Review SOYO Seamless Tires

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#1
I've been testing the Soyo (Daiwabo) lineup for 2013 and especially the new seamless road tubulars. SOYO is the only tire allowed for Japanese Keirin and has a unique, seamless construction where the carcass is woven as a 'tube' , rather than as a flat piece of cloth and then sewn together (sew up).

Their road line up consists of 3 new tires - CR, 160hr, and Upstream. The CR and 160 are at the top scale clocking in at over 25,000 yen ea. , and the Upstream is about 12,000 yen . These are not cheap tires. (more on that later).

I mounted them up to several different rims using Miyata tape so I can remove easily if required. I was almost afraid to ride them, actually, fearing a punc on a 25,000 tire is serious pressure. But, all fears aside - we rode them.

At first roll, the difference is obvious. These are like night and day compared to any other tire. Just touch the pedal and the power is instantly put to the road. Smooth and supple are the definition. If you ever wonder what 'supple' really means - then ride these tires and you'll know. It's a subtle feeling of smooth transition without any loss in friction or compliance. The tire is completely neutral and responsive under any load.

Compared to other top end tubulars like Vittoria , Veloflex and Dugast, these stand out as being even more responsive and agile. The harder you push them, the better they work. Vittoria CX feel like common trainers by comparison and the Veloflex and Dugast come quite close, but can't capture the nuance of smoothness these tires impart.

I swapped wheels back and forth also using the SOYO 'Spurt Racer' Green - which is the favorite of Keirin 'long ride' trainers. This is a very economical (under 3000 yen) tire. Going from the Spurt to the CR is like going from a mamchari to your roadbike. The Spurt is a great tire - but feels rough , harsh and sluggish on the road. Alot like a Vittoria Rubino, CS or Ralley. Of if you ride Conti's , like the Gator or 4000 4 season. But it is very predictable and overall a perfect training tire for getting the miles in. When you transfer to the CR, you know you are strapped in for real.

Currently I'm favoring the Upstream as my favorite 'do all' event tire. It has a butyl tube, decent price and good weight. It feels very close to the CR.

If you ride tubs and are looking for a decent MIJ selection - check out SOYO. I'll probably be mounting up some of the 160's for Kusatsu. There is simply no better tire for this type of event.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#3
When your roads clear up , let me know. I'm building a few sets for pre-season shakedowns. And they'll replace the ones you currently have. I think for the larger rider there is even bigger difference because the compliance is minimized. So - you can run realistic pressures and still have a supple, high performance ride. Out of saddle performance is insanely sweet - they feel just as firm and responsive as in-saddle. You can hear it , too - they are quieter with less 'sluffing' . No wonder the sprinters swear by them.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#10
FYI -

Upstream 22C (and soon 24C) - MSRP is 12,600 yen (not 25,000 yen). It is a butyl tubed seamless tubular designed to be more comfortable and economical range of event / training tubular. I'm riding the 24mm in testing and it does meet those expectations (very comfortable, grippy and smooth). It does sacrifice some speed over it's Road CR 'big brother'.

h160 CR's are Soyo's lightest tires (160gr) and cost about 20,000 yen / ea. Our resident QOM has been using them, btw. When seconds may count podium steps, these are good candidates. Especially for lighter riders where grams add-in to w/kg more significantly.

At the top lineup is the Road CRII which may be what MOB was referring to (50,000 yen/set). They are about 205gr ea and constructed from 'Burberry' Egyptian cotton at ridiculously high thread count (I think its 24x20 effective). The seamless construction allows for high thread count AND supple carcass. it also has a special silicone-latex tube to retain pressure longer and is very light. The classic 22.5mm profile steers me away from it, though, I prefer 23mm or 23.5mm - but this tire is a very strong performer on typical puncher type circuits. (Light, responsive, durable).
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#12
@MOB - probably best bet is a Panasonic. They make a 590 NJS fameset and you can special request colors and even your name on the top tube for about 120,000 yen. NOS at 590 will be very hard to find domestically. Used as well. BTW, if you want to make it real NJS, then you need to ride SOYO Gold Stars or CR's in any case. So -- the 35,000 - 50,000 yen/set will still stand.
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
341
23
38
Bremen
cyclitis.wordpress.com
#13
@MOB - probably best bet is a Panasonic. They make a 590 NJS fameset and you can special request colors and even your name on the top tube for about 120,000 yen. NOS at 590 will be very hard to find domestically. Used as well.
Yes, someday I will place a bigger order with Panasonic, it's amazing that they still have all this steel frames on offer - and not a single carbon one. As for the NJS frame it doesn't have to be NOS, a used one will do as well. But I am afraid that you are right, the biggest one tends to be 530 or 540mm size, ther eisn't much in the market bigger than that.