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Which Rene Herse tire do you recommend for me?

Read our full guide on how to select your Rene Herse tires, with information on how to choose width, casing and tread pattern.

How wide a tire should I run?

As a general rule of thumb, wider tires offer more comfort, more grip and the same speed as narrow ones. Go wider, and you won’t regret it. Conversely, it’s not necessary to squeeze the widest possible tire into your frame. Supple casings make a bigger difference than a millimeter or two in width. When in doubt, go down a size rather than risk that your tire will rub on your frame or fork. Read more…

Which tread pattern do you recommend?

For paved roads and smooth gravel, our all-road tread with its fine ribs is the best choice. It combines excellent performance and grip on pavement with surprising traction on loose surfaces – the supple casing allows the tire to grip the surface much better than a stiffer tire.

Our dual-purpose knobbies offer supreme traction on dirt, mud and even snow. They are also a great choice for riders who prefer a more aggressive tread on loose surfaces. On pavement, our knobbies will surprise you with their low rolling resistance and excellent cornering grip. They’re the perfect tire for adventures where you don’t know what lies ahead.

Which casing is best for me?

Rene Herse tires are available with four different casings for different riding styles and conditions:

• Standard: The supple casing that has made our tires famous: comfortable and fast, yet it’s also strong to withstand considerable abuse. Available on all models (except 26″ x 1.25″ Elk Pass).
• Extralight: Ultimate in speed. Ultimate in comfort. Ultimate in light weight. An extremely fine and supple casing that you’ll otherwise find only on hand-made tubulars. Available on all models.
• Endurance: The same extra-fine threads as our Extralight casing, but pushed closer together for a denser weave, and with an additional protection layer on the sidewalls and under the tread. Excellent resistance against punctures and abrasion, while keeping most of the speed and comfort that has made our tires famous. Click here for the tires that are available with the Endurance casing.
• Endurance Plus: Thicker threads for even more strength and resistance against cuts and abrasions, plus an even stronger protection layer on the sidewalls and under the tread. A tire for durability above all, yet still surprisingly fast. Click here for the tires that are available with the Endurance Plus casing.
All models have the same tread rubber and thickness, so they have the same wear resistance.
• For more information about our casings, check out this Journal post.

TPI of the different casings?

We – and many other makers of high-end tires – don’t list TPI (threads-per-inch), because it’s not a good measure of how supple a tire is. What matters is how fine the threads are, how much rubber covers them, and other factors that are harder to measure. Read more…

How wide a tire will fit my bike?

Check out our post on measuring clearances on your bike.

What is the actual width of Rene Herse tires?

The actual width is listed in the ‘Tech Specs’ for each tire. Remember that the suppleness of the casing is more important for comfort and speed than a millimeter or two in width. When in doubt, choose a size smaller, rather than risk have your tires rub on your frame or fork. Read more…

Are Rene Herse knobbies wider/taller than the smooth all-road tires?

The dual-purpose knobbies aren’t any wider: The knobs don’t stick out beyond the casing. They are about 2 mm taller than the equivalent smooth all-road tires, because the knobs are a little taller than the all-road tread. Remember that if you plan to run knobbies on a bike with fenders, you’ll need very generous clearances, because knobbies are more likely to pick up larger stones or branches that can get stuck in the fender.

Rim width?

With supple Rene Herse tires, it doesn’t matter how wide the rim is, as long as the tire is at least 20% wider than the rim (inner width). If the rim is too wide, the tire can blow off, because it doesn’t properly engage with the rim’s sidewall. The official ETRTO / ISO tire and rim compatibility chart also has recommendations that you may find helpful.

You may have heard that matched rim and tire widths make the tire sidewalls more vertical, so they bear more of the bike and rider’s weight. This works with stiff sidewalls and allows running a lower tire pressure, but also decreases shock absorption and comfort.

With supple tires, almost the entire weight is supported by the air pressure of the tires. Whether the sidewalls are vertical or bulge makes very little difference. The most extreme case is a tubular tire, which touches the rim only in a very narrow spot, yet offers great handling and comfort. Read more…

Hookless rims?

Rene Herse tires can be used on hookless rims if the rims are of high quality and meet ETRTO standards. The hook on most rims helps hold the bead in place, making it more difficult for the tire to blow off the rim. Without a hook, the tire/rim fit must be very good to ensure that the tire cannot blow off. High-quality carbon rims are hookless, but also control the diameter of the bead seat very closely.

We have worked with Enve and Zipp to test the fit and safety of our tires on these companies’ carbon rims. These rims are fine to use with all Rene Herse tires. Other high-quality rims work as well. Make sure the tire has a slightly tight fit on the rim. Read more…

Optimum Pressure?

The optimum tire pressure depends on your tire width, your weight, the terrain and your riding style. Determine the best tire pressure by experimenting what feels right. You can use this post as a starting point.

Minimum Pressure?

The minimum pressure of your tire depends on your weight, so we don’t list a minimum pressure for Rene Herse tires. More information about minimum pressure is available here.

Tubeless or tubes?

Many Rene Herse tires are tubeless-compatible. This means they can be set up tubeless (with a sealant) or used with tubes.

Tubeless setup reduces the risk of pinch flats, which can be useful when riding at high speeds across rough terrain. Disadvantages of tubeless mounting are the more difficult setup and closer rim tolerances required to prevent blow-offs. As to speed, the sealant inside tubeless tires cancels out the gains from eliminating the tube: Tubeless tires roll as fast as tires with tubes.

If you are leaning toward tubeless tires because you are concerned about punctures, you can use sealant inside your inner tube. (The tubes we sell have removable valve cores.) More information is in our Tubeless Tire FAQ.

How much sealant?

With supple tires, sealant is required to seal the tire against the rim. Make sure to use enough sealant. We recommend the following amount of sealant, based on the width of your tires:

  • 25 – 32 mm: 60 – 90 ml (2 – 3 oz.)
  • 35 – 42 mm: 90 – 120 ml (3 – 4 oz.)
  • 44 – 55 mm: 120 – 150 ml (4 – 5 oz.)

Make sure to replenish the sealant at least once a month, as it tends to dry out.

Ted King’s Tips for Choosing Tires

Few riders have as much experience riding and racing all over the world as Ted King. Read what the ‘King of Gravel’ says about choosing his tires for different events, terrain, etc.

Hard to mount

Push the tire bead into the ‘well’ in the center of the rim all around the tire, and make sure it’s not caught on the ‘shelf’ near the edge of the tire. The tire bead does not stretch much, so it needs to be in ’well’ to give you enough slack to lift it over the rim sidewall. You can also lubricate the tire bead with soapy water to make the tire easier to seat. For step-by-step photo instructions, check out our Tire Instructions (linked at the top of this page).

My tire seems narrower than it should be.

How wide your tire ultimately ends up depends on the rim width, your casing, your inflation pressure, and whether you run the tire with tubes or tubeless. To seat your tire correctly and pre-stretch the casing, inflate the tire to the maximum pressure (of your tire or your rim, whichever is lower) and let it sit for 24 hours. The tire will stretch and ‘grow’ a bit more as you use it. Remember that the suppleness of the casing is more important for comfort and speed than a millimeter or two in width. Read more…

Tubeless tire blew off

When a tire blows off the rim, it’s usually because the rim is slightly undersize. Even if the rim worked with your previous tires, supple tires require tighter rim tolerances than tires with stiff sidewalls. In most cases, the problem can be solved by building up the rim bed with extra rim tape. Some mechanics use thicker Gorilla Tape to build up the rim bed. The tire should have a slightly tight fit on the rim.

If large bursts of air from a compressor are required to seat the tire, air is escaping between tire and rim bed – a clear sign that the rim is undersize. Don’t mount the tire like this: Build up the rim bed with extra tape to reduce the risk of the tire blowing off the rim. Click here for our step-by-step photo instructions on how to set up tires tubeless.

Losing air (tubeless)

Supple casings make tires fast and comfortable because they flex easily. This means that they can contact the rim in a few places, and have tiny air gaps in others – making them harder to mount and seal tubeless. It is important to work methodically and get sealant into all the tiny air gaps, on each bead (both sides of the tire). Simply pouring in sealant and going for a ride is often not enough. Click here for our step-by-step photo instructions on how to set up tires tubeless.

If you have followed these instructions, and your tire is still losing air, there may not be enough liquid sealant inside. Sealant needs to be replenished monthly, as it tends to dry out.

Losing air (tubes)

Sometimes, the valve core of inner tubes isn’t screwed in all the way at the factory. This can happen with all brands of tubes, including the tubes we sell. Before installing an inner tube, make sure the valve core is screwed in all the way. Use a valve core tool or a small adjustable wrench on the flat sections of the valve core, just under the locknut.

Leaking through sidewalls (tubeless)

We have found that Panaracer Smart Seal greatly reduces the risk of tires leaking through their sidewalls. Other sealants often don’t have enough solids to seal the thin and supple sidewalls of Rene Herse tires. Shake the sealant vigorously for 60 seconds (a long time!) to distribute the solids before you put it into the tire. Otherwise, you’ll just inject colored water into the tire!

If you follow these instructions, and bubbles still appear on the sidewalls, the casing may be too thin (out of tolerance). This happens very rarely, and it’s covered by our warranty. Include a photo of the bubbles when you fill our our warranty form, please.

After a few years of riding, my tires suddenly become porous (tubeless)

Tires flex as they touch the ground with each rotation. Over time, this loosens the bond between casing threads and rubber coating. Then the sidewalls can become porous and no longer hold air if the tires are mounted tubeless. The continued flexing means that tubeless sealant cannot seal the tires any longer. This can happen before the tire tread is worn out – it depends on the tire pressure (lower puts more stress on the casing), riding style, road surfaces and other factors. The tires are still fine to ride with tubes at this stage.