Interbike 2011: Rubber for the road, and beyond.

By Karl Rosengarth

I’m a man on a mission, for better traction. This year at Interbike I roamed for rubber. What follows is a selection of tires that piqued my interest. Note that some of the tires listed are not yet released; therefore, full specs may not yet be available.

The Maxxis Gyspy touring tire looks like a great choice for commuters, as well as loaded tourers. The dual compound construction provides harder rubber down the center for longer wear, and softer cornering rubber on the sides. Available in both 700 x 38c and 26 x 1.5" sizes. Price TBD.

Continental’s TopContact Winter II tires have abundant micro-siping designed for maximum grip in wintry conditions, without the need for metal studs. The tires feature a 3M reflective stripe on the sidewalls. They retail for around $65 and are available now in both 700 x 37c and 26 x 1.9" sizes. Let it snow!

The new Kwick Tendril from Kenda is a city/touring tire with a smooth, fast-rolling, center section. The outer, cornering surfaces have siping and a knurling for improved grip. Available in a wide range of 700c widths from 25 through 38c, and in 26 x 1.5 and 1.75" options.

Rando is all the rage. And if you really want to rock some street cred, then you’ll want to roll 650B. Panaracer has got you covered with their Col de La Vie, a 650B x 38mm tire with inverted tread design that’s well-suited for rando and/or touring duty.

Vee Rubber has been in the bicycle tire business for over 30 years, though they’ve had little presence in the US market as of late. That’s about to change as the company is releasing a complete range of mountain and road tires, starting in October 2011. Their Easy Street commuter tire will retail for around $20 in wire bead. Available in various widths in 700c, 26" and 28" sizes.

Schwalbe’s all-new Marathon Mondial is and adventure touring tire that’s available in a variety of widths in both 26" and 700c sizes. These bad boys feature harder compound down the center for longer wear, softer compound on the sides for improved cornering grip, SnakeSkin sidewall protection, and a woven aramid belt for puncture protection.

Vittoria’s Adventure Trail is a low-rolling-resistance tire with a tread pattern designed mixed surfaces, including a bit of dirt when need be. Available in 700 x 35/38c and 26 x 1.75" sizes.

Freedom is expanding their Cruz tire lineup in 2012 to include an all-new 29 x 2.0" size. They’ll be out in October 2011 and will retail for around $33 (wire bead only). Great news for commuters rolling to work on 29ers or monstercross rigs.


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