I was given a new prototype pair of Serfas tires, free of charge, to test. Each set came with a comment card to fill out and the contact info for the product manager. Rather than fill mine out once, because if I’m anything, I’m through, I took a photo of mine so I could fill it out digitally and send regular reports rather than a one-off, five line comment. I figured they’d want a little effort for what’s probably $80-$100 (or more) worth of rubber.
The tires are 25’s, maybe 26’s (they measured out same as my wife’s Specialized Turbo Pro 26mm tires). Other than the words “Prototype” and “Serfas” along with a set number, there are no other markings on the tires. After measuring my tires to determine they were indeed 25’s (not 23’s), I filled them to F; 107 psi, R; 110 psi and took them for their first spin.
Because I don’t do anything half-assed, their first feel was a 57-ish-mile ride with my friends. It was an awesome, if a little warm, morning for a ride.
The prototypes were nicely grippy, surprisingly so, as a matter of fact. After having spent the last umpteen thousand miles on S-Works Turbo’s and Michelin Pro 4’s, I was very impressed at the grip of the Serfas tires. The ride, on the other hand, felt a little stiffer than the S-Works and Pro 4 tires. On the first ride, I attributed this to the newness of the tires. Anyone who’s ridden a new set of tires knows they break in after a couple of hundred miles. Also, I didn’t necessarily think the solid feel was a bad thing. It wasn’t near as harsh as some other name brands that make a much less supple tire – especially those that don’t have a foldable bead (these do have a foldable bead).
Then came Tuesday night’s club ride. My best speed to date for a sprint, ever, was 35.4-mph, with a touch of tailwind. For Tuesday night’s intermediate sprint, I held 36.2. The feel on the club ride, again on decent roads, was still on the stiff side, but again, it felt more “fast” than punishing and slow. I really liked how responsive they were when I put the hammer down and how grippy they were in the corners – they felt stable, like they’re on rails in the corners.
Then came Saturday’s One Helluva Ride full century. They changed the route for 2019 so I was looking forward to riding on better roads. I don’t know what the ride volunteers were thinking but they actually picked worse roads for the new route. It was brutal trying to hang in there with a 20+mph group while dodging crappy roads. I hit a pothole so hard, I was sure I was going to pinch-flat, or worse, wreck a rim. Nothing. Not even a busted belt in the tire. When I didn’t have to pull over to the side of the road to fix a flat, or worse, call SAG with a busted rim, I was sold.
I just hope these tires come out before I wear this set out so I can buy another. Serfas is coming out with a decent tire.