Eurobike Roundup #1 – Wheels, Tires & Tubeless Tech!

DT Swiss Continental Aero 111 front road bike tire with vortex generator divots to reduce drag.

I hope you all had a happy Fourth of July! Across the pond, Eurobike’s in full swing, which means a boatload of new bikes, components, gear, and tech. So, I’m breaking it up into categories to keep it digestible and will send out a few newsletters over the weekend to cover it all. In this issue, here’s the best new tires, wheels, and related bits:

  • Continental AERO 111
  • Bontrager Aeolus RSL
  • Schwalbe Rick XC
  • WTB gravel & MTB race tires
  • Swiss Side aero climbing wheels
  • DT Swiss 30th Anniversary
  • Schwalbe Clic Valves
  • Muc-Off Big Bore
  • Aeron TPU tubes
  • Muc-Off road/gravel sealant

Continental AERO 111 tires produce negative drag

Developed by DT Swiss and Swiss Side in the wind tunnel and made by Continental, the new AERO 111 road bike tire uses 48 “Vortex Generator” divots to create a faster WTS (Wheel Tire System) by reduced turbulence created as air, and particularly crosswinds, hit the front tire.

Unlike most aero products with wind tunnel data at pro-level 45km/h (28mph) speeds, these tires show dramatically reduced drag even at 30km/h (~18.6mph). Straight on, they perform similar to normal tires, but drag quickly reduces all the way out to 20º crosswind angles.

Even better, they dip into negative drag numbers beyond 15º wind angles, actually creating propulsion and also reducing “tugging” during gusts for more stable handling. It’s tubeless ready, comes in 26mm and 29mm widths, and are only for the front of the bike. Use any tire you like on the rear. MSRP $120.

Bontrager Aeolus RSL race tires

Also claiming aerodynamic gains at reasonable speeds (-1.7w at 22mph), the new Bontrager Aeolus RSL road tires adds reduced rolling resistance (-3.7w) thanks to a very supple 320tpi cotton casing and dual-compound rubber with a firmer center section.

They’re tubeless ready (hooked and hookless rims) with puncture protection under the tread cap. MSRP is $89.95, widths are 26/28/30/32mm widths, weights from 265g. (video here)

Schwalbe Rick XC racing tire

If the Racing Ralph was too knobby and Thunder Burt not knobby enough, the new Schwalbe Rick XC should fit the bill. It has small, square center knobs with dotted sipes for climbing traction and low rolling resistance, making it an ideal rear tire.

Rectangular transition knobs and blockier cornering knobs provide cornering grip. Extra reinforcements between the center and shoulder treads improve pinch flat protection. 29er only, available in 2.25″ (680g) and their first XC-oriented 2.4″ (760g), with Speed (transparent sidewall) and Speedgrip (black sidewall) compounds. MSRP $98.

WTB Macro 2.4 XC race tire; Vulpine & Resolute gravel tires

The WTB Macro 2.4 is another new wide XC race tire, with a wide casing that keep a round profile and measure a true 2.4″ on 30mm internal-width rims. Low profile, tightly spaced center knobs keep it rolling fast, but have sharp, wide faces for reliable braking.

Wider spacing in the transition area saves weight, but leads to more robust cornering knobs. Triple compound rubber puts the grip where it’s needed. Dual 120tpi casing is supported with an a lightweight sidewall reinforcement that uses flat (rather than round) fibers to save weight without reducing cut protection. Available with black (732g) and tan (709g) sidewalls, 29er only. MSRP $76.95. (video here)

Left to right, the new WTB Resolute 50 is their “ultimate all-weather gravel tire”. Big, closely-spaced center knobs roll quick, and wider spacing on the transition and shoulder knobs help it dig into loose and wet terrain. Bead-to-bead puncture & cut protection and big 700×50 size makes this a do-it-all adventure tire that’s respectably light for its size at 620-640g. MSRP $69.95.

The Vulpine S puts a slick center section between tiny, tightly-spaced treads for max rolling speed on hardpack courses. They say it’s the fastest gravel tire they make. Comes in 40-45mm widths, black and tan sidewalls, weights from 500-580g.

The Vulpine 45 comes only in 700×45 and chops up that center strip for more traction when things get loose, but they’re tightly spaced and slightly ramped so it still rolls very quickly. Weights from 570-585g depending on sidewall color (black is heavier). Both have 120tpi casings with SG sidewall cut protection and run $69.95.

Swiss Side makes aero climbing wheels

Taking their aerodynamic expertise to a shallower, lighter rim, the new Swiss Side Climbing Collection wheels promise low drag and low weight. The top Hardon Ultimate 380 model comes in at just 1,305g with a 38mm deep rim (20mm internal width) that just to happens to be optimized for those new Continental AERO 111 tires they co-developed.

Below that is the Hadron Classic 380, also carbon, with slightly heavier spokes and hubs to hit 1,476g. For everyday training, the Pion 300 is an alloy version with 30mm deep rim (22mm internal) that’s optimized for the wider 29mm AERO 111 tire. Wheelset weight is 1,760 and they’re just $397 for the set. Also available in a rim brake version.

DT Swiss 30th Anniversary hubs & wheels

To celebrate 30 years of making premium hubs and wheels, DT Swiss is launching three special edition products: ARC 1100 Dicut DB38 wheels (Aero road, carbon rim), EXC 1200 Classic (Enduro MTB, alloy rim), and 240 hubs with a classic silver finish and their original logo in red, reminiscent of their 1994 Hügi hubs.

Schwalbe Clik Valve reinvents the tubeless valve stem

Apparently, nothing’s changed about valve stems in 100+ years. But like many things, innovations tend to come in droves and this year we’ve seen a wide variety of new takes on Schrader and Presta valves (see next item).

The new Schwalbe Clik Valve goes further, introducing an entirely new standard that uses a snap on, snap off design that’s so fast and easy a child can do it. No more twisting open a Presta valve, pulling a lever on the pump head, or threading the pump on. Just click it onto the valve, inflate, and pull it off.

It’s small, so it fits on smaller kids’ bike wheels more easily, and the valve has 50% more air flow than Presta They’re also backward compatible, so you can use any standard bike pump in a pinch. Conversion kits w/ pump head available now for existing Presta, Schrader & Dunlop valves, and SKS is already onboard offering Clik Valve pumps. Schwalbe Clik Valve tubes coming soon.

Muc-Off Big Bore tubeless valves have a cut-off switch

By eliminating the valve core altogether, the new Muc-Off Big Bore tubeless valve stems have massive air flow for easy tubeless setup. These work by using a ball valve instead of a valve core that requires a needle to be depressed. Once opened, it’s a completely hollow tube with no restrictions. Attach the pump, twist the lever to open the valve, and pump it up. Just be sure to close the valve before removing the pump.

They’re available in three versions – Lite to replace your standard Presta valve (230% more air flow), Hybrid to fit Presta rims but Schrader pump heads (254% more air flow), and Ludicrous, which fits Schrader rim holes and pumps (264% more flow).

The later likely means that some rim brands (or maybe even Muc-Off themselves) will be offering high-performance rims with Schrader-sized holes. Presta was originally introduced to fit super-narrow road rims from the early days of clinchers, but modern rims are much wider and can fit a Schrader valve, so here we are…

Aeron ultralight TPU tubes

Sure, Pirelli, WTB, Tubolito and a bunch of others already have ultralight tubes, but upstart Aeron claims to be better because they are expert TPU engineers and manufacturers. They also offer a lot more varieties, from ultra-light racing versions to thicker, more robust versions for city and touring bikes.

Choose from Road, CX/Gravel, Mountain Bike, and City/Touring sizes, most with multiple valve stem lengths and sizes. Weights from just 22g up to 199g. Like all TPU tubes, they claim to be more puncture resistant, and they’re 100% recyclable into new TPU tubes and hold air better than butyl rubber. MSRP from $18-26.

Muc-Off Road & Gravel tubeless sealant

Muc-Off’s mountain bike tire sealant not only smells wonderful, it comes in handy little single-use pouches that slide over your valve stem and squeeze directly into the tire, perfect for stuffing into a hydration pack, plus larger sizes for home & shop use.

Now, they have a Road & Gravel Tubeless Sealant, too. It’s a non-toxic, ammonia-free, allergen-free synthetic latex formula designed for higher-pressure use. Biodegradable bamboo fiber particles and natural mineral flakes to help seal holes up to 7mm, even with tires pumped up to 110psi.

On Stage

Long-time Lunch Ride reader Steven Wilke set the FKT on Moab’s White Rim Trail as an adaptive athlete. This video documents the 100-mile ride while also sharing thoughts on inclusivity, stigma, and what it’s like as an adaptive mountain biker.

Side note: I’ve ridden adaptive trails in Vermont and Jackson Hole and they’re rad…if you’re involved in local trail building, please look into creating adaptive trails in your area, and check out any nearby to get a taste for how rad they can be. There’s nothing watered down about the ones I’ve ridden, they’re super fun!

    Hot Deals

    Parting Thoughts

    Want more? There’s another wheel brand that’s making a strong comeback that I wanted to include this week, but I don’t have photos yet…stay tuned.

    ICYMI, there were quite a few new wheel and tire launches last week from Gulo, DT Swiss, OneUp, Vittoria, and Onza.

    I’ve also updated my Parting Thoughts from last week with more accurate info about rim manufacturing and the prevalence (or not) of machined bead hooks. If you read it and found it interesting, please re-read if you want a more up-to-date assessment of the different ways hooked bicycle rims are made.

    Other than that, I’m basically just starting on Part 2, covering the best new bikes and drivetrains launching at Eurobike. After that, I’ll be working on something new here… if you’d like to get a little bit ahead of the game on things, subscribe to our YouTube channel now and get your popcorn ready.

    Cheers,

    who is behind the lunch ride newsletter