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These zip-on bike tires change up your tread to match the terrain

Kraig Becker

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If you’re a bike commuter or gravel rider who wishes your bike were a bit more versatile, you’re going to want to take a look at what Retyre brings to the table. This product, which recently launched on Kickstarter, promises to make just about any bike more off-road ready without the need to completely replace your tires. In fact, Retyre promises to let cyclists quickly and easily change back and forth between their standard tires and tread built for the trail, all without ever removing the wheels from the bike.

The secret behind Retyre’s ability to transform your standard city commuter into a trail bike is simple but unique. The product essentially takes a similar concept of adding skins to your skis to provide more uphill traction but extends it to the bike instead. In this case, however, the new tread comes with an integrated zipper that allows riders to attach them to their wheels and then zip them tightly into place. The result is a burly new layer of rubber that sits on top of the existing tires, offering better traction on mud, snow, and other slick surfaces. When riders return to dry, smooth pavement they can remove the Retyre altogether, returning to their regular style of cycling.

There are are a number of reasons why you might want to add enhanced traction to your bike, including a change in weather conditions that could impact your ride. Imagine if you rode to work in the morning only to have an unexpected snow storm dump a few inches of powder on the roads while you’re at the office. A rider could simply zip on a set of Retyres and get better traction for their evening commute home, enhancing safety and stability as a result. Additionally, many cyclists don’t have the luxury of owning multiple bikes for use on the road and the trail. This product would allow them to use the same bike on multiple types of surfaces and terrain without having to swap out their tires based on where they intend to ride.

Since the crowdfunding campaign has already exceeded its goal, Retyre is now scheduled to go into production and begin shipping in January at a price of $111. Early bird supporters can order a set now for $79, however. The zip-on tread is available for 26-inch, 27.5-inch, 28-inch, and 29-inch tires and can reportedly be applied to pretty much any bike in under 60 seconds thanks to the high-quality zippers that lock them into place. As usual, it pays to understand the risks of supporting any crowdfunding campaign, but if you’re looking for a simple solution for changing the tread on your tires from time to time, this could be it.