Veloflex Record Tubular Tire
See the official Veloflex web site for the full range of tires.
Tires are a critical choice on any bike, exerting the most influence of any part on the bike to handling and acceleration.
The tire is rotating weight at the worst possible place, so a small reduction in tire weight can make a very pleasant improvement.
A difference of 30 grams in the tire is noticeable (assuming the wheels themselves are suitably lightweight). But it’s more than the weight— the Record also seems to be more compliant than its heavier siblings.
Life is short, so ride lightweight tires that you enjoy— it’s the single best upgrade you can make for your bike. Unless of course your ride over glass and debris on the roads, in which case you’ll have to compromise.
Veloflex describes the Record as a “Time trial — Track” tire, but I ride them every day for training at 120 psi. A front tire lasts for thousands of miles, so I see no reason to use anything else. On the rear, wear is 4-5X faster, so the Sprinter can be a better choice.
I ride the 22mm Record. The 20mm version is not really needed for everyday road riding but does save ~20 grams or so (165g instead of 185g). And handles badly on the road, so I do not recommend it.
There is always variation and different batches can be slightly lighter or heavier, but Veloflex is pushing the limits in quoting a weight of 185 grams.
I weighed many brand-new Record tires over a year on my lab scale at the following weights:
Update: Veloflex updated their specs in 2011 to be 185g ±10%. As can be see, tire weights are always above the claimed value, never below.
With the minimal rubber and 350 TPI casing, the Veloflex Record offers a highly compliant road feel that I’ve come to greatly enjoy. I doubt you’ll find a more comfortable ride, and it really makes a difference on rougher pavement.
I inflate the Record to 120 PSI (I am 180 pounds when lean). Lighter riders might find 110-115 PSI a better choice for overall comfort.
Flats and wear
I’ve seen no evidence that the Veloflex Record is more prone to flats than its heavier siblings, and I’ve used about a dozen of them over five years. The flats I’ve had have been mostly instant (nail through the entire tire), or tiny wire or glass punctures with an almost worn-out tire. Higher pressure tends to minimize flats, and I do run 120-125 PSI.
Wear life on rear
I’m a relatively heavy (180 pounds lean) and powerful rider (threshold at 340 watts when in shape), so I wear out tires fast, especially on climbs.
On the rear, a Record on my bike is good for at most 550 miles, due to the considerably greater forces exerted on it. So for a better lifespan, I generally mount the one-grade-heavier Veloflex Sprinter (my favorite Veloflex Servizio Corse has been discontinued).
Wear life on front
Unlike the rear tire, the front tire suffers no torque from climbing or sprinting. I’ve found that even the Record wears for a good 1500 or even 2000 miles before needing replacement. That’s plenty.
Why would I want to ride a heavy tire with numb road feel and sluggish handling for 5000 miles of my life, so many hours, to save a few bucks?
Heavier riders doing lots of climbing are unlikely to see the rated 1000km of wear on the rear tire. For a heavier or more powerful rider, figure 800km for the rear.
|Use||Time trial, fast hill climbing, record attempts, track|
|Size||650 x 20, 22 / 700 x 20, 22|
|Weight||180 grams ±10%|
|TPI||350 Threads Per Inch (140/cm)|
|Pressure||7/10 bar (110/150 psi)|
|Protection belt||Calicot puncture resistant layer|
|Casing||Compressed Pes/Co corespun|
|Rubber tread||Natural rubber exclusive compound|
|Inner tube||Latex low rolling resistance|
|Valve||Presta 36 mm with changeable (removable) core|
|Mileage||Front 2,000 km - Rear 1,000 km|