Light, Grippy, Compliant Tires Boost Comfort and Speed at a Bargain Price
Clement’s Strada LGG Road tires earn our highest rating because they offer everything a great road tire should at about half the cost of similar performing rubber. When a product is so good and so affordable, it deserves 5 stars.
A Venerable Name in Tires
It’s nice to be riding on Clements again, a name you surely know if you were pounding the pavement in the 1970s, when they were most famous. Back then, the best wheels and tires were the tubular type – also known as “sew-ups,” because the tire and tube are sewn into one.
This tire type is still available and Clement still makes them, though mainly for cyclocross. In the ’70s, their legendary “tubs” were for the tarmac. The tire of choice for road racing on good roads was their Criterium Seta. And, for rougher roads or longer rides, roadies went with their fatter, thicker skinned sew-up with the wonderful name, Campionato Del Mondo.
Such was the reputation of Del Mondos that I knew a couple of tourists who crossed the USA on them without suffering a single flat. But most roadies at that time chose them for their velvety-smooth ride thanks to the wide, round profile and supple silk casing.
Clement’s Strada LGGs
Like the Del Mondo, Clement still names its tires appropriately. The LGG is from the code for the Liege, Belgium, airport. Liege is in the Ardennes and home of Liège–Bastogne–Liège, the oldest of the spring classics road races. It was won just a few weeks ago by Alejandro Valverde.
And, at only about 220 grams, with a nice round profile for compliance and a grippy dual-compound tread, the Strada rolls and corners race-fast. I found the acceleration and cornering excellent on wet and dry pavement. The smooth center tread is a harder rubber than the sides for durability and better rolling resistance.
The LGGs have folding beads and flexible casings – a combination that makes popping them on/off wheels easy. Some of this has to do with your wheels, but as clinchers go, these are nice fitters.
They also seat nicely on the wheel. Seating is how the tire beads align with the rim. You want tires that sit perfectly. You can tell by spinning the wheel and watching one spot as the wheel passes, focusing on the gap between the tire bead (a small line molded in all tires) and the rim. On quality tires like the LGGs, the gap is the same all around both sides of the tire.
Tires are also judged by the uniformity of the tread and casing, and these tires are perfect here, too.
I haven’t ridden enough miles yet to determine how long the LGGs will last. I have intentionally hit a lot of glass without puncturing. And I’ve ridden a little on dirt and loads on pot-holed, cracked pavement without experiencing any tread or sidewall issues.
To see how others have fared, I read quite a few online user reviews and can report that the LGGs perform well, according to other roadies. So, I expect to get many miles out of them.
The Last Word
If you’re looking for a great all-around performing set of road tires with solid puncture protection, too, you can’t beat the LGGs. They’re also available in all the way up to a 32mm width, so you can get whatever ride quality you’re looking for.
And you can’t beat the price, either. In fact, you can buy a pair of LGGs for less than many single high-end road tires.
Plus, if you still ride sew-ups, they offer it in a 25mm, 265-gram tubular version, too (about $100).
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his “cycling aficionado” website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim’s streak of consecutive cycling days has reached more than 8,000. Click to read Jim’s full bio.