Rene Herse tires are available in many widths, with two tread patterns and four casings. All this so you can find tires that are ideally suited to how and where you ride. Today, let’s look at the different casings. Which is best for you?
Our standard casing is the workhorse of the Rene Herse tire program. It features the supple casing that has made our tires famous. That means it’s comfortable and fast, yet it’s also strong to withstand considerable abuse. It’s the tire most of our customers choose, and it’s also our most economical one. You can’t really go wrong with the Standard casing.
The Extralight casing is our ultimate: Ultimate in speed. Ultimate in comfort. Ultimate in light weight. It’s an extremely fine and supple casing that you’ll otherwise find only on hand-made tubulars. Riding the Extralight will make you fall in love, and riding your bike will never be the same.
All that supple performance makes the Extralight’s sidewalls a bit more fragile. If you scrape along rocks (or curbs), the sidewalls will abrade or cut more easily than other tires. Is that a problem? Not if you’re running tires that are wide enough for your terrain, and if you ‘ride light’ on your bike. Descending Japan’s highest pass road (above), I took the bike to the limit, yet my Extralights were none the worse for wear. If your daydreams revolve around supple tires, then these are the tires for you.
We’ve developed the Endurance casing for gravel racing. When you are riding in a peloton at 30 mph, you can’t see where you are going, and you’ll hit big rocks at high speed. In that situation, you’ll give up a little speed over our Extralights for extra sidewall protection. Because gravel racing is first and foremost a race of attrition: To win, you need to be in the lead group when you approach the finish!
The Endurance casing uses the same extra-fine thread of our Extralights, but pushes them closer together for a denser weave. It also adds a protection layer on the sidewalls and under the tread. Both greatly increase the resistance against punctures and abrasion. If you’re heading into the Flint Hills of Kansas to get dirty in the front pack, you’ll want your rims shod with Endurance rubber.
The Endurance Plus casing is a totally different animal from our other tires. It uses thicker threads for even more strength and resistance against cuts and abrasions. It has an even stronger protection layer on the sidewalls and under the tread. If the Superlight casing is the sportscar among our tires, the Endurance Plus is the off-road racing truck. It’s one of the toughest gravel/all-road/bikepacking tires anywhere, yet still as fast as possible.
This is your tire when you are heading into the unknown. If you’ll plunge into deep rivers during the Rift Iceland (above) or traverse the mountain ranges of Kyrgystan, the Endurance Plus is designed for you.
Which tire is right if you mostly ride pavement? Both the Standard and Extralight casings work great on the road. They entice you to seek out scenic lanes with little traffic. They filter out the rough pavement that hasn’t been replaced in decades. The Standard casing will make you smile with every mile. Riding the Extralight, you will make you understand why generations of pro racers have used handmade supple tires, even if they have to buy them with their own money.
If your roads are littered with debris and you get too many flats, the Endurance casing is your friend.
Whichever casing you pick, you’ll enjoy the speed, comfort and grip for which Rene Herse tires have become famous. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference a great set of tires makes. You’ll fall in love with your bike all over again!
Photo credits: Natsuko Hirose (Photo 3), SBTGRVL (Photo 4), Ansel Dickey (Photo 5), Donalrey Nieva (Photo 7).