As cold weather continues to blanket many regions around the world, lots of cyclists are given two choices; either retreat to indoor training or face the harsh conditions winter riding presents.
Whether one is a die-hard cyclist who’s willing to brave the elements, or an urban commuter who’s forced to face each day with challenging weather conditions, one thing is for certain, proper tires are essential for dealing with snow and ice conditions.
However, this often requires a series of different wheel and tire set-ups in order to meet the demands of winter. But, what if there was a simply and effective way to adapt to these conditions?
Well, the Norwegian startup reTyre has recently updated its zip-on tire system, giving serious cyclists a single-quiver solution that avoids complicated change-outs, especially with its latest version that addresses some of the previous niggles like tire squirm.
As first reported, the system itself is quite simple, which involves two small zippers that allow a layer of either studded or knobby rubber to be attached to a dedicated tire.
However, the updated version now features zippers that are positioned further down on its sidewall, making for a tighter fit without causing any additional fuss with zippering.
“Depending on the temperature when a tire is produced, the size of a bicycle tire for any brand may vary up to 15 percent, so in our quality control we now measure all batches of tires that come to our assembly factory and adjust the height on where we sew the zipper on the sidewall, down to as little as 0.5 mm up or down to secure optimized fit,” explains reTyre COO Alexander G. Gjørve.
Still sound suspect?
According to Gjørve, the updated system is now the product of more than three years of rigorous testing, whereby they claim to have evaluated over 4,500 “alpha” tires that “passed with flying colors.”
Here’s how it works.
The system comes supplied with a standard tire that serves as the base to attach (or zip in this case) the threads to, which is available in 26-, 27.5-, 28-, and 29-inch sizes that sells for €29 (about $35) per tire.
From there, reTyre offers three “skins” ranging from a winter tire that sports 156 carbide studs, a light-patterned, all-terrain skin that’s ideal for gravel and other uneven surfaces and a Trail X skin aimed at aggressive downhill mountain riding.
The company claims swapping the skins is as easy as “zipping up your jacket’, thanks to a self-locking zipper that can be secured in less than a minute.
So what prevents the zipper from getting all gunked up? And, what if it breaks?
reTyre says, “centrifugal forces create a self-cleaning effect”, while a tongue located between the seams acts to seal-off and protect the system from the elements and lose objects on the road.
As far as a broken zipper is concerned, reTyre makes no mentioning of a solution. We can only assume this would involve a tedious repair that could only be performed by say, a cobbler.
If you’re not deterred by the thought of a broken zipper, the 3rd-Generation reTyre system comes in 26, 27.5, 28 and 29-inch sizes that include the moderately studded Winter Traveler, the more heavily studded Ice Racer, the dirt road-oriented Gravel Chaser, and the deeper-lugged Trail Rider, which range in price from €38 to €74 ($45 to $89) per skin.
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