After a three year absence from InterBike, I decided that rather than aimlessly roaming the labyrinth of booths I would purposely seek out only the product in which I already had interest. Now that cyclocross season is on and the disc brake question already decided, we can go back to the cyclocross racers traditionally fave topic: tyres. Specifically, I wanted to see what was available now that the majority of companies had finally gotten onto the tubeless bandwagon.
Tubeless tyre development has been annoyingly misguided when it comes to non-mountainbike applications. Whether it be road, cyclocross, or the newest trend of gravel” (aka “all-road”, “adventure”), several companies or collaborations thereof have tried to bend the industry to their own design parameters but have fallen short of re-making the market in their own image. To date several similar and (in practice mostly interchangeable) standards have emerged. Shimano and Hutchinson pioneered road tubeless as a rigidly defined set of standards for rims and tyres which have nonetheless proven heavy and overly demanding on rim/tyre bead tolerances while also tethered to now-outdated fashions of (narrow) rim width. Ultimately the market has mostly abandoned the original road tubeless standard for tyres bigger than 28mm in favour of lighter and more forgiving designs, though the downside is that theres not much to reign in varying tolerances across the industry. Regardless, the newer designs mostly rely on liquid sealant to prevent air leakage and a contoured well inside the rims tyre cavity to aid in seating the tyre bead. These tyres are variously named tubeless ready, sealant compatible, and now tubeless easy among other phrases. The rims that they best fit have been heavily influenced by Stans NoTubes wildly popular rim designs.
Schwalbe Paris-Roubaix worthy S-One 30mm tubeless clincher
Initially developed more than a decade ago, the original road tubeless standard was designed around 23mm road racing tyres and ~20mm wide (~16 internal width) rims, typical at the time. Keep in mind that this predates the big cyclocross boom that came in the later 00s, so 30mm plus tyres were not at all at the forefront of product development. As cyclocross became an important segment, many innovators were eager to apply the knowledge and lessons gained with tubeless in the mountainbike realm. Now with the fast growing interest in so-called gravel bikes, theres even more potential to capitalize on tubeless in wider casings. In fact, the once assumed racing standard of 23mm race tyres has rapidly been losing favour to 25mm, and all recent road rim designs have drifted towards 23-25mm (external) width rims.
So much going on this year during the Mobile Social, for our tenth anniversary, check this edit!
On the Strip
The 10th edition of the Mobile Social Interbike rode the Strip from Mandalay Bay to downtown Las Vegas and it was more chaotic than controlled this year because of the ebike continent zooming around, distracting participants from the planned route. All part of the action though and Green Guru calliope anchored the ride. When the front groups stopped to wonder where everyone else was, all they had to do was listen for the bass sounds, and there the rest of the ride was.
As I posted, upon arrival at Interbike the first thing I saw was the Yendra Bootlegger, and two of those led us out like reverse rickshaw/bike chariots, and offered the best seats in the house. Other notable rides included a penny farthing, chain chopper, and a fatbike tandem.
Green Guru boom bike
View the rest of the photos on G+.
These Strip rides in Vegas are always like a club Stefon, Weekend Update’s city correspondent, would visit. Welcoming all to ride with us, and starting at Mandalay before ending up downtown, there’s the controlled chaos of the group in a Las Vegas boulevard lane. Filling that lane for blocks are a cast of characters doing wheelies, on fixies, funky freaks, zooming eBikes, low choppers, adult-size big wheels, retro road bikes, folders, and even a 36-inch mountain bike followed by a 3-wheeled cargo trike.
We’ve seen it all and then some in the hour or so the ride takes. About 1/2 way along the route, Hammer and Cycle joins us from Dino’s and it gets even weirder with denim, leather, and cruisers riding by clubs attended by “sunburnt drifters with soapsuds beards.”
We haven’t seen Furkles, Jewpids, human bathmats, Teddy Graham people, or Gizblow the Coked-Up Gremlin, but there’s always next year! And we hope you join Tern, New Belgium, Green Guru, and us.