Wet Riding: FMB Boyaux 700 X 27C 'Paris Roubaix Pro' on Moots Vamoots RSL
Today I took the combo out for a spin up Kings Mtn Road and then down Tunitas, and back up/down (those road names are meaningful to local of the SF Bay Area).
Kings Mtn Rd was free of debris, but wet over many portions, and Tunitas Creek was mostly damp with a good load of Sequoia Sempervirens (Coast Redwood) needles coating the road in places, and the occasional branches (which I avoided). I rode with some caution, not knowing what lay around each corner, or whether mud or green slime could put me on the pavement by surprise; I did not lean hard into turns to test the limits.
I rode the PRP at 85 PSI, which is a very nice pressure for my bike and my weight (175 pounds). The PRP is really versatile on pressure, the big volume allows 60 psi (with some care for sharp edges) or anything up to 120 PSI, which would be rock hard. I’d say that the 80-90 PSI range feels about right with just enough give for compliance on rougher pavement. Probably 100 PSI would be excellent if one has smooth pavement, I’ll experiment some more.
This is a very supple tire for what it is, which one can feel by handling the carcass. I like it a lot more than the Schwalbe 700 X 25C Ultremo HT. Go race weight, or go full size methinks. But it’s not just the weight; the Paris Roubaix Pro is a very supple tire with super nice ride characteristics.
I appreciated the increased intertial mass of the PRP, but even more so the larger footprint and its “grab” on the wet pavement. Descending, the added stablility from the heavier tire versus my usual Veloflex Record was not unwelcome on the wet roads, and some hard braking tests showed the PRP to have excellent traction that is very confidence inspiring.
My thinking is that anyone looking for a fast, quiet, comfortable, grippy, durable tire in a tubular is going to love the Paris Roubaix Pro. It could do dry dirt trails and cobblestones (hence its name) or broken pavement duty (watch those loose gravel corners, no bite available into loose stuff with that smooth tread).
Those extra 155 grams vs my usual Veloflex Record tire are very noticeable (readers know my liking for super light race tires). But the PRP pays it back with a stability and momentum that are appealing— standing up out of the saddle, that front wheel momentum from the extra tire weight makes for a very stable solid feeling, which I really like when wompin' on it, or just when standing up; the stability is extra nice if road conditions suck.
I thought I might dislike the weight of the PRP, and indeed it is slower to spin up (not a tire for sprinting!), but the PRP is so smooth-riding and supple and quiet that I have taken a serious liking to it. My only regret is that the fit is too tight to mount the PRP on the rear of my Moots Vamoots RSL, so I’ll have to keep running a 25C tire there, whichs is perhaps a good idea anyway as the Vamoots RSL rear-end rides like a dream.
I like the Paris Roubaix Pro enough that I will probably keep a PRP glued on permanently on one of my front wheels, to have on hand for iffy pavement or ugly road conditions, or for just when the mood strikes of wanting the ride quality.
Which brings me to the wheel: this is a wonderful match for the Lightweight Standard 16-spoke front wheel, at least for my 175 pound weight on the Moots Vamoots RSL.