This is a light weight yet durable tire with good handling characteristics. I mostly ride it on good condition rural roads. I've been using this model tire for over fifteen years. I keep riding them well after the colored underlayment begins showing and typically get eight thousand miles on the front and four thousand miles on the rear.
Rolls nice. Smooth and fairly fast. Thin rubber makes it light, good for climbing.
Grip is reliable. More confident on desends.
Punctured once front and back but sealed with stans and rode on them until worn.
Con wears out quickly due to thin rubber. deponds on your weight, tire pressure and the asphalt. ( I am 166lb, I pump to 130 PSI). My rear tire worn out around 1000 miles and started showing the threads. I replaced it with another. Front is ok at 1500 miles. probably around 2000-2500 miles both needs to be replaced.
Good tire for racing, but for training it is an expensive investment.
These tires are used for racing and training. What they are are light! Of course being light you are going to sacrifice some things. I've spent 20 years on Conti Comps and Vittoria Corsas and the S3 Lite Tufos are not nearly as sure footed at either of those tires. (By sure footed I mean the kind of tire that you have confidence in ripping into and out of a corner in a Crit. or just insanely attacking a downhill section.) But I don't think they are meant to be. If you are not aggressive in the turns and do a good gluing job, I don't see any reason why these tires would give anyone a problem. Additionally, the Tufos are 21.5 mm diameter tires while the Contis are 23 and the Vittorias are 22.5. Riding the latter two are more comfortable but I actually feel a bit disconnected to the road. So, Tufos upside handle well but not spectacularly, good road feel and light which for me make them a great climbing tire. Tufos downside less comfortable, less confidence in aggressive ridingdescending (which may cancel the gains on the uphill sections). Finally, insofar as durability, after riding them for a year on a number of different wheel sets, they have held up just as well as the beefier Contis and Vittorias but, to be honest, I have never been terribly hard on tires.
I am a big fan of Tufo tubular tires, riding them on the track and for cyclocross. They are well-built, and in the case of the S3 Lite they are lightweight. Never had any trouble with these tires, unlike some other traditional tubular tire brands who have trouble with their skinwall casings.
A great tire that takes rides as smooth as those twice its cost. Bought 650c for my wife's bike and she can't believe how responsive they feel. A great tire and a great value.
I have the 21mm Tufo S3s mounted on Easton EC90 SLX wheels. These are a great combination for climbing, even for an old guy like me. If you match these tires with a low weight wheel set you will LOVE what you have. My combination are mounted on a Look 585 wDura Ace 7950 Compact and 1128 rear cassette. The full bike weight is just over 13.5 lbs. I run the Tufo's at 175 and they ride better than the 21mm Zipp Clinchers on Zipp 404s I have on my other Look 585 running at 130. The only compromise you make with these low weight tires is wear life. I got 1,500 miles out of my first set and have already installed another set. The extreme performance is worth a few less miles of wear!!!!!!!!!!
I've been using Tufo tubulars for over 10 years now, I tried the rest, i.e Vittoria, Hutchinson, Giro etc. and Tufo is far and away the best tire in my opinion. It has the best resistance to flats and combined with low weight and good price, they can't be beat. I usually get around 3000 miles out of a rear and around 5000 miles out of a front before the tread is worn through unless I hit something really nasty and flat out and if the hole is small enough, I use the tufo sealant to get some extra miles out of the tire before it becomes land fill material. I live in southern N.H. and ride year round so I am up against some pretty nasty stuff between the potholes, sand and salt and other debris on the road they do an amazing job for me. I will use nothing but Tufo on my 3 bikes.
I've been running S3's for 2 years now, I've had maybe 4 flats and didn't even know about any of them until later when I saw the sealant on the tread or the pressure was low. (I run the red ones now - easier to see the sealant) Tufo knows what they're doing, their sealant works and the mounting tape is simply fantastic. For such a light tubular, the S3 is amazingly tough, the last two I've changed were worn out, the red was completely gone off the tread. The combination of very light weight, high pressure, and a very narrow portion of the tread touching the road, make these blazing fast, plus the security of a glued-on tire, excellent puncture resistance, and Tufo's superb sealant. And even if you do get a bad cut that won't seal, you can actually ride these totaly flat without damaging your carbon rims.
I'm not a racer but bought a pair (215 gm 21mm) anyway out of curiosity. I've been riding on Tufo S33 Specials. I had to use the S3 Lite on the rear wheel because I lost my front S33 to sidewall puncture. Currently I have an S3 Lite on the back (Tufo Extreme tape) and S33 Special on the front - probably not an ideal setup. I rode my first 10 miles expecting it to flat the first 100 yards because S3 Lite looks so thin and light compared to S33 Specials but so far no problems. Comparatively this tire feels much smoother and easier to accelerate. I really enjoyed the ride. Tufo knows what they're doing. The installation was a snap. For tire dismount, heat gun at low setting makes removal procedure easy.
Great race tire. Good road adhesion. I have these tires on two of my carbon race wheelsets. I have had a few flats from cuts but most can be repaired w a few drops of the extreme sealant. I wouldnt train on them because I ride 10,000 plus miles a year. If you want a great training tire try the TUFO C s33 special same ride quality but more durable and greater mileage.
They are pretty light, very tough, take high pressure, and ride like crp. Its a training tire really, but you would do better on a Rally with larger air volume if thats the goal. The Tufo road tires should Not be ridden on the track due to the well known fact that they are very slippery. its bombproof and user friendly, but why not ride clinchers for training? I like Tufos lower cost and even consistency, but now prices are climbing way up and there is really no reason to ride them anymore.
for the old timers...think Barum.