Road Bike Tire Test: Schwalbe Lugano

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Contents and Test Summary

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Size, Weight, Thickness
  4. Rolling Resistance: 21.9 watts
  5. Puncture Resistance: 14 tread / 4 sidewall
  6. Conclusion: 1.0 / 5 Not Recommended
  • Schwalbe Lugano
Performance compared to all other road bike tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - thickest - strongest)

Schwalbe Lugano road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

NOTE: We have a test available of a newer version of this tire: Schwalbe Lugano II 2020

The Schwalbe Lugano is the entry-level road bike tire from Schwalbe. This is a review of the 700 x 25C folding version of the Lugano. An even cheaper wire bead version is available as well. After comparing all specifications, the wire bead version should be very comparable to the folding version. The Lugano has a 50 TPI casing, a diamond tread profile, silica rubber compound, and a K-Guard layer for extra puncture protection.

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On paper, the Lugano seems like a great tire that should perform well on our tests. Most tires that fit the lowest price category seem to have a 20-30 TPI carcass, no silica compound, and no advanced "K-Guard" style puncture protection. When you combine these specifications with the Schwalbe brand name, which is known for producing excellent low rolling resistance tires, you can only expect the Lugano to be a decent performer.


Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Specifications
Brand Schwalbe
Model Lugano
Year 2015
Tire Type Tubetype (clincher)
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range Low
Buy At
Manufacturer part number 11600044.01
TPI 50
Compound Silica
Bead Folding
ETRTO 25-622
Size Inch 28"
Width 25
Specified Weight 280 grams
Max Pressure 115
Made In Indonesia
Available Sizes 23-622 (700x23C)
25-622 (700x25C)

Schwalbe Lugano Test Results

Schwalbe Lugano road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements

Size, Weight and Thickness Measurements
Specified Weight 280 grams
Measured Weight 275 grams
System Adjusted Weight
(tire + inner tube (100 gr)
375 grams
Measured Width 25 mm
Measured Height 23 mm
Total Tire Thickness Center 3.5 mm
Total Tire Thickness Sidewall 0.65 mm
Unmounted Casing Width No Data
Unmounted Tread Width No Data
All size measurements are taken at an air pressure of 100 psi / 6.9 bars on a 17.8 mm inner width rim.

The specified weight of the folding version of the Lugano is 280 grams. I've measured my sample of the Lugano at 275 grams, which is an acceptable weight for a 25 mm road bike tire. The wire bead version is much heavier with a specified weight of 350 grams. With a measured width and height of 25 and 23 mm respectively, the Lugano is smaller than most other 25C tires which come closer to 26/27 mm on my 17C rim.

Rolling Resistance Test Results

Rolling Resistance Test Results
Inner Tube Conti Race28 (100gr butyl)
Rolling Resistance
140 PSI / 9.7 Bar
Not Tested
CRR: Not Tested
Rolling Resistance
120 PSI / 8.3 Bar
21.9 Watts
CRR: 0.00656
Rolling Resistance
100 PSI / 6.9 Bar
22.6 Watts
CRR: 0.00677
Rolling Resistance
80 PSI / 5.5 Bar
24.4 Watts
Rolling Resistance
60 PSI / 4.1 Bar
28.4 Watts
CRR: 0.00851
All numbers are for a single tire at a speed of 29 km/h / 18 mph and a load of 42.5 kg / 94 lbs.

Use the formula: RR (Watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load.

Rolling resistance at an air pressure of 120 psi is 21.9 watts, which is very high already. At lower air pressures, rolling resistance rises sharply to 22.6, 24.4 and 28.4 watts at 100, 80 and 60 psi respectively.

Something else I noticed during the test is that the Lugano was severely out of round (more than 2 mm). Most tires have this, but the Lugano was bouncing so much that you'll probably notice it on the bike as well. This is a sign of low-quality control.

I must say that I did not expect rolling resistance to be so high. As of this writing, the Lugano has the highest rolling resistance of all tires that have been tested. It´s funny that Schwalbe now occupies the first and last position in the rolling resistance chart. Materials and quality control can make a big difference.

Puncture Resistance Test Results

Schwalbe Lugano road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)
Puncture Resistance Tread 14 Points
Puncture Resistance Sidewall 4 Points

Unlike the rolling resistance part, puncture resistance seems to be decent with a score of 14 points in the puncture test. This is slightly above most summer tires and much better than the Vittoria Zaffiro which is a tire in the same price class. I must add that the Zaffiro does have a much lower rolling resistance.


  • Schwalbe Lugano
Performance compared to all other road bike tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - thickest - strongest)

Based on the rolling resistance test results, I just can't recommend the Schwalbe Lugano to anyone. These tires will seriously slow you down; some mountain bike tires even have a much lower rolling resistance. On top of that, quality control seems to be low as the Lugano used for this test was severely out of round. To keep the price low, they probably just don't bin the bad tires.

If you don't want to spend a large amount of money on tires, I do recommend to slightly up the budget and read my reviews of the Continental Grand Prix and Vittoria Rubino Pro. Those aren't that much more but perform close to top-of-the-line tires. They will save you up to 20 watts of power for a pair of tires.

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RATING: 1.0 / 5
Not Recommended


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