Why you should ride Maxxis Radiale 23C on a Fixed Crit Bike?
I first used this model on the Last Man Standing in Berlin Fixed Days 2014. So, just two hours before the race I found myself changing my old tires to these just arrived Maxxis Radiale 23C.
I just did the warm-up with them and felt that there was something different. Similar to the first day you ride tubeless on your MTB, this sense of floating. But the best thing came later: the race started and with really little or none warming-up, after a couple of heavy hairpins I just learnt those tires had no limit. The only limit is the pedal touching ground!
The tires give you a lot of control, they are stiff and strong and allow you to do really smooth cornering and continuous direction changes. This is exactly what you need for fixed criteriums: quick accelerations, heavy braking and continuous cornering. To get the same amount of grip with other tires you would choose soft rubber compounds, usually built in high performance road tires (even tubulars) that tend to be light, a high bet that might lead you to a flat tire in the middle of that race you were just enjoying really much. On the other hand, you could choose a stiffer tire with harder compounds which will penalize your wheels too much in weight, grip, smoothness and control. The Radiales 23C is an all the best in one!
I used to ride a supermoto bike – saving all the obvious differences- the feeling that the Radiales 23C give you on a criterium race bicycle is quite similar, at the end they are using the same technology to build them, the radial construction. Moreover, they are dynamic and loose when you are rolling at high speed, the day before writing this review I found myself in a quick training session with a big group of cyclists and the low rolling resistance they offer at 40 km/h is pretty amazing.
The last thing to consider is their readiness for wet conditions – two of the last 3 Red Hooks happened with rainy weather- I would say they handle wet conditions pretty good, with their natural limitations, but still you can race confident.
To sum up, I think these tires are a must and make a real difference in this cycling discipline. They are hard racers and respond really good to aggressive styles, in my opinion they are the best fit for this racing style.