Frostbike '08: Tire Rumors And News

In this final report, I wanted to give a spot for all of the tire news and rumors I heard at Frostbike. Some of this will be a repeat from an earlier post, but this will get all the info in one place.

First off, we have Hutchinson who will be adding another 29″er tread to go along with its Python 29″er tubeless concept tire already in production. The new tread will be based on the Toro which is already a 26 inch tread design for them. The Toro is said to have more space inbtween the knobs for good mud shedding ability. It also may have the “Hardskin” side walls, (all the 26″er sizes have it), which is a technology designed to increase the tires resistance to perforations and cuts yet retain a good ride quality. Of course, this new 29″er tire will be tubeless ready with use of Hutchinson’s Fast Air sealant.

My source told me it will be a 2.35″ wide tire and it will be introduced at Sea Otter in mid April.

Next we have a rumor that Continental is indeed still bringing on two more tread designs to compliment the already popular 29″er Mountain King. We are hearing that one of those two will be the Mud Queen, but we haven’t heard for sure if the Speed King is the third one or not. I suspect it will be since many I talked to involved with tires say that race treads seem to be in more demand in 29″er sizes than bigger tires.

Kenda brings news that it’s venerable Klaw series will be withdrawn soon from production and another, racier tread will take it’s place. Rumor has it that the design will be one of the Legend Series tires that is currently in developement with Tinker Juarez. I heard that Tinker originally was pitching his Dread tread as a 29″er tire, but Kenda officials declined to produce it saying it would be too heavy and wouldn’t sell.

Also of interest is that the Nevegal will be the biggest tire produced by Kenda in a 29″er size for the near future as it’s molds can’t handle anything larger than that.

WTB is going to keep tires coming in the “wagon wheel” sizes and next up is a full on Weir Wolf treaded 2.1″ and 2.35″ tire to compliment the “low tread” Weir Wolf already in their catalog. I have heard a lot of folks saying that the 26 inch Weir Wolf was their favorite tire, so look for this one to become a popular choice when it hits the shelves. No release date has been heard, but I’m betting Interbike will be the debut.

Michelin told me that they have a “couple of tires” coming and both will be tubeless ready models. No word on exactly which treads might be in consideration, but the source told me one would be a “dry terrain” tire. Again, I would guess that it will be a racier tread design based upon the overall tone of conversations I had with tire folks.

Panaracer is considering strongly a Razer based 29″er tire and has confirmed one in 650B, leading me to believe that the 29″er version should be coming as well. Again, a racier tire to compliment the Rampage.

Maxxis says the Ardent should be in very soon. Late March/early April is the word I heard. Also, CST, (Maxxis’ parent company) is already producing the Critter and will most likely have a 2.3″ wide all around trail tire coming soon according to my source.

With all the possibilities on board, it looks like 2008 could be a banner year for 29″er tires.


No Responses to “Frostbike '08: Tire Rumors And News”

  1. Jwiffle Says:

    A 2.35″ full-depth tread Weirwolf?! YES!!! WOOHOO! It better be true, because now you have raised my hopes! I actually asked about a full tread Weirwolf in a 2.3″-2.5″ at Interbike since it was always my favorite 26″ tire (not so much a fan of the low tread design). They hadn’t known of any plans to produce it then, but I guess I wasn’t the only one clamoring for it! If they can keep it in the 800-850 gram range (or even less would be nice), I’ll be ordering as soon as they’re available!

  2. MG Says:

    More tire selection is always a good thing, and life is already pretty good for the conditions I ride in most often!

    That Maxxis Ardent is definitely a tire I’d like to try. I’ve been looking at that one for a while now, and it looks promising. Perhaps that on the front with a Crossmark on the rear would be a hot combo for an aggressive xc rider in a relatively wide variety of conditions, perhaps with the exception of sticky mud or extreme blue groove hardpack, where dual Crossmarks, Nanos or Pythons rule.

    The Weirwolf LT is a great handling tire, so I’m interested in looking at any evolution that comes down the pike there. It certainly couldn’t hurt the tire’s loose terrain performance to have a bit deeper knobs.

    Dig it!

  3. GreenLightGo Says:

    The Toro from Hutchinson will be a great offering.

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