Rene Herse releases lightweight Orondo Grade tubeless-specific road tire...in a 31mm width

Offered in three different casings the tire features a new bead designed to handle high-pressure tubeless set-ups

A road cyclist riding a bike fitted with Rene Herse Orondo Grand road tires
(Image credit: Rene Herse Cycles)

Rene Herse Cycles has introduced a new road tire to its line up - the tubeless 700C x 31 mm Orondo Grade. The tire is made to handle high pressures up to 90 psi (6.2 bar).

Known for producing supple tires for all-road and gravel riders, the Seattle-based brand has turned its attention to delivering the same for roadies requiring a tubeless option.

"There are many tubeless road tires out there, but they usually have liners that make them heavier, stiffer and slower than their tubed counterparts. None offer the speed, light weight and comfort that we like in our tires," says Jan Heine, head of R&D at Rene Herse Cycles. "So we set out to make a tubeless road tire that performs and feels like a true Rene Herse tire."

Detail of a Rene Herse Orondo Grand road tire

(Image credit: Rene Herse Cycles)

Like the rest of its range, the Orondo Grade is offered in three casings: standard, endurance and extralight. The Standard option offers a balance between speed, comfort and strength delivered at an affordable price. The Endurance casing features reinforced sidewalls and puncture protection, while the Extralight is performance-focussed, with comfort and feel at the forefront.

As with all Rene Herse all-road and road tires, the Orondo Grade features a thicker centre tread for improved longevity - it says it “effectively doubles the mileage before the tire wears out”. However, this doesn’t appear to come with a weight penalty. The claimed weights for the tires -  Extralights weigh in at 270 g, the Standards at 300 g, and the Endurance at 320g - are all lighter than both the Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TL and the Vittoria Corsa Pro in 31/32mm widths. 

A road cyclist riding a bike fitted with Rene Herse Orondo Grand road tires

(Image credit: Rene Herse Cycles)

The Orondo Grade has been several years in the making. To create a tubeless road tire it was happy with, the team at Rene Herse had to create a new bead and liner designed to handle the rigours of high-pressure tubeless set-ups but without sacrificing the speed and comfort that its tires are known for.

Testing included trying various beads before it settled on one that keeps the tire firmly on the rim while still being relatively easy to mount and remove. Likewise several liner prototypes were tested to deliver both an airtight seal and a supple ride feel. Pro riders such as Ted King and Brennan Wertz were given prototype tires to ride, accumulating in thousands of miles of testing. To evaluate how well the tires retained the tubeless sealant, the team put aside test tires for a couple of months before checking to see if the sealant had dried out. It hadn’t.

Brennan Wertz (middle) has been running the Endurance on the Coast Ride in California.

Brennan Wertz (middle) running the Endurance casing on the Coast Ride in California.

(Image credit: Rene Herse Cycles)

As for the tire’s title, the Orondo Grade is named “after a famous ascent up a side canyon of the mighty Columbia River that climbs 7 miles at a constant 10%. The Orondo Grade was the half-way point—and often decisive moment—of the near-mythical 'outlaw' cross-state races where the Rene Herse team cut their long-distance racing teeth”.

The tires are available now from Rene Herse Cycles, with pricing as follows:

Standard casing - $79
Extralight casing - $94
Endurance casing - $94

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