. The Seca Sports are very stable and very confidence inspiring indeed.

ferguson left

Through cul-de-sac hairpins and Mtn Park Circuit, direction changes at speed were also very good. (through chicanes, hairpins and short esses). The tire profile, though not ‘sharp’ still lends itself to quick but precise steering and easy transitions from side-to-side as well.

mtn pk right

Even while trail braking into the hairpin corner feedback and ‘feel’ was very solid. If you may be wondering, without question, there is a direct correlation to tire and braking effectiveness, something worth considering when choosing tyres. The final few miles had me bombing Somerville Rd, touching 42 mph again. I wanted to go faster, but just did not have the leg power today.

As far as hauling the bike down, under threshold braking, (just a micro moment before lockup) the Seca Sports braking-traction [not to be confused with breaking traction! 😀] yielded good ‘assist’ in slowing and stopping the bike from higher speeds, this is undoubtedly due to the grippy compound. Now whether or not that means a quick life-span, remains to be seen…

After a total of 3 days, two of which were very hard riding stints and one easy tour I racked up a total of 80 miles. No, it isn’t a long-term test by any means, but, it was enough in most all riding aspects, flat, uphill, downhill, slow semi-technical corners and fast sweeping turns on a variety of surfaces to draw a solid evaluation. In my many years of riding experience both on motorcycles and bicycles, I can safely say after a modest yet thorough analysis, the Seca Sport Tyres bridge the gap between very good training tires and all-out racing rubber.

Two Years of Racing on Compass: Interview with Matt Surch

“What tire pressure do you run? And how much do you weigh?”

“I weight about 172 lbs in the spring… up to about 177 lbs during the season. I used to run 50 psi rear, 47 front on the Bon Jons, but now I tend to run closer to 40. I spent a week in South Carolina riding big climbs and fast descents, and settled on about 55 psi in the 32 mm tires, which felt fantastic in the turns…”

Off The Beaten Path

Long-time Bicycle Quarterly reader Matt Surch (above) put his name on the map when he won last year’s Steaming Nostril gravel race on Compass Bon Jon Pass tires. We checked back in with him to see how the tires performed in the year since then, and to hear about his road racing on Compass Cayuse Pass tires.

JH: With another season of riding and racing on the Bon Jon Pass tires, how do you feel about them?

Matt Surch: Frankly, the Bon Jons have been exactly what I’ve been hoping for in a gravel tire. This comes down to two key aspects: 1) volume – 35 mm is perfect for so much of the riding I do off paved roads. 2) tubeless – I love this format for its road feel and flat resistance. One of the things I’m really enjoying with the Bon Jons is that they are perfect…

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Sì, Pirelli è la migliore! All Hail PZero…

Had to update this with my input after reading the most unintelligent, ignorant, moronic comments I have read regarding tires on Road CC’s comment section from the typical spandex wearing blithering clueless idiot crowd.

More than a few of these morons actually believe Pirelli is not going to be able to produce good performing tyres. One particular jackass states how can Pirelli compete with the likes of Michelin and Continental! They make motorcycle tires how would they know ANYTHING about cycling tires! I had to laugh out loud at his massive ignorance. Can you imagine how stupid, literally stupid this insipid dolt is? And like-minded people who actually think like this?  Holy shite mates… the world is really full of stupid people.

I’ve been wondering and waiting for years now, decades actually, for when one of the best tyre manufactures in the world would delve into the bicycle market… finally, motorsport and performance tyre giant, Pirelli has joined the fray…

Due out in August, I cannot wait to test a pair of the PZero’s! Pirelli, bravissimo mio amicio’s!





Tyre and Suspension Basics

Though titled, “MotoGP Basics Tyre & Front Suspension” this video is a very good dynamic explanation of both the vertical (gravity) and lateral (radial or centripetal) forces acting against tyres and wheels. These same forces (albeit much less in N)
which are acting upon a bicycle as well.

When lateral force is greater than vertical force…(usually the front) wheel go buh bye… 😛  Referred to as a wash out or a low side. Your bicycle is a rolling physics lab, it is an amazing piece of machinery. Efficient and relatively simple, yet the complexity of applied forces in action are astounding.

Another part of the video explains the action of the front fork suspension on a motorcycle, which is the exact same action as a mtb bike fork. And btw… I know ‘Air’ is the hot ticket right now in mtb suspensions, but the best forks in the world (GP/SBK) are utilizing oil and springs, so that should tell you something…

Tested & Ridden: Quick review of the Duro Hypersonic Tyre

Testing Duro Hypersonic 25mm tyres.

The word Duro is of a Latin, Asturian and Galician origin. Duro, as is durable, as in durometer…

From dūrus (hard)

As the 2017 R002 iterations continue, I have been experimenting with different tyre widths and brands on the rear Ekay 23mm wide wheel. I have gone through the Conti Ultrasport II 28mm, which winds up being 30mm on a 23mm rim, which was too wide for the chain stays.

Then I fitted the Ultrasport II 25mm, which measured in at 26.75mm and that was fine for clearance. There is no questioning the performance of the Ultrapsort II, but I wanted a true 28mm on the rear. Next I went with a Vee Rubber V055 28mm, which measured in at a true 28mm on the wheel. But after initial evaluation, as I put more speed and lean angle into it, I did not like the ‘feel’.

So the next lucky contestant was a Duro Hypersonic 25mm wire bead (Bought for $15 usd on Amazon). The 25mm measures in at 26.5 mm on the 23mm wide wheels. No, still not what I am looking in for in terms of width, but the performance of this tyre is amazing. Really. Duro? Never herd of them you may say… Duro is a company out of Taiwan and has been around for a long time and their products are expanding and their quality consistently improving.

duro 25mm

Billed a ‘training’ tyre, the Duro is what I refer to as an intermediate (both tread and compound ) or,designed with a semi-slick type tread. It has a 120 rated TPI casing, weighs 205g, with a 60A durometer compound. (50A being the softest and 70A being the hardest of bicycle tyres) The tread/surface design is very utilitarian (also very cool looking imo) and provides excellent grip both on the edge of the tyre and under braking. The only downside with the tire is its inability to soak up small pebbles and rocks. They slip just slightly off slight ripples, bumps and very small rocks/debris.

A nice round profile, with more ‘slick’ surface than treaded surface, which I believe is the Hypersonics advantage. It has just enough tread for damp/wet and cool conditions while in normal conditions is a stellar performer in my humble opinion below… (Note: 38 mph apex speed on Kitchell and 35mph apex speed on Fairfield)

Ride Into the South Wood-Lands…of LBR 0.5km 13m 51s Apr 2, 2017
Ride Kitchell Süd Kurve 0.5km 22m 41s Apr 2, 2017
Ride [F]-Airfield (cleared for takeoff!) 0.4km 8m 33s Apr 2, 2017
 Allen Rd Descent 1.6km -5% AVG MAX
Speed 60.2km/h 68.8km/h

Now I’ve been thinking about so-called Training Tyres or Tires…which ever you might prefer! If a tyre is good enough to train on…meaning your training, typically starting off easy but wind up with a rider pushing very hard as their goals get closer. So are riders not riding similar to race or competition conditions as they progress? I find that hard to buy. In fact, I don’t buy it. So that aspect imo, is hog wash. Now, as far as weight goes, okay, so a ‘race’ or premium tire will be lighter, no questioning that.

So, is 50 to 60 grams +/- a tyre really worth somewhere around $100 or more dollars? LMAO! I suppose if you have money to burn…okay, but it’s not only weight you say…it’s rolling resistance! Ah ha! Perhaps, I reply… perhaps, a few watts here and there ( btw, you do know that tire companies test RR on a drum in perfect conditions, right? ) Insert laughing emoji…

Folks, it’s mostly ALL marketing rhetoric, yes, there are some discernible differences from a race tire to a training tire, but mostly negligible for us mere mortals. Except for the best of the best riders, the differences are not going to be that noticeable or provide any real world gains. here’s an idea…drop a pound or two off of your body or not… chances are, you’re not going to be making the Movistar or Astana or Trek squad… 😛

Also, wider is faster… (WHAT? Uh huh. It’s been proven…so forget the 23mm at 120 to 140 psi… they are actually slower…than a 25mm or 28mm at lower volume pressures. How can this be???!!! Well, it’s contact patch my friends! The more the rubber that stays in contact with the surface, the less speed you forsake…a narrow high pressure tire on real roads (not velodromes) will bounce and you will lose speed as compared to a wider tyre with lower pressure.

So, my $15 to $20 training tyres allow me to exploit fast corners and fast downhill speeds. They LAST, they are more puncture resistant and save me money! It’s a win-win imo. I have never paid more than $25 for a tire or $50 for a set. I try to stay in the $15-$20 range per tyre and have only once experienced any issues in 13 years and that was on a CST tire. (Maxxis second tier line. A real shit load of a tyre imo). It should also be noted that many tyre companies utilize the SAME compound on their lower models but don’t tell you that! So, you get the same level of performance-  grip wise in a slightly heavier BUT more reliable tyre…. Bingo! Yahtzee!

In conclusion, the Duro Hypersonic is a great tyre now matter what the price is. I’m now searching for a value priced 28mm Duro as we speak… and I just ordered a Schwalbe Lugano 28mm for $12 bucks off of eBay. Stay tuned…

The Missing Piece: Suspension/Tire Losses

Another excellent technical piece from Jan and company.

Off The Beaten Path


How does it work that wide tires are as fast as narrow ones? It is really simple:

Comfort = Speed

When your bike vibrates, energy is dissipated as friction. That energy must come from somewhere – it no longer is available to propel the bike forward, so your bike slows down. That is why your bike rolls faster on smooth pavement than on rough chipseal.

At BicycleQuarterly, we started testing tires on real roads, with a real rider, in 2006. We found that higher tire pressures don’t make your bike faster. Back then, that was pretty revolutionary. Previous tests on smooth drums had shown that the harder you pumped up your tires, the faster you went. But smooth steel drums aren’t a good model for what happens on real roads, and the results were misleading.

Over the last couple of years, our findings have become generally accepted. Most tech writers now talk about vibrations…

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Suspension Losses Confirmed

Great post from BQ and Heine “Higher tire pressures don’t result in faster speeds – even on smooth pavement. Replicating results is a crucial part of science, which makes the new results an important milestone in the understanding of bicycle performance. No longer is it just Bicycle Quarterly talking about suspension losses and lower tire pressures – the science is becoming widely accepted.” (well, hopefully it is!) (Though there are plenty of Luddite-Thinkers out there…who still run 120, 130 psi on road tires… ugh) The many False Narratives in cycling are enough to make one ill…

Off The Beaten Path


Recently, Bicycle Quarterly’s experiments on suspension losses have been replicated and confirmed: Higher tire pressures don’t result in faster speeds – even on smooth pavement. Replicating results is a crucial part of science, which makes the new results an important milestone in the understanding of bicycle performance. No longer is it just Bicycle Quarterly talking about suspension losses and lower tire pressures – the science is becoming widely accepted.

When Bicycle Quarterly’s tire tests (below) showed that higher pressure didn’t make your tires faster, few people believed it. Back in 2007, everybody “knew” that pumping up your tires harder made them faster.

We had doubts, too. So we tested again and again, and our results always were the same. We concluded that it was true, even if it went against the accepted wisdom of almost 100 years of cycling knowledge.


Looking through the literature and talking to experts like Jim Papadopoulos, we found a mechanism that could…

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When Experts Are Missing Something

Once again Jan Heine and the bicycle quarterly staff have provided sound, in depth research and tire test results.

Off The Beaten Path


Recently, I posted about slick tires and why they tend to offer poor traction, especially in the wet. Almost predictably, some Internet “experts” declared that it was all wrong. One of the more polite comments was: “Wow, lots of misinformation in this article.”

I guess it’s normal: If your research is breaking new ground, the results aren’t what people think they know. But the unexpected isn’t always wrong.

What the “experts” really are saying is: “This isn’t what most people believe right now. It may take a few years until it becomes widely accepted.”


The same thing happened when we first published Bicycle Quarterly’s real-road tire tests a little over eight years ago. Back then, the idea that higher tire pressures do not increase speed bordered on heresy.

The idea that tires roll faster the harder you pump them up seemed so evident that there wasn’t even a need to discuss this. Every tire company expert agreed…

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Optimizing Tire Tread

More excellent informative tire data from Jan Heine

Off The Beaten Path


Most tire manufacturers agree that supple sidewalls and a thin tread make a tire fast, but the role of the tread pattern remains poorly understood. Most modern tires have either a completely smooth tread (slicks) or a coarse tread pattern similar to car tires. Many high-performance tires are smooth with just a few large sipes. None of these tread patterns are optimized.

Car tires have tread mostly to prevent hydroplaning. With their wide, square profile, a layer of water can form between tire and road surface. The tread pattern forms channels so the water can be pushed out of the tire/road interface.

Bicycle tires do not hydroplane. Their contact patch is too small and too round for that. This means that car-inspired tread patterns are not necessary on bicycle tires. Does this mean that no tread pattern at all – a slick tire – is best? Any tread pattern reduces…

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On the Wings of Idunn

As the Vernal  Equinox ushers in the the warming season, The Norse Goddess of Spring…Idunn brings with her a rebirth of promise and possibilities…fore, she will lead the way for my wheels to roll-

We are now four weeks into the Spring season and the weather here in the northeast of the U.S. has finally turned a corner, with temps consistently in the mid 50’s to mid 60’s.

Although I have been putting in some rides, this is a time of the year where I will be ramping up my volume of riding. So it’s time for the obligatory tune up. In addition to recent cable and gearing adjustments, today I installed new bar tape, a new chain, and fresh new rubber both front and rear. The R-002 is now ready to take on the rest of the year though I’m not so sure about its rider! lol….


Luckily I was able to locate another pair of the Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick tyres, one on Amazon and one on ebay, because unfortunately Vittoria have discontinued this particular tire model. Combined, I paid a total of $35 dollars for the pair, scoring another great bargain for a great set of tires.