Author Topic: Rene Herse Cycles tires  (Read 8472 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline froze

Rene Herse Cycles tires
« on: April 13, 2020, 10:06:20 pm »
Has anyone did a loaded touring on either 700C x 44 Snoqualmie Pass TC Endurance, or 700C x 38 Barlow Pass TC Endurance?  If so how many miles was it good for?  Any flats? And how comfortable riding was it compared to other tires?  Would you tour on them again?  thanks.

Offline wildtoad

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2020, 12:15:28 pm »
I recently installed some Rene Herse Switchback Hill endurance casing tires (650b x 48mm) on my touring bike. This was part of a wheel upgrade and experiment to see how much I like the Road+ approach compared to the 700cx40mm wheels/tires that came standard on the bike. I haven't been able to tour on them yet or do any long rides, but a few initial shakedown rides have been great. The tires seem awesome, and they look fantastic as well. The tires combined w/ the wheel size have somewhat transformed the personality of the bike....more fun, definitely more nimble, very stable, faster over rough pavement/dirt hardpack, and its looks better too (no large 700c/29er tire "wagon wheel" look).

The tires measure 50mm wide on Velocity Blunt 35 rims. I am running tubes currently, but may try tubeless in near future. I expect these tires will perform well for touring as well as a hybrid touring/bikepacking setup that I also use on this bike.

In terms of past touring experience on Compass/RH tires, a few years back, I purchased the original Compass/RH 26" tires for my old Ritchey expedition touring bike (have since retired that bike). Those early Compass 26 inch tires are a bit different from the current RH tire line up; they were essentially lightened up/"supplefied" Panaracer Paselas I believe. I did one 10 day tour on the Ritchey with the Compass tires, and the tires were fantastic. Zero flats on that tour. The Compass tires are now installed on an old mtb that I keep up in the mountains for grocery store trips, etc. Still zero flats, maybe 750 miles total at this point. Expect they will last indefinitely as they get only low mileage nowadays.

Anyway, those early Compass tires started my gradual shift away from heavily armored touring and road tires toward more supple, fast rolling rubber at appropriate (lower) tire pressures. I have experienced zero change in flat frequency with this approach, probably because I am running wider tires across all of my bikes at lower pressures.  High end tires are a significant investment, but they are a great place to spend $ on your bike to get a noticeable improvement in performane/comfort.

Good luck w/ your tire search, happy riding, and stay well and safe.


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2020, 12:31:54 pm »
John, thanks for the information on the RH tires.  I keep thinking about getting some, but sticker shock (I could buy 5 or 6 Paselas for the price of two RH) keeps getting in the way.

One question, though.  How do you retire a bike?  I've got one that's old enough to go into quarantined assisted living, but every time I look at it the thing gets new tires and takes me for a ride.  Is that what you mean by re-tired?   ;D

Offline wildtoad

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2020, 12:54:55 pm »
Hi Pat, definitely like your approach to re-tired :) 

For me, it was time to move on from a 30 year old frame and try out a disc brake equipped touring bike as I love touring in the mountains. It was a good change for the type of riding I do.  Found a new owner for the old bike who wanted to use it for it remains in service!

No question, the RH tires are a big investment.  I was fortunate a few weeks ago to be awake and on email in the very early morning hours when RH sent out an email notice of a "flash" sale of sorts.  So I was able to pick up one of the tires at a significantly reduced price...softened the blow a bit.

But can't go wrong with Paselas, really.  I have an older pair of Pasela TourGuards on my around town bike and they are great, reasonably priced tires.

Take care,

Offline froze

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2020, 02:04:54 pm »
Thanks for the info on those tires.  It took a lot of searching on the internet for information about how well they would hold up for loaded touring and i did finally ran into a discussion about them...and it wasn't good!  Apparently they don't last long when loaded, maybe 2,500 miles, plus they were more susceptible to flats vs other touring tires.  The reason for the longevity being so short is that they only have about 3mm thick rubber vs 7 for a tire like the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme, and the Marathon Supreme is known to go over 6,500 miles loaded; and the flat protection belt is just one ply of kevlar in the Rene Herse vs the much thicker flat protection used by Schwalbe. 

Another thing I found out is that the Marathon Supreme doesn't weigh too much at around 485 grams for a 700x40c tire, but the huge positive on this tire is that it's the third fastest rolling tire of all the touring tires tested.  The Rene Herse tire was not tested for rolling resistance but the site did say it was still being made by Panaracer and thus they felt the rolling resistance would be in the middle range of touring tires.  Even the rolling resistance test site thought the Rene Herse tires were more of a light touring tire and not a heavy touring tire.   

So while the Rene Herse tire maybe more comfortable riding I would rather have longevity and flat protection when touring, because finding another comparable tire while out touring away from large cities could be a real problem and may have to wait for the shop to get one FedEx'd next day air which would be more expensive as well; plus fixing a flat with a loaded touring bike is not something I want to be doing if I can avoid it, especially on the rear.

I do appreciate your response though, and had I ran into more favorable use while touring reviews I would have seriously considered that tire for the comfort factor if all the other stuff was equal.

Anyway thanks again.

Offline wildtoad

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2020, 02:38:57 pm »
Sounds good, Marathon Supremes are excellent tires, and are certainly a good choice if you are seeking durability. I have run both Marathons and Conti TopContact touring tires in the past...bombproof and long lasting.  I still run the TopContacts on one of my utility bikes and they are good for urban environment.

Ultimately, there is no "perfect" tire for all conditions of course.  Pros and cons to all options...tougher/stiffer vs softer/supple.  One of the main reasons for my shift to lighter/supple tires is, over time, I have substantially lightened my touring load, both through carrying less and investing in lighter gear over time.  I have also trimmed down to my college era body weight!  I also use this bike for shorter bike overnights in more of a bikepacking style configuration......all told, I like the performance advantage of the supple tires and I'll take a shorter life span.

As to flats, there are many variables in terms of where you ride, what pressures you ride, etc.  Too much air in supple tires = more flats.  And I think the whole tubeless trend really changes the dynamic when it comes to flats. 

Enjoy your new tires!


Offline froze

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2020, 03:43:51 pm »
I also did a lot of research on tubeless tires, this subject for me is still questionable, but according to most tourists that tried tubeless went back to tubed tires because they found that the sealants, no matter the brand, didn't do a good job at sealing most leaks, it was messy, plus if they did get a flat that didn't seal and or they couldn't reseat the tire on the road so they would have to insert a tube which defeats the purpose of going tubeless.  Also due to the construction of the tubeless tire combined with the special rim tape and sealant they're not saving any weight over a tubed tire. I think they have a lot of work yet to do on tubeless technology. 

I did see one interesting idea for tires, not sure how realistic they are yet but they are working on a tubeless tire that requires no air and thus no sealant and thus no leaks.  They had some early versions of the system but it was too awkward so they're trying to improve the design, I think if they went that direction with serious innovation then we could have a serious contender for any other type of bike tire, and the tubeless tire may not be around longer than 10 more years.

I hear you on the comfort level, but my new Masi is so comfortable with crappy heavy Kenda Drumlin tires I think there will be even more dramatic and comfortable ride when I toss those heavy tires, but I'm going to wear them out first, get use to pedaling heavy tires with a load. 

Schwalbe makes those Supremes in two different flavors, one is called a Microskin TL Easy, and the other is called a V-Guard; the Microskin is about 100 grams heavier than the V-Guard because it has a bit better flat protection belt inside, so I may go with the Microskin on the rear and the V-Guard on the front since flats on the front are more rare, plus the rear will have loaded panniers and fenders to deal with, which I want to try to avoid as much as possible.

Those Supreme tires are about as expensive as the Rene Hurst.

Offline wildtoad

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2020, 06:08:44 pm »
So I saw that you mentioned your Masi, and I did a quick search through the old threads and confirmed my hunch that I responded to your thread/questions about the Masi Giramondo back in early 2019.  So did you pick up a Giramondo?  It's a great, fun and very versatile bike....and that is the bike that i'm running the RH tires on.  At some point in the future when you might want to try a second wheelset, pick up a 650b set and give the Road+ thing a works really well on the Giramondo and gives it a different personality.  There is a blogger guy who posted a long review of the Giramondo a couple of years ago, and he also had great things to say about the Giramondo running 650b Road+ tires, which generally means in the 48-50mm width.

I predict you will love the Supreme tires in general, but most definitely so in comparison to the Kendas. I am a bit of a geek when it comes to bike tires (and car tires as well), so I'm pretty familiar with the current Schwalbe line and have always admired the Supremes. I don't think you can go wrong with either version of the Supremes.

In our stable of 10 bikes or so (6 mine, 2 each for wife and daughter), we run Panaracer, Schwalbe, Continental, Clement/Donnelly, Specialized, Rene Herse and Rivendell tires (the latter 2 manufactured by Panaracer). They are all excellent in their own way. I do have a soft spot for Panaracer for a few reasons. They are willing to make low volume, ultra-cool tires for niche brands like Rene Herse, Rivendell, SOMA, etc. They actively support "obsolete" tire size like 27", 26", etc. with quality tires (I still ride 26" for mtb and use Panaracer exclusively for that bike at this point).  Many of their tires are made in Japan to a very high quality standard. And my understanding is that they spend very little $ on marketing, etc., unlike bigger players like Conti, Schwalbe, etc.  Good stuff IMO.

Re tubeless, I hear you. I am a holdout on tubeless and still run tubes on everything, including MTB.  I have a few friends and know of a couple of touring friendly shop owners who are starting to push tubeless for touring.  They feel that the technology is there, but they readily admit that for touring, you would still need to carry at least one tube, as well as other stuff.  For me, the biggest issue is that I like to split my time riding different bikes.  So the Giramondo gets used a fair amount when preparing for a tour and then on tour....and for short overnights in the Summer, but there are times when she hangs in the garage for a couple of months while I ride other bikes.  My lingering impression is that tubeless is a PITA in that situation, and requires more periodic care.  I'm really not interested in that at this point.  But I am keeping an open mind and I expect I will give it a try in the near future.  The RH tires are tubeless ready as are the Velocity rims. 

Good stuff. Hope you are hanging in there re the pandemic, all the best.


Offline froze

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2020, 09:11:50 pm »
Yup, I started shopping for a touring bike I think in September of 2019 when I got swiped by a car and crash my vintage 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe that was in mint condition but the crash fold the fork. 

It took me a while to research all the touring bikes, but every time I find another bike and compared the Masi kept beating them.  I probably looked at least 15 different bikes and probably 20.  Even the $2,100 Trek 920 was about 2 pounds heavier than the Masi without much in any way to get the weight down unlike the Masi.

So I bought the Masi 2 weeks ago at a bike shop that carries that brand, they just didn't carry the Giramondo they had to special order it, and I had to pay for it without test riding, that wasn't the first time I've done that so I wasn't too worried, and any worries I did have went flying out the window on it's first maiden ride, not tour, just a ride, it rode like silk!  Which sort of surprised me with how stout the frame and fork is. 

The only quibbles that I have about the bike is really all minor crap, the seat sucks, but most factory supplied seats do, so I took it off and put on my B17 from the Schwinn; there were no pedals, but again most stock pedals are thrown out anyways, so I took the pedals off the Schwinn which were Shimano A530's but they're silver and look kind of weird, they should be black so I'm going to get new pedals; and well the tires, but I understand that most stock tires aren't that great either, but I'll use these till I go on a long tour.  The rims were not trued real well, I realize it has disk brakes but I'm kind of picky about that sort of stuff, so when I go back to the shop I'll have them true and tension the wheels.

The shop I got the bike from included a free pro fit but they can't do it till restrictions are loosened up.  I ordered a set of fenders which I haven't gotten yet.  The one thing I am seriously considering doing since I don't use a front pannier, is to remove the front rack and get a snap on short front fender.   I could get a porteur rack so I can carry my tent up front and balance the weight out a little, but I haven't decided that yet, I just know I want to take off the front rack.

I kind of like the rims, so far anyways, I haven't done a loaded tour on the bike yet, I'm waiting for the fit to get done first and the camp grounds to open to test the rims, but I don't foresee any problems.

The one change I could make a few years down the road just before I do a cross country trip to lighten the bike a bit is to replace the fork with a touring carbon fiber fork, geez that could save me 5 pounds!  Just a weird thought.

I really like the bike a lot.  What pedals did you get for yours?

Also, if you haven't already done so, you should read Wikipedia about what they say concerning the history of Masi, it's quite interesting, including Masi was featured in a famous movie, and several very high end and famous pros rode Masi. 

Offline wildtoad

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2020, 02:26:23 am »
Thanks for sharing your story, and sorry that you had to experience an accident/crash along the way!

As to pedals, I'm running the Shimano A530s as well....I've been using them on my touring bikes since Shimano first introduced that model several years ago.  Great pedals for touring.

Most of the time, I use my Brooks B17 on the Giramondo. But sometimes when I do a lightly loaded overnight, I will put on my titanium Brooks Professional which is probably my favorite saddle of all time. It usually resides on one of my classic road bikes. Anyway, as brooks saddles have lots of metal, the titanium makes a notable difference in comfort and weight...about 5 ounces lighter than B17.  But the Giramondo will never be a lightweight...but that's just fine for a touring bike.  And I don't think it rides like a stiff, overbuilt bike frankly. The frame strikes a nice balance.

So definitely get to know your new bike and you can then refine your setup over time.  I've had my Giramondo for 3 years now. Here's my baseline setup that allows me to mix and match as necessary (I have never used all components at once):
- Rear rack w/ small panniers
- Solar panel on top of rear rack
- Carradice Barley saddlebag---usually used when I don't need panniers
- Ortleib toptube frame bag, works great and I can use it on the Giramondo, my mtb and my road bikes.
- small handlebar bag that comes off quickly and can be worn as hip bag, good for valuables
- topeak front loader under handlebag bag, bikepacking style bag that's great for my tent
- Instead of front rack/lowriders, I have 2 blackburn outpost cages attached to fork mounts. I can leave them empty and they are more minimalist than a front rack. If I need carrying capacity, each can hold a 4 litre dry bag, up to 11 pounds each.

As to Masi, yep, I'm familiar with the history of the name for sure. In addition to touring, I also enjoy "vintage" road bikes, which for me mostly means 1980s high end steel bikes, a high water mark for road bikes IMO. The Carlsbad-built Masis definitely have a cult following and tend to command $$$$ on the used market.  Current day Masi (smallish corporate) bears little resemblance to classic Masi, but the brand has undergone a bit of a renaissance starting around 2015/2016 with the introduction of some interesting models like Giramondo, CXGR Supremo, etc. And they have hit some home runs w/ the cosmetics/colors in recent times, with some bikes just looking super squared away and like someone actually cares.  All at reasonable price points.  We're not talking bleeding high end stuff here, just well built and smartly spec'd bikes.


Offline froze

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2020, 10:13:17 am »
I have a rear set of Axiom Monsoon Hydracore panniers which I found out while in a 3 hour downpour riding that they are indeed virtually waterproof, nothing got damp inside; I got them on a huge sale.  On the front all I use is a Topeak Tourguide DX, that one I had to spray with water repellant spray, plus I had to spray the rain fly as well, things got damp in that downpour, I had all the stuff I didn't want wet in zip lock bags in all my bags but still I want as much water as possible to stay out.  I also use a Topeak AeroWedge large saddle bag which I also sprayed; and a Specialized top tube bag which nothing got damp inside that one.  Bag wise I like the stuff I got, it all seems to work real well.  But that's why I'm considering taking off the front rack because I don't have a need for it.  I'm also need to buy a couple of dry bags so I can put the tent and sleeping bag into one and keep them on top of the rear rack, this is why I might look into a Porteur rack and keep the sleeping bag on it just to balance the weight a bit...OR, now that you mentioned the Blackburn Outpost, but I kind of wanted those front mounts to carry more water, so I'm not so sure about that idea.  I need to drink plenty of water because if I don't I'll get kidney stones so I have to keep myself well hydrated, it wouldn't be fun to get those on a tour out in the middle of nowhere!!

I also decided to get a solar panel instead of a hub dyno because those things were just too much money by the time you figure rebuilding a wheel and the price of the hub.  Besides the hub alone weighs more than the solar panel and storage battery not to mention the slight drag from the hub.

For cages I bought 4 50 Strong shiny black cages for only $5 each and made in the USA?!  and I got one Arundel expandable cage.

The one thing that drives me crazy, and all bicycle manufactures do it this way these days...They run the damn cables right against the headtube, which eventually will but rub marks in the paint, just stupid, stupid, stupid; they could have come up with a better way. So I had to buy a set of stick on clear frame protectors to prevent their ignorance from marring my new paint on the Masi.  I put clear Gorilla tape on the Lynskey but that tape will take the clear coat off of a painted bike because it's too strong, but it can't damage nude titanium.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2020, 11:01:58 am »
I switched to tubeless tires on my touring bike with no regrets. The main advantage is not less weight, it is the ability to ride at lower pressures with no decrease in performance. The second advantage is the ability to use sealant. The advantages of using sealant are greater than the disadvantages. Tubeless tires are much safer from exploding sealant than sealant in tubes. Carrying one tube while using tubeless tires for a worst-case scenario is better than carrying a number of tubes and having to repeatedly patch them.

Offline froze

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2020, 12:49:50 pm »
touring people need to carry numbers of tubes?  What?  that's not true at all.  In fact regular non touring people will carry one to two tubes, touring people will carry 2 tubes unless they're going to ride the Outback in Australia!  So how does this differ from tubeless?  I asked this question to tourers that either had or were using tubeless, and they're response was that they carry between 1 to 2 tubes...darn it, that's the same as we carry.  And people that use tubes may only get one flat in 3,000 miles if they're unlucky!  why is that?  because tires today are a lot better than tires were 10 and more years ago, and touring tires are quite robust against flats.  I've done a lot of short touring/camping trips and never had a flat in roughly 2,000 miles of touring, plus I commuted to work on the same bike and never had a flat doing that either on the same tires I used for touring, so I may have another 1,000 miles of commuting on those tires.

When I go touring I only take one tube, why? Because the tires are robust enough to handle virtually anything, besides I would rather patch the old tube before resorting the new one anyway, so the chances are extremely high I would never use the new tube.

And with tubeless you have to buy tire patches and carry them with you in case the sealant doesn't do its job.

Plus touring on tubeless means you have to carry a chunky large pump in case the tire unseats like the Lezyne Micro Floor Drivel and even then it may require an air compressor to seat the tire, or one of those pumps with the big shot tank, talk about big and clunky; and depending on how long you'll be out, or if you get a flat that drains most your sealant, you might need a bottle of sealant.  Plus if you use a the backup tube well now you have to carry patches in case the tube gets punctured, a plug kit to seal holes.  And if you get a side cut and don't want to unseat the tire to put a tube in you may have to carry a curved needle and some dental floss to close up the hole.  Don't forget a spare core or two in case the sealant clogs them up, and you'll need a tool to take that core out and put the new one in.

I don't understand the allure of touring with a tire that requires a floor pump and 30 minutes to mount...especially when you'll be carrying spare tubes,tires and a bunch of related hardware for the tubeless anyway. How many flats are you getting?  So, hmmm which headache do I want?  I think I'll stick to tubes.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2020, 11:06:58 am »
Although I put little value on your arguments, I accept you are against tubeless. If touring tubeless is not for you, fine.

"Numbers of tubes?  What?  that's not true at all". In my own experience, and questioning others on the road, for extended touring it is carrying 2-5 tubes, (no trip was to " the Outback in Australia"). So"numbers of tubes", touring with tubed tires, as I said, is true.

Not touring, riding locally, for me, it is not "one to two tubes", but just one.

"People that use tubes may only get one flat in 3,000 miles if they're unlucky!" I have had 6-10 flats in an hour touring with tubed tires. Call me "unlucky".

On more of your long rant, I will withhold comment.

Offline froze

Re: Rene Herse Cycles tires
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2020, 02:36:50 pm »
I don't want to argue with you either. 

I just go by what others have said that I talked to at campgrounds, and no one I spoke to carried more than 2 tubes.  I do know that over 20 years ago it wasn't uncommon for someone to carry 4 or 5 tubes while touring plus carry 2 spare tires, but today all the people I spoke to only carry 1 spare tire; this is all due to massive improvements in tire technology with the last 10 years seeing the best in flat protection ever.

Geez, on my short touring trips of only 2 to 3 days out i. n one direction I only carry 1 spare tube and 1 spare tire.  I figure if I have to use the spare tube I'll just ride to the next town and look for a bike shop and buy another spare tube.  Something that is going to destroy the tube would usually mean the tire is gone too. 

I am very good at patching tubes using glueless patches, and I carry a tire boot as well, so just simply don't see a reason to carry more than 1 tube till I do a cross country trip than I'll carry 2 tubes, even then in the back of my head I think that maybe an overkill, but better safe than walking a bunch of miles dragging a loaded bike.

I can't figure out why you're getting so many flats on a tour!  And it would take you forever to go 60 miles on a tour if you're getting 6 flats or so an hour!  Because, as I mentioned earlier, I talked to a lot of touring people, whenever I see one in a campground, on the bike paths, on the county roads, I ask questions, and almost all of them at the most will only get a flat or two every couple of thousand miles, which has been my experience as well...actually, I haven't had any!

I do use Panaracer FlatAway Kevlar liners in my touring bike tires as a safety precaution.  Those FlatAway liners give a telltale signal if something penetrated the tire and was stopped by the liner, the liner will develop a small dark spot, I have yet to see that even happen with Schwalbe Marathon tires.

With all your talk about all the flats you had you're making me paranoid!  LOL!!!  geez I almost think I should had thorn resistant tubes, or a second plastic style liner that would go between the tube and the Panaracer liner.  I think you got me going crazy with all of this.

Tell you what I'm going do, I'm going to post a question on this forum and see what others have to say about the tube situation and how many flats they average on a tour.  Let see what they say.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2020, 02:52:45 pm by froze »