IRC is making more and more of a push into gravel, promising a solid presence at this year’s Dirty Kanza, which brings out the hardcore gravel racers. They introduced the Marbella and Boken gravel tires over the past couple years for those riders. But for roadies just dipping their toes into the dirt, they now have something for them, too.
Let’s say you just wanna give dirt roads a try but don’t wanna invest in a new bike. Cyclocross tires are too big to fit in most road bikes, especially if you’re still running rim brakes. So, IRC is introducing the Marbella file tread in 700×26 and 700×28 sizes.
Both get their tubeless ready construction with puncture protection. Claimed weights are 295g and 330g each, look for them to hit the market by summer.
The IRC Aspite has been in their line for a while, but it’s getting a refresh. The design now has a grooved texture over the entire surface. While that makes sense on the usual tread cap section, it’s the sidewalls that are interesting.
The tires use a small trip line, presumably to help the air stick to the side and roll smoothly onto, then off of, the rims. Which is what they say those grooves on the sidewall are for, much in the same way dimples on a golf ball work, to reduce turbulence.
They say those fins reduce drag by 4%. It’s not just aerodynamics, though, the tread and their special RBCC (rice-bran based) rubber compound offer great grip. About the only thing it’s missing is their tubeless tech, making it one of the few tires in their line that’s not tubeless ready.