At trade shows everyone seems to ask the same question – have you seen anything cool? Most of the time there are a lot of interesting products, but especially in a show the size of Eurobike it’s hard to really stand out. Schwalbe seems to have no such trouble thanks to their game changing tire technology – Procore.
After a few good teases, the production version of the system was unveiled tonight at the Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen which happens to be a fitting shrine to German engineering. Since we last reported on the technology a few things have changed including the amount of compatible rims. Full details next…
If you’ve ever run lower tire pressures on a mountain bike only to hit a rock or root hard enough to pinch flat your tire, the Schwalbe Procore system is for you. Essentially, the system consists of a tire and an inner tube that sit inside your mountain bike tires. The inner tube is inflated to 55-85 psi, while the outer tubeless mountain tire is inflated to lower than normal pressures – sometimes as low as 14-15 psi. This prevents pinch flats and allows the tire to better conform to the trail.
You may remember the prototype wheels sporting two different valves on the same rim, but for production that all goes away. Procore uses a single tubeless valve thanks to a new Dual Valve design. When the blue section of the valve above is threaded all the way in it will inflate the inner tube to high pressure. But when the blue section is threaded all the way out, it the air will escape through a small hole in the bottom of the valve which inflates the low pressure section of the tire. Pretty clever,
That low pressure air is directed though the red Air Guide shown above which sits on top of the inner tube underneath the blue inner tire, and then exits the inner tire through the inflation ports in the side. This is what allows a tube for the high pressure compartment, and a tubeless, sealant filled outer cavity for lower pressure.
One of the biggest benefits of the new valve design is that it now allows the Procore system to be used on any rim and tire combination as long as the rim has an internal width of at least 23mm. That’s right, this is not Schwalbe or their developing partner Syntace specific. There may be a few rim designs that don’t lend themselves to the technology but Schwalbe is confident with their use on ultra wide and hookless rims as well as standard hooked rims.
The drawbacks? Very few as we can see with the exception of added weight and the cost. At 203g for the entire system weight for a single wheel, Procore will add some weight. However, Sean Cochran from Schwalbe told us that some of their pro downhillers were able to go from full DH casing tires, to single ply tires due to the decreased chance of pinch flats which may end up with a lighter overall setup in the end.
Pricing may be a bit hard to swallow at $230, until you figure in how much you’re getting. The Procore system will be sold as a kit which will include the tubes with Dual Valves, Air guides, Inner tires, tubeless sealant, Schwalbe Easy Fit, and specially designed tire levers to aid in installation. It may sound like a pain to install, but Markus Hachmeyer, the system’s inventor, was able to demonstrate for use using his only his hands. The other consideration in the price is that you only have to buy the system once. Since it is not a wear item, under normal riding it should last through multiple pairs of external tires. It is possible to damage the inner tire and tube but it is very difficult. To help in that situation Schwalbe will eventually sell single replacement parts.
Procore kits should be available in two months or so and will be offered in 26, 27.5, and 29″ sizes.
Procore may have been the main attraction, but Schwalbe has a number of additional product announcements including one we’ve been excitedly following – the Jumbo Jim fat bike tire.
Offered in both 4.0 and 4.8″ widths, in true Schwalbe fashion the tire will be exceptionally light weight and have a Snakeskin/Tubeless Easy or LiteSkin casing option. Mounted to a Surly Moonlander with 100mm Clownshoe rims, the 4.8″ Jumbo Jims filled out the frame quite nicely.
In its lightest form the 4.0 LiteSkin has a claimed weight of 990g! The heaviest version would probably be the 4.8″ Snake Skin/Tubeless Easy version above which is still very respectable at 1326g! Retail price is set for 79.90 to 99.90 euros, and Schwalbe will have a 390g inner tube available for 12.90 Euro.
The Jumbo Jim represented new challenges for Schwalbe all around, so when the tire needed new packaging they had a little fun with the process. Each Jumbo Jim will be shipped in its own shipping container which other than looking cool, had to be specially designed to support the weight of the bigger tires.
Among a number of new options for the road, Schwalbe has put together a tribute to the great Jens Voigt with a limited edition One tire. Available in only 10,000 tires, the tires feature a Jens logo as well as a special tread pattern. Pay homage to the 17 time rider of the Tour for 49.90 Euro per tire this October.