Schwalbe have thrown their weight behind the 650B movement by launching an expanded of 27.5-inch tyres for 2013.
The German manufacturer dipped a toe into the 650B water with the launch of a 27.5 x 2.25" Racing Ralph tyre in 2008 but the updated range now covers the firm's Nobby Nic, Hans Dampf, Rocket Ron and Rapid Rob tyres as well.
"650B bikes have some technical advantages that make sense," said Schwalbe senior product manager Markus Hachmeyer, citing a more stable ride than a 26-inch machine and improved agility over a 29er.
Meanwhile, the Rocket Ron, already one of the lightest and fastest tyres in the range, has been given a facelift to make it "considerably faster", according to Schwalbe, thanks to a 127-Evo carcass, PaceStar Triple Compound and a revised tread pattern which is said to offer more refined handling due to reinforced shoulder blocks.
The new Rocket Ron will be available from November with retail price expected to be £45 and £50.
Finally, the Hans Dampf tyre is now available in a Super Gravity version which Schwalbe claim is "as light as a freeride tyre and rugged as a downhill tyre". How so? A new carcass was developed using methods borrowed from the motorcycle tyre industry.
Schwalbe set out to make a tyre that is rugged yet light and agile, and achieved this by using a dual casing carcass, as they do on all their downhill tyres, but with individual layers that only overlap at the sidewall rather than having the conventional overlap under the tread. The result is four rugged layers at the side, but only two under the tread
To make the casing cut-resistant Schwalbe's engineers coated the entire carcass with a layer of SnakeSkin; a flexible and tough mesh that they say is extremely cut-resistant without having a negative impact on rolling resistance..
"The new version is ideal for enduro races," said Hachmeyer, who revealed Schwalbe are patenting the Super Gravity construction process.
"The Super Gravity technology combines the best of both worlds. We are absolutely convinced that this technology has a great future and we will continue to build on it."