Fast rolling and grippy if a little harsh in ride quality.
Fast rolling compound
Tore a hole on first ride
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The Cadex Race 25s are the brand's fast rolling race tyres that are tubeless ready
As part of Giant’s componentry wing, Cadex is responsible for high-end performance products that are often found littered across the pro bikes of CCC Team.
The Cadex tyres are available in 23, 25 and 28mm sizes (my test pair sit in the middle) and they have a 170 TPI build. For comparison, that's the same as Specialized's S-Works Road Tubeless tyres - but 10 TPI less that the Continentals GP 5000 TLs.
For the uninitiated, the higher the thread per inch count, the more supple you'd expect the tyre to be - whilst a lower TPI generally signals a harsher ride but with better protection against punctures.
As the road market races to adopt tubeless technology, we've found that tyres can have a harsher feel as a stiffer casing is necessitated to ensure a tight seal on the rim. Unfortunately for Cadex, this was the case with the Race 25 tyres. Whilst the effect was notable, they're in no means the worst I've tried and I found this rubber less 'clattery' than the Continental GP5000 model.
I tested these on the Cadex 42 rims as well as on Hunt's 34 Aero Wide Disc rims, running 80psi in each. Maybe I could run them at lower pressures (a much touted benefit of tubeless tyres), however I don't for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don't tend to suffer much from pinch flats (touch wood) due to my light weight and secondly, I hate the feel of a squirmy tyre moving underneath me.
I was initially worried that this harshness would impair the tyre’s grip but happily the RR-S Silica compound works well and the tyres have plenty of bite in the corners. Once I was used to the slightly harsher feel of the rubber I was contentedly leaning over in bends and attacking descents.
Giant hasn't made any sweeping statements around the rolling resistance afforded by these tyres, and we've yet to see this model come under the scrutiny of an independent testing rig. However, they certainly offer the feeling of fast rolling that accompanies other top end race tyres – a sort of subtleness that just makes riding easier.
The natural consequence to a quick rolling, grippy tyre is quite often a reduction in puncture protection - and juggling all three demands is something tyre brands have been trying to do since the Boneshaker days. To counter flats, Cadex has built in a 'Race Shield Puncture Protection' belt; this is made from a Kevlar material incorporated into the casing.
I did briefly run these as a clincher - as you might in an emergency 'flat on the road' situation, and I did hear the worrying hiss of a flat tyre on the very first outing when a sharp stone got the better of the system. Unfortunately it was enough to take a chunk out of the tread which subsequently let air leak out once I set them up tubeless.
Thankfully, I've since tested a new set on the latest Giant TCR - and after a few hundred kilometres of tubeless riding they have resisted cuts and tears and have remained seated admirably.
At £64.99 per tyre, the Cadex Race 25s come in at the same price point as the Schwalbe Pro One TT tyres and the Continental GP 5000 TL rubber. It's not cheap, and you can find a good tyre for less - especially if you're actually going to set your wheels up in clincher form.
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