Excels in terms of slow-speed grip
Panaracer Pandura TLC is a triple compound, all-mountain model with a proper two-ply DH casing. With nylon taffeta sidewall reinforcemen.
Japanese brand Panaracer used to be a massive player in the UK. It still offers twenty MTB tyres, but the top-rated Panaracer TrailRaker mud tyre in 26in size was the last time we saw a lot out riding.
It’s claimed strong enough for seriously rocky and smashed up enduro racetracks, and has a serious 1,234g weight to back this up. The rubber blend doesn’t list durometer, just that the shoulders are ‘extremely soft’ and the centre ‘super soft’ rubber over a firmer base.
The Pandura looks very different and is extremely directional with sharp small oblong blocks and zig-zag edge knobs, all pointing like arrows down the trail. We’ll admit to doubting the funky tread pattern, but the casing and the rubber blend actually works really well on treacherous rocks and roots with properly slurpy, predictable grip on the brakes and tip toeing down the hardest trails.
It rolls pretty well, considering the weight, but the smaller knobs aren’t the best on moist loam and grease cornering hard or holding off-cambers, as there isn’t enough edge meat to really bite in and hold a tight line. Hitting the fastest corners or slowing down over braking chop, the shoulder blocks aren’t substantial enough to support really loading the front edge blocks at an angle either and tremble and flex. There’s an impression the tyre tucks in coming into corners too hot and leant over – it’s not drastic and the sticky rubber maintains control, but there’s definitely a less muscular feel than tyres here with better support.
To sum up, the Pandura has a casing and rubber compound that really excels in terms of slow-speed grip, but we’d prefer a more aggressive shoulder tread for pushing harder in moist conditions.