Hutchinson Cycling Dpt has developed Gridskin – a new tyre reinforcement technology that has the potential to “significantly reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing”.
The brand has continued its 100-year-old tradition of manufacturing in Châlette-sur-Loing, France, obtaining raw materials from European suppliers and collaborating with fabric manufacturers from France and neighbouring countries.
“Even so, tyres account for a sizeable amount of waste from both the cycling industry during production; and by the consumer, once the tyre has reached the end of its lifetime,” said a statement. “Keen to further address sustainability and take greater responsibility for its global footprint as a manufacturer, Hutchinson set up a strategic ‘Green Team’ consisting of senior management, R&D and engineers – all deeply passionate about the environment and the importance that cycling plays in promoting a greener future.” This team of experts was tasked with analysing ‘every detail’ of the current manufacturing process.
Being based on-site at the Hutchinson factory has allowed the Green Team to develop, test and improve multiple possible iterations and manufacturing processes with direct conversation between the lab and the production line.
The outcome of this collaborative task force is Gridskin – a reptile-like knitted mesh construction that provides protective reinforcement designed to “isolate tyre damage and prevent sharp debris progressing deeper, eventually creating larger holes and punctures”. This increases the usable lifetime of the product, said Hutchinson.
Gridskin is also lighter than previous protections (8% lighter vs the Hardskin Touareg model) and is effective at lower tyre pressures. The number of processing steps involved in the manufacture of tyres with this reinforcement reduced from four to one, said the brand. This streamlined processing also reduces the waste generated and the emissions associated with these steps (less plastic, less rubber and less electricity).
Hutchinson has released two limited-edition models – the tubeless Fusion 5 Performance road tyre in 700x28mm and the brand’s flagship tubeless gravel tyre Touareg, in 700x40mm. These limited edition versions have been produced without printed sidewall labels. Special minimalist packaging has been assembled in France, using recycled paper.
Fusion 5 Performance Gridskin 700×28 MSRP: £64.95
Touareg Gridskin 700×40 MSRP: £62.95
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