New Tubeless Complete Like Floating on a Blimp

Goodyear has broken out of the draft of the tubeless ready tire pack and sprinted out into the wind all alone with their new line of tubeless “complete” tires. 

Now whether they are going to raise their hands in victory and spray champagne all over their competitors remains to be seen, but with a handful of tubeless tires in the lineup, Goodyear is committed to tubeless, complete or otherwise, when it is still confusing whether the industry wants us to ditch the tubes or not.

The nice people are Goodyear gifted us a pair of their Vector 4Seasons 28mm Tubeless Complete tires and although it pained me to peel my beloved Vittoria Corsa treads off my Pinarello I was pretty excited to ease my concern over getting flats, considering the type of riding I have been doing during this dreaded pandemic. 

In other words, as much as I Iove the suppleness and grip of a Corsa rubber, switching to a “all-season” tire while I ride through the rough streets of Oakland seems like a pretty smart move. 

And though, having recently installed QuadCore on my mtb, I am probably never going to complain about installing tires ever again, the install of the Vector 4Seasons would have made great social media video. I was like a “Karen” screaming at my tire levers like they (didn’t even) care or understand (not understood) my frustration.

Vector 4Seasons, deconstructed.

Once I finished stretching the new tires I reread the “media kit” and kitted up for a ride. It is always interesting trying to review new tires because so much of my love or hate of a tire is based on luck. Because I have had “bad” luck with a particular tire can partially just be based on how many flats I have had or “close calls” while doing sketchy descending.

Goodyear’s unique Dual Angle Bead for a better initial seal, air retention. It’s also hookless rim compatible

But part of the fault can be put broadly on the manufacturers as they promise the world when they launch new rubber. Goodyear promises the Vector has improved ride quality, anti-puncture technology, improved grip, anti-cut technology, longer wear and lower rotational weight. That is a lot to ask from an all-season tire, but anything short and the tire has failed to deliver what it promised.

So it is with all of this rolling around in my head I rolled out for a couple of initial rides on the new Vector tires. Unfortunately, for those of you who are wondering, I have no idea if Goodyear’s claim of better grip in the rain is true, but I can attest to they are tough, fast, smooth and appear like they will appear to be a good choice in an everyday tire. And if you are still holding out on the tubeless thing, a conventional tubed version is also offered.

It is too early to tell if they will replace our Continental Gatorskins as our all-season tire, but Goodyear believe their new line of tires are not just ready, but they are completely ready for prime time.

ENVE’s Entering The Tire Biz

If you missed ENVE’s virtual builder round up two weeks ago, you missed some unreleased items hiding in plain sight. First, there’s this new Adventure Fork with a slick flip chip for adjustable rake, more clearance and accessory mount points (of course)… And then there were tires too. 

You heard that right. ENVE is going into tires. I mean, it makes a lot of sense since integration is all the rage these days, and their competition has been doing just that. 

Since this is the first tire line from the Utah carbon component maker, it’s needless to say an important launch to put their best foot forward. Dubbed the SES Road Tires, they’re designed to be all-around tubeless rubber that rolls with the best in the biz, but also considers weight, reliability and ride quality. 

One small touch that caught our eye is the fact that each tire’s packaging is labeled with the tire’s width when mounted to four different rim internal widths: 19mm, 21mm, 23mm, and 25mm. Yay for eliminating guesswork on tire clearance which is especially helpful given the amount of online shopping consumers do these days.

The SES Road Tires will retail for $75.00 each and the 25c and 29c are available today. The 27c and 31c are slotted for later this year. Will Tufo-manufactured and hookless rim-friendly tires dethrone the perennial favorite, the Continental Grand Prix 5000? Stay tuned for our review soon.

More on ENVE.

Hutchinson Adds Touareg For Rowdier Gravel

Hutchinson is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year and what better way to commemorate that milestone than by releasing more tires. It was first the cross-country Kraken, and now it’s the Touareg for the gravel crowd looking for a tire to match the gnar. 

Hutchinson is the only tire company that still manufactures its products in France

With design cues drawn from the brands’ road and off-road categories, the Touareg is slated to be knobbier than the company’s last gravel tire, the road leaning Override, which we love for its surprising amount of grip even with its inherently road-centric design. 

Hutchinson intended for the Touareg to be versatile and robust enough to be ridden on rocks. The Touareg employs a small block design to facilitate multiple contact points on this bi-compound tire, patterned after the Kraken and Skeleton tires on a smaller scale for better on-road performance.

Rolls of Hutchinson’s HardSkin textile reinforcement layer

The rubber sits atop a supple 127tpi casing with its grid-like HardSkin textile reinforcement incorporated bead-to-bead for protection against hostile objects ie: sharp objects, your shitty bunny hop over the curb, etc. It is also tubeless ready, of course. 

The French-made Touareg will be available for $64.99 in three sizes: 700 x 40, 700 x 45, and 650 x 47. The 700 x 40 and 650 x 47 will also come with your choice of black or tan sidewall. Stay tuned for an in-depth review once we get our hands on a pair.

Fresh Continental Gravel Rubbers

Continental Terra Trail and Speed gravel tires made in germany

They’re never ones to rush a product to the market but instead they take time perfecting their offerings. It’s about time that Continental makes their gravel tire official. Here’s the all-new, handmade in Germany, TERRA Trail and TERRA Speed. 

Continental Terra Trail and Speed gravel tires made in germany

Tubeless ready, available in both 650b and 700c with two tread patterns from the more robust Trail (650x40b (440g) and 700x40c (460g)), and the faster Speed (650x35b (390g), 650x40b (400g), 700x35c (400g) and 700x40c (420g)). There’s also a choice of black or cream sidewalls. Available today.

The Eagle Has Landed

When I was told a few weeks ago that Goodyear was making a comeback into the bicycle tire business, I had to look up what they meant by “comeback”.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even know that Goodyear wasn’t in the bicycle business. With companies like Continental, Michelin and Maxxis knee deep into bike tires, you’d think Goodyear, the third largest tire manufacturer in the world, would be in the game in some shape or form.

Well, they were. As a matter of fact, the Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear produced bicycle tires from the company’s founding in 1898 up until 1976.

So unlike Michael Jordan’s one year “retirement” from the NBA, or Johnny Manziel and Dave Chappelle, it’s been 42 years. But guess who’s back, back again? Goodyear is back. Tell a friend. Thank you Eminem for that sweet quote.

While Goodyear’s new lineup consists of nine tires, I am just going to focus on the road-going Eagle.

Goodyear Eagle All-Season Tubeless

That’s right, the sole road tire in Goodyear’s lineup shares the same name as the company’s better known racing rubbers both previously seen in Formula One and currently seen in NASCAR… and most likely as OEM tires in some cars. In fact, Goodyear even used the same font to label “Eagle” on the sidewall. Okay, I get it. The Eagle has a deep, high-performance heritage.

And Goodyear was kind enough to send us a pair in 25c to play with before the launch.

Our test samples weigh 310 and 311 grams, just a tad over the claimed 300 grams for the 25C tire. Installation was pretty straight forward. I was told the Eagle is mountable with just a floor pump. I managed to get one of the two tires inflated with no sealant while the second tire needed just a tiny bit of sealant and compressed air from my Bontrager TLR Flash Charger. There wasn’t any overnight leakage, either. I did, however, injected some sealant into that one dry tire for extra insurance before my first outing.

Goodyear Eagle All-Season Tubeless

My first ride using the tires was a 70-mile stroll following the weekend’s atmospheric river that caused some minor flooding, downed trees, and well, unpredictable road conditions that left me yearning for those disc brakes on the Focus Paralane I just sent back and I almost went to IKEA instead of riding. Not your ideal day to try out tires for the first time, or was it?

Goodyear Eagle All-Season Tubeless

So off I went. Rolling down this 10% hill right outside of my house. The Eagle felt supple, dare I say even better than the Zipp Tangente RT25 I just came off of, or the stable Schwalbe Pro One 25s. Goodyear ostensibly didn’t include much info such as the tpi of the casing used, but did mentioned the inclusion of a Nylon-based fabric from bead to bead called R:Armor to combat against cuts on punctures.

Interestingly enough, the Eagle didn’t balloon as much as the other two tires, measuring at 25.55 and 26.17mm on our Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR D3 rim-braked wheels. It’s definitely a welcoming tidbit if you don’t have a lot of tire clearance.

Not long after I navigated out across the slippery Golden Gate Bridge, I ran across this broken Jameson bottle in Sausalito. Last time I rode on wet road with glass, the glass won so I was waiting to hear the tell-tale hiss. Nope. Nothing. The show went on.

The more miles I rode on the Eagle, the more I trusted its capability. The proprietary silca-based Dynamic:Silica4 compound designed with a smooth center for low rolling resistance felt lively and comfortable at 90psi.

Goodyear Eagle All-Season Tubeless

And that “best in class wet grip” Goodyear claims to have is pretty darn good too. The Eagle handled water graciously with its directional sipes on the edges and grooves to channel water from the center. I’d like to see the comparison chart, though.

It’s still too early to comment on the long-term durability of the Eagle but it’s looking pretty promising so far. So stay tuned for our long-term report. The Eagle retails for $70 in four widths: 25, 28, 30, and 32. The 30mm and 32mm will also come with a second version that includes reflective strip all the way around the tire.

Zipp Tangente RT25: Tubeless Done Right

Zipp Tangente RT25

I take my rubber seriously. And in this case, I am talking about the rubber I ride. On my bike.

Since I converted to tubeless, I honestly haven’t looked back. I’ve also found myself paying much more attention to the tire market. Tubeless appears to be slowly gaining ground, but the choices are still limited. A quick search on Competitive Cyclist yields 18 tubeless tires in comparison to 34 clinchers.

Thus I get excited whenever I see a new offering.

Although Zipp is best known for their highend carbon hoops and sweet looking cockpit bits, they also make tires. The Zipp rubber might be a bit underrated and far less prominent than the wheels, we think they are still pretty darn good and they have a small, but loyal following.

Personally, I’ve settled on the Schwalbe Pro One for the past year or so and I honestly think the Schwalbe guys are onto something good. In fact, I love ’em so much I bought myself four pairs and they now sit next to my seldomly-used collection of tubular tires. With that said, the search for the tubeless holy grail never ends, which brings us to the Tangente RT25.

At first glance, the RT25 looks just like any other tubeless tire: All black everything (I am still hoping to see a tubeless tire with a tan sidewall, guys.) My test pair weighed in at 290 and 300 grams… very good considering Zipp listed these $74, French-made gems at 292 grams. Zipp wouldn’t divulge which manufacturer makes the tires, but there are only a handful of tubeless tire manufacturers out there, and there’s only one French tubeless road manufacturer I can think of…

The Tangente RT25 was one of the easiest tubeless tires I’ve ever installed. I guess Zipp really means it when they say “No tire levers needed or recommended for installation.” It slid onto my Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR D3 carbon clincher so effortlessly I was worried that I was going to spend some quality (read: way too much) time trying to seat a loose fitting tire. Not so. Not only did it not need sealant to help seat the tire, it popped right into the rim bed on the first try as if it had a tube in it. Zipp does recommend adding some sealant against puncture, though. So I just deflated it, injected some sealant, and inflated. I really liked the zero-mess and zero-fuss installation.

Zipp Tangente RT25

On the road, the RT25 were impressive. I’ve been running mine at around 90PSI for the past two months and they were buttery smooth and lively. The 127TPI nylon casing was supple while the 60 shore A tire compound was both grippy and durable. Granted, the RT25 is a racing tire where tire wear takes second place behind performance but the RT25 has shown little wear, even for those not particularly deep water-siping patterns on the side that I was initially skeptical about. I haven’t had a flat yet, but there’s a Polymide layer beneath the rubber should those occasions arise.

Overall, it’s hard to find any fault with the RT25. It’s fast, grippy, and durable. There are definitely lighter tubeless road tires on the market, but the durability and exceptional all-around performance of the RT25 is well worth the few extra grams. The RT25 reminded me of the crowd-favorite Continental Grand Prix 400 S II clincher in many ways. The Tangente RT25 is a tire that won’t let you down and it’s possible I just found my new favorite tubeless road tire.

Bid Adieu To Dried Out Tubeless Sealant With Finish Line

Tubeless tires are great and all but I absolutely loathe dealing with solidified sealant every so often.

Even worse, solidified sealant inside tubulars.

Alas, Finish Line have developed a solution: A sealant that won’t curdle inside the tire on its own (duh.)

Dried sealant (and puncture) sucks.

Developed in conjunction with industrial sealant specialist Multi Seal, the latex and ammonia-free sealant features a DuPont FiberLink Kevlar fiber filler in a liquid suspension that automatically clings to the side of the puncture area to form a physical plug.

Since FiberLink is the part that stops the leak and the fluid in the sealant is merely a carrier, Finish Line is able to design the liquid suspension in such that the liquid will stay in its form throughout the life of the tire. Goodbye dried out sealant.

The non-toxic, hypoallergenic formula is also said to work nicely with carbon rims, is CO2 friendly and water washable. It sure sounds really good and could possibly be a game changer, so stay tuned for our review.

Four sizes will be available: 4-ounce ($8.99), 8-ounce ($14.99 ), 1-liter ($35.99), as well as a monstrous 1-gallon ($139.99) for shops, or anyone who just has a lot of tires.