Sunday, January 27, 2008

Life at 145 psi - Vredestein Tyres

So what's with these Dutch tires with the funny name ? Are they as fast and long wearing as everyone says ? Do they corner as well as everyone says ? Are they really hand made in Holland by people wearing wooden shoes ?
YES. Here's why :
-Vred's are dual compound. The center patch is a 74 durometer rubber, very hard, long lasting, and low rolling resistance. The side patches are a softer 64 durometer rubber. When you lean your bike the softer rubber grips better. (Durometer is a hardness rating)
-Vred's use more 'silca' or 'natural' rubber as opposed to synthesized rubber. Vredstein has owned a rubber plantation in Malaysia since 1946 to insure a steady supply of silca natural rubber from rubber trees for their car, moto, and bicycle divisions. Silca rubber grips better, lasts longer, has better cornering adhesion, and lower rolling resistance than synthesized rubber. Vredstein supplies many other tire manufacturer's with silca rubber. Vred's even smell different than other tires. They smell like rubber, not chemicals.
-Puncture resistant strip located sub-tread in the center of the tires. This is a small nylon aramid ( like Kevlar ) strip that adds no weight but does add some protection against goatheads.
-Curve control. This is a process that pre-forms the carcass of the tire before going into a mold to be vulcanized. Vulcanization is done in a mold, a heat and pressure process that bonds the plys, fabric casing, tread, bead, and puncture resistant strips. Most tires are vulcanized. Curve control keeps the tire from deforming too much under loads and g-forces, making the tire corner better. It also takes longer to get that flat spot in your rear tire that happens after 800 miles with other tires.
-145 psi. Most tires just get really hard and uncomfortable at this pressure. Vred's are quite yielding and comfy at 145 psi, this is the optimum psi to run this tire, they roll like crazy and wear very well.
-Wear. I have ridden 3000-4000 miles on Fortezza Tri Comps with no flats. This is amazing for a folding race tire. Most folding race tires in this weight category ( around 220g ) wear out at 1500 to 2000 miles.
-120 tpi casing. All folding race tires use a fabric casing with a thread count around 120-127 threads per inch. This is a high thread count which insures a supple and smooth ride, a supple casing will be more comfortable. Thread counts higher than 127 tpi are not plausible for tires that are vulcanized. There is too much heat and pressure. Tires that have thread counts higher than this ( like some tubulars and clincher open tubulars ) are glued and molded with very low heat and pressure. These tires ride very comfortably in a straight line but sacrifice cornering adhesion, rolling resistance, durability, and are quite costly.
Many riders including myself who have come from strong cycling and motorcycle backgrounds have said that switching to the Vredstein Fortezza Tri Comp tire has been easily the best single upgrade we have ever experienced.
Try a pair as soon as you can, you will go FASTER ! You tires will last LONGER !
You won't get as many FLATS !
Available at Davis Wheelworks.


FWS said...

Great Article Alan...
Love Techno stuff about
the products we use.

Jason Eiserich said...

Thanks for the tech insight on the Vredie's. I agree that the Vred's are the best tires I have ridden on by far.

A question...Can you still run Vredestein's at 145 psi, even if the wheels you are riding suggest a max of say 125 psi? This has always confused me.

thanks buddy, jas