Virtually all of IRC’s performance tires are tubeless ready now. So, to improve, they have to look at their rubber, tread and other features and find incremental gains. For their Formula Pro road tire lineup, that meant updating their RBCC compound.
The “Rice Bran Ceramic Compound” is made by taking the husk of the rice (the “bran”) and grinding it into a powder, then mixing that into a resin. That mixture is superheated, then cooled, then pulverized into microscopic bits. The claimed benefit is that these bits act as spikes that stick out from the rubber to grab the road’s imperfections, improving grip in dry conditions. Then when it turns wet, they quickly wick the water away from the surface, letting more rubber make contact for better grip. The new 2017 RBCC mix claims 4% better traction overall…
The new RBCC is found in the Formula Pro Tubeless, shown above left, which comes in at 255g to 320g depending on size (23, 25 and 28 millimeter widths are offered). The new RBCC also gives it 10% less rolling resistance than the prior model. On the right is the Formula Pro Tubeless X-Guard, which adds more puncture protection and comes in 25mm and 28mm widths (300g-340g).
Shown at the top of the post and directly above is the Formula Pro Tubeless Light, which comes in at 245g to 300g, offered in the same three sizes as the standard version. All three Formula Pro tires get revised tread patterns and a wider tread patch that wraps further around the top of the tire, which they say enhances grip and provides better sidewall protection for fewer flats and punctures.
The Mibro-X adjusts the standard Mibro’s knob pattern and pitch slightly to make it better on hard packed courses. They call it “factory tuning”, and it also gets a new 27.5×2.4 size (weight TBD).
For really, really hard packed conditions, there’s the new Marbella. Technically more for urban riding, it could also actually double as a good sand tire. It’s available in a 27.5 and 29er, both 2.25″ wide. Weights are 545g and 575g).