Talk with Ted and Lael about Tires

Talk with Ted and Lael about Tires

We’ve been working with Ted King and Lael Wilcox on developing tires for bikepacking and gravel racing for a few years now. When riders who’ve registered for Rooted Vermont, Ted and Laura King’s big gravel race/ride, asked about tire choice, Ted suggested to bring Lael and me onto their Water Cooler Talks about preparing for the event. The event is open to all, and it’ll be live on Monday, April 5 at 5 p.m. (Pacific) – and archived after that.

Ted doesn’t need much introduction. ‘The King of Gravel’ isn’t just one of the fastest gravel riders in the world; he’s also a super-nice guy and really fun to ride with. He was the impetus behind our Endurance and Endurance Plus casings – to win a gravel race, you need to finish first.

Lael is just as amazing as Ted, and just as much fun to be around. We asked her what she needed for bikepacking and ultra-distance events like the Tour Divide or the Silkroad Mountain Race. Our Fleecer Ridge and Oracle Ridge knobbies were the result.

I’m really looking forward to getting together with both of them (virtually this time) and discussing tires. We’ll talk about their tire choices for different rides and events. We’ll add some technical perspectives on tire pressures, when to run knobbies, and why many riders still find it hard to believe that wide tires can be as fast as narrow ones, and knobbies can be as fast as slicks.

Among the questions Ted wants to chat about, the most intriguing are about the future of cycling. Will there be a bikepacking boom? Will gravel take over everything else? Will we see a return of traditional American road racing? I’m looking forward to hearing Lael and Ted’s thoughts about that as much as I look forward to the technical discussions.

Tune in on Monday, April 5 at 5 p.m. (Pacific) by clicking on the link below, and enjoy the show!

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Comments (6)

  • Mike

    Lael and Ted and you all in one place! Really looking forward to that.

    April 2, 2021 at 9:36 am
  • Andy Huang

    Just as a matter of transparency, I assume that RHC sponsors Lael and Ted to some degree, correct?

    April 2, 2021 at 12:29 pm
    • Jan Heine

      Glad you asked! We compensate Lael and Ted for their collaboration with our R&D and testing. However, they are free to ride whatever tires they choose in events. The idea is to make tires that are ideally suited to the needs of gravel racing and bikepacking, so that these athletes (and others) use our tires because they work better. That’s a bit different from most sponsorships, where the product is a given, and athletes are paid to use it (or at least pretend to use it in the case where other bikes/parts are relabeled to look like the sponsor’s products because the rider prefers to use other products.)

      April 2, 2021 at 1:28 pm
  • Bill Gibson

    Looking forward to the livecast! Just got my Bicycle Quarterly No. 75; I love the layout, the fonts, the photos and text. Best ever!

    April 2, 2021 at 7:05 pm
  • Benjamin Van Orsdol

    will this be available non-live afterwards?

    April 3, 2021 at 9:08 pm
    • Jan Heine

      Yes – just head to the same link.

      April 3, 2021 at 10:27 pm

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