Eurobike 2012: Tire Report Part I- by c_g

Alright, first we wanted to bring to you the Eurobike news related to tires – theses seemingly simple pieces of textile, rubber and some wire or Kevlar bead, that can make all the difference to turn a ride into a fun experience or a chore. The selection of tires has never been as good and it is getting even better for 2013 … but now without much more prelude, let´s get straight to the manufacturers:

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The news by German tire manufacturer SCHWALBE (www.schwalbetires.com) have already been covered earlier this year when they first revealed them to us here. Still, here is an image of the revised Rocket Ron 29″er (right), a true racing-tire for varying conditions, which is going to be available in several Versions in sizes 2.1“ and 2.25“.

Next to it is the tread design of the Smart Sam (left), a tire, that is both easy rolling and grippy and aimed more towards everyday use, and commuters with MTB aspirations. There is a 1.75“ width available in the Triple-Compound Evolution Series, (Editor’s Note: A perfect “monster cross tire?), but also some Performance Series tires in 1.75“, 2.1“ and 2.25“. For riding in particularly flat prone environments there also is a Smart Sam Plus in 2.1“, which receives a special puncture protection belt called „Green Guard“ – but it comes at a considerable weight of 880g.

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CONTINETAL (web site) – the other big German tire manufacturer CONTINENTAL also strengthens the 29″er portfolio by adding X-King Protection 2.4 and Mountain King II Protection 2.4. These tires have been requested multiple times and now they come – for some they close the gap to the more aggressive Rubber Queen and for some they simply add a bit of floatation. Being of the top level Protection series, they are „Made in Germany“ with a reinforced casing and the great Black-Chili Compound.

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WTB (www.wtb.com) – the folks from Wilderness Trail Bikes have been on the 29″er wagon ever since it was built. With the new NineLine 2.0 29“ they are turning away from the dominating chevron shaped tread designs to am more squared tread design. These narrwow and micro knobbed tires also aim at speed, but want to retain a high level of traction and cornering control on dry to medium surfaces. Coming in at a true 2.0 (50 mm) the Race version (60 TPI and DNA60 Compound) is claimed at 537 g. The tire has been developed in cooperation with the CANNONDALE Racing team and will be exclusive on their bikes for 2013, but be sold separately aftermarket. For retrofitting them onto your race steed, they should hit the shops early next year. A TCS Version is to follow later.

We have been promised a set for testing later on this year.

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TIOGA (www.tiogausa.com) is another company with a rich heritage with lots of „Good old days“ flair – especially when the tires are called „Psycho“. The tire on the left, which is doing really well in the US is the mid-season introduction Psycho Genius (29 x 2.25 at 865 g) which by its „Gecko-tread“ is a very universal tire. Now it gets support in the AM Arena from the new for 2013 Psycho Genius Venture (right). By its 2.4“ width (first looks seem to confirm its true to size volume) … again in a 60 TPI casing, Dual Compound and folding Kevlar-bead.

Both tires look very promising and it really is a shame they are not (yet) being distributed here in Germany – I´d live to give them a try.

So much for now, further tire news are to follow tomorrow.

RIDE ON,
c_g