Tubeless tires are finally making inroads into the road bike market. Nobody’s going to be betting on their dominance anytime soon, but their use is expanding every year. And, with fast-rolling tires like the Specialized Roubaix 23/25 tires, it’s easy to see why.
Specialized Roubaix 23/25 Road Tubeless Tires Features:
- 25mm casing with 23mm tread width (measures at 24.3 mm with tested wheelset)
- GRIPTON compound for supreme road grip
- Endurant flat protection
- Weight: 290 grams (actual)
- MSRP: $90
Grippy and Fast Tubeless Tires
Specialized, over the years, has delivered some high-quality rubber. We’re talking several world championships and Grand Tour stage wins to their credit. So, when the relatively-narrow Roubaix 23/25 tubeless tires came in for review, I had high expectations of on-road performance and I wasn’t let down.
Something that dogs most road tubeless tires is their difficulty of install. I’m not going to lie — the Roubaix 23/25c tries are the most difficult tubeless road tires I’ve ever installed The only way to get the bead aboard the Zipper 30 Course wheels I used for testing was to lube the last bit up with soapy water and grab a couple of tire levers. I used all the tricks (placing the bead in the center channel, pushing the tire bead around the perimeter from top-to-bottom, etc.) and in the end, soapy water and tire levers were the only way forward.
The good thing about that tight bead is the Roubaix’s seat in a jiffy. That ease-of-seating just about makes up for the trouble getting them on the rim — almost. All it took was about 100 psi. in the Bontrager FlashCharger and pop, pop, pop, I was in business. And, even without sealant, the tires hold pressure really well. I finished things off with Boyd Cycling’s new Tickled Pink sealant and headed out for a long ride.
Aboard the 21mm internal width of the 30 Course wheels, the Roubaix 23/25’s were a little bit stretched, but still had a rounded profile. As you can see, the 23mm tread width does look deceiving, but on the road I had nothing but grippy confidence aboard the BMC Roadmachine 01. In fact, I noticed only a slight difference in rolling comfort compared to the 30c tires I had previously — that’s saying a lot for a narrow-ish tire like these.
Since these are relatively narrow tires, I didn’t drop the pressures significantly compared to clinchers. Instead of running 90/95 psi., I ran 80/85 psi. and found them to be supple, smooth and fast. In fact, I crushed a few best times on flat segments and knocked a bit off a few climb times on the same bike with 30c tires just a week earlier. Later on in my testing I comfortably ran them at 75/80 psi. which ended up being quite nice.
My wet road time has been limited, but the diamond-snapped shoulder tread pattern is built to push water away and allow the tread to grip in all conditions. Gravel is also great on these tires, but I do miss the girth of more appropriately-sized tires when the terrain gets really soft and loose.
- Durable tread pattern for worry-free adventures
- Seats quickly and well — even without sealant
- Rolls fast
- Comfortable and supple
- Great for frames with only 25c clearance
- Hard to install
- Very narrow by today’s standards
The Bottom Line: Specialized Roubaix 23/25
While the Roubaix 23/25 tires may be difficult to install, you won’t have to take them off the rim again for a long time. The road feel is excellent and they roll like champs on smooth and rough roads alike. If you’re going tubeless on a bike with limited tire clearance, these are a great choice.
Buy Now: Available at Specialized.com