August 4, 2011
My all time favorite city tire has got to be the Panaracer T-Serv. I've ridden it since my first fixed gear, when it was really only one of a handful of performance city tires. It's always been a bit spendy and some say it wears too fast, but holy shit does it grip and I've very rarely ever gotten flats with them. And only then it was typically at the end of their lifespan.
I rotate mine from front wheel to rear wheel duty at the middle of their lifespan, and on bikes that I ride brakeless (and therefore enjoy the odd skid) I only use them for the front as they're too soft to last long for that application.
The best thing about them is the fact that they manage to excel in any of the available sizes. The 25's and 28's make a great city racing tire, and the 32's are perhaps the perfect blend of speed and cushion.
I've been riding them on my road bike all year for commuting with a fair amount of gravel mixed in. These are virtually the only street tire that possess the right amount of tread to truly kickass on hardpack dirt like you find at the Almanzo (this year's peanut butter excluded).
The 37c (in the steel bead Pasela variant) is Craiggles McShithead's preferred tire for the often loose sand of Vilas County
I myself have never liked the Paselas because I've never owned a bike where skinwall was a good look. However now that the Paselas come in all black, I think that they are pretty damn spectacular for the money.
I'm not saying that they're the best or most amazing or any of that. Lots of tires will do the job, but I've put more miles on these tires than any other in existence and I've never had a torn sidewall, or been let down in any fashion. They've always been stellar, and anybody out there who thinks that a Randonneur (not talking about skids here) is a better tire is a complete asshole.
Those things have no pop or feel.