I truly dislike switching tires on our bikes. Switching the tires on four bikes every autumn and spring is for me one of the most tedious jobs I have to do, and I try to pro-long this task until it’s no longer possible. All that changed with reTyre, though: Now switching tires is as easy as zipping up the fly of a tent!
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Strangely, installing the reTyre One made me happy. I wasn’t 100% sure if it would fit on my Pelago Stavanger bike as the reTyre One needs some “large” clearance but in the end I had plenty of space with room to spare. But from the start. Knowing that this might be the last time ever for me to switch tires on this bike, I was looking forward to installing the reTyre One. Installation was easy - I have many years practice in this after all, doing it for the three to four bikes of our family twice a year. Old tire off, reTyre One on, test-fitting to check clearance: Perfect, with plenty of room to spare for the Skins. The same procedure with the back wheel and then installing the Winter Traveler Skin as we still had ice and snow on the roads back in March when I installed the reTyre One.
I also want to briefly write about the installation of the Skins, which are zipped on to the reTyre One. The skins and the reTyre One have zippers which allows you to connect the Skin - and there’s four different Skins available for different cycling needs - to the reTyre One. The reTyre One itself is a fully functional bicycle tire - indeed I have been using it the past two months - but with the different Skins you’re able to put on a new “Tire” onto your bike without the hassle of actually switching the tire. Zipping on a Skin takes me about two Minutes and it’s even quicker taking it off. It’s a great way to adapt the bike to different terrains and seasons - zip on the Winter Traveler Skin as soon as the snow starts falling, and take them off in spring. Then just as easy I can zip on the Gravel Chaser Skin when I head bikepacking and offroad.
Riding the Winter Traveler
The Winter Traveler Skin was my first experience of riding with the reTyre Skin System. We had a good winter this year in Vaasa and had snow till late March, with some more snow in April and even May. Especially the snow in April was a good way to see the benefit of these zip-on tyres: I already was riding with just the reTyre One but when the snow and subsequent ice came, it was easy to zip on the studded Winter Traveler tire in a few minutes and the I could continue to safely cycle in these Takaa Talvi conditions. reTyre has two different Winter Skins, besides the Winter Traveler which I am riding there’s also the Ice Racer which has more studs. The Winter Traveler however has been perfectly adequate for the icey roads I rode on, and I had no feeling of insecurity while riding with these tires in slippery conditions. I reserve long-term judgement for a later point in the future, but in the few weeks I rode them on snow and ice I was satisfied and can recommend them.
One of the best things about the Winter Traveler skins where however the ease of use to get rid of the “Winter Tires” once all the snow was gone. In a few seconds the Skins were off and I could ride on the reTyre One on the ice-free asphalt roads. What previously was accompanied by a few swear words when changing the complete tire was now done with a smile on my face =) I do not know how the zipper system will live up to prolonged use, dirt and the elements but thus far it has been a fantastic experience and worked flawless.
Riding the reTyre One
So the reTyre One is not only the base tire to which you can zip-on skins, but it also is a fully functional bicycle tire on its own. I’ll test and use the Gravel Chaser Skin soon on a few bikepacking trips, but at the moment, when all my cycling is to the beach, supermarket, to different hobbies and around town the reTyre One feels like the perfect tire for my needs in town. It has good grip both on dry and wet surfaces (though with the current heatwave going on, we have had really little rain so no idea how it is on very wet surfaces). Besides the grip the rolling resistance is good => which means it is low and fast-rolling. I rode over the past 7 years a mix of different tires from different brands on my bikes, from smooth slicks for fast road cycling to hardcore gravel and downhill tires which were slower on Asphalt but had great, secure grip on offroad surfaces. I usually prefer something in the middle, with a tendency towards more offroad capabilities, but I really like how fast I can go with the reTyre One (you see, I go towards 40 and a fast bike is for me more attractive than a fast car!). Maybe also because I know how quickly I could zip on a more offroad worthy Skin to get that additional grip on gravel roads.
The reTyre One is also very competitevely priced at 29,00 € - similar tires from other brands easily cost just as much or more (as you often pay for the brand name) while with the reTyre One you also get the additional benefit of its multifunctionality. For example, you could now get a pair of reTyre One tires and use them for all you cycling this summer and autumn, and then get a pair of Winter Traveler Skins in November, zip then on and continue using your bike without the massive hassle of switching tires the traditional way.
Overall I am really happy with the reTyre One tire and the Winter Traveler Skin - the ease of use of zipping of the studded winter tire was amazing, and the reTyre One is a great tire for my everyday kind of cycling. Also, those blue details on the reTyre One look amazing - so 👍 for the great design! The Set of Winter Traveler and reTyre One are also similar in price, if not cheaper, than two pairs of tires - plus they use a lot less space than normal tires in storage!
However, there’s maybe one thing that I hope reTyre will come out with in the future, and that’s a Tubeless Version of their reTyre One tire. I much prefer riding tubeless and while I always had tires with an inner tube on my Pelago Stavanger bike, I prefer the peace of mind of a Tubeless setup. Sure, the reTyre One has a puncture protection and with a Skin on there would need to be some serious sharp/ spikey thing 🌵 coming my way to give me a flat tire - though then I seem to have some knack for finding just these 😆 After three months of riding nothing like that has occurred yet, and I remain hopeful that it won’t.
In a future article I will share also my experiences with the Gravel Chaser Skin, so if you’re interested in that please keep subscribe via RSS or Follow along on Twitter and Facebook where new articles always get posted, too!
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