A Racer’s take on…TIRES

30 10 2007

These tire reviews were submitted by one of our very own RCR racers.

Schwalbe Ultremo Clincher

Ultremo TubularI’ve only used one pair for about 300 miles but think they’re awesome! They are hands-down the most secure tire I’ve ever used in the rain, tubular or clincher. They also have a very nice road feel to them. Do they ride like cotton casing sew-ups? Not quite, but they are getting really close – much better than the older Stelvio clinchers, which were a good tire in their own right. I can’t comment on long-term reliability yet, but after racing on some very nasty chip-seal, the rubber hardly has a mark on it. In fact, the rear tire still has the center molding strip!

Veloflex Paves and Vittoria Evo Corsas may have lower rolling resistance, but personally, I’ve had way too many flats while using them. Flat tires can really ruin a race. Additionally, the Ultremo is 10-20 grams lighter than a GP4000 or Pro2Race and they appear to be lasting far longer.

Anything bad? Anything this good has to come at a price, and these puppies ain’t cheap. But, I’m comforted by the thought that I can feel the quality in the ride.

Need another reason to like Schwalbe? How about how they actively sponsor racing in the U.S. They support/sponsor several clubs (including Recycled Cycles Racing) on a long-term basis. This has made racing significantly more affordable for many young riders. Perhaps that adds some bias to this review, but

Schwalbe Stelvio Tubulars

Stelvio TubularFor those of you who aren’t familiar with these, they are a tubeless construction where the inner tube is vulcanized into the casing of the tire. They are well-made tires, but having notoriously crotchety gear opinions, I would rather have a crack at the new Ultremo Tubular 🙂 . Until that day though, I have no problem rolling on these tubies.

The Stelvio is a more than acceptable race tire, especially for questionable roads. They are several performance notches above Vittoria Rallys and Hutchinson Tempos (which are pure frustration), and are by far the most reliable tubular I’ve ever had. That said, it lacks the perfect road feel of a hand-made cotton sew-up and is a relative slug on rolling resistance tests, but you can’t have it all I guess!

I’m on my 3rd tire (two 22’s and a 25mm) and have yet to puncture despite riding around a college campus and severely abusing them on Roubaix rides. The 22 is a nice width for some of the newer carbon rims out there and the large-volume 25mm floats across bricks and gravel at 80 psi. Also, the bigger tire still feels as light and lively on the road as the 22 when inflated to road pressures. It’s quite versatile and still weighs the same as a 22mm Conti Sprinter.
So, if you need a year-round, all-purpose race tire, or just want a dependable-but-still-fun set of ‘training tires,’ then Schwalbe Stelvios are a perfect choice, but if all you are doing is track racing, or time trialing where rolling restsitance is key, you might want to look elsewhere.

You’re probably looking at the cost of one tire and saying, “Hmm, that sure is an expensive training tire.” Well, yes it is, but for those of us who are still dumb enough to be training on tubular rims, they pay for themselves after realizing how many Rally’s you’ll flat, patch, and reglue before going through one Stelvio, with much better performance.

Ben Rhodes: Cat 1/2 Racer, Recyced Cycles


Meet the team ride 2007…

22 10 2007

It’s October in Seattle, and the rain has begun. The team met at Perts Deli Saturday morning as a light drizzle began to fall. It was great for everyone to meet up, old friends, past team-mates, and of course, new blood. After a much-needed, warming cup of coffee, everyone mounted up for a nice roll around around the south end of Lake Washington.

Mount up!Craig and Randy pre ride.

Except for a few ill-timed flat tires (Seattle roads in the winter are choked with debris), the ride went great. Thanks to all the team members for showing up and letting the new riders feel comfortable. The team rides will be starting up in November, so it is a safe bet that Recycled Cycles will be swamped with fender installs. Hurry up, your team-mates will thank you!

Wool is warm...Jason relaxing afer the ride

It’s not the “Off” season… It’s ‘CROSS season!

17 10 2007

Fall has officially come to the great Northwest, and Recycled Cycles Racing has had a GREAT year. Solid results on both the road and velodrome have been plentiful, and the natural side-effect is a steady stream of upgrades on both fronts. RCR is primed for a stellar year in 08′!

In most places throughout the country, teams are disbanding for the winter. Racers are ready to relax a bit away from the bike before they return for long early-season training rides. Not the case for a bunch of racers in the Recycled Cycles Team, Heck No!

Excitement is high because cyclocross season has begun, Baby!

With a strong contingent of riders spanning almost every category, RCR makes it’s presence known in the vibrant and competitive Seattle Cyclocross Series.

Here’s a few pics of the Recycled Cycles crew racing at Star-crossed and Snohomish…

Kevin Spiegal at Star-crossed, loving every minute of it.

Brendan Flynn, looking confident as usual in the Cat 4 race at Star-crossed.

Carl Hulit, taking a turn at Snohomish the only way he knows how… HOT!

Nick Adsero, putting down the power on the muddy Snohomish course.

The aftermath of racing ‘cross at Snohomish… Need we say more?

Raleigh supplies the team with the RX 1.0, and the One-Way. Both are solid cyclocross bikes, built for the decidedly rough courses the team sees week to week in the Seattle Cyclocross Series. The cyclocross season is still young, but RCR will be throwing down every week somewhere in the Northwest. Check back to see how the season progresses!