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EB14: New Zipp Tangente Course, Speed & SLSpeed Road Tires Make You Even Faster

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2015 Zipp Tangente course and speed clincher road bike tires improve aerodynamics and decrease rolling resistance

Zipp’s original foray into tires were focused on improving the aerodynamics of a wheel/tire combination. Pretty important since you need both and they always go together.

Now, they’ve upped the ante to lessen rolling resistance as well, making the system faster than ever. They’ve also made wider versions and lightened them up, too. On paper, it’s the total package – faster, smoother, more comfortable and with better control.

Here’s how they did it…

2015 Zipp Tangente course and speed clincher road bike tires improve aerodynamics and decrease rolling resistance

What we’ve learned over the years, particularly with mountain bikes, is that lower air pressure keeps the tires in contact with the ground better because there’s less bouncing. When it comes to road bikes, you can only go so low before risking pinch flats or squishy ride feel. The next step was to improve the tire’s inherent ability to deform around the terrain.

The new Tangente tires use a more supple sidewall and tread cap, allowing it to deform more easily. They use the term hysteresis, which, when discussing the elastic hysteresis of rubber, refers to the difference between stretching and rebound speed. Rubbery naturally stretches under load more easily than it contracts when the load is removed. With regards to bicycle tires, that means it takes more energy to deform around the terrain than it does to return to normal. If you can lessen the energy needed to deform the tire, you lessen rolling resistance. More supple sidewalls and rubber compounds do just that.

The sidewalls were made better by using a specific pattern and angle in the threads of the carcass and using softer rubber.

Those savings were quantified on BikeBlather (commissioned by Zipp) via his roller test if you like hard numbers.

2015 Zipp Tangente course and speed clincher road bike tires improve aerodynamics and decrease rolling resistance

Click to enlarge for sizes, weights and pricing.

The tradeoff is longevity and puncture protection, so there are various models to fit your comfort level. We still think tubeless should be options on all modern road tires, but, baby steps… In the meantime, if you’re looking for some of the fastest tires out there, Zipp’s introduced some new speed weaponry.

Zipp-custom-colors-rim-stickers

They’ve also introduced custom color decal kits for your wheels. They’re available aftermarket for a $20 per set.

sram-rise-60-color-decals-for-wheels

Related by parents only, SRAM’s RISE 60 wheels come with a decal sheet with even more colors at no charge.

Zipp.com

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Rico
Rico
8 years ago

Ohh the tubs look fast. I wonder the overall best – 27mm vs 24mm when considering aero vs crr. I bet it balances out to be about the same, but with slight more control and comfort on 27mm. That crr is super low!

michael
michael
8 years ago

When is Zipp going to make their wheels tubeless? They should at least make their aluminum wheels tubeless.

rocket
rocket
8 years ago

wheres the dimples?? or was that just marketing…

luddite cyclist
luddite cyclist
8 years ago

the rumor was these were going to be veloflex tires. those don’t look like veloflex. who is making these?

Rico
Rico
8 years ago

I thought I heard fmb somewhere, the cotton tubs at least.

McClain
McClain
8 years ago

So I understand that reducing the Crr makes the tire roll more easily (with less effort), and the number show the savings… However, what is the effect in terms of ‘grippiness’? Certain tires (GP4000s, or anything with Black Chili) definitely inspire faster, more aggressive turns, and I’ve had some scary experiences with other race/TT tires meant to be more aerodynamic, etc.

Impecable
Impecable
8 years ago

I’ve been running the “course” version of these tyres for about two months now and have done over 2000km on them.

The grip is as good as anything I’ve ridden. They don’t feel dead like some of the other “puncture protected” tyres I’ve used have done. They give good feedback from the road surface and roll really well. The best past is the lack of cut’s and nicks after so much commuting, there just really isn’t any.

These (course models) would have to be the best tyre I’ve ever commuted on.

P
P
8 years ago

The Zipp Tangente was tested in tunnels a while back and found to be slower than normal. The rolling resistance was terrible too.

If you want good tyres, get them from a tyre company.

luddite cyclist
luddite cyclist
8 years ago

i’ll stick with my veloflex carbons

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
8 years ago

@McClain: there’s not necessarily a correlation between tire grip and Crr. Conti’s GP4000s have historically had some of the lowest Crr values, and their Black Chili compound is known to be quite grippy. Grippier tires tend to be softer, but hysteresis (the cause of rolling resistance) varies as the result of other factors like casing construction, thread count, and so on.

Jdog
Jdog
8 years ago

Tubeless please. C’mon already

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