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
Shikoro 700x38 Review by Seven Day Cyclist UK
Most big section tyres are pretty tame to mount, straight from the box. Look closely and you’ll see front/rear specific directional arrows - observe this. Prising the final 20% aboard deep and standard section rims, required two standard composite levers but our samples relaxed, given a hundred miles or so.
The 4HD casings are designed with minimal rolling resistance in mind, while their carbon rubber compound and “all road” tread pattern (Reminiscent of a ‘cross knobbly that’s been subjected to a belt sander) promise longevity.
Any tyre with touring and commuting in its design brief, should have decent puncture repelling properties - especially at this price point. I was pleased to discover the polyamide breaker stretches to the sidewalls, not just the centre strip.
At 800g the pair, I was expecting a perky, responsive ride and they haven’t disappointed. A cold and greasy start to our test period, I was impressed, although not completely surprised by how well the supple carcasses hugged the tarmac. Getting them up to speed and moreover, keeping them there required nominal effort.
While not over-geared for the riding terrain, giving similarly fit riders on geared builds was a lot easier and I’ve felt noticeably fresher compared with stocker mainstays of similar width, although on tarmac, the Vittoria Hyper Voyager were pretty hot on their heels.
With the weather alternating between freeze and thaw, there was ample warning before any minor loss of traction - as I discovered while tackling a 1in 4 descent at 28mph - as fast as I dared. Manhole covers and similar ironworks didn’t cause any mischief either, unless I was really weary late at night, but, then, these should always be approached with respect. Run at the upper end, 75-80psi seemed optimal but even at 90 ride quality was serene, ironing out washboard tarmac. Most of the time, I was able to weave deftly round ironwork and the odd shallow hole (not to mention rodents challenging me to spirited tangos).
Roads seem to degrade alarmingly quickly in these conditions, so the odd fast and some lumpy passage come with the territory. These characteristics added a new dimension of fun to town and suburban stretches, whether powering away at the lights, filtering through stationary traffic, or taking decisive action to avoid being doored.
Off road capability is pretty good too, so long as it’s not too muddy. 18mph through these tight, singletrack lanes is as fast as I’d push them - only because of their winding, sheltered nature and the occasional tractor.
Dropping the pressure to around 60 psi when things turned distinctly soft delivered the best balance of grip and speed, allowing me to enjoy the ride. I was expecting them to blow Maxxis' otherwise likeable Roamer into the weeds sans asphalt.
Run at their lowest, there’s some tell-tale squirm and drag but it’s nice to have the option, should traction otherwise prove in short supply, or when frustrated by a mini pump following a roadside flat.
However, there wasn’t much to choose between these and a more aggressive, similarly priced cross type knobbly, such as Clement X’plor USH. The Clement are lighter but have tended to clog faster and in my experience, puncture more frequently...
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