In June 2010 the International Cycling Union modified rule 1.3.001, changing the maximum tire size for UCI cyclo-cross competition from 34mm to 33mm. This caught many manufacturers off guard, forcing them to revamp molds and modify tire designs.
Dugast began testing the 33mm size with select riders roughly a year ago and the new casing, which will be available with all of the their tread patterns, is now starting to trickle into the US.
Does the extra 1mm over a 32mm tire offer a real benefit? The extra girth is barely noticeable by eye, but Stu Thorne, the owner of Dugast USA and director of the Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com team, thinks so, especially on sand courses like Koksijde, rough terrain, or even frozen conditions as found earlier this week at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Madison, Wisconsin.
“They just give you that much more float,” Thorne said. “It’s only a millimeter but I think a lot of the top riders will be able to tell the difference.” The new tires are still scarce on this side of the Atlantic. BikeRadar spotted a few in the Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com camp, Rapha-Focus mechanic Tom Hopper said Jeremy Powers has one set of 33mm Rhinos here in Wisconsin, and Jonathan Page had a set of 33mm Typhoons on one of his wheelsets.
“We only have a handful right now,” Thorne told BikeRadar. “For World’s I think we’ll have some different stuff, wider tires; the Pipistrello and Pipisquallo we’d like to have in 33s to float in the sand.” Pricing stays the same as Dugast's 32mm tires, ranging from US$119.99 to $139.99, depending on tread pattern and casing material.
The 33mm tire (left) is noticeably, if ever so slightly, larger than the 32mm version