Just In – Panaracer FirePro Tire

by Brian Mullin on August 7, 2014

It’s been years since I have used the Panaracer Fire series of tires, but they bring back fond memories of some incredible traction monsters.  The new FirePro series updates the wildly popular, famous and perennial Fire tire. The new tire uses the same basic and excellent tread design, and they have now added a dual compound to the knobs to increase bite and grip, while improving durability and toughness. The FirePro is tubeless compatible, has a puncture resistant wall (PR) and Aramid bead, and comes in 27.5 x 2.35″ and 29 x 2.35″ sizes.

Panaracer sent a set of the 29 x 2.35″ tires for me to test, and a big thanks to Jeff Zell for providing the samples.

Measured Specs:

  • Carcass width – 2.24″
  • Knob width- 2.38″
  • Weight – didn’t have a scale when I installed them

Initial Impressions

This tire loves loose and gnarly chunder, and it digs into the terrain like it has large fangs. Give it something to bite into, and it thrives,
giving great steering, traction, braking and cornering control, and the looser the better. Place it onto the pavement, and you’ll feel like your
teeth might be vibrated out, but it obviously wasn’t designed for that. It’s not its best on hardpack due to the tread height, though it
performs an admirable job in those conditions. The tire does extremely well in sand, which is surprising, since it’s not a big high volume
tire, and I assume the tall and wide knobs and their pattern help float and power through things (think mudder truck tires). In rock gardens, they did alright as long as long you dropped the tire pressure, and though they could bounce around on the rocks sometimes, they’re very predictable and easy to control.

I spent some time on the ugly loose rocky loam and chunder of the excellent Suicide trail in Oak Park California, and the FirePro provided amazing control and stability in the extremely dry conditions of this steep and sick trail. When I got back home to my local terrain in the Monument area, I was very happy with how they reacted to the loose gravel and deep sand conditions, and I liked how they didn’t wash out when steering into the things.

I am looking forward to some more time on the tires, and so far they have offered some great float and control on my Ibis Ripley 29er. They
thrive on loose conditions and are especially excellent in sand and gravel.

Pros

  • Excellent in loose conditions- highlights to sand and gravel
  • Great sidewall protection
  • Easy tubeless set up
  • Traction, braking and cornering monsters – the looser the better

Cons

  • Ponderous on pavement and hardpack
  • Low volume for a 2.35
  • Not fast rollers (to be expected)

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