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Zip-on tyres: brilliant or bonkers?

Joseph Delves
7 Jun 2018

Interchangeable tyre skins allow you to swap treads in seconds

Norwegian brand Retyre has created a modular tyre system allowing riders to zip on additional treads. Inspired by the country's harsh winters, and the necessity to fit spiked tyres to deal with ice and snow, the range has now expanded to cover a slew of different terrains.

The system starts with a standard pneumatic base tyre. This features a slick tread, and crucially, a zipper track that sits just above the rim.

Working just like a regular tyre, and requiring no additional skills or tools to fit, the additional skins simply wrap around and zip into place.

With a locking mechanism integrated into the zip itself, they’re secure enough for even off-road riding.

With options for winter and off-road or intermediate conditions, the base tyre is 700x42c with additional skins boosting this to around 47c.

Fitting skins will also reduce wear to the underlying tyre and lower the chance of punctures. At just 568g for the premium folding base tyre, weight is about where you’d expect for a standard tyre of that size and type.

Although the extra skins will significantly increase this.

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Currently, the base Reyre retails for $36 with a wire bead, or $70 for the folding version. The skins themselves sell for more at $55 for conventional models or $70 for the metal-studded ice-ready option.

A neat solution for countries regularly affected by snow, how useful the more standard treads are, and whether many riders are prepared to put up with the additional weight and rolling resistance, has yet to be seen.

Already on sale in the brand’s home market of Norway for over a year, Retyre is looking to expand across Europe and into the US.

Although some might be checking the date to see if the design is an April Fools’ day prank, Retyre has apparently already signed up some big names as OEM suppliers.

So you might be seeing them strapped to bikes in a showroom soon.

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