1 October 2020
RIDE, EXPERIMENT & PROGRESS
Only the most advanced tires in Hutchinson’s range get the Racing Lab seal of approval. These are products which get raced at the highest level and deployed for the most epic of adventures so it’s vital that they perform better than anything else on the market.
Racing Lab is a range of products developed through an intensive iterative process combining the scientific approach of Hutchinson’s top engineers and designers with the experience and real-world testing of some of the world’s best elite athletes.
Three tires have been created since we launched the Racing Lab range in 2017 : the Skeleton (XC), Griffus (Enduro / DH) and most recently the Kraken (XC / All Mountain).
As always, we have been looking ahead and working on new products, technologies and tread designs. Take a look at the latest news and get ready to go backstage to see how the Racing Lab took on the 2020 EWS in Zermatt!
1/ GRAVITY TEST CAMP
To continue the innovation process, we invited all our Enduro riders to Finale Ligure for a test camp at the beginning of the year.
For this camp, we decided to focus on the GRIFFUS: 2.5 at the front and 2.4 at the back.
Hutchinson’s engineers and riders analysed rolling resistance, casing distortion, grip and feel. All of the riders tested a variety of different casings, pressures and on different tracks, which varied in technicality and terrain.
After three days of testing, all of the riders and engineers decided to continue the development specifically on two of the casings.
After a few more months of work, the first goal of the season finally arrived. All Hutchinson’s Enduro riders could finally race the first round of the Enduro World Series in Zermatt, Switzerland.
Hutchinson athletes racing at the EWS #1 :
Isabeau Courdurier – Lapierre Zip Collective (won every EWS stage of the 2019 season with Griffus tires)
Kevin Miquel and Théo Galy – Sunn Enduro Team
Antoine Vidal, Cédric Ravanel (Ebike), Alex Rudeau, Alexis Icardo – Commencal Enduro Team
Morgane Jonnier and Nicolas Lau (Ebike) – Peugeot
The conditions were continuously changing throughout the EWS race weekend, becoming increasingly tough. It snowed and rained heavily resulting in an extremely muddy course. The horrible weather didn’t stop the riders though, who were able to achieve three podiums across all categories !
Isabeau Courdurier took the win in the Elite Women’s Category and Theo Galy took his first Elite podium. Rising star Antoine Vidal won the U21 Category and even managed to finish top 10 in the overall rankings. Most importantly though, NONE of the seven riders had a puncture during the entire race weekend !
Another interesting point to note is that none of the riders used the same combinations or tire profiles. For example, Isabeau and Théo rode with the TORO front & rear and Antoine decided to keep the GRIFFUS in 2.4 at the back and rode with only the TORO on the front. Both combinations were successful !
Now that Hutchinson’s engineers have real world testing completed in a variety of environments and with success on the World Stage itself, the we can tweak and finalise the tire’s development back in the lab to pave the way for full production.