SCHWALBE Durano Plus, £32.99,

We’ve ridden scores of Schwalbe tyres over the years and been variously impressed with their durability, grip and general construction. The Durano Plus is new for 2011 and takes another key aspect of tyre design – puncture resistance – to a new level.
Like its indestructible stablemate, the Marathon Plus (a favourite with tourers), the Durano Plus has a belt of protective Smartguard rubber beneath the central tread (the blue bit in the image). Just squeezing it between your fingers you can feel how tough it is and it’s this belt that acts as a first line of defence against penetration by sharps and road debris. There’s also another layer of wraparound protection adding slash resistance to the sidewalls.

The dual compound rubber proved surprisingly grippy in fair weather conditions, unexpected in a tyre with such a bulletproof core. It has a maximum inflation of 145psi, but we ran it a little way below that, especially to maximise traction on unpredictable Spring rides.

Obviously all that extra rubber adds to the tyre’s heft but it’s no sinner at 380g in our 700x25c test sample. The Durano Plus even seems fairly sprightly on the road, rolling resistance bettering many of the commuting/touring treads we've tested recently. We’ve run them for a few hundred miles now without a single puncture and we’ve heard of riders being equally flat-free after 5,000 miles. Biggest negative was that it was a difficult tyre to fit — a real two levers and brute force affair. Regular Duranos are still available in a multitude of colours, plus the Durano Skid for fixie riders. Jon C

PROS Flat-proofing on steroids
CONS Hard to fit