There were a lot of new products this year at the Sea Otter Classic, but not everything was official. It seemed that in the world of tires, there were a number of companies showing prototypes, or teasing new models that aren’t available just yet. But judging by the looks of those tires, we’re betting it won’t be long before they get official.
Prototype Continental Gravel Tires
At one of multiple Continental tire booths, if you could take your eyes off the stunning Mercedes wagon underneath, you might have noticed a new gravel tire on the bike rack above. Since it was a fork mount rack, only the rear wheel was visible, but it was fitted with a 700c x 40mm Terra Speed tire. Featuring tightly spaced, tiny knobs, the Speed moniker seems fitting on a tire that’s likely designed to go fast.
After asking around, the front wheel made an appearance with the other new gravel option from Continental, the Terra Trail. With a similar look, the Trail uses larger knobs with more bite – especially towards the edge of the tire.
Both tires were 700c x 40mm and featured Black Chili compound hot patches. No word on when these might be available.
Prototype Michelin DH Tires
Remember when Michelin DH tires were big? It was the same time that 26″ was still the downhill wheel standard, but it looks like that DH lineage may soon make a comeback. Michelin had two different models on hand, but made it clear that they were still in the prototype stage, with no official launch date.
A DH22 was also shown, with both tires on hand in 26 x 2.4″ and 27.5 x 2.4″.
Between the two tread patterns, one appeared to be more of a faster rolling tire with fewer and lower profile knobs, while the other had chunky blocks of rubber that look like they’d be good for wet or loose conditions riding.
Michelin was also showing a production tire with their first e-MTB tire called the E-Wild. Available in 27.5 x 2.6 and 2.8″ with tubeless ready casings, the e-Gum-X rubber compound is designed to be stronger and longer lasting, and the tire meets the 45mph e-bike certification requirement.
Vee Tire Co.
Over at Vee Tire Co. the brand was already showing a new version of the tire that Tyler just rode at BCA Mountain in Italy. Basically, the Snap WCE with their Top 40 compound is designed to be a race day secret weapon with a super soft 40a durometer rubber and aggressive tread pattern. But a the time of launch, they were only going to be offered in 2.35″ widths. Now it will also be offered in a 27.5 x 2.5″ and 29 x 2.5″ which should be welcomed additions.
Vee was also showing a new Rail Rocco XC tire which was still in Factory Ride prototype trim. Expect this to be available in 29 and 27.5 sized and in 2.1 or 2.35″ widths and standard sidewall options around Eurobike.