The Schwalbe Durano tyre has settled itself firmly in the top 5 list of training/winter tyres over the last few years. This is because they are designed to be an all-rounder, offering a balance between durability, rolling-resistance and grip. With 4 models now in the Durano range, we’ve been putting the newer Schwalbe Durano Double Defense folding tyre through over 600 miles of testing. In a mixture of commutes, short, fast training rides and longer weekend rides.

The Technology

Schwalbe’s Durano Double Defense tyre has the same dual compound rubber casing and tread-pattern as the Durano. It is also fitted with the same RaceGuard puncture protection belt. This is a double layer of nylon fabric underneath the tread and is designed to keep the weight of the tyre down whilst providing a high level of puncture protection. Where the Durano Double Defense differs from the original Durano, is the inclusion of a snakeskin fabric around the shoulders and sidewalls of the tyre. This is to reinforce these parts of the tyre.

Schwable Durano Double Defense
Schwalbes Snakeskin Fabric reinforces the tyre sidewalls.

On the road

The Schwalbe Durano Double Defense is badged as at being a training tyre that is aimed to be as lightweight as it is durable. At a (claimed) weight of 295g for the 25mm that we have been running, it is not as light as some of the manufacturers that fall into the same bracket but are not as heavy as others. When it came to fitting the tyres, they were incredibly tight to and we really struggled with the rear wheel. This doesn’t bode well for quick, road-side fixes. Once fitter, we inflated the tyres to around 95-100psi (recommended range is between 85-115psi) .

The first few rides were the short, 14 mile round-trip to work. This is usually quite a stop-start ride and whilst relatively flat, throws in a couple of short, sharp climbs. The tyres grip well and being dry days, there wasn’t a great deal of concern in the grip through corners and the sidewalls offered no excessive flex. On a longer ride – again dry, the Schwalbe Durano Double Defense seemed to handle well on the country lanes we were riding. The ride quality is not as firm as you may expect from a winter/training tyre and actually offer a good degree of comfort (depending on the road surface). That being said, even on a smooth stretch of tarmac, it feels like you are made to work to get rolling at higher speeds. But the Durano DD tyres are designed to be a ‘mile-eater’ and that is what they do very well. On a 50-60 mile ride, the tyres just roll and feel like they can keep rolling for as long as the riders legs will permit them to. Despite our front tyre picking up some small cuts to the outer tread within the first 200 miles, we have encountered no significant issues with the the tyres structure or performance. Even a couple of eye-wincing moments riding over some unavoidable gravel and grit in the road cause no drama and more importantly no punctures. The outer casing has remained in good condition with little signs of wear.

Schwalbe Durano Double Defense
The unique tread pattern & dual compound rubber of the Schwalbe Durano offers impressive grip in both dry and wet conditions.

When it comes to grip, the Schwalbe Durano Double Defense is sure-footed in both dry and wet conditions. The combination of the dual compound rubber and unique tread pattern provide good adhesion to the road and riding in extremely wet conditions, the tyres showed not signs of sicking to the road. This was of course after we’d reduced the pressure by 15-20 psi.

Schwalbe Durano Double Defense Tyre Review Conclusion

When choosing a tyre for your bike, it is important to think about what you are wanting to get from it – whether you are looking for speed, grip, durability and puncture protection. The Schwalbe Durano Double Defense tyres offers up a bit of everything. The weight isn’t really issue, but there are lighter winter tyres out there and fitting them will requires patience and incredibly strong thumbs. The handling and grip is very good in most conditions (sadly it hasn’t been cold enough to test in frozen conditions) but it feels like they lack a turn of pace and you have to work to get up to speed. But what they lack in speed, they make up for in endurance and whilst being dubbed as a winter/training tyre – we’d happily ride them in spring or summer sportive. The RaceGuard protection belt and Snakeskin fabric sidewalls proved to be effective in that over 600 miles of riding various road surfaces have not produced any punctures. The Durano Double Defense is available in 23, 25 and 28mm sizes for the folding tyre and has a £37.99 RRP – which is £5 more than the standard Duranos. But at the time of this review Wiggle and Evans Cycles have 15-25% discount. Whilst Ribble offer a discounted twin pack.

A good all-round that is best suited for long, steady distance riding.

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