Monday, 18 August 2014

Race Guard vs Kevlar Guard

Race Guard vs Kevlar Guard - Intro

Any one in the market for some Schwalbe Tires may have noticed the move away from Kevlar Guard to a new puncture protection system, called Race Guard. IT IS NOT VERY GOOD. It is still better than most other tires but if you are used to trouble free riding given by kevlar guard then think agian.

On purchasing some new big apple tires (2014) Kevlar Guard was no longer an option. So is this this an improvement?

Updated as of 28/04/2016 - Findings based on 6 months of use.

Race Guard vs Kevlar Guard - Performance

Kevlar Guard - With only 1 punctures in 2 YEARS of cycling I was VERY happy with my Kevlar Guard 2" (50mm) Big Apples.

Race Guard - With 4 punctures in 4 months of cycling I am a little worried about the performance of my newer Race Guard 2.35" (60mm) Big Apples.

I may have been unlucky. Time may prove them to be equal, but I have my doubts.

Race Guard vs Kevlar Guard - Conclusion

If you can still get hold of older tires with Kevlar Guard, then get those.

Race Guard vs Kevlar Guard - Other Choices

I am trialling a pair of Marathon Mondials in 26 x 2.15 at the moment, but there are not slick enough for me, so have ordered a pair of Fat Franks, which still come with Kevlar Guard. The fat franks however are a different compound and have a smidge more tread they feel squirmy by comparison to the big apples.

Update: 17/12/2014

One thing I have overlooked is that my old tires with kevlar guard were 2" whilst the new ones were 2.35", and I am using the same inner tubes so the tubes will be stretched more, and thus have less puncture resistance.

I have swapped my standard tubes Continetal 1.5 - 2.5 tubes for some michelin C6 downhill tubes, these are thicker and designed for fatter tires (2.2 - 2.8) so we will see how things go over the next 6 months.

Update: 03/07/2015

Well 7 months since my last post and another 4 punctures.  3 of which were thorns from hedge trimming, 1 from a metal object. This despite the very heavy tubes I am running. The C6 tubes mentioned above are designed for use with 2.25" - 2.6" tires, so there is very little stretch when using them with the big apples. So after nearly a year of use, I have to conclude that Race Guard is not as good a Kevlar Guard.

This is a bit sad, because the big apple is a very practical tire in terms of its tread and size etc. but now is more prone to punctures.

Update: 28/04/2016

After my last post I purchased some fat frank tires another balloon bike tire from schwalbe. Thos one uses the kevlar guard option and is alos 2.35" wide (60mm). To mt surprise I suffered 3 or 4 punctures in these tires within a few months! SO the question arises is it the type of puncture protection or the width that is the problem. Do schwalbe use the same width protection band in a 2.0" tire, as they do in a 2.3" tire? If si this would leave more the tire vulnerable to punctures.

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