Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Schwalbe Ultremo R.1 Review

I am not a girly girl. I don't care if my hair is a mess, I am not excited by things that sparkle and I wouldn't have a clue what belt to wear to match my shoes. In fact I don't even own any shoes.. except for the cycling variety. Imagine then my surprise when somewhere from deep within my feminine subconscious came a squeal of sheer delight as I realised I'd found a road/race tyre that not only came in different colours, but came in a shade that was a perfect match to my bar tape. Now THAT is accessorising!

However, apart from coming in a spectacular array of fun colours, these tyres do have some other pluses..

Now I'm certainly no cycling expert but I cover enough miles and hit enough potholes to know what feels good on the bike and what doesn't. These tyres ticked the first box when they went on so easily; no grunting or excessive numbers of tyre levers required.

Having been running 700 x 25 winter tyres since October, I thought these slick, skinny tyres might make for a bumpier ride but I barely noticed any difference in terms of comfort. In fact they felt fantastically smooth and grippy whilst cornering.

The main thing I noticed about these tyres was just how much faster they were than any of the tyres I'd ridden before. Maybe it was a tailwind, or perhaps excellent fuelling from my peanut butter and nutella sarnie, or even possibly the positive psychological effect of being out on the bike and knowing you're colour co-ordinated.. but I was whizzing along stretches of road that I'm very familiar with so much quicker and more comfortably than usual. 

I knew it must have been the tyres when I hit some good descents. Usually I am on the drops with my chin over the handlebars and trying to be as aero as humanely possible as I fail to stay with quicker cyclists on the downhills. Today I was anxiously feathering the brakes as my normal descents became scarily faster!

All in all after just one ride I am well impressed with these tyres; they withstood several dodgy roads, survived over the usual potholes and provided some serious downhill exhilaration. Bring on the time trials!


  1. How are the tires holding up? Flat much? I assume you got 700x23c and this accounts for the speed bump over your 25s. Considering these or Vittoria Rubino Pros --- also come in OranGe!!!:)

  2. Yep I got the 700x23c. Actually I have already had to replace my first set, great race tyres but they don't handle the daily commute so well!