Limited Edition: Black Endurance Tires

Posted by: Jan Heine Category: Uncategorized

Limited Edition: Black Endurance Tires

This year, we are celebrating 85 years of Rene Herse Cycles. In late 1938, René Herse built the world’s lightest bikepacking bike and entered it in the prestigious Concours de Machines, the competition for the best bicycle, to showcase the innovative components he had developed. Drawing on his experience of making parts for record-setting prototype aircraft, Herse used the latest aluminum alloys to create cranks, brakes, stems and pedals that were lighter and stronger than any others at the time. He soon went on to make complete bikes that were considered the best of their time, ridden to world championships and incredible adventures.

Hand-made tires have been part of the Rene Herse story from the beginning. René Herse’s superlight bike rolled on supple, wide tires to maximize performance and minimize weight. This amazing machine (above) weighed just 7.94 kg (17.50 lb) with fenders, rack, generator lights and even the pump. Take off those parts, and Herse’s 1938 bikepacking bike would have been close to today’s 6.8 kg UCI limit for pro bikes.

Back then, hand-made tires were very expensive, but René Herse considered their comfort and speed essential for competition success. Riders on his team got a set of supple hand-made tires before important events—but they had to return the tires after each race! The photo above shows René Herse (in back) and his team on the eve of the 1955 Poly de Lyon hillclimb race. They are switching out their ‘training’ rubber for hand-made ‘event’ tires.

Here René Herse is watching his riders during the Poly Lyon race the following day. The Herse team dominated all the important events like Paris-Brest-Paris, the Poly hillclimb races, and the Diagonales, routes from one corner of France to the other where his riders set records and FKTs. His daughter Lyli was a strong racer who won 8 French championships.

When manufacturers stopped offering hand-made clinchers during the 1960s, René Herse worked with a small maker of tubulars to make supple clincher tires available again to his riders and customers. In my conversations with Herse’s mechanics and team riders, as well as his daughter Lyli, I heard time and again how hand-made, supple clincher tires were essential to the magic of Herse’s famous bikes.

When Rene Herse Cycles was reborn in Seattle at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, tires were the main reason we started to make bike parts again: Back then, nobody was making the wide, supple tires that we wanted—needed!—for our adventures as we explored forgotten mountain passes. That’s why we started making our own tires. The experience of René Herse and his riders gave us an excellent starting point for figuring out how to make tires that were fast, comfortable and durable. This year, we are celebrating 10 years of modern Rene Herse tires in addition to 85 years of our company.

What better way to celebrate than with a range of Limited Edition tires? We’ve had many requests for black Rene Herse tires with Endurance casings. Now we are offering a number of our Endurance models in all-black. These include our most popular 700C / 29″ road, all-road, gravel and bikepacking tires, as well as select 650B and 26″ models. They come with a special ’85 Years Limited Edition’ logo. However, Limited Edition doesn’t mean more expensive: The Anniversary Edition tires are priced the same as our regular models. Quantities are limited, and once they are gone…

We’re offering the following models in the all-black Anniversary Edition. All feature our ultra-tough Endurance casings and are tubeless-compatible.

Smooth all-road tread:

  • 700C x 31 mm Orondo Grade
  • 700C x 35 mm Bon Jon Pass
  • 700C x 38 mm Barlow Pass
  • 700C x 44 mm Snoqualmie Pass
  • 700C x 48 mm Hatcher Pass
  • 650B x 42 mm Babyshoe Pass
  • 650B x 48 mm Switchback Hill
  • 26″ x 2.3″ Rat Trap Pass

Dual-purpose knobbies:

  • 700C x 38 mm Steilacoom
  • 700C x 44 mm Manastash Ridge
  • 700C x 48 mm Oracle Ridge
  • 700C x 55 mm Fleecer Ridge

We’ve got a small number of Anniversary Edition tires in stock right now, with more scheduled to arrive in early May. Once the stock currently on hand is sold out, the website will allow you to back order your tires. (This will be clearly marked.) If you’re quick, you’ll get your Limited Edition all-black tires in just a few days. Otherwise, you’ll have something to look forward to for your late-spring and summer adventures. You find the 85th Anniversary Limited Editions on the same product pages as the standard versions of each tire model.

More information:

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