Ere Research promises the ‘ultimate road bike tire’ with new CarbonX material

The novel "3D carbon network structure" should reduce rolling resistance, enhance grip, and improve tread longevity.

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Swiss component brand Ere Research is but a blip on the screen compared to major, and more established, labels. But it’s making some big claims with the release of its new Genus CCX road tire.

Originally developed at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, CarbonX is a “3D carbon network structure” whose microstructure looks almost exactly like one of those newfangled 3D-printed saddles from Specialized or Fizik — only on a much, much smaller scale. It doesn’t replace the rubber used in tire treads, but instead is intended to replace the carbon black fillers that are more typically used in the industry (often in combination with silica). 

According to Ere Research, using CarbonX reduces rolling resistance, improves grip, and extends the lifespan as compared to a tread rubber made using more conventional methods. 

“CarbonX is a new carbon material composed of nano-sized carbon filaments, which are chemically connected to form a three-dimensional micron-sized network,” explained Ere Research CTO Piet van der Velde. “CarbonX®structure makes it possible to combine properties in new ways, the key to unlocking new design possibilities that can deliver high performance. The 3D network re-distributes forces internally, thus reducing energy losses at high temperatures. The filaments are strong and have good interaction with the rubber, which provide reinforcement, keeping wear intact. The stable and accessible pore structure allows the polymer to deform enough to improve grip and road adhesion at low temperatures.”

CarbonX’s website provides a bit more information.

“The ability to combine properties and outperform other additives relies on the stability and uniformity afforded by CarbonX’s network of interconnected carbon filaments. The network itself is flexible, but not easily crushed, so that CarbonX is remarkably strong in comparison to other fillers. Because CarbonX is isotropic, it has excellent dispersion and polymer-filler interaction, which leads to very homogenous compounds with consistent properties throughout.”

The network-like structure is supposedly what gives CarbonX its unique properties. Photo: CarbonX.

Diving more specifically into the numbers, Ere Research is certainly making some big claims.

As compared to Ere Research’s existing Genus CCT tubeless tire, the new Genus CCX tubeless/hookless-compatible model is said to reduce rolling resistance by 0.9 W (9.5 W vs. 10.4 W, or 11.5 W for the tube-type Genus CC), puncture resistance is “40% up from the comparable competition”, and “grip levels are up to 66% compared to the comparable competition, also in wet and warm conditions.”

Ere Research will offer the new Genus CCX in 26 and 28 mm widths to start (in 700c only), all with a 320TPI cotton-blend casing with a non-stretch bead made of Zylon instead of the more common Kevlar. A bigger 30 mm version will arrive later. 

Claimed weight for the 700×26 mm size is 220 g, and retail price is €89 (pricing for other regions is to be confirmed). Tires will supposedly be available in stores “from [northern hemisphere] summer 2022.”

Sounds too good to be true, eh? Ere Research has promised us some samples, so I guess we’ll find out sooner than later.

More information can be found at www.ereresearch.com

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