Design & Innovation Award for Fleecer RidgeNatsuko
We’re excited that our Fleecer Ridge tires won the 2021 Design & Innovation Award in the Category Off-Road Components. This prestigious European prize is based on real-world testing. The 30-strong, international jury consists of journalists, test riders and engineers who are amongst the most renowned experts in their respective fields. They spent fifteen days riding and evaluating the finalists before handing out the awards. The Fleecer Ridge is the only tire that received an award. They noted “the Rene Herse tires generate masses of traction both off-road and on asphalt when cornering and always handle predictably. Whether in the damp or on loose surfaces, the jury wasn’t able to get the tire to break out unpredictably.”
What I found even more encouraging was that the jury mentioned how the noise cancelling tread pattern allows riders to experiencing nature, “without the constant rumbling” that you get with most knobby tires. With all the focus on performance, it’s easy to forget that everybody benefits from good tires. I’m not a fast rider, and yet it was eye-opening how different my bike felt when I first rode with really supple tires, the Rene Herse Elk Pass 26″ x 1.25″ Extralights. Before that, there simply weren’t any supple tires that fit my bike.
As the Design & Innovation Award jury mentioned, a great tire improves the riding experience as much as it increases speed. The bike feels more alive and is more fun to ride. For a racer like Ted King, performance is everything, and how much noise the bike makes isn’t so important. For ultra-racers like Lael Wilcox, a noisy bike may be more of a concern, since she spends so much time out there. But for someone like me, who’s riding just for fun, a quiet bike is an important part of the experience. So is a comfortable bike, and a bike that rolls with ease and encourages me to continue.
The role of the tire is to support the rider, both literally and figuratively. That’s why our tires have very subtle logos. We want the bike to fade into the background, so the rider can focus on the landscape, nature and the ride itself. It’s nice that the Design & Innovation Award jury agrees.
Here is the full report from the award: