The black Cyprès Extra Léger 700C x 32 mm tires are in stock now.
Our first run of 700C x 32 mm Grand Bois Cyprès Extra Léger tires sold out within a month. The reason is not just higher-than-anticipated demand, but lower-than-ordered deliveries. The super-supple casings of the Extra Léger tires are difficult to make, and even more difficult to work into tires. When Panaracer made the Extra Léger tires for Grand Bois, the reject rate was higher than anticipated, and they couldn’t make as many tires as ordered…
The tan casing was made specially for Grand Bois, so they couldn’t just make more. However, Panaracer uses a black version of the same casing in their professional-grade tubular tires. We asked whether we could get more Extra Léger 700C x 32 mm tires with that all-black casing. While I understand Grand Bois’ preference for tan sidewalls (which also make it easier to find the causes of punctures on the inside of the tire), I do find the all-black quite attractive as well.
One question with a tire that light and supple is how durable it will be. The tread is the same material and thickness as that of the standard Grand Bois tires, so it should last as well. I have ridden a set of 700C prototypes for a year now, with no problems, and not even a flat tire. Flat tires are rare and random, so it’s impossible to say whether these tires are more or less flat-resistant than the standard model.
What is immediately obvious is the improved ride. I didn’t think that the standard Grand Bois tires could be greatly improved – they already were the nicest tires you could find. However, the Extra Léger model takes it a big step further: The pavement buzz disappears almost completely, and even expansion joints between concrete road panels are hardly noticeable any longer. The great ride of the 700C x 32 mm Cyprès Extra Léger had me even wonder whether there was any advantage to using 42 mm-wide 650B tires, until I rode my bike with the Hetre Extra Lègers again. They provided the magical feeling that you sometimes get when you find a road that just has been repaved, and is as smooth as a pool table – yet I was riding on Seattle’s crumbling streets as usual.