Interbike 2010: New Cyclocross Tires from Schwalbe, Challenge and Hutchinson
Two long-awaited cyclocross tubulars were unveiled today at Interbike by Schwalbe and Challenge, while Hutchinson showed off its revised tubeless cyclocross tires.
The first was the long-delayed tubular version of the Racing Ralph clincher. The German company had several false starts with this tire, and since has even updated the tread pattern on its clincher version. By finally bringing the construction in-house, Schwalbe now finally has a tire it is satisfied with and will be available one week from now.
The Schwalbe Racing Ralph HT tubular tire is a 32mm wide tire with a 321 tpi casing. What makes the Indonesian-made tire unique is that it uses a Nylon casing instead of a polyester or cotton-based one. The benefits, when they nylon is covered with a thin layer of rubber, are increased water resistance and longevity. The downside? A bit of weight. The tire comes in at 390 grams, has a latex inner tube and is expected to retail for $135-150.
Challenge gave us a preview of their new Limus cyclocross tubular. What’s a Limus? It’s apparently the Latin word for mud, and as you might guess, the tire is a mud-specific, aggressive tread with 3.0mm tall tread blocks.
The tire will initially come in a white tread with black sidewalls, with an upgraded 300 tpi casing. Previous Challenge cyclocross tubulars used a 260 tpi casing. The tire should be available in mid-November and may be able to be pre-ordered in October. Pricing should be the same as other Challenge tubulars ($100-$110).
Hutchinson showed off its new version of its tubeless cyclocross tires, now featuring a carbon bead. We shared our initial impressions in Issue 10, and have found the new bead to offer improved burp resistance when pared with road tubless wheels. To the naked eye, the tires look identical to the previous version, but there’s certainly a difference based on our early testing.
The French company also has their Cross Town tire, which features a black tread that’s very similar to the Piranha, but features Protect’air underneath a harder black rubber for improved puncture resistance.
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