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  1. #1
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    First impressions: Schwalbe Ultremo DD

    I just finished my first ride on these, 38 miles on a hot Texas Friday. Out of the box, the tires look impressive with a semi-gloss finish that has a slightly bumpy texture. You won't see any tires that look like this, and the large letters stand out from all the other tires you find on the road.
    Schwalbe claims that the puncture resistance comes from a ceramic belt that actually dulls potential cuts before it gets to the casing. They also advertise strongly reinforced sidewalls. Having done just one short ride, I can't form any opinion on these claims. Puncture resistant claims to me also seem more marketing buzz than reality. I see fancy names with zero validated proof.
    The tires are a little bit heavier than what they replaced (Michelin Krylions 700x23), but this was to be expected in a, ahem, 700x25 tire. Did I say 700x25? I mounted the front tire on before I did the back, and it looked very narrow for a 25. I held it up to the Michelin and sure enough, it looked narrower! I don't own any calipers, but I used an adjustable wrench with mm markings. Sure enough, it was slightly narrower, about .1mm maybe.
    The good part was that these tires were easier to mount compared to the Michelins. Those were the hardest tires to mount I've ever experienced. They were even easier than the Continental tires I've used in the past.
    My concern is how would they ride, so that's what I'm really writing about here. Compared to the Krylions, they are smoother, with almost a bouncy feel to them. I'm guessing that might be due to the reinforced sidewall, or the rubber compound. So at least I did get a slightly more comfortable ride than what I had previously, but I doubt it'll help on the chipseal heading to Austin for the MS150.
    Summing it up: They are nice looking tires and have a pretty good feel on the road. They're also easy to mount. I'd recommend them to someone who was lighter in weight than I, who wants a nice sport tire. However, having Continental GP4000's in the past, I can't say that these are a better ride quality. Also with a higher price, the value just doesn't seem to be there. Maybe these will redeem themselves in the future with puncture resistance and tread life? I'm doubtful, but will report back in about 1000 miles.
    My carbon footprint has cleats

  2. #2
    The Trollinator
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    The DD is a 67-TPI tire. Most any high-end tire should ride better.

    Then again, even my dorking-around rides are on Vittoria Pavés.

  3. #3
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    Minor update: Contacted Schwalbe through their email asking about this. Zero reply.
    My carbon footprint has cleats

  4. #4
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    Got a message asking about updates, and I said I would, so here it is.
    I've got about 1300ish miles on this tire so far. Haven't had any flats since I've installed them. I do have several cuts on the rear tire, but nothing that went through the casing. So I can call the puncture resistance effective. I've ridden it mostly on chipseal roads, packed dirt, roads with plenty of gravel too.
    I've been content with these, and would buy them again, if I were looking for a 23mm tire. The rear tread, aside from the cuts, seems to have plenty of life left. I would consider these a good training tire, because of durability, puncture resistance. I'd definitely pick them over the Michelin Lithion. Comparable in both areas, but the Schwalbes are definitely much much easier to install.
    I still think I'll go back to the Continental GP4000 next time, however. I'd sacrifice puncture resistance, and I'd also sacrifice the easy to install factor. The reason for me to go back is because I want a 25mm vs. a 23mm tire. Continental tires seem to size more accurately in my experience. If these Schwalbes were actually 25's (or even 26), I'd choose them over the Conti.
    My carbon footprint has cleats

  5. #5
    T K
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    Thanks for your report. I looked at those but opted for the Schwalbe Ultremos in a 25instead for more protection on those long winter rides. Changing a tire while cold sucks. Thought if I liked them I'd try the DDs for summer training. So far seem to be a smooth ride.
    How did those DD's handle at speed. Say on fast descents.

  6. #6
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    The 25mm French-made Krylions I've used actually measured 27mm. The 25mm Asian-made ones measure 25mm.

    My 25mm Schwalbe Duranos measure 25mm, so maybe your DDs (heh, DDs) are a genuine 25mm, and the Krylions you used were wider than the stated 23mm. Were the Krylions you used made in France?
    Ballan, we have a problem.

  7. #7
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    Don't know where it was made. With a caliper, the DD's measured on the low side of 24. It's not as big of a deal as it used to be. When i started riding, i needed 25's because I was 210. When I got these, I was over 190 but slowly losing weight. Ultimate goal is 180. At 187 currently.
    My carbon footprint has cleats

  8. #8
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    Not sure sure what cycling planet you are on Peanya. In Ireland we are hardcore. I never thought I would get a race tyre so confident as to its purchase on the road. This tyre has never failed me whatever terrain and that is what counts. At 70 kpmh sure footed and all I was thinking about was going faster. Competition got a long way to go to beat the dd's.

  9. #9
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    I think Ultremo DD is the way to go. Light, low rolling-resistance, and good-looking. Surprisingly puncture-resistant too, given how light they are. I used mine on crappy roads and had very few flats.

  10. #10
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    I like them too! I used them last year as a late-summer/fall tire as an "anti-goathead" tire. I pulled 3 thorns out of the tires that went straight in, then turned 90degrees when they hit the ceramic belt layer. When I saw the first thorn I was like "no way". After the third thorn I was like "HOLYSH+T!" Wet weather traction was also good for me.
    goat head: Tribulus terrestris - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    `The Corkscrew was a great overtaking spot!´ smirked the World Championship leader. `Sometimes it´s possible to make a mistake there, but the gravel had good grip!´

  11. #11
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    I recently upgraded my wheels to hand-built customs with 23mm wide rims. I also decided to try new tires and I ended up getting the 700 x 25 DD's and I absolutely love them. So far so good but I've only got about 500 miles on them so far so I don't know how they will wear. With them mounted on 23mm wide rims they are measuring 26.1mm wide and actually look to have a tubular like rounded profile. So unless they wear extremely fast I will be using them again.

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    2011 Specialized Secteur Elite Apex -Just about how I want it: Crank Bro's Egg Beaters, Blackburn CF water bottle cages, Red Anodized KCNC goodies, Custom Wheels - (Chris King R45 Hubs, Velocity A23 - 28 Hole Rims, Phil Wood Double Butted Spokes), SRAM Red Compact Crankset with Chris King GXP Bottom Bracket, Ciamillo GSL Micro Brakes, Swiss Stop BXP Brake Pads, Zipp SLC2 Bars
    2005 Iron Horse MK3 Expert - many years of trail duty and still my go to Mt. Bike.

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