Eurobike Tech: Zipp launches low-rolling-resistance Tangente tires

Two new clinchers and a tubular focus on reduced rolling resistance and the aerodynamics of the tire/wheel interface

Photo: Joe Vondersaar

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Zipp announced a thorough update of its Tangente tire line, placing a focus on decreased rolling resistance as well as the aerodynamic interaction between the tire and rim.

Three new tires enter the lineup for 2015: the Course, a 120 tpi all-around clincher, the Speed, a 220 tpi, featherweight race clincher, and the SLSpeed, a handmade, 320 tpi tubular with a handmade cotton casing.

The original Tangente lineup, produced by Vittoria, was initially designed with a focus on aerodynamics, shaped to control airflow from the tire to the rim. It was among the first designs to consider the tire from an aerodynamic standpoint, taking into account its impact as both a leading and trailing edge. Rolling resistance was largely ignored as an engineering goal.

That is not true of the new tires, available starting in September. Zipp engineers worked to reduce rolling resistance in all three models, employing new rubber compounds, a new puncture-resistant belt in the Course model, and new, softer, higher tpi-count casings.

Zipp did not provide any data to back up its rolling resistance claims.

The Course clincher will be available in 23mm and 25mm widths with claimed weights of 205 and 215 grams, respectively. MSRP is set at $55 per tire.

The Speed clincher is lighter, 180 grams and 190 grams for the 23mm and 25mm widths. It does not feature an anti-puncture belt, and is intended to be used as a race tire. MSRP is set at $65 per tire.

Both the Course and Speed models will feature rubber/nylon casings.

The SLSpeed is the highlight of the line, at least for the racers among us. It is available in 24mm and 27mm widths, tubular only, with claimed weights of 265 grams and 276 grams, respectively. The tubular uses a cotton/latex casing, just like Specialized’s new ultra-low rolling resistance Turbo Allround tire (both tubulars are available in 24mm as well, which seems to be the sweet spot between rolling resistance and aerodynamics).

MSRP for the SLSpeed will be $100 per tire. All three tires will be available in September.

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