New Endurance and Endurance Plus Tires

We’re expanding our tire line-up for tough conditions: Two of our most popular tires are now available in reinforced Endurance and Endurance Plus versions.

The Rat Trap Pass 26″ x 2.3″ – actual width is 52-54 mm depending on casing type and rim width – has been a personal favorite. I rode the Extralight version across the 4000 m (13,100 ft) Paso de Cortez in Mexico and delighted in its speed and ability to float across rough terrain. I also raced it in Japan’s amazing 100 km Otaki Mountain Bike Race.

For other riders and other adventures, more sidewall protection can be useful, so we’re now introducing the Rat Trap Pass with our Endurance casing. This uses the same ultra-fine and ultra-supple threads as the Extralight casing, but in a denser weave and with a protection layer that wraps around the entire tire. If you are running 26″ wheels, the Rat Trap Pass endurance is a great choice for rides into the unknown.

If you’re on 650B wheels, the Juniper Ridge is our go-to bikepacking and gravel racing tire. With our revolutionary dual-purpose knobbies, the Junipers rolls amazingly well on pavement, and they also grip tenaciously on gravel and mud. We’ve been offering the Juniper Ridge with the Endurance, Standard and Extralight casings, and now we’re adding the Endurance Plus casing. The Endurance Plus is one of the toughest casings you’ll find on any gravel tire. It uses thicker, stronger threads and an even sturdier protection layer. It’s a tire you’ll choose when you know that things will be rougher than other tires can handle.

Despite its incredible strength, the Endurance Plus is fast enough for Ted King, who raced the 700C x 42 mm Hurrican Ridge to 8th place in Dirty Kanza – the first time he finished the ‘Apocalypse of the Flint Hills’ without any tire trouble.

In fact, Ted’s request for a 650B version started this project. He raced prototypes in last year’s Grinduro, and I bet you’ll see it on his bikes more often than not.

Both new tires are in stock now.

For more information about what models are available with reinforced casings, click on the links below for

23 Responses to New Endurance and Endurance Plus Tires

  1. michael greene May 14, 2020 at 6:41 am #

    Is there no market for the Juniper Ridge in 26″? I would love to try one but cant stand buying a 650B wheel just to try one tire.

    Currently running a naches pass on recumbent.

    • Jan Heine May 14, 2020 at 8:23 am #

      We’re certainly thinking about expanding our knobby offerings…

      • michael greene May 14, 2020 at 10:16 am #

        If you ever offer a 26″ count me in.

  2. César May 14, 2020 at 7:05 am #

    Kudos Jan for bringing the Rat Trap Pass tires in endurance casing !! Do you know when will they be available from your European distributors?

    • Jan Heine May 14, 2020 at 8:23 am #

      It depends on the distributor and when they next restock. We just got the tires, so it’ll take a little until they move through the pipeline.

  3. Alex Nosse May 14, 2020 at 7:55 am #

    Forgive me if this comes off as a snarky question, but given the fact that it’s not actually 2.3″ wide, have you considered “renaming” the Rat Trap Pass to 26 x 2.1″?

    • Jan Heine May 14, 2020 at 8:30 am #

      We’ve thought about it from the beginning, when we first offered the Rat Trap Pass. The reason the Rat Trap Pass is called a 2.3″ has to do with production at the factory. The air volume inside a Rat Trap Pass is actually the same as a 2.3″ mountain bike tire. It’s just that there are no shoulder knobs that add width. So the inner bladder which inflates to push the tire against the outer mold during vulcanizing, and which is shared among several tires, is called a ‘2.3 bladder.’ If we labeled the tire a 2.1″ or 2.2″, there would be a risk that the wrong bladder is used when making the tires. This would ruin an entire run of tires…

      From a user perspective, the Rat Trap rides like a 2.3″ tire, since it has the air volume of a 2.3″ tire. Most of all, the supple Rene Herse casings make a bigger difference in ride quality and traction than a tenth of an inch in overall width. We do list the actual width of all our tires in our tech specs, mostly so you know whether it’ll fit on your bike or whether you should go to the next-smaller size.

      • Brendan May 15, 2020 at 11:19 pm #

        I have my RTPs on 26″ Roval Controle E5 rims, which are supposed to be 21mm inside width, and my RTPs measure about 50mm wide.

        • Jan Heine May 18, 2020 at 8:44 am #

          The final width of a tire depends on many factors. You mention rim width, but there’s also the casing – more supple means the tire can stretch a bit more – and even whether you set them up tubeless. Also, supple tires tend to ‘grow’ a bit as the threads in the casing relax over time. In the end, the casing makes a much bigger difference than a few millimeters in width, especially on a 50+ mm tire.

    • Jacob Musha May 14, 2020 at 10:47 am #

      The Rat Trap Pass is my all-time favorite tire. And I appreciate the actual widths now listed on the site. But I’m admittedly still puzzled by the decision to (probably) confuse some customers instead of trusting the factory to do their job. In any case the explanation just doesn’t add up. Either Panaracer has knobs on the sidewalls of their tires or their molds are labeled incorrectly. The Rat Trap Pass has is the same width and size as a file tread Bontrager 2.1″ (actual casing width, no knobs). And it’s significantly smaller than my Continental 2.2″ and Schwalbe and Bontrager 2.35″ tires. When a Rat Trap Pass is put on a bike with fenders fitted to the 2.2″ or 2.35″ tires there’s a big gap. When I tried fitting the bigger tires on a Rat Trap Pass bike, they jammed in the fender and wouldn’t even spin…

      Offroad or even on rough pavement there’s a real difference between a 52mm and 58mm tire, just like there’s a surely difference between a 42mm Babyshoe Pass and a 48mm Switchback hill. Remember how surprising the OPEN WI.DE. was with its 61mm tires? Clearly they’re not just 3mm wider than a Rat Trap Pass.

      I still think a 26″ x ~60mm Compass tire would be very interesting, but the market for it might be too small to be worthwhile.

      • Jan Heine May 18, 2020 at 8:46 am #

        A lot of these other tires have a very thick tread, which adds width (and especially height) to the tire, but doesn’t increase the air volume (and hence comfort and speed on rough terrain). It’s also not necessary, since wide tires spread the wear over so much surface area that even a relatively thin tread doesn’t wear out quickly.

  4. Nary May 14, 2020 at 8:20 am #

    I hope it will be applied to Naches Pass soon.

  5. Derek May 14, 2020 at 9:21 am #

    Surprising to note that, although Mr. King won Kanza twice before, his 8th place finish in 2019 was in less time than either of those wins. So, at least for him, the lack of tire problems made up for the resistance of the tough casing.

  6. Derek May 14, 2020 at 9:48 am #

    Those who are not as fast as Ted (most of us) will likely notice more difference between tire casings because we face less air resistance than top racers.

    • Jan Heine May 14, 2020 at 10:59 am #

      Absolutely! At lower speeds, the advantages of supple casings and low rolling resistance are magnified.

      Actually, racers benefit from supple tires mostly when they draft in the peloton. I noticed that when I switched from slow to fast tires – suddenly I could recover in a paceline when I wasn’t at the front, rather than hanging on for dear life all the time.

    • John C. Wilson May 14, 2020 at 1:44 pm #

      Oh yes. For slow riders rolling resistance of tires is a huge part of total effort. An elderly couple of my acquaintance were given two pairs of Challenge Paris-Roubaixs together with some mechanical work – because I’d purchased them as old stock, $50 for 4. And because good bikes should not roll on Nashbar specials. As soon as they had them on the old Taylor and Witcomb their mileage quadrupled. Easier and more fun. Those tires do flat a lot more than the RH. They don’t care. Eventually they will be sold on RH tires, working on it.

  7. Korina May 14, 2020 at 1:57 pm #

    Jan, which Rat Trap Pass casing would be best for sometimes chunky asphalt strewn with gravel and the odd patch of broken glass?

    After the third rear tire flat on my commuter (running 26″x2″ Rubena cruiser tires) I inserted tire liners and quickly noticed two things; no more flats, and it felt like I was pedaling through peanut butter. I lost like 2mph to those liners. I’m not a racer, but it’s hard enough with a head wind on *every* ride.

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Jan Heine May 14, 2020 at 2:04 pm #

      If you flat a lot on your route, I’d go with the Endurance casing. Most glass will be pulverized before it can puncture the protection layer under the casing…

      • Korina May 15, 2020 at 1:34 am #

        Great, thanks.

      • michael j warman May 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm #

        I have the extra light Naches Pass tire26x1.8) and I would like to give a little update on my experiences. I have 10 rides on the the tire and have had 2 flats and a blown out side wall. These extra light tires are event tires on smooth pavement only. The tire has less than 250 miles on it and it is toast. If you want to buy this tire go with the Endurance casing period. Too expensive to ever do again.

        • Jan Heine May 18, 2020 at 9:25 am #

          Sorry you had bad luck with the tires. Conditions and riding styles vary a lot, that’s why we offer different casings. Here at the BQ Team, we have 100,000s of miles on Extralights with no problems, but there are places and rides where the Standard or Endurance are a better choice. And for the models that you’ll take into truly extreme terrain, we offer the Endurance Plus, which are some of the toughest tires you’ll find anywhere.

  8. Julien May 15, 2020 at 10:04 am #

    Would you guys consider making an even wider 650b tire, like 55-60mm? I’m riding my Open Wide on Schwalbe G-One Bites (57mm true width) but it’d be really cool to get some Rene Herse tires for it. It’s not a huge market but there are actually are a few other road bikes that could run them too (All-City Gorilla Monsoon, Surly Midnight Special, Sage Storm King).

    • Jan Heine May 15, 2020 at 10:30 am #

      We’re thinking about it. The Juniper Ridge measures 50-51 mm on most rims, so the gains wouldn’t be huge, but from testing the OPEN WIDE, it’s clear that it would be significant. And our tests showed that the WIDE is crying for better tires!