Review: Cadex Race 25 tubeless tyre

Review: Cadex Race 25 tubeless tyre

The Cadex Race 25 Tubeless Tyre is designed for pure performance. It’s a fast-feeling and remarkably supple tyre that holds up really well to roads far below race-track quality, and reliably holds onto its air. Grip is excellent whether it’s wet or dry. It can be seriously hard to mount on a rim, though, and while priced close to its rivals there’s no doubt it’s a premium product.

The tubeless Cadex ‘Race’ range – choose from 23, 25 or 28mm widths – is the first from the componentry wing of Giant. This 25mm version is, at 286g, a little over the 270g claimed weight but still by no means heavy; in fact it’s lighter than a Continental GP5000 TL (302g) and only slightly heavier than Vittoria’s Corsa Speed (236g) and Specialized’s S-Works Turbo (267g). 

> Find your nearest dealer here

Having never really had a problem fitting tubeless tyres, I was taken by surprise by the Cadex Race. I ended up resorting to forums and finally a ratchet strap to get the tyre seated; it’s a technique I can’t recommend, but it did at least work.

Under more normal techniques (involving tubes, washing up liquid and compressors), the stiff Kevlar/carbon composite bead keeps wanting to gather in the centre of the rim, perhaps not helped by my Roval CL50s’ wider rims.

I tried them with another wheelset too, a Scribe set that I’m testing at the moment. Once again, fitting the tyres wasn’t a pleasant experience as the tyre bead really wants to sit in the centre of the rim rather than seal tight to the edges. This wouldn’t be a problem if run with a tube, as the tube would push the bead outwards – but would kind of defeat the point of buying such expensive tubeless tyres.

Both sets of rims are quite wide internally, though, the Scribes as well as the Rovals – 21mm for the Roval CL50s and 19mm for the Scribe Race-D wheelset – although the trend is towards wider and wider rims.

Once fitted, the Cadex Race is a great tyre. Ride comfort is excellent, they leak negligible air or fluid through the sidewalls, and they feel fast. The thread-count (TPI) puts them in a similar category to the Conti GP5000 (180TPI) and a fair bit higher than Schwalbe’s Pro One Tubeless (127TPI) and, as a result, they’re markedly supple. They reduce road buzz and never feel harsh the way some tubeless tyres can thanks to their necessarily thicker/stiffer sidewalls.

The Cadex Race behaves well in the corners too, mixing it with the very best, such as Vittoria’s Corsa Speed. Grip is good both in the dry and the wet, and even on the steepest of greasy descents – and a long dry period ensured plenty of greasy-feeling descents when it did finally rain.

Given the supple feel of the rubber, the Race 25s wear surprisingly slowly. After 1,500km on local roads they show no sign of squaring, puncturing or cutting. Although punctures can often be down to luck, for race tyres to handle general back-lane debris without fault bodes well.

At £65 a piece these are premium tyres that many will want to save for races and fast training rides. They’re a similar price to other high-end tubeless tyres we’ve tested recently. For example, the Conti GP5000 TL is slightly more expensive at £69.95, and so is the Schwalbe Pro One (£66.99), though Michelin’s Power Road Tubeless comes in a fiver cheaper.

> Buyer’s Guide: 35 of the best road bike tyres

If you aren’t looking to run tubeless, there are cheaper options that are easier to fit and ride well, such as Goodyear’s Eagle F1 Road Tyre (£45), Michelin’s Power Road (£42.99) and, one of my favourites, Vittoria’s Corsa G2.0 (£54.99).

However, if you’re specifically looking for a high-quality tubeless tyre, the Cadex Race doesn’t disappoint – once you’ve fitted it.

Verdict

Premium tubeless road tyres that feel fast, grippy and wear well – but harder to fit than some

If you’re thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

Make and model: Cadex Race 25 tubeless tyre

Tell us what the product is for and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Cadex says: “Designed for peak race performance, CADEX Race Tubeless tyres have won over the pros of CCC team through their superior speed, ultra-light weight and supple ride feel.”

Sounds about right – though the CCC team has mechanics to deal with the pain of fitting them.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Cadex:

Size: 700x25c

Weight: 270g

TPI:170

Bead: Folding Kevlar/carbon composite

RR-S compound (Silica based)

“Race Shield” puncture protection

Single layer supple race casing

Rate the product for quality of construction:

9/10

Rate the product for performance:

8/10

Roll well and feel supple whilst not wearing as fast as others. Grip is excellent both dry and wet.

Rate the product for durability:

9/10

No large cuts after a month of testing, and are wearing better than other super supple race tyres I’ve used.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

7/10

By no means heavy for a tubeless tyre, but offerings from Specialized and Vittoria manage to save a few grams.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

9/10

Rate the product for value:

5/10

The Race 25 works really well and promises to last a bit better than many comparable tyres. It’s expensive, but £65 is par for this kind of thing.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Great for fast road riding, with very good grip and a fast, smooth ride.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Grip in both the dry and wet.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Fitting them – it was a pain.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

An rrp of £64.99 puts them at a similar price to other high-end tubeless tyres we’ve tested recently. For example, the Continental GP5000 TL is slightly more expensive at £69.95, and so is the Schwalbe Pro One (£66.99). But the Michelin Power Road Tubeless Tyre comes in a fiver cheaper.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It’s fast, grippy and comfortable, and wears slower than a lot of race tyres – but really hard to fit. If you don’t have mechanics to do it for you, that could be a fair barrier, so I can’t then describe it as very good. Instead, it’s just good, and a 7.

Age: 22  Height: 6ft  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019  My best bike is:

I’ve been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,