Being on Kickstarter after all these years isn’t a good sign. Zero investor interest.
If they would just say: the tires will increase your ftp by 30 watts, they could sell a ton of them.
They could have investor and still do kickstart as a way to sell…
big companies use kickstart all time to see initial reaction and for buzz,
I can almost guarantee they have investors.
For us and hardcore cyclist enthusiasts, sure. But for many people it doesn’t matter. As long as they can ride and not have flats… its all fine.
With the price it’s not targeted at casual riders and if you truly don’t care about rolling resistance, airless tires already exist. Nitanol is quite low hysteresis, so it is likely better than those, but still.
I am still interested in where this goes.
On Kickstarter you pay 500$. For the tier with 2 road or gravel tires… that is enthusiast price range not many people will be interested in tires that cost that much…
I’m pretty sceptical about the whole thing. I don’t believe they have a product that will sell. They seem heavy with 450g per tire, you have to hope they survive long enough because you have to retread them after 8000 miles…
I think there is a very large group of enthusiasts that will be willing to pay the premium and get hit with the weight penalty if the tire last a very long time and I don’t have to worry about flats…
For example, if I were to take an adventure bike trip I care more about not having to deal with flats or inflating tires than a bit more weight and not ideal rolling resistance.
I personally have no interest in the tire, yet. I do care about weight and rolling resistance. So I am not their target audience. But my friend who is doing a 600 mile gravel ride with his brother might.
In addition to everything that’s been said, there size choice is also sort of weird: 700cx32, 35, 38:
- 32 is wider than what most people are riding for road bikes today
- 38 is narrower than what most people are riding for gravel bikes today
These really feel more like they are optimized for commuter / e-bikes, than road or gravel use. At least for me, if I commuted to work (not really need as I’m remote) by bike / e-bike these could be an awesome solution (assuming they work as hyped):
- No chance of a flat on your way to work
- No need to pump up / add air
- Weight penalty not an issue
An investor is supposed to assume the risk of the venture. With Kickstarter, the customer now assumes all the risk.
So what would the investor be doing here?
Zero flats, heavy, terrible rolling resistance? Those are Conti’s Gator Hardshell… But they cost less than 100€ for a pair that will last you a couple of years an manage to weigh less.
I think this is super exciting. Not for now - there’s no chance I’d spend that or run those on any of my bikes! But I’m excited for what it means for tires in 10-15 years’ time once they’ve gone through a few generations of products and found success with cars, quad bikes, motorbikes, cargo bikes, and city-centre rental bikes first. I’d guess the realistic trajectory will be something along those lines - starting where weight and RR penalties can be forgiven the easiest and then working towards lighter and faster applications.
I don’t see why having investors and selling on Kickstarter is mutually exclusive.