Just announced, Rene Herse Cycles latest tire was designed specifically for bikepacking. When developing the Fleecer Ridge, Rene Herse worked directly with Lael Wilcox to create a tire made “to conquer the Tour Divide, Silk Road Mountain Race, and tours into the unknown.” Named after Lael’s favorite climb on the Tour Divide, the Fleecer Ridge comes in one size, 29″ x 2.2″ (or 700C x 55 mm).
The Fleecer Ridge is an all-rounder featuring large knobs with generous space in between to provide traction on loose and soft surfaces, while the knobs are spaced to put more rubber on the road as the tire leans into corners during paved descents into town to resupply. The Fleecer Ridge offers a choice of the four Rene Herse casings:
- Standard combines comfort and speed with an affordable price.
- Extralight is Rene Herse’s most supple casing made for speed.
- Endurance uses the same ultra-fine threads with extra protection against punctures and cuts.
- Endurance Plus is the toughest performance tires in the lineup.
According to Lael, “Now that I’ve been testing the Fleecer Ridge 29″ x 2.2″ (700 x 55 mm) tires with the Endurance casing, I found that they check all of the boxes as ideal for the Tour Divide. It rolls fast, it’s got great traction with its large, widely spaced knobs, but the round profile and clever knob arrangement also allow me to lean the bike deep into corners on pavement. It’s been 100% reliable, with no flats so far.
On that note, I would also select these tires for bikepacking expeditions on unknown terrain or other long-distance races where I expect mixed conditions, like our recent route-building project in Colombia, the Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan, and the Hope 1000 in Switzerland. For really rough rides, I might go for the Endurance Plus casing, and for a shorter, smoother course, I might pick the Extralight’s amazing speed. To sum it up, for the riding that I love, if I had to choose one tire, the Fleecer Ridge would be it.”
According to Jan Heine from Rene Herse, the Fleecer Ridge is significantly lighter than any comparable tires on the market. “We start with a road tire and beef it up, rather than start with an mtb tire and try to slim it down.” Here are the claimed weights from Jan:
- Extralight: 595 g
- Standard and Endurance: 630 g
- Endurance Plus: 645 g
The Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge will be available in mid-May 2020 from bike shops and directly from Rene Herse Cycles. Prices range from $77 for the Standard to $94 for the Endurance Plus (Extralight and Endurance are $ 89). The Fleecer Ridge will only be available in tan wall for the first shipment, but they may add an all-black variation at a later date.
Photos courtesy of Rugile Kaladyte and Rene Herse.
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