The spikes give the Rhino tread a little extra bite. ? Jeroenn Nieuwhuis

The spikes give the Rhino tread a little extra bite. © Jeroenn Nieuwhuis

by Jamie Mack

After several teaser photos and some tantalizing details, Cyclocross Magazine once again finds it necessary to update the story about the tire that almost never was. Cyclocross Magazine has confirmed with Dugast that the Diavolo tire, although already banned from UCI competition, can now be ordered through Dugast USA. Online ordering is expected to be available in about two months, after Dugast launches a new website, adds Tamara Willems of A. Dugast BV.

The tread design will be based on the Dugast Rhino but, as readers will recall, that’s not the most striking feature. The Diavolo features a metal spike in each of the knobs along the sidewalls of the tire. The spikes provide an obvious benefit in increasing traction and improving handling of the bike on slick surfaces. Added grip also allows the rider to apply significantly more power on ice and snow as the spikes bite into the terrain.

Previously, Tamara Willems of A. Dugast, BV, told Cyclocross Magazine that the tires were developed at the request of riders heading to Tabor for the 2010 World Championships. “We created the tire as a request to some riders to have a tire with good grip on the track in Tabor,” Willems said. “This was one of the few World Championships where we were 95% sure about the track and weather conditions.”

After the development the tires were presented to the UCI by Dugast. Rumors leading up the the World Championships had created quite a buzz about the new treads. Dugast, seeking to remove the threat of riders using their tires being DQed, sought out the approval of the sanctioning body, which was denied. Dugast originally sought to keep the tires under wraps until last January, but some secrets are too good to keep.

Now it seems as though the underground rumblings about the unique tread have put Dugast in a unique position. The company known as a source of equipment for the most discriminating racers now has a sought-after tread that’s illegal for most of the patrons to whom Dugast normally caters. Dugast made the surprising decision to produce the tires anyway. “After the Worlds, we got a lot of good reactions of our customers, and it seemed that they would buy the tire even if it’s not allowed to use in UCI races. That’s why we decided to keep producing the tires,” confirmed Willems.

Nys demonstrated the grip on the ice rink (see the video in our previous article), needing three to  four times more power to break the tread of the Diavolo loose when compared to a standard-tread Dugast. The spikes, constructed of steel and expected to outlast the tread, are held in place by a system developed by Dugast owner Richard Nieuwhuis and Dutch nail manufacturer HJZ. The spikes are encased between the cotton casing and tread of the tire and are not held in place by glue or other adhesives.

Dugast has developed the tire for riders seeking the advantage the spikes can offer. Dugast respects the UCI’s decision to ban the tire, but the Diavolo still offers an advantage in conditions all too common in our sport. Besides, there are plenty of folks who race regularly, but may never toe the line of a UCI race, or who enjoy having grip in icy trail rides.

The construction of each tire, weighing in at approximately 450 grams, takes three times as long as other Dugast models. At roughly $200.00 US per tire, riding with the devil doesn’t come cheap, but Dugast quality has proven itself valuable many times over.

In bringing the Diavolo to market, Dugast has taken a step to produce a tire demanded by the riders that enjoy the sport. They may be one of the only Dugast models that will not carry riders chasing a World Championship, but they will carry the truest ‘crossers all across the globe in pursuit of their personal dreams, chasing their fiercest competition in their own weekly World Championships.

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