© 2014 Specialized Bicycle Components. All rights reserved.
SWITZERLAND / ENGLISH CHANGE REGION
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
“THE SINGLE BEST PLACE TO ENHANCE EVERY RIDER’S EXPERIENCE IS WITH THE TIRES. IT AFFECTS EVERYTHING: HOW FAST THE BIKE ROLLS, HOW WELL IT CORNERS AND BRAKES, TIRES ARE THE FOUNDATION OF EVERY RIDE.” - MIKE SINYARD, Founder & President
TIRES ARE IN OUR BLOOD Our enduring tradition of excellence began in 1976 when Mike Sinyard introduced the first product ever under the Specialized banner, the Touring Tire, followed two years later by the Turbo – the first clincher to offer performance equal to tubulars. Almost 40 years later, we’re revolutionizing the Turbo name again.
Working with our very own bicycle tire compounding guru, Wolfgang Arenz, we’ve developed a completely proprietary - and completely revolutionary - new rubber compound called Gripton. Already seen propelling riders like Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin to stage victories in the Giro and the Tour, Gripton represents a new level of tire performance for all racers.
Introducing the new S-Works Turbo, our top-tier clincher, tubeless, and tubular performance tire. By redesigning the compound, we’re able to redesign what tire performance should be.
WOLFGANG ARENZ: THE MASTER CRAFTSMAN Compounding is as much art as it is science, and Wolfgang Arenz is a true craftsman. With 30 years of experience in compounding rubber for applications in the automobile, motorcycle, and bicycle industries, Wolfgang wanted to explore the next level in bicycle tire compounds, and Specialized was the perfect place to do that.
For eight months Wolfgang worked on Gripton, going through cycles of development; working with raw material suppliers for ingredients; formulating and manufacturing test samples; evaluating with riders; then making adjustments based on results and feedback. Wolfgang’s work touches every single tire that we make, and we’re confident Gripton is just the start of many new and innovative creations in the years to come.
A WINNING FORMULA The entire process for developing the S-Works Turbo Tire is finely honed to ensure the best outcome. This is how we do it:
GET THE INGREDIENTS RIGHT We are in constant contact with raw material suppliers to use or tune their latest developments to make our compound faster, better handling, and longer lasting.
CONTROL THE MIX The Gripton compound is engineered carefully. Every ingredient that goes into it is fixed at a certain value for a reason. Developing the new formula is a lesson in balance.
MANUFACTURE WITH CARE We do countless process trials to find the right way of producing compounds. When we have all parts ready, defined and tested in prototyping, only then we approach our best manufacturing partner for serial production. We then work with the factory to control quality in every production step.
REFINE TO IMPROVE The new Gripton compound’s performance has been tested, not only against previous designs, but against benchmark competitors’ tires. Iterations of new compound formulations were shared with team Omega Pharma-Quick Step through sample tires, and feedback then collected on how they performed. As riders we can relate to pro rider feedback and we use it to drive development.