Lightning fast tyre on smooth trails the Driver is an XC or marathon tyre, or a rear wheel option for trail bike use
Even though the label says this is a 2.2in tyre, the low-profile tread makes it feel narrower, more like 2.0in. We can’t argue with Panaracer on the weight though, because at 615g it’s the lightest tyre on test. Fit a set of Driver Pros and you could easily cut 500g or more from your bike, especially if you decide to go tubeless.
The low weight combined with the tiny centre knobs and hard 65a compound makes this a lightning fast tyre on smooth trails. There may be faster tyres, but compared to everything else on test here the Driver Pro always felt the quickest on the climbs and when accelerating out of turns. On the flip side it had the least amount of braking traction and seemed to ping noisily off small stones and roots. We tried lowering the pressure but this caused the lightweight casing to roll on the rim, which only unbalanced the bike.
To be fair the Driver Pro is designed for marathon and cross-country use, which means it’s always going to be on the slight side for trail riding. If you’re more into fitness or just ride easier trails then the Driver Pro could takes minutes off your Strava times, but for rippers there are better options elsewhere in this test.