Shikoro 700c Clincher Tire
The Shikoro is a quick, durable, armored tire that maintains excellent road feel. Superb for training, touring, and commuting.
. • Dense Weave Polyamide breaker offers bead to bead for protection against punctures at the tread and sidewalls
• 4HD casing offers low rolling resistance
• High Mileage carbon rubber compound with all road tread pattern
• Sizes: 700 x 23, 28, 33, 38, 42c
• Weight : Kevlar bead: 290g (23c), 320g(28c), 350g(33c) 430g(38c)
Steel bead: 350g (23c), 490g(38c)
• Brown sidewall, black tread
Shikoro 700c Clincher Tire
RoadBikeReview.com: Best gravel road tires tested, Part 3
Soma Shikoro 42mm
One look at Soma’s Shikoro lets you know that it’s aimed at smoother roads or straight-line riding on gravel. With loads of puncture protection, the Shikoro is a great option for winter riding on a cross bike, especially if you opt for a small size and add some fenders to the mix. They mounted up tubeless quite easily and ran a tad undersized on rims with a 20mm internal width.
On the road, they rolled well and were far more comfortable than I anticipated. They’re not in the realm of Compass’ Bon Jon Pass, but they come remarkably close while adding a lot more protection from punctures. It’s not surprising that the Shikoro tires did require a bit of tip-toeing around loose corners, but once through them, they rolled up to cruising speed quickly.
Aesthetically, the brown sidewall is mega classy in my opinion. If you’re keen on a pair of tires that will keep you rolling and not by the side of the road fixing a puncture, check out the Somas. If you need something a bit more off-road worthy, you might consider the Cazadero, also from Soma.
CX Magazine: New Tire Spotlight
Mounted on a 17.5mm internal width rim at 35 psi, the tire measures out at 35mm, a bit less than the 38c label, but higher road pressures would get the it closer to spec. Still, 35c is bigger than most cyclocross tires, and a lot bigger than the 25-28c road tires that are common today.
Paired with the belt-to-belt protection, the Shikoro could be an ideal tire for mixed terrain adventures that feature quite a bit of pavement. We’d be anxious to get our hands on a 42c version. Given the undersized casing and the lack of knobs, the 42c version should fit just fine in many of our cyclocross and gravel bikes.
The tire is not a tubeless tire, although with its relatively thick, rubberized casing, we might be tempted to try it at low pressure (sidewall is rated 35-90 psi). It must be said that because it’s not a tubeless tire or bead, it’d be unsafe to try these tires without tubes at high pressures.
As for its aesthetics, the Shikoro’s rubberized brown sidewall certainly is different than most Panaracer tires. It’s a bit Continental-like, and a nice change from the skin and blackwalls we normally see with Panaracer.
The smooth, high volume road/gravel tire segment is getting crowded, with Panaracer’s own Gravel King tires, the super supple but relatively fragile Bon Jon Pass Extralight offering from Compass, Challenge’s Strada Bianca open tubulars, Clement’s Strada LGG tire, and the huge Maxxis Refuse 40c, among others. The Shikoro seems to sit right in the middle of those options, with a medium volume and weight.
Road Bike Action Shikoro Mini-Review
One of the newest models from Soma’s tire line, the tube-type Shikoro, was designed for training, touring and commuting thanks to its high level of puncture protection. Made in Japan by Panaracer, the Shikoro can be had in two versions—Kevlar or wire bead—and in an impressive five sizes, from 23mm all the way up to 42mm. It includes a thick casing and a densely woven polyamide breaker to help prevent cuts from sharp objects. And, the tread features a unique pattern of squares with miniature siping to help improve grip, and the rubber compound was selected for its longevity, designed to give you plenty of mileage before needing to be replaced. The sidewalls are decked out in a unique dark brown color for added style points.
We mounted our size-28mm Shikoro tires on a set of Zipp 202 carbon clinchers, which measure 24.6mm wide at the brake track, and they came out to 26.8mm wide fully inflated to 100 psi. Interestingly, Soma recommends running the Shikoro’s tire tread in opposite directions, with the side grooves pointing inward on the front wheel and outward on the rear wheel. Out on the road, the tires performed well, offering an amount of both dry- and wet-weather grip akin to other comparably sized tires in the Shikoro’s price range. They’re not the supplest tires you can buy, but considering that they were designed for training and commuting, the Shikoros rolled reasonably well. And although we didn’t test them to failure, we suspect that they’ll give you plenty of high- mileage service. If you’re looking for a suppler alternative, check out Soma’s Vitesse clincher model with the same tread and a softer casing.
Price: $59.99 (Kevlar bead); $44.99 (wire bead)
Weight: 320 grams
Sizes: 23, 28 (tested), 33, 38, 42mm