SOC18: Prototype gravel, XC & enduro tires from IRC, Hutchinson and Panaracer

The new IRC Boken dropped a “k” from the name since we first saw the prototype at Interbike, but now it’s officially in the lineup in 700×36 and 700×40 sizes. It has a lightweight single-ply casing with sticky rubber compounds to grab and grip anything it rolls over. Based off their sand cyclocross tire, the file tread center section rolls fast and smooth, offering knobs only at the extreme edges of the tread. Claimed weights are 390g and 420g. Retail will be $79.99 when it hits stores in June.

And it looks like they’re already working on another, wider gravel tire to go with it.

2019 prototype IRC tubeless ready gravel road bike tires 2019 prototype IRC tubeless ready gravel road bike tires

Details are slim on these new gravel tires, but they’ll have a different tread pattern that transitions to smaller nubs on the sides. Look for a range of sizes, but definitely will include 650B options for “road plus” riders.

2019 prototype IRC enduro mountain bike tires

The upcoming IRC Enduro (actual name TBD) is a Q3 launch as it’s still in development.

2019 prototype IRC enduro mountain bike tires 2019 prototype IRC enduro mountain bike tires

Much like the new Panaracer below, the tread pattern is familiar, likely because it works. Details are TBA, but look for 27.5 and 29er sizes in a 2.6″ width.

IRC tubeless ready BMX tire

We’ve only seen one tubeless-ready BMX tire before, courtesy of Maxxis, and now IRC is rolling down that ramp. Their prototype tubeless BMX tire can apparently handle up to 125psi for racers that want to get it rock hard, though the stated (recommended) max is 100psi. Look for 20″ tires in 1.75 and 1.9 widths soon. Check out the current range at

Panaracer Adds More MTB Tires

The Romero gravity tire is the first of three new mountain bike tires coming from Panaracer. Others will be a Driver reboot (see below) and the Aliso, a soft conditions XC tire made not so much for mud, but for wet, late spring riding and mixed terrain. It and the Romero will have a triple rubber compound, and the designs of both are aimed at keeping traction at any angle. All three will be offered in 27.5 and 29er, with 2.4 and 2.6 widths.

prototype panaracer romero enduro DH mountain bike tire

prototype panaracer romero enduro DH mountain bike tire

They say the Romero is similar to competitors by design, helping you easily identify it as an aggressive all-mountain enduro tire. It will have a double reinforced sidewall to handle rough Enduro and DH courses. Final weights and details are TBA, but it’ll probably start around 1,100g for 27.5×2.4.

new 2019 Panaracer Driver will get wider sizes for modern XC and trail mountain bikes

The Panaracer Driver is getting new, wider sizes with adjusted knob heights and sizes optimized for the new widths. The 2.2 will remain in the line, too. It’ll go into production in May, available by July, at a reasonable $60 retail for the tubeless-compatible, folding bead tires.

Hutchinson Skeleton XC Tire

prototype hutchinson skeleton xc race mountain bike tires

Hutchinson had this new Skeleton XC tire on display, which uses a new tread pattern philosophy for them. Using sharply cut tread blocks with an extremely low center knob height, it’s aimed at the XC racer. What makes it different is the “LinkPattern” design used to connect the center and transition knobs.

prototype hutchinson skeleton xc race mountain bike tires prototype hutchinson skeleton xc race mountain bike tires

The design uses a series of connected knobs through the center and winging off to the side to hold the shape, interspersed with smaller standalone knobs that can squirm and deform to grab the ground. They say that along with the 127tpi casing, it’s the right mix of structure and deformation.

We’re guessing it’ll slot in as a dry conditions tire as an alternative to the Python 2 for riders that want a more continuous center strip and wider spacing between transition knobs. It’ll come in 2.15″ widths (53mm) in both 27.5 and 29er. Weight from 580g.

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4 years ago

So Panaracer is joining Goodyear in brazenly knocking off competitor’s tread designs. That’s cool.