Urban Velo

Panaracer RiBMo Tires


Flat tires are the bane of an urban cyclist’s existence. For years manufacturers have been making flat resistant tires, using all sorts of means to prevent punctures and pinch flats. Typically these tires end up being heavier and stiffer than traditional tires with ride performance suffering in turn. But in all honesty, city riding isn’t about the finer points of tire handling characteristics, it’s about staying moving. Panaracer is no stranger to the game, having made Kevlar belted tires for years, but has stepped it up with the RiBMo (Ride Bicycle More) line of tires featuring their newly coined Protex Shield fabric layer.

I’ve been riding a set of 700x28c RiBMo tires for a few weeks now on what amounts to my around town and polo bike these days. So far so good, I’ve had no puncture flats and the tire’s pinch flat resistance is pretty impressive. This is one stiff sidewall, even completely flat the tire holds its shape and is somewhat rideable. By the numbers according to Panaracer, the RiBMo is 2.5x more resistant to pinch flats and 140x more resistant to punctures as compared to an unbelted regular tire. Unlike some other tires of this ilk, the RiBMo’s rubber isn’t so hard as to be slippery when wet. The tire grips the road well in my use, absolutely predictable. Time will tell if the impressive flat resistance numbers hold up.

Typically, I use Panaracer T-Serv tires on my bikes for their flat protection, reasonable weight and overall ride quality. The 28c RiBMo tires are a full 100g heavier than the same size T-Servs, and while the RiBMo tires ride well enough, I wouldn’t put them in the same category of performance. These are most definitely commuting tires, best suited for daily use to work and the grocery store rather than weekend road rides. Available for about $30 each, the RiBMo can be had in both 700c and 26″ wheel sizes in a variety of widths, 700×25-35c and 26″x1.25-2.0″. Ride your bicycle more.

18 Comments

  1. Joe PeraltaSeptember 16, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Beginning riders are usually stumped and discouraged by flats, which they get far more often than experienced riders. Anything that reduces flats is worth pursuing.

    I dope my tubes with Slime, which I can get at Wal-Mart, but not at 75% of bike shops. I live in Arizona, a place infested with “goatheads”, a hard tri-pointed seed like a mideval caltrop, and once got 3 punctures in 400 yards. Slime works great on those little pricks from thorns and shards that cause most flats. Now I don’t usually get a flat until the tires are too worn for hard service. It adds rotating mass, of course, but I can count on getting where I’m going.

  2. jim hSeptember 16, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Sounds good but gee does it really need that dumb-looking “RideBicycleMore!” logo? Totally embarassing. No way are these going on my bike unless maybe I can sand that thing off.

  3. adamOctober 1, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Don’t ride right in the gutter where the broken glass is.

    Longer commutes are about tire handling characteristics, and stiff sidewall usually equals very slow. There’s no shortage of overbuilt belted tires these days – try finding a 32mm that isn’t- and apart from that week in spring when the snowbanks melt I’d rather have fast rolling tires and get a couple of flats a year. Carry a spare tube and pump and keep the chain clean and it’s no big deal, takes 5 minutes to fix.

  4. TimOctober 5, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    I’m with Adam. Some of these tyres are like hockey pucks. Learn how to fix a flat fast and you’re back on the road in no time.

  5. JeffApril 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I believed the hype and got a pair of these five months ago. 0 flats. In the five months before that, I had at least one flat a month with my Conti Gatorskins. It’s all about the broken glass – Gatorskins had sidewall cuts, sliver after sliver to be picked out of the rubber and belting. These things just seem to roll over all that. While I wish all the broken glass on my West Philly commute were in the gutter, alas, that is not the case. And the people along that commute who seem to delight in smashing bottles all over the place are also the ones who make me nervous about changing flats at night with a laptop in my bag.

    They’re definitely heavier and take a bit more to get rolling, but the ‘contact patch’ looks to be actually smaller than the equal-diameter gatorskins: the tire isn’t round in cross-section, it has a built-up ridge.

    I like ‘em. Trophy Bikes ordered them for me.

  6. Calvin AugustMay 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks, this helped me a lot! Actually, I am researching on buying Quality Wheels and Tires online from past 5-6 days but I wasnt able to find any website having quality wheels and tires.I found some similar sites but products listed on them weren’t showing quality wheels and products, so is there any site you know having quality wheels and tires listed on them? Please email me!

  7. DavidAugust 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I switched over to these from Kenda cross (absolute crap). Well, after 1,200 miles I have exactly 0 flats. I think that might be a new record for me. Just last week, as I’m riding home I hear a scraping noise from my rear tire. It was a staple that got stuck in the tire but didn’t penetrate. Upon further inspection I also noticed a glass shard stuck in the tire, again without fully penetrating. I removed both pieces of debris and merily continued home. If I used any of my old tires, that would have been two seperate flats right there. Hah, the tire just paid half for itself in what would have been two new tubes. I’m sold on these!!!

  8. NeilAugust 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    My local bike shop asked me to try the Ribmo tyres out 2 years ago.I use them to train and commute daily in wet Cumbria and still have not had a puncture clocking up thousands of miles.Don’t expect lively performance as they take a bit more to get rolling and are quite heavy but for durability and reliability these are the kiddies you want.

  9. AndyFebruary 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks for this review. I currently use Panaracer T-Servs and was thinking these would be an upgrade, so thanks for setting me straight on that! These are also fairly expensive here in the UK. Then again, I’m finding even the T-Servs puncturing too often for my liking following our local roads falling apart after unusually prolonged freezing conditions.

  10. DocDApril 6, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    I have been riding with the Ribmos for about a years and a half, daily commuting, errand running and basic carless lifestyle stuff. NO FLATS. I don’t like carrying a pumps, bike tools, tubes, patch kits, etc. They do have rough ride characteristics and are heavy enough to feel the difference. For a strictly commuting tire, they are pretty good.

  11. bradApril 6, 2010 at 9:29 pmAuthor

    For the record, I ran this same set of tires for over a year of polo playing and around town riding with at least two overnight bike camping trips in there and never had a flat tire. I wore the tires out before having a flat – a first in my experience.

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  13. Mark DSeptember 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Just wanted to say that the RiBMo name, and the equally awkward and endearing “Ride Bicycle More” slogan are two of my favorite things about these tires. I’m just a sucker for Japlish (or is it Enganese?)!

    BTW, I’m not kidding.

  14. MisbahSeptember 28, 2011 at 4:51 am

    This is my fav tire so far i’ve been using mine daily to work for the past 7 months and it never let me down the tyre still looking great im looking forward to buy a pair just to keep it, u never know they might dicontinue producing it, thumbs up for RIBMO.

  15. Panaracer RiBMo Long Term Update « Urban VeloSeptember 28, 2011 at 9:34 am

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  16. RogerFebruary 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I just put a set of these on my daily commuter. I commute 25 miles to work. These tires are similar in weight to the Gatorskins. I run 700 x 28′s and the ride is really nice. They corner well and seem to deal with curbs etc well. Since I am commuting I don’t want flats. I know how to fix them and can fix them quickly but when it is raining I don’t want one. I hope they hold up as well as they ride.

  17. NickyApril 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I put a set of these on my touring bike halfway through my cross-country tour last summer. They held up from Minneapolis, west, through the Rockies and Glacier, over to Portland, OR, and now on the streets of Boston. Over 2K miles and not a single flat. It may seem an odd choice as a touring tire, but I couldn’t be happier. The tires I used prior were Continental touring tires, and didn’t get any flats on those, either. Maybe I’m just lucky :)

  18. rapJune 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    i’ve been riding these tires for a year a now. by far my favorite tires i’ve tried yet.

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