Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Unicorn Has Landed - the Rock n' Road Tire is Back!

From the depths of the NAHBS show came a ray of light from a far flung corner - and then I yelled at the idiot that opened the side door. Didn't he know that most frame builder's are light sensitive? Like Vampires? The NAHBS show represented a bit of a relaunch party for BG Cycles, as we have a couple of good things headed your way. Some of you have been asking about these things for years, and we finally got around to listening to your pleas...

The Rock n' Road Tire is Back in Production

After years of being locked away in a dusty corner of the shop, we have decided to bring back the original Rock n' Road tire - along with a host of improvements. Don't know about the original? Well, a quick trip down memory lane:
The original tire was designed by this mountain bike guy named Joe Murray (you might have heard of him). It was designed to be a large volume, fast rolling tire that could handle all conditions - jack of all trades master of none. That's not the most interesting part. What made is tire unique (and of the reason it wasn't as popular as it should have been) is that it was built for 700c wheels. That's right, this was a  29er tire before 29ers became all the rage. How early? Try 1988...
Few imported bikes from that era would fit such a wide tire do to import duty issues. While that sounds ridiculous, it made sense to some as the only other bikes that could fit such a big tire were Dutch bikes. The logic was simple: to protect a US manufacturing segment from overseas competition (or just a company that started with an "S" and ended with an "N"), create a import tax (based on certain dimensional criteria) so high that it prevents the import of a competing product (before their production was sent to the far east...but that's another post).
While we're excited the tire is back, we made some improvements along the way. Most notably:
  • It's bigger! The new tire measures out at a nice 43mm ( or 1.72" for the Imperial folks).
  • It's lighter! The new tire is over 100g less per tire. While I'm no gram counter, that's a lot.
  • It's higher quality! This new batch was built by Panaracer's Japan plant. It has a nice kevlar folding bead and a classic gumwall.
  • It's more affordable than you think! We will announce pricing when the tire lands, but in the meantime, head over to and sign up for our newsletter (sign up is at the bottom of each page). There will be an early bird special of sorts, but that's the only place it will be announced.

More Lugged and Fillet Brazed Frames

Ed Litton and I had so much fun building lugged and fillet brazed frames for the show that we decided to keep on doing it. But we're doing it with a little bit of a twist. Between the two of us, we have a little rat's nest of classic building materials - Cinelli lugsets from the 60's and 70's as well as out of production tubesets that would make any classic cyclist drool with envy. If you really want a classic lugged bike we can do those - in the proper classic materials. Not too many builders can make that claim.

Cyclocross Magazine and Wired Like Us

Hard to believe, but both Cyclocross Mag and Wired think we're pretty cool.  So cool in fact that there might be a follow-up that includes our new tire and a pretty red cross bike. But that's all we can say for now. Thank you for being patient - now enjoy the new tire pics:


  1. Please please PLEASE tell me its tubeless compatible!?! Impossible to find tubeless tires in this size range!

  2. Japanese built? That means it'll fit flawlessly and last until the cows come home. I've used Japanese tires (usually sourced from Rivendell) forever and they are, simply put, the best available!

  3. They weren't produced on a tubeless carcass for this run - we were shooting for the best consumer pricepoint/quality this time around. If there is enough demand, anything is possible.

  4. I had rode 6 set of rock and road tyres 15 +years ago on my crossbike. This is one of the best off road tyres for 700c. Excellent on wet and fast on dry. I am interested to get few new ones.

  5. +1 for a tubeless casing/bead. I might grab a set & try it anyway. This is the ideal size for my gravel rides!

  6. OK, went ahead and set one up tubeless on a Stan's Arch rim - no issues with the setup, bead seated reasonably well and the sidewalls didn't leak. MAN does this tire roll well! Eats up the gravel miles and corners predictably too. Very pleased with the Rock n Road!

  7. Stupendous blog you guys have provided there, I will absolutely valuate your effort.

  8. Good to see this blog and I wish all the best to Rock n' Road Tire to back in production, the tires they made are appropriate in any condition.
    snow tyres


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