Many cycling enthusiasts keep multiple bikes tailored for different riding situations, whether it be snow-packed roads, singletrack trails, or sandy beaches. Those with more casual dispositions just keep a standard commuter road bike, then swap out tires based on what they need. The reTyre gives those same folks an entirely new option: treads that you can simply zip onto the existing tires.
That’s right, this thing lets you tack on an entirely new tread on your bicycle’s tires, allowing you to keep just a single bike with a single set of tires at home. No need to keep multiple bicycles or multiple tires to keep you ready for all sorts of riding conditions – just zip on a new tread every time you need to deal with a different terrain.
The reTyre basically starts out with a basic road tire, the same kind you’ll slap on if you regularly use it for getting around the city. It mounts on standard rims and comes in four sizes (26, 27.5, 28, and 29 inches), so it should be compatible with the most common wheel sizes, all while coming with “excellent grip, low rolling resistance, and high puncture resistance.” Unlike standard road tires, though, it comes with a zipper permanently attached on the sidewalls where you can attach the different treads to get it riding properly on off-road terrain.
The outfit claims that centrifugal forces should clean out the zippers on a regular basis, ensuring you won’t have to deal with heavily-mucked teeth that you’ll have to clean up thoroughly every time you attach a new tread. Yes, we have our doubts about that, too, but having to clean zipper teeth sounds like less of a hassle than swapping out tires each time out.
The reTyre system offers three different additional treads: trail, all-terrain, and winter, which, combined with the base road tread, should keep you ready for most common riding conditions all year round. Trail comes with a wide and coarse tread pattern to give your bike a large contact patch with the ground, providing excellent traction and grip on the roughest singletracks, while all-terrain has a multi-purpose tread that handles gravel, mud, and soft ground of moderate difficulty. The winter tread, on the other hand, is designed to ensure safe grip on ice and snow on urban roads, so you can use it to get around the city during the coldest days of the year.
To equip your bike with a new tread, all you have to do is connect it to the sidewall zippers, with the self-locking puller automatically snapping in place, so you can just pull it shut like regular zippers to give your tires an entirely new skin. According to the outfit, you can zip on a new tread on top of the base tire in under 60 seconds, so you can swap skins without wasting any time.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the reTyre. You can reserve the full set (base tire and three sets of skins) for $299.