Czech tire maker Mitas has a new series of cross tires that it is introducing for 2017 to build up a higher performance range for cyclocross and gravel racing. Recently rebranded from their previous Rubena, Mitas has been making tires in the Czech Republic for more than 80 years, and over the last few seasons have put out some top performing mountain bike tires at reasonable prices. Now they are bringing some of that same tech to slimmed down rubber for a mix of the on & off-road mix of riding that is blowing up in popularity…
The affordable tubeless clincher tires were developed in the rolling Czech and Slovakian hills, that also are one of the hotbeds of cross riding in central Europe. The new sport cross range fills the gap in Mitas’ offering between XC and trekking tires. It will be made up of three tires – the X-Swamp, X-Field & X-Road – that essentially move from widely spaced knobs for wet riding to close spacing for more hardpack & dirt roads.
The X-Swamp is the most aggressive of the new tires, with tall widely spaced tread blocks to dig into soft wet terrain, but still shed mud quickly. With multi-height knobs and sipes in alternating directions, the X-Swamp is is the heaviest of the new tires at 375g.
The X-Field is meant to be the most versatile of the new CX designs, with more closely spaced tread and a design adapted from their mountain bike line-up. It gets varying height lugs, siped shoulders, and a faster rolling center with a claimed weight of 355g.
The fastest rolling though would be the new X-Road tire, with its really densely spaced center knobs optimized for more of a mix of riding on hardpack and dirt roads. The edges of the tire still open up for more grip in loose corners, and get alternating direction sipes on the shoulders to stick in soft & wet conditions as well. The lightest of the new CX group, it comes in at just 335g.
The entire new CX range all gets Mitas’ top-of-the-line 127tpi Tubeless Supra casing which features in their top mountain tires. That means a relatively supple but durable casing, aramid bead, easy tubeless setup, and decently light weight (shaving more than 30% off their previous cross-type, downsized mountain bike tires.) The also each go for Mitas’ softest CRX rubber and get a new Weltex bead/sidewall covering that is designed to both shield carbon rims and protect the tire from abrasion when bottoming out of the trail or cross course.
All of the tires are to be offered in a single 33mm width making them UCI race friendly. While setup tubeless that should offer enough cush for most riding, hopefully they’ll add a wider offering for those who have extra frame clearance if these tires are popular sellers. Affordable pricing should help that. We don’t have EU pricing yet, but they are slated to go on sale in the beginning of 2017 in the UK for just £27 a piece for any of the three.