The Panaracer Race L (Light) is Panaracer´s fastest and lightest road bike tire. When compared to the Panaracer Race A (All-round) which comes with a puncture belt that runs from bead to bead, the Race L comes with a puncture belt that only covers the tread area. To save some more weight and also lower the rolling resistance a bit more, Panaracer reduced the tread thickness from 2.7 mm to 2.2 mm. It does look like Panaracer uses the same rubber compound as used on the Race A which means grip wise, there shouldn't be any large differences.
Although this is Panaracer's lightest tire, it doesn't compete with ultra-light tires like the Continental Grand Prix TT (read review) and Grand Prix SuperSonic (read review) as those tires have an even thinner tread and a very thin puncture belt, or no puncture belt at all. As I've already mentioned in the Panaracer Race A review, the Race A is a much stronger tire than the all-round name indicates. The Race L is also a much tougher tire, it's best to compare the Race L to all-round tires like the Grand Prix 4000S II (read review).
If you're also interested in how the Race A Evo 3 and Race D Evo 3 perform, you can compare them side by side on the comparison section of our site here: Race A Evo 3 Vs Race D Evo 3 Vs Race L Evo 3
|Model||Race L Evo 3|
|Tire Type||Tubetype (clincher)|
|Supplied By||Bought in store|
|New or Used||New|
|Compound||ZSG Dual Compound|
|Specified Weight||200 grams|
Size and Weight Measurements
|Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622x17C, Pressure: 100 psi / 6.9 bar)|
|Specified Weight||200 grams|
|Measured Weight||199 grams|
|Measured Width||27 mm|
|Measured Height||24 mm|
|Total Tire Thickness Center||2.2 mm|
|Total Tire Thickness Sidewall||0.5 mm|
Weight. With a measured weight of 199 grams, my sample of the 25-622 Race L comes in a tad lighter than the specified weight of 200 grams.
Size. On a 17c rim, at an air pressure of 100 psi / 6.9 bars, the Race L has a maximum width of 27 mm. The measured height comes in at 24 mm.
Tire Thickness. The total thickness of the tire at the center of the tread comes in at 2.2 mm which is 0.50 mm less than the Race A. The sidewalls have a thickness of 0.50 mm which is 0.30 less than the Race A. The thinner sidewalls clearly indicate this tire doesn't have reinforced sidewalls. The 0.50 mm sidewall thickness is very similar to other fast road bike tires.
Rolling Resistance Test Results
|Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph / 8 m/s, Load: 42.5 kg / 417 N)|
|Inner Tube||Conti Race28 (100gr butyl)|
|Rolling Resistance 140 psi / 9.7 Bar||
CRR: Not Tested
|Rolling Resistance 120 psi / 8.3 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 100 PSI / 6.9 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 80 PSI / 5.5 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 60 PSI / 4.1 Bar||
|Use the formula: RR (watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load|
Just like the Race A (read review), the Race L doesn't perform all that great in the rolling resistance tests. With a rolling resistance of 13.9 watts at the high air pressure of 120 psi / 8.3 bars, the Race L lags behind the Continental Grand Prix 4000S II (12.2 watts) by 1.7 watts. At the lower air pressure of 80 psi / 5.5 bars, rolling resistance comes in at 16.4 watts which is 2.7 watts more than the Grand Prix 4000S II (13.7 watts).
When we compare the Race L to ultra-light tires from competing brands, the gap widens even more as you can find light tires that come in somewhere around 10 watts at 120 psi / 8.3 bars. If you're looking for a really fast no-compromise tire, the Race L, unlike the name might suggest, doesn't seem to fit the bill.
Puncture Resistance Test Results
|Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)|
|Puncture Resistance Tread||14|
|Puncture Resistance Sidewall||6|
In the puncture resistance tests, the Race L performs much better than what we would expect from a 'Light' tire. In the tread puncture test, the Race L scores 14 points which is higher than most other 'all-round' tires that usually come in somewhere between 11 and 13 points.
In the sidewall puncture test, the Race L also scores higher (6 points) than many other all-round road bike tires with a similar sidewall thickness (4 - 5 points). It looks like the casing material used by Panaracer is stronger than what's used by other manufacturers.
Just like the Panaracer Race A, the Race L scores much higher in the puncture resistance tests than the name suggests. Unlike its low weight, the Race L provides a better puncture resistance when compared to heavier tires from competing brands. Unfortunately, rolling resistance also comes in higher than what we would expect from a 'light' tire. Compared to light time-trial tires from competing brands, the Race L is uncompetitive in the rolling resistance tests.
The conclusion here is pretty much in line with the Panaracer Race A (All-round) (read review) which I've suggested to be more of a 'protection' or 'endurance' tire. Yes, the Race L is a light tire with a measured weight of 199 grams, but its performance in the rolling resistance and puncture resistance tests is more in line with all-round tires from competing brands.
TEST VERDICT: Recommended