Bikepacking.com reviews the Fleecer Ridge

When we introduced the our Fleecer Ridge 700C x 55 mm dual-purpose knobbies, we sent two sets to Neil and Logan at Bikepacking.com. Since the Fleecers are our first tires specifically intended for bikepacking and the Tour Divide, we were eager to get their feedback. That was a few months ago, and I was just about to drop them a note: “Hope you’ve been able to ride the tires a bit. What do you think?” Before I got around to writing that email, a very detailed review appeared at bikepacking.com – both in words and with a nicely done video.

Turns out Neil has been riding his Fleecer Ridges quite a bit. More than 1,000 miles (1,600 km), to be exact. And he likes them. A lot.

He mentions how fast they roll on road and trail, how well they grip even in tricky situations, and how quiet they are. (The patented noise cancellation technology really does work.) They proved very durable, too. In fact, Neil and Logan consider them ideal for rides like the Tour Divide, where you don’t know what lies ahead.

That is high praise from a site that is known for its independence. Thank you, Neil and Logan for the time and effort to really test these tires! Rather than listen to me talk about their review, read and watch it here.

12 Responses to Bikepacking.com reviews the Fleecer Ridge

  1. T Alex August 6, 2020 at 5:17 am #

    Hi Jan!
    Great review by Neil, really enjoyed looking at the Fleecer Ridges in more detail, just like i’m enjoying my Hurricane Ridges every day!
    You’d expect them to do good on dirt, but it’s ridiculous how quiet and nice riding a knobby can feel on paved descents.
    Just curious – what is your decision process when going out on a ride – when do you select a knobby and when do you select a slick?

    • Jan Heine August 6, 2020 at 6:53 am #

      Around here, the gravel is deep and tread pattern makes little difference, so I choose our slicks (which aren’t slick!) for most rides. I’ll run knobbies if I expect mud or snow on the course.

      • Andrew Carpenter August 6, 2020 at 2:01 pm #

        Same here I ride slicks all summer road and gravel and some single track and switch to knobbies come winter, also to fit fenders on some bikes. All Compass tires I have had them all so long none say Rene Herse yet. I love these tires!

  2. Frédéric August 6, 2020 at 6:49 am #

    With such a good report I still expect a 26” with knobs 😉

    • Andrew Carpenter August 6, 2020 at 2:04 pm #

      Me too ! Panaracer came out with Gravel Kings which I like in 26 but would buy RH knobbies in 26 the day they became available. Love the Rat Traps and they are great but…….

  3. Chris August 6, 2020 at 6:53 am #

    I’ve been riding the 48mm Juniper Ridge up front and the 48mm Switchback Hill in back, and they have been brilliant. I ride just enough really crappy fire trails and truck trails to feel I need the bigger knobs up front. The pairing works wonderfully on truly mixed road to chunky fire trail to gravel and back. My “gravel” bike is purposeful built randonneur, but with the wider tires and the knobs, I’m going lots of places I didn’t think I would when I bought it.

    I’ve been waiting for the Fleecer Ridge for Bike #2 and glad to see it reviewed well. I expect I’ll be on them late this year. In the mean time, I expect you’ll be getting lots of requests for the 650b x 2.2 version, so we can stay on the same rims but get a bit more volume…

    Chris

    • Andy Ramsdale August 8, 2020 at 4:25 pm #

      Hurricane ridge on the front and Snoqualmie pass on the rear. Great combo. Been meaning to try it for ages finally but the bullet and not looked back. Super fast, smooth, with just that little bit more grip at the front.

  4. Sean stokley August 6, 2020 at 9:53 am #

    C’mon now Jan, you’re leaving out the portion of his description of how difficult they described to mount tubeless without air compressor…

    • Jan Heine August 6, 2020 at 10:26 am #

      The first draft included a discussion of this, but it got too long. It’s really a problem with the lack of standards. A lot of aluminum OEM rims are slightly undersize to make the tires easier to mount at the big bike factories, and tires fit a bit loose. We don’t have any experience with Neil’s Industry 9 rims, but we’ve had trouble seating tires on some (but not all) WTB rims – it seems there is quite some variety even for the same models. On the other hand, most carbon rim makers have increased the diameter of their rims recently to prevent blow-offs when tires are mounted tubeless.

      When we developed these tires, we use Enve carbon and HED aluminum rims to specify the diameter and fit. On these rims, the fit is tight, and they are easy to mount tubeless with a floor pump. If we made them even tighter, they wouldn’t seat on the carbon rims without exceeding the maximum pressure of the rims – which means that riders with these rims would not be able to mount them at all. You can’t reduce the diameter of a rim, but you can increase it with an extra layer or two of rim tape, if you have an out-of-spec rim. This doesn’t just make mounting the tires easier, but it also lowers the risks of blow-offs. The fact that Neil always runs 2 layers of tape may suggest that his rims are a bit smaller than spec.

      Hopefully, there will be an ISO standard for tubeless tires soon. Rene Herse Cycles is actively involved in developing that standard. Once we have a standard, we can make our tires to that standard, rather than having to pick and choose for which rims we optimize our tires. And hopefully the OEM rim makers will also get their tolerances down so that all their rims adhere to the standard…

  5. Stuart Fogg August 6, 2020 at 4:14 pm #

    Thanks for working on ISO standards! IMHO innovation is great but lack of standards can result in dangerous combinations.

    On a related note, when I put my bike together I went through a LOT of trouble to avoid getting locked in to particular manufacturers or even product lines. The result may look a little weird but I’ll be able to replace anything after the current parts are out of production.

    • Jan Heine August 6, 2020 at 7:21 pm #

      I went the other way when I built my first Herse: I only used parts that don’t wear out, and the parts that do wear (bearings, etc.) are standard parts that will remain available well into the next century. Of course, since then we’ve made most of those parts available again, but that is another story!

      • Stuart Fogg August 6, 2020 at 11:42 pm #

        That works. Unfortunately I don’t think I will remain available into the next century.