German rubberists Schwalbe have good news for all you fetishists out there as they’ve just annouced that their 2011 range will feature ‘Triple Star’ compounds, where three of six new rubber types are combined to offer a setup to suit differing applications. Full details below…
Schwalbe has optimized the inner strength of its MTB tyres: In 2011 all top models will have new, Triple Star compounds. It is a modular system whereby three of six new individual compounds are cleverly combined. All tyres are now “Tubeless Ready”.
“We have decisively advanced the principle of triple compounding,” explained Schwalbe technician, Markus Hachmeyer. In countless laboratory and practical tests, a total of six highly-specialist, unique compounds emerged. These were then combined as Triple Star compounds, which precisely suit the relevant application. And they are now even more practical: All new versions are now ‘Tubeless Ready’. Simply by adding a liquid puncture sealant they can be made into tubeless tyres 5 grams extra). Previously, there had been just two compounds available in the Schwalbe MTB range: Triple Nano for MTB Race and All Mountain, plus a choice of Triple Nano, or Glooey Gluey for Downhill, Freeride and Enduro.
Lately Enduro bikes with about 160 millimetres of suspension travel have become more popular. And while a race tyre primarily has to roll well and be light, a Downhill tyre needs outstanding grip and puncture protection, however Enduro tyres require a combination of all these properties.
In order to specifically target these different requirements, there are now three, all-new Triple Star compounds:
PaceStar – for MTB Race, All Mountain and Tour. Super-fast with a combination of low rolling resistance and durability. The tyre shoulders were made appreciably softer to improve handling on rough terrain.
TrailStar – for Enduro and Freeride. Triple Nano compound was unsuitable performance-wise and the rolling resistance of Gooey Gluey was too high. TrailStar has substantially more grip, better damping and handling control. Nevertheless, the compound is not overly heavy, making it suitable for climbing too.
VertStar – for Downhill and Freeride. It is a further development of the Gooey Gluey compound, but now even softer with extremely good damping properties.
All three Triple Compounds have the same, extremely elastic base compound under the tread that makes the tyres fast. All other desired properties are achieved by placing a specially selected compound in the tread center and on the tire shoulders – a different one for each intended purpose.
Yet how are compounds like this developed? “Compounding is an art in itself,” explained Markus Hachmeyer. Any rubber compound contains over 20 different variables. A bit more here, a tad less there and the rolling resistance, or hardness changes. Many factors, such as grip and rolling resistance, actually contradict each other. If one value improves, the other automatically gets worse. Furthermore there are other desirable properties such as damping, durability and cut resistance to take into consideration.
“Trying to achieve all these features in a single rubber compound at the same time simply does not work!” stated the tyre technician. Therefore, combining several unique rubber compounds to improve the counteracting characteristics is the ideal solution.
Not only were three Triple Star Compounds developed, but also six unique compounds had to be created anew – in the most extensive laboratory and practical tests Schwalbe ever devised.
The new Schwalbe MTB tyres with Triple Star compounds will be available from specialist bicycle dealers in Autumn 2010 and cost around 46 Euro.