Van Bikeradar: Ere Genus CCX tyre uses carbon compound to lower rolling resistance

Ere Research’s new Genus CCX road tyre uses a new rubber compound said to lower rolling resistance, improve grip and boost puncture resistance.

CarbonX is a company spun off from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and also the name of the firm’s flagship product, a 3D structure made of chemically bonded carbon nanofilaments. It has a structure rather like a sponge, that is flexible but not easily crushed, and looks a bit like a carbon-coloured cousin of SpongeBob SquarePants.

CarbonX has been used by Ere Research to replace carbon black or silica, the traditional fillers used in tyre compounds, in the new tyre’s rubber. It’s not the first company to use novel carbon compounds in its tyres, with Vittoria adding graphene to its well-regarded tyres, such as the Corsa.

Ere Research says CarbonX has allowed it to achieve the cyclist’s holy grail by reducing rolling resistance by two watts, with a claimed figure of 9.5 watts for a 26mm tyre in a tubeless/hookless setup.

It also says that grip is increased by 66 per cent and puncture resistance by 40 per cent relative to (unnamed) competitor products.

The 26mm tyre weighs 220g. That’s very light for a tubeless tyre and, if the rest of Ere’s claims stack up, potentially puts it up with the best tubeless tyres out there.

No relation to SpongeBob SquarePants – the CarbonX material’s 3D structure is said to be flexible but not easily crushed.

CarbonX

CarbonX, the company, was founded by Rutger van Raalten and Daniela Sordi in 2014, based on their research in the Department of Chemical Engineering at TU Delft, for which they received a patent in 2009.

CarbonX’s compound is also being trialled in tyres for motor vehicles, including trucks, for its ability to improve fuel efficiency and lower rolling resistance.

The company also sees applications in lightweight, conductive plastics designed to avoid static electricity build-up. It makes CarbonX in five different grades with different surface area, density and pore volume properties.

New casing

Ere Research has also worked on developing the new Genus CCX tyre’s structure.

It’s a handmade tubeless tyre with a 320TPI casing, which replaces the usual Kevlar bead with a product called Zylon, said to be very strong while also making the tyre suitable for hookless rims. Ere Research says Zylon is used in Formula One cars as a tether in wishbones to keep the wheels attached to the chassis in a crash.

Ere Genus CCX availability

Availability of the Genus CCX, Ere Research’s new flagship tyre, is slated from summer 2022, with a retail price of €89. It will be available from launch in 26mm and 28mm widths, with a 30mm version to follow. 

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