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2011 Schwalbe Tires – New Tires, Compounds, Tech for Commuter, Mountain Bike and Road

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Schwalbe has updated their range of rubber for 2011, touching the road, mountain and commuter segments:

ROAD: The new Ultremo ZX racer decreases rolling resistance 15% and improves puncture protection by adding a bit of material to the outer rubber layer. It gets the new Triple Star compounds to keep grip in the corner even with a firmer, longer wearing rubber in the center, and all this adds only 15g over the prior version, putting it at a still light 195g. Don’t care about punctures? There’s the ZLX. Don’t care for black? There are colors. 11 of ’em.

MTB: Schwalbe has optimized the inner strength of its mountain bike tires with all new Triple Star compounds for their high end models in 2011. It is a modular system whereby three of six new individual compounds are combined to fit the applications. Additionally, all of their MTB tires are now “Tubeless Ready” by simply adding sealant.

COMMUTER: Schwalbe’s Marathon touring tire gets some green cred with a new GreenGuard puncture protection belt with one-third of its material coming from recycled latex and rubber. They’re also now certified for use on e-bikes up to 50km/h.

More details and photos on each after the break…


“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. 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.”

With the growing popularity of 5″ to 7″ travel enduro and freeride bikes, Schwalbe wanted to develop something that rolled quick and kept a decent weight but also had the traction necessary for more aggressive terrain and riders. The result is 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 tire 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 tires 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 – in what we all already know as “dual compound.” (ooohs, aaaahs)

These will be available this fall for about €46.


The 2011 Ultremo ZX has been equipped with two technical innovations, which are now benchmarks in tire technology: RaceStar Triple Compound and HD Speed Guard.

RaceStar Triple Compound
In the center of the tire, durability and resistance is added with a wear-resistant, low rolling resistance compound that, at the same time, grips well: The center compound. In contrast, the prime requirement on the tire shoulder is grip. “The shoulder compound has great adhesion properties. It is very flexible, remaining in contact with the road surface while absorbing bumps and so does not lose traction under severe cornering,” explained the Schwalbe technician. A super-fast, light-running base compound is positioned under the tire’s center tread.
Furthermore, Schwalbe added a little more rubber to the Ultremo making it 15 grams heavier than its predecessor at 195 grams, but which adds to its mileage performance.

HD Speed Guard: Patented Puncture Protection
The second technical innovation in the Ultremo ZX is HD Speed Guard. HD stands for High Density and this new version of the tried-and-tested Schwalbe, aramid HD Guard is completely tuned for speed. Effective protection is achieved by using a patented technology that Schwalbe developed together with the US firm Warwick Mills, which holds 14 international patents for its high density weaving processes and is a world leader in innovative, industrial textiles. “It is the finest and densest fabric on the market. No other bicycle tire protection belt gets anywhere near its weave density,” said Hachmeyer. By utilizing this innovative technology for the first time it has been possible to create an ultra-light, extremely puncture resistant tire and this latest Ultremo version with HD Speed Guard enjoys the same high-density protection as its predecessor, but with distinctly reduced rolling resistance.

Ultremo ZLX – “Speed without compromises
The Ultremo ZLX is the tire for riders who want “speed without comprises” and do not consider puncture protection necessary. It is constructed in exactly the same way as the Ultremo ZX, but without a puncture protection belt (so, technically, there is a compromise). This makes it both lighter (160 grams) and, according to Schwalbe, gives it even lower rolling resistance. The ZLX is an out-and-out competition tire, which they claim is particularly suitable for shorter Time-Trials, or Triathlon use.

Colored Tires for Cool Bikes
From their press release, which we believe was translated entertainingly enough to warrant direct copy/paste: The ‘designer’ look is an undisputed trend in racing bikes. Stylish bicycles enable racers to display their individuality, setting themselves apart from the crowd and color coordinated tires help exemplify the look. Schwalbe’s Ultremo ZX is available in eleven colors and their matching color, tire labels just add to their extraordinary appeal. Hachmeyer summed up: “All things considered, the new Ultremo is not only cool, but above all faster, more durable and more puncture resistant”.
The new Ultremo ZX and Ultremo ZLX competition tires will be available at specialist bicycle dealers from the end of 2010.


Once they were latex gloves, inner tubes or rim tapes: Now Schwalbe has recycled them back into genuine latex, mixing this with highly elastic natural rubber to create a three millimeter thick GreenGuard protection belt placed under the tire tread, effectively protecting the tube from everyday cycling punctures.

“At around 26 Euros the Marathon is the perfect, mid-price, all-rounder”, recommended Schwalbe CEO, Frank Bohle. It is the ideal tire for all everyday cyclists who may consider “the Flat-less” Marathon Plus (with a five millimeter thick protection belt) too expensive. For a tire in this price-bracket it offers outstanding puncture protection.”

Because changing a tire on an electric bicycle can be a little more involved, the puncture protection strip gets the new Marathon ECE-75 certification in the common sizes used on faster E-bikes, which should help with OEM placements, particularly in the UK.

Lastly, the Marathon gets a reformulated rubber compound to make the tire more durable overall, and they’ve beefed up the sidewall. Schwalbe says bike tires are often times run with too low a pressure, which can cause abnormal wear and cracks in the rubber. The sidewall has be redesigned to better tolerate “low inflation overloading” which they’ve tested to ensure longer life before cracks inevitably appear.

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13 years ago

You know I look at Schwable tires every time I need new rubber. Then I note the price and the quick wearing soft rubber compound and put them back on the shelf.

13 years ago

I’ve commuted on Schwable’s for years and never had a problem with wear and tear. They wear predictably and last as long as any other brand, if not longer.

13 years ago

Jez, their website sucks, no pictures=no fun.

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