A few of us from the Cycling Weekly team have enjoyed our time with the Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres. They really are a fast, grippy and responsive tyre. £58 is a pretty competitive price too, just make sure you don't use them throughout the winter.
Available in three widths
Tanned sidewalls will get dirty quickly
Of course not the most durable tyre available
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If you are after a best day tyre, which will last the summer and give you a great ride feel with confidence inspiring grip in the bends, you don't really need to look past the Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres.
The supple ride quality can improve comfort levels and the tanned sidewalls gives the bike an overall great look. The best thing is though, they seem to last a little longer than rival lightweight and fast rolling tyres, a worthy inclusion into our Editor's Choice awards.
These high-end tyres from American brand Specialized have been a great addition to all my bikes over the summer. So much so that I keep asking for more... please return my emails Specialized... although the Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres are best kept for the best days.
These Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres are for the race days, the KOM/QOM days, ideally on dry roads and not for the everyday, so don't go buying these for your winter hack or commuter stead.
That is because these featherweight tyres from Specialized are a cotton tyre and wear can be relatively quick, though a few months in, without taking much care of them - ie not worrying about how or when I ride them - I've only noticed a small amount of wear over 500 - 600kms. They even got through a 25 hour race without a worry of a puncture, even on wet roads.
The Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres are now available in 24, 26 and 28mm at varying weights and here I've tested the 26mm (weighing a claimed 240g) on a set of Roval CLX 50 wheels. Of course Specialized will have tested and developed these S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres on its own Roval wheels so the interface here works very well indeed.
These tyres use 320 TPI Polycotton which are very supple indeed. The Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres use the GRIPTON compound from the American brand too, as used on most of its fast rolling tyres.
This supple tyre rolls extremely well, they feel supper fast. I tested the heavier Vittoria Corsa Control tyres directly after these and they felt notably slower. Same wheels same bike. Although more comparable on grip levels, which is very, very good on the Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres.
Durability isn't as good as harder casing tyres but what do you expect from cotton cased tyres?! As I say though, these have worn evenly and slowly over the course of the summer, even on wet days they've avoided puncture but I could be lucky in that respect - we all know how it goes with tyres.
If you are looking for a bit of zing on your best bike, you can't do much better than these Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres.
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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.
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