Finally, a knobby 26″ tire from René Herse. The Humptulips tires are named after a ridge on the southern edge of the remote Olympic Mountains, home to a spectacular gravel loop. These tires are 2.3″ wide, come in three casings, in black or tanwall. Head to René Herse for more information.
Halo, makers of various wheels and components, have entered the gravel market with three new models of tires. Their RXR (650b x 47mm) is an all-road/hardpack tire, GXR (650b x 47mm) is an all-surface tire, and the GXC (650b x 47mm or 700 x 38mm) is a gravel tire with lots of grip for the roughest days out on backcountry roads. Each tire comes in black or gumwall and you can find out more at Halo Wheels.
If 2020 brought anything, it was an unexpected amount of time spent locally and at home. It feels like ages ago that we were spending seven months of the year on the road, traveling to events, races, and bike rides throughout the American West living out of our truck, grinding our morning coffee and cooking dinner under the stars. While it was and is a huge downer to be stuck at home with the Nation’s strictest Covid-19 restrictions, I cannot deny how much fun we had sticking to a radius close to our new home in the Land of Enchantment. While we didn’t do any month-long road trips, quick weekend jaunts provided plenty of inspiration as we familiarized ourselves with this beautiful state we now call home.
This year, a handful of products made my life easier in one way or another. Check out a quick list of some of my personal favorite products I used this year.
Got an older 26″ MTB frame and want some tires that are a little sprier? Check out Rene Herse Cycles’ latest dual-purpose knobby tire, the Humptulips Ridge 26″ x 2.3″, named after a remote ridge in the Olympic Mountains that offers some of the best riding in the PNW. Like most Rene Herse tires, the Humptulips Ridge is available with three casings, so riders can choose performance and durability to suit their needs: supple Standard (560 g; $ 74), ultra-fast Extralight (530 g; $ 89), and extra-tough Endurance (560 g; $ 89).
Check out more at René Herse.
“Are those GOODYEAR MTB tires?!” Since first building up my Starling Murmur, I have received more questions on its tires than the bike itself. On my preferred terrain, tires don’t last long, sometimes I’ll get a month out of them, sometimes it only takes a single ride for me to have a few Dynaplugs in them, so when tires last nine months, I am beyond impressed. I’ve had great luck and a good run with the Goodyear 29 x 2.6″ Escape tires, so let’s take a quick look at these robust tires…
Gravel? What is gravel? If you live in the US, you instantly think about the big gravel rollers which you can find out in the mid west. Gravel roads where you can ride a 100 miles before turning, well at times they definitely feel like a 100 miles. Those brutal headwinds!
If speed on all-roads and surfaces is your thing, check out the new Teravail Washburn. It’s a fast-rolling, 700x38mm, 700x42mm, 650x47mm wide tire with minimal tread, a slick center for a wide contact patch, and grippy knobs on the side for cornering on loose roads. These tires are meant for 23mm wide rims, come in a variety of casing designs, in black or gumwall, and carry a retail price of $55-$60 depending on casing. They’re sold out currently on the Teravail site but your local dealer can order them for you.
Always wanting to improve their tires, WTB has just announced a new casing for their gravel tires measuring at least 37mm wide. This casing is dubbed SG2, and is an ultra-thin nylon insert that coveres the tire from bead to bead under a 120 tpi casing. This means the 120 tpi casing will ride like a lightweight tire but will offer complete protection against snake bites and other potential damage.
These SG2 gravel tires only come in black sidewalls and will see a 5-10% weight gain over their 60tpi counterparts without puncture protection. This translates to a 15-50 gram increase in weight, depending on the width of the tire. All the WTB 60tpi tires that we’ve come to trust over the years are still available with an MSRP of $59.95, while all SG2-protected 120tpi gravel tires have an MSRP of $69.95.
The entire gravel tire line is currently in stock and can be ordered from your favorite local bike shop or WTB.com.
It’s that time of year. When we’re either waiting for rain or the trails are so blown out and dusty that you can’t see your riding buddy due to the dust. The Porcupine RC is Onza’s toughest gumwall tire ever, with deep knobs, widely spaced to shed soil, and with double-supported side knobs to reduce folding while cornering. The Porcupine RC might not be the fastest rolling tire ever but it sure looks to be mighty robust. Head to Onza to see more and your local dealer for ordering.
You all asked and Sim Works listened. Their popular Super Yummy tires are now available in 26″ x 2.22″. This latest addition rounds out the Super Yummy line to 29er, 27.5, and 26 options, all in a 2.22″ width. The 26″ tires weigh 788g and their robust construction virtually eliminates holes or flats. They’re in stock now at Sim Works USA but will probably sell out quick, so act fast!
The second collaboration between René Herse tires and Lael Wilcox has hit the stock shelves. The Oracle Ridge is road-centric knobby and a dirt-ready road tire, it’s up to you to decide. At 48 mm wide, the Oracle Ridge is between a gravel race tire (38 mm) and mountain bike volume (55 mm). If your gravel bike just barely won’t fit a 55mm tire, chances are it’ll fit a 48mm. There are three casings available now at René Herse.
The Standard casing is a more affordable option that also offers extra protection against sidewall cuts on sharp rocks. The Extralight casing takes the performance, comfort and feel of your bike to an entirely new level. The Endurance casing is reinforced for extra sidewall protection and puncture resistance, while retaining most of the speed and comfort for which Rene Herse tires are famous. See more at René Herse.
Sim Works has upped the diameter for its popular Super Yummy tires. These tires are tough, offering up ample sidewall protection, wrapped in a criss-cross pattern, embedded in the peanut butter-colored sidewalls. These are in stock now at Sim Works.
29 x 2.2 won’t fit in most gravel bikes but they’d look great on a rigid MTB or this beautiful SS29er built by Black Cat Bicycles. See more of this bike below!
Panaracer’s Gravelking tires have been a crowd favorite over the years and their new SS and SS Plus+ tires look to offer up a new profile to the already plump and supple lineup. The SS tires are designed for drier gravel and dirt. Think of these as a race day tire, with a folding bead and ultra supple feel. The SS Plus+ offer bead-to-bead puncture protection. Both models come in widths 32mm and larger, are available in 700 or 650b and come in black or gumwall. The Gravelking SS is coming in June and the SS Plus+ in July. See them at your local shop and online at Panaracer.
Path Less Pedaled has been killing it with these Zoom interviews during the pandemic, lifting the curtain to reveal the wizards at play within the cycling industry. Speaking of wizards, PLP talked to Patrick and Ronnie from UltraDynamico about how they create their super supple tires. This one is very entertaining!
The Touareg is Hutchinson’s newest tire, designed for gravel, touring, and bikepacking bikes. This new tire comes in three sizes – 700×40, 700×45, and 650×47 – with the latter two also available in a tan sidewall. A fast-rolling tread profile with directional pattern makes the Touareg perfect for multi-surface rides. See these in person at your local dealer and check out more information at Hutchinson.
Photos by Rugile Kaladyte
When Rene Herse Cycles decided to develop a tire specifically for bikepacking and ultra-endurance racing, they asked Lael Wilcox what she wants in a tire. Lael has raced many ultra-endurance events, including the Tour Divide and Silk Road Mountain Race. She provided Rene Herse Cycles with heaps of feedback and they’re now introducing the result of this collaboration, the Fleecer Ridge 29″ x 2.2″ (or 700C x 55 mm), named after Lael’s favorite climb on the Tour Divide.
The Fleecer Ridge is a true all-rounder. Large knobs with generous space in between provide superb traction on loose and soft surfaces, while the knobs are spaced to put more rubber on the road as the tire leans into corners during paved descents into town to resupply.
The Fleecer Ridge offers a choice of the four Rene Herse casings:
-Standard combines comfort and speed at an affordable price.
-Extralight is our most supple casing for ultimate speed.
-Endurance uses the same ultra-fine threads with extra protection against punctures and cuts.
-Endurance Plus is one of the toughest performance tires available today.
Available in mid-May 2020 from good bike shops and directly from Rene Herse Cycles.
If you have the room to fit a 29er by 2.3″ tire on your tourer or gravel bike, then check out these new tires by Hutchinson. The Kraken has minimal side knobs, with a fast-rolling center tread pattern and is vailable in two constructions, ultra-light 127 TPI or ultra-versatile 66 TPI. The Kraken is in stock now at your local dealer and retails for $79.99.
XC tires usually make great tires for bikepacking or touring bikes. Their tread patterns usually roll quite fast on many surfaces but in my experience, it’s the width that keeps many people from mounting them up. Maxxis looked at two tires and plumped them up for trail use, designed for use on wider rims, resulting in the Aspen and Rekon Race tires measuring 2.40″ wide.
The Rekon Race, in particular, has been a favorite pattern of mine and this new width makes them even more appealing. See more at Maxxis.