Panaracer’s 700×40 SK ($49.99 MSR) is the latest addition to the company’s Gravelking family of tires. Measuring 41+ mm wide (on 25 mm Zipp rims), the tubeless-ready SKs came in at 483 and 490 grams on our digital scale.
Paul Price–the namesake of Paul Component Engineering–has been designing and manufacturing bicycle parts and components in Chico, California, since 1989. Price’s first products–quick release skewers–were followed by a host of CNC’d components including brakes, hubs, levers, and even derailleurs. On the company’s 25th anniversary, Price brought the skewers back with an updated design and limited-release color selections.
Like their original skewers, the updated Paul versions feature an internal-cam design. Internal-cam skewers are generally preferred over external-cam designs due to the former’s higher clamping force. Compared to external-cam skewers, internal-cam skewers perform more consistently in dusty and dirty conditions. The Paul’s oval 7075 alloy heads put material where it’s needed, and stainless/alloy handles provide a balance of ergonomics and weight savings. Internal friction elements keep the adjustment nuts in place when the wheels come off and matching o-rings insure a slip-free grip. Paul Component Engineering produces skewers ($50 MSRP) in four lengths: 100 mm, 130/135 mm, 170 mm, and 190 mm.
Clamping action on the Paul skewers was smooth and consistent. Whether paired with rim- or disc-brake hubs, the skewers remained tight and creak-free. The curved handles tucked in out of the way, but didn’t interfere with our test rigs’ spokes or rotors. We tested the 100 mm and 130/135 mm length skewers with a variety of frames and forks. The Paul skewers were long enough to accommodate thick aluminum dropouts and carbon fiber fork tips, but a few millimeters extended beyond the adjustment nuts when used on slender steel frames and forks. This didn’t affect the skewers’ performance in any way, but you may want to consider trimming the ends if you’re using them on steel frames/forks.
By now you’re probably asking yourself, “What does a $50 Paul skewer do differently than, say, a $20 Shimano skewer?” Good question. The Paul skewers are a little lighter than a pair of XT skewers (120 grams vs 125 grams). And while they both do a great job of keeping your wheels securely attached to your bicycle, Paul skewers do it with a little more style. The fact that Paul skewers are made in America with US-sourced materials will certainly appeal to some consumers. If your fancy boutique hubs didn’t come with quick-release skewers, you could easily spend more for ones that don’t work as well.
Disclosure: Paul Component Engineering provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.