For many years Schwalbe has been the tyre of choice for cycling competition – from 20” BMX and cyclo-cross tyres to city slicks and mountain bike tyres for all conditions, the company have something in their arsenal to suit your needs.
Our pro downhill team, Chain Reaction Cycles/Nukeproof have been proudly using Schwalbe tyres for a number of seasons – and we’re glad to have them onboard once again in 2013.
We caught up with Michael Kull, Race Support at Schwalbe, to get some behind-the-scenes information on tyre tech, research and development and more…
CRC: Michael, thanks once again for your support this season. Schwalbe has become synonymous with performance tyres across all cycling disciplines, how important is it to work with a pro team like CRC/Nukeproof?
Michael: For us it’s very important to work close to our sponsored riders when developing new products and tyre technologies. We work with some of the very best riders in the world, such as the CRC/Nukeproof team and for many years we have built up a good relationship on the race scene.
These athletes provide us with very specific knowledge about how a tyre performs at the highest level of racing in the World Cups but also on their local trails and bike parks during their training. With the amount of time that they spend on their bikes – their feedback is incredibly valuable.
CRC: What products so the team mostly use?
Michael: CRC/Nukeproof run our Muddy Mary tyre with VertStar compound for most of the races in downhill or the SuperGravity version. We’ve worked a lot on the SuperGravity technology this past season and the guys like the strong sidewall construction and very light rolling tread area. In deep mud they use the Dirty Dan which is our spike tire.
Of course we also provide the team with tyres for their Nukeproof Megas with the guys using the Hans Dampf in TrailStar compound with a tubeless setup and our DocBlue sealant for low rolling and maximum snakebite resistance.
CRC: You have a dedicated research and development team based in Germany – what goes into this process?
Michael: After we've developed something new and finish all the tests in our labs we hand out new tires or technologies to riders to push them to the limits a machine never could, and their feedback goes directly back into our development.
Working closely to different athletes from all around the world gives us a great impression about what works in racing and what doesn’t. The whole SuperGravity technology went through many individual tests and adjustments since we finally found the perfect match of everything which makes it so special. This is what we call the FIRSTRIDE program, our very own development program and a unique program in the bicycle tyre business. Everything we test in here gets into new developments of future products or even in the actual production process when we don’t even announce we've changed small details.
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