The Clément brand, that disappeared from cycling roughly five years ago, is back. Its first tyre to production will be a clincher cyclo-cross tyre for soft soil and muddy conditions called the Crusade PDX.
The new Taiwanese made 32mm tyre has an open tread pattern moulded from 60a durometer rubber, a 128 threads-per-inch (tpi) casing, Kevlar bead and protective belt. It will sell for an estimated $US40-50.
“We’re testing the tyre to refine the mould,” said Donn Kellogg, general manager of Donnelly Sports, the new licensee of the Clément name. “If all goes well, production will begin in April and we’ll have tyres for sale by June.”
BikeRadar’s pre-production sample was small, just 28mm tall and 29.5mm wide, something Kellogg says will be fixed before production. The knobs measured 2.5mm tall and the prototype tyre weighs 330 grams.
Besides the width, Kellogg said the bases of the tread’s lugs would be increased for more support before production begins.
Gustave Adolphe Clément-Bayard founded Clément in 1878 with high-quality bicycles and expanded into tyre manufacturing in 1888.
The modern Clément produced bicycle tyres from the 1950s through the early ’90s and was well known for its handmade racing tubulars during the ’70s and ’80s. The Pirelli group bought the brand in the mid-’80s, moved its production to Thailand, but stopped bicycle tyre production in 1995. Vittoria is the most recent former licensee, though it stopped making tyres with the name four years ago.
Clément resurfaced during last year’s tradeshows under new licensee Donnelly Sports. Until now, the brand was only back in the figurative sense, with a logo, t-shirts and sponsorship of the Kona cyclo-cross team and Amy Dombroski.
Kellogg says a trio of touring tyres will be the next new products to carry the Clément name, which are due out in time for 2010’s tradeshow season.