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by Matt Wikstrom
January 5, 2016
Photography by Matt Wikstrom
Clément was once a dominant name in racing tyres but after going into decline during the ’90s, the name has made a resurgence thanks to a recent licensing agreement.
The story behind Clément tyres began in France in the late 1800s when Gustave Adolphe Clément-Bayard started manufacturing bicycles and tyres. The brand enjoyed enormous success, which Gustave parlayed into other ventures including a successful automobile company.
The German army destroyed Clément’s manufacturing facilities in France during World War I, however the company was able to relocate production to Italy. Clément continued manufacturing its tyres for several decades and became one of the most recognisable names in cycling with a multitude of race victories.
Pirelli acquired the company in the ‘80s and relocated production to Thailand in 1990 only to abandon the brand in 1995. Max Brauns attempted to resurrect Clément in 2003 but it wasn’t until Donn Kellogg succeeded in licensing the name in 2009 that Clément re-entered the marketplace.
Clément tyres are now produced in Taiwan and the company has been slowly expanding its catalogue. Off-road tyres dominate but dedicated road riders will find one clincher tyre to suit their needs called the Strada LGG.
The Strada LGG owes its name to the airport code for Liege, Belgium. There are two versions to choose from, one with 60tpi casing, and the other with 120tpi casing. Both models have a puncture-resistant belt and use the same traditional chevron tread pattern that Clément claims “provides excellent grip in wet or dry conditions”.
The 60tpi version uses one rubber compound for the tread (rated at 70a durometer), while the 120tpi version uses two (70a for the centre, 60a for the edges). Buyers opting for the 60tpi have a choice of black or tan sidewalls and two widths: 25mm or 28mm. The 120tpi version is only available with black sidewalls but there are three widths to choose from: 23mm, 25mm and 28mm.
For more information visit Clément and SCV Imports.
RRP: Strada LGG 60tpi, $50-52 AUD; 120tpi, $59-63 AUD.
For this review, I spent a few weeks riding 23mm Strada LGG with 120tpi casing. The tyres were easy to fit and inflate and rolled quite nicely, providing a reasonably smooth and supple ride. They weren’t as supple as more expensive tyres with higher thread counts (e.g. Vittoria Open Corsa CX, VeloFlex Corsa) but they weren’t as cumbersome as heavier training/commuting tyres.
I didn’t suffer any punctures while using these tyres and I felt confident negotiating every turn in the road. Overall, the Strada LGG achieves a nice balance between price, weight (the tyres sent for review weighed 210g each), and performance.
Perhaps the most important point of distinction for these tyres is the orange labels and the choice of black or tan sidewalls for the 60tpi version. These options won’t suit all bikes but I can see these tyres providing the final touch to a variety of builds.