Sunday, January 29, 2012

Specialized Turbo Pro Review


Tires, or more correctly in this case, training tires are a funny thing. Everyone has their preference built up on price, longevity, feel, grippiness and the most important factor – how many punctures did you get on them. Some people swear by a certain brand that others despise with a passion.

Me, over the last few years I have been pretty devoted to using the Continental GP4000s tires on my training wheels (I have no tire relationships on the road bike so I'm buying them) – I have found that they grip well, are reasonably comfortable and last for ages. The negative thing about them is that they feel pretty sluggish (and rolling resistance tests back this up) and cost a lot.

So there I was, in California to train and my rear GP4000s gives up the ghost... What to do – I go to the bike shop and see that the GP4000s are $80... EACH! Hmmm – maybe it is time to try something different.

Mel and I have had a long term good relationship with Specialized (although no tires) so, remembering about some good reviews I noticed recently, I picked up a SpecializedTurbo Pro for $55.

Speicalized had originally started out making tires and apparently they were great. Unfortunately, they lost focus for many years and were making road tires I wouldn't put on a commute bike. Fortunately though, this all changed a couple of years ago and the new Turbo Pro is part of that new generation. They are light, resistant to puncturing, roll well and have a few different versions at different price points. I went with the Pro rather than the S-Works because they apparently wear better. Mel has a pair of Turbo Elites now too (even cheaper), but it is too early for feedback.

So I threw it on and straight away I noticed that it rolled better than the GP4000s (which isn't hard to do) – the proof would be how long it would last...


So, I now also have a Turbo Pro on the front of my bike and the rear tire is still running strong. I have put 6,500km on it since the end of November split across dry roads in the US, a month of riding in Ireland on its rough roads and crap weather and now in Spain on a mixture of roads and conditions. At this point – the tire is 'squaring' off and there are numerous small cuts (mostly acquired in Ireland) but still no puncture (I know – I'm cursing myself). They still roll well and are comfortable. I'm 73kg and am pretty light on equipment but that is still an excellent figure. So basically, I'm giving them a thumbs up.

My request now is that Specialized bring out a 25mm version for me to use – 25 is the new 23... I'll try the S-Works version of the tire next - apparently it rolls and grips better but lasts about half the time - maybe perfect for the front?

UPDATE

I finally replaced the rear tire as it was getting pretty old looking (descending at up to 85 kmph I want my equipment perfect!). No punctures and 8,000km on the tire on the rear - impressive!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ryan Good luck on the upcoming season - we'll all be roaring for ye!
MountainGoat

Ryan Sherlock said...

Thanks - I have set myself up as well as possible to have a good year - I look forward to starting to race.

Frederic said...

Thk for taking the time to review this! I was wondering if I should replace my Turbo Pro for GP4000S. Happy to have read your review before swapping them! :)

Ryan Sherlock said...

No problem - as I said, I have had good experiences with both those tires. Currently I'm running Schwalbe tubs and clinchers (team sponsor) and have had a good experience so far - about 3-4,000km on a rear on Asian rodes before I switched it out (no punctures, just there was a new one there so I changed).

Ryan Sherlock said...

I of course (and I mention this in other posts) have been using Schwalbe on the MTB for XC for years - best there is.

Rick Fernandez said...

Were the GP4000s you consider slow rolling the Black Chili compound?

Tania said...

Yes and Yes!! completely agree!
When I bought my new bike, it came with Specialized Turbo Elite tires and I was very happy; but after tires went old I changed to Continental due to all good reviews about those tires; and really I feel my bike very slow; then after a year or so, I changed back to Specialized Turbo Elite and wala!! magic!! good tires!!
In the future I will try the SWorks tires.

Ryan Sherlock said...

Nice to see comments still arriving. I'm currently running Schwalbe One Tubeless tires on Stans NoTubes rims for training. I'm liking them a lot!