New Tires: Hurricane Ridge and Endurance Casings

Working with Ted King, winner of last year’s Dirty Kanza gravel race, has added a new perspective to our R&D. We’ve got a lot of experience riding gravel, even racing it, but today’s mass-start races aren’t the same as exploring the Cascade Mountains on forest roads, or even racing the 363-mile cross-state Oregon Outback during the early days of gravel racing.

Like all racers, Ted wants the fastest bike he can get, and supple tires make a greater difference than almost any other component choice. Depending on the surface, Ted has been racing our 42 mm Snoqualmie Pass (Landrun 100, 2nd place), 35 mm Bon Jon Pass (Belgian Waffle Ride, 3rd place) and 38 mm Steilacoom knobbies (Epic 150, 1st place).

For Dirty Kanza and similar big events, Ted asked for a tougher tire. When you race in a peloton, you don’t see where you are going. It’s inevitable that you’ll hit some rocks and holes that you’d go around if you were riding by yourself or in a small group. And unlike the smooth gravel often found in New England (above), some of the rocks in Kansas are awfully rough and sharp.

How do you make a sturdier tire without giving up the speed and wonderful ride of our Rene Herse tires? For our new Endurance tires, we started with our Extralight casing, but pushed the threads closer together to make a denser weave for improved cut resistance. Then we added a thin protection layer all around the tire that further enhances cut-resistance and puncture protection. The darker tan color distinguishes this casing from our other offerings.

By using the same ultra-fine threads as our Extralight casing, the new Endurance tires give up only a little speed. In return, you get significantly improved resistance to rock cuts and flats. And since we start with the Extralight casing, the Endurance tires don’t weigh a ton either – no more than our already very light Standard casings. As part of our testing, Ted King has been riding prototypes with the new Endurance casing. In fact, he used them to win the Epic 150 gravel race a few weeks ago.

The Endurance casing is also a great choice for adventures where you don’t know what to expect. It’s a perfect complement to our dual-purpose knobbies that offer great performance on pavement, gravel, mud and even snow. Combine the two, and there is little your bike won’t be able to handle.

For the punishing conditions of the world’s toughest gravel races, we’ve developed the Endurance Plus casing. This uses much stronger, thicker threads, plus the same protection layer as the Endurance casing. This is a tire you might choose when the race will be a game of attrition… (Did I hear someone say Dirty Kanza?)

Gravel racers also tell us that they need wider tires, but most modern cyclocross and many gravel bikes only fit 44 mm tires (if they are smooth) or 42 mm knobbies. We already have our 700C x 44 mm Snoqualmie Pass, and now they are joined by the 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge dual-purpose knobbies.

Hurricane Ridge is a great climb in the Olympic Mountains of Washington that offers two options: paved or muddy gravel. With the new dual-purpose knobbies, you’ll feel equally at home on both routes.

All this adds up to a lot of new tire models in the Rene Herse Cycles program:

  • 700C x 38 mm Steilacoom Endurance
  • 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge Standard
  • 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge Extralight
  • 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge Endurance
  • 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge Endurance Plus
  • 650B x 48 mm Juniper Ridge Endurance

With Dirty Kanza approaching, we’ve airshipped the first of the new tires from Japan to give riders and racers additional options as they prepare for this epic (and other) events. Quantities are very limited for now. If you need your tires for Dirty Kanza, select an expedited shipping method and add “Tires for Kanza” in the note field, and we’ll send out your order as quickly as possible – usually the same day. (In fact, most orders are shipped the same day.)

All our other models are in stock, too. Together with the new tires, they provide a full quiver to suit most riders and most events. Click here for more information or to order.

Photo credits: Ansel Dickey (Photos 1, 3, 10), Landrun 100 (Photo 2), Dustin Michelson (Photo 5), Ted King (Photo 8).

About Jan Heine

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Rene Herse Cycles, that turns our research into the high-performance components we need for our adventures.
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46 Responses to New Tires: Hurricane Ridge and Endurance Casings

  1. Marius Clore says:

    Are the new hurricane ridge endurance and endurance plus tires compatible with ENVE hookless gravel rims (e.g. G23 or M525), or are they like your other tires which you have indicated are only compatible with hooked rims?

    • Jan Heine says:

      We can’t recommend using rims that don’t meet the current standards, but our testing shows that the Endurance casing increases the blow-off pressure by about 25%. So there is a much greater margin of safety than with our most supple offerings.

  2. SteveP says:

    Thank you. These are the tires I was looking for.

    For those of us who are familiar with Standard and Extralight casings, could you comment on how the ride quality of the Endurance and Endurance+ compares to Standard and to EL?
    In particular, I’m weighing Standard vs Endurance and am curious what the trade-offs are.

    • Jan Heine says:

      If you are looking for the utmost in speed and ride quality, our Extralight is hard to beat. That is the tire I ride on almost all rides, paved or gravel.

      Weight and ride quality of the Endurance and Standard are similar. What you get with the Endurance is much-enhanced sidewall and puncture protection.

      The Endurance Plus is a significantly tougher tire. That means you inevitably give up speed and comfort.

  3. Roderick J Holland says:

    Wonderful additions to the line-up! I noticed the Hurricane Ridge Extralight in black is marked Out of Stock. Do you expect that to change later this year?

  4. Dr. Bob Stephan says:

    Waiting for the dual purpose Antelope Hill. Lots of 29’r MTB’s out there in need of great tires.

  5. Question about Hurricane Ridge (the route): I’ve ridden up the paved road, not aware of another route. Can you share the muddy gravel route? I’ve searched on Google Maps and see trails that will take you all the way to Sequim, are these rideable?

    • Bill Gobie says:

      I don’t see how you could ride trails all the way to Hurricane Ridge. Biking on trails inside the national park is not permitted. Jan might be referring to the old road to Hurricane Ridge, Mt Angeles Rd. Just past the visitor center outside Port Angeles turn left at the wye onto Mt Angeles Rd. Eventually you reach a decommissioned section that decays to single track. The mountain is slowly sloughing onto the road; this route will not exist forever. Last year we had to lift our bikes over fallen trees. Mt Angeles Rd rejoins Hurricane Ridge Rd just before the park entrance station (where you can get water). This is by far my preferred route going uphill. It gets you around the steepest part of Hurricane Ridge Rd, where cars and RVs can be backed up waiting to pay at the entrance station on busy summer weekends. Descending, I stay on Hurricane Ridge Rd. It was repaved last year; it’s a wonderful descent.

      If you’re looking for a massive challenge, ride up to Deer Park. The last nine miles is gravel, some very rough, with several long pitches at 15%. Look for Deer Park Rd just east of Port Angeles where 101 makes its S-turns. There is no water at Deer Park. The views are incredible. I’ve bike camped there – it is very difficult because you have to haul all your water up there.

      Roads from Quilcene and Discovery Bay to Sequim exist and are rideable. You should consult a Forest Service paper map of the area. Online maps are not reliable.

      • Mark Guglielmana says:

        Hi Bill,

        Thanks for the info. I’ve ridden on Mt. Angeles Rd. coming back down from the ridge. I have a friend that lives just about right where Mt. Angeles hits Hurricane Ridge – he runs the Downtown Hotel in Port Angeles, a great place to stay (shameless plug). There’s Obstruction Point Rd, which you can drive on, but can you ride past Obstruction Point Trailhead? I haven’t ridden down Obstruction Point Rd., basing this on googlemaps “little yellow person” and pictures that have been posted.

  6. lucas says:

    Are you planning to release a TC version of your 650b 38mm tire?

    • Jan Heine says:

      We are thinking about it. It requires a new mold, so the investment is considerable.

      • Lucas says:

        That sounds great. I am stuck with using panaracer gravel king 38mm tires at the moment but unfortunately the tread is, I would guess, about half as think as a similar rene herse tire. So although they are tubeless compatible, they puncture considerably more easily and last half as long. Also I suspect the rubber has less grip in wet conditions than rene herse rubber from experience of using both

  7. BigSchill says:

    the new 700-42 Hurricane Ridge sounds great. How wide are they measuring on i19 rims?

    • Jan Heine says:

      It depends on how much the casing stretches. The Extralights are widest, the Endurance Plus a bit narrower. That said, on most ‘road’ rims, they measure 41-42 mm wide. Wider rims will add about a millimeter to the width.

      • John says:

        Super excited about these new sizes and casing options. If possible it’d be very helpful to know what rim width was used when determining the width of the tire, similar to how Teravail is showing an ideal rim width with their tires. I’m assuming a ‘road’ rim is an i17 or 18 so then on an i23 the 700-42 would likely measure closer to 45mm? My 700-38 Gravelking SK tires measure out to about 42mm on i23 rims. It’d just be a bummer to mount up a set of $140+ tires just to find out they are wider than the listed width and don’t fit.

      • Jan Heine says:

        With supple casings, the width is harder to predict. It depends on the casing, air pressure, whether you run the tire tubeless, etc. We’ve measured them so far between 41 and 42 mm on 21 mm (internal) rims. So on your rims, the Extralight might grow to 43 mm over time, but the Endurance should be very close to 42 mm. The knobs don’t stick out on the sides, but they do add about 3 mm to the height of the tire.

  8. Stuart Fogg says:

    Do you plan to release Endurance versions of your smooth tires (Barlow Pass, Snoqualmie Pass)?

  9. ryan says:

    Thanks for your work. I’d personally love an even larger version of the dual purpose knobby tires. Perhaps 700×48. Any plans for the future?

    • Jan Heine says:

      We offer the 650B x 48 mm Juniper Ridge. I think that in the future, the trend to 650B will accelerate, since it offers so many advantages when you go wide. That isn’t to say we won’t make a wider 700C knobby, but I know that I would prefer 650B on a tire that wide.

    • Slim says:

      Me too. We have several routes/rides/races around here (Northern MN and WI), that have sections of rough trail with big rocks, roots and or sand. In these cases a bigger volume tire really shines, but at the same time there is plenty of smooth gravel and even some pavement, so I would love a tire like your knobbies that handles both road and off-road well, but I am looking for 45-50mm. In the front, many forks will fit 700×50. The previous generation Warbird for example came out 3 years ago aimed as a fast race bike, yet has that clearance in the front.

  10. Lucas says:

    The idea of rene herse tires having a protective belt under the tread seems very interesting. Maybe this will make the tires much more appealing for commuting around cities where you regularly have glass and other things that increase your risk of punctures. You could have the great wet weather traction of rene herse tires combined with a puncture protection strip. What is this protection belt made from and how much extra puncture protection does it offer over the standard tire? Many thanks

    • Mitch says:

      Lucas said: “having a protective belt under the tread”. Was it a belt under the tread? The blog says “thin protection layer all around the tire” so I guess that includes under the tread. Curious how that thin protective layer compares to other tires’ belts.

  11. Sean H says:

    Impressive additions to the lineup that address most of the drawbacks people usually counter with when I extol Rene Herse tires!

    I have a question about European distribution: When I recommend your tires on online forums, inevitably if the inquiry is from a European, they often reply that the tires look to be the best option but they can’t source them locally. Does Rene Herse have a reliable European distributor at this time?

  12. Slim says:

    Which of these tires are tubeless compatible?

    • Jan Heine says:

      All our Endurance tires are tubeless compatible. When you head into terrain so rough that you are afraid of cutting sidewalls, you probably want to run your tires tubeless!

  13. Bill Gobie says:

    It seems to me the Endurance casing would be ideal for your narrowest tires. I’ve tried an Elk Pass. It’s wonderfully fast, but ultimately useless for me because it punctures so easily. With a little enhanced protection your skinniest tires could be feasible on older bikes that only fit 25-28 mm tires.

    • Bill Gobie says:

      PS. I weigh 190 lbs on a good day. Lighter riders probably have much less trouble with punctures on these tires.

      • Jan Heine says:

        The Elk Pass is a superlight and relatively narrow tire. We mostly offer it for small frames that are best with 26″ wheels – and usually the riders are light. We may consider offering an Endurance version, but for real adventures, you’ll probably want wider tires…

  14. Morten Reippuert says:

    Whats the real world whith of those 700×42 nobbies compared to a Gravelking SK 40 (now named 43) ?

  15. benhandrich says:

    Hey Jan, you don’t know me, but I’ve been an admirer of your tires and work in the PNW for some time now. I live in Salem, OR, and will be doing a couple considerable races this summer, including the Skull 120 in Burns, and then the BC Epic 1,000 in June. However, for these races I plan to use a 27.5 X 2.1 inch tire. This new Juniper Ridge tire is getting awfully close to that, but I was just wondering if you plan to come out with a 2.1 or 2.2 inch tire any time soon?

  16. Deacon Patrick says:

    Excellent! Any plans to expand into bikepacking territory? I’d love 27.5 x 2.8″ endurance tires!

  17. Rick Payne says:

    Still waiting on a 26″ gravel tire from you folks. If you build it we will buy it!!!

  18. Ed says:

    Just last week I ditched the Compass 26’s after too many flats, and too much trouble mounting them (mavic rims) on the roadside. Wish you had announced this a few days ago! When the replacements eventually do wear out, will there be a puncture protection layer version of the 26 or 28 mm?
    Meanwhile, an older set of Compass extra light 32’s on another bike are still going strong, and have never punctured. Go figure.

    • Jan Heine says:

      Older Mavic rims have very shallow wells, which can make it exceedingly difficult to mount tires. As to the flat frequency, so much of it is luck.

      To your real question, we are considering adding more models with Endurance casings to the range.

  19. Bill Stekl says:

    I am piling-on with a request to offer some of your smooth 700c (35mm, 38mm and 42mm) tires with the Endurance, and Endurance+ casing. Would be ideal for rides like D2R2 in the east.

  20. Gregory Doggett says:

    This is great news! I would be particularly interested in seeing a tire like the Barlow Pass introduced in these tougher, more flat and cut resistant casings. As much as I love my Chinook Pass, Barlow Pass and Snoqualmie Pass Extralights, whenever I go on a loaded tour I always pull the Barlow Pass Extralights off and install Soma Shikoro 42mm’s. When I have no idea what sort of road conditions await me on a tour, I always defer to extra flat protection and, especially, sidewall protection. Having that in a Barlow Pass would be bike touring heaven!!!

  21. thehill952 says:

    hurricane ridge looks great. is there a photo that shows the whole tread pattern, the two photos that i could find on this page (https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop/components/tires/700c/700c-x-42-hurricane-ridge-tc/) were both at a similar angle that didnt really show the full tread pattern. thanks

  22. Jacob Musha says:

    I know the mainstream bike industry moves very slowly, but I’m surprised people are still using such narrow tires on gravel (with such large wheels). My Compass 26″ x 52mm tires are sometimes overkill on pavement but I wouldn’t dream of setting up a bike to use anything narrower on gravel anymore. I would go even wider if nice tires were available.

    Despite the inconsistencies of power testing on gravel, I suspect the results would be so far in favor of wide tires that they would outweigh the noise.

    • Jan Heine says:

      It’s the same story as with the big cobble-stone races in Europe: The pros are constrained by the bikes they get from their sponsors. And beyond that, the belief that narrow tires and big wheels roll faster is hard to let go. You still read on all kinds of web sites that 650B tires are a good choice if you are racing for fun, but if you want to race at the front, you need 700C.

  23. alliwant says:

    I found something that might be of interest. I have been watching Velocity’s website in the last few years to see when they might introduce the Quill rim in 650b. Today, I see that they have done just that. 21 mm clinch width, 440 grams, in 28, 32 or 36 hole drilling. A slightly wider, fairly light 650b rim might be a significant addition for these new tire models.

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