Hutchinson Introduces Skeleton Racing Lab XC Tires

Jul 15, 2019
by Hutchinson  
New Skeleton Racing Lab tan walls

Press Release: Hutchinson Tires

Develop. Test. Improve. Repeat. This is the philosophy behind our new Racing Lab range. After a great debut on the gravity segment with the Griffus Racing Lab, we're expanding our Made in France range developed thanks to a close collaboration with its athletes, with a new XC offering. Revised and optimised, the new Skeleton Racing Lab will be available for sale from July 11, 2019, with three variations. On the menu: new Race Ripost XC tri-compound, new reinforced version and new colour.

The Racing Lab Range Grows With an XC Offering

Initially developed to meet a demand from our international XC champions (including David Valero's MMR Factory Racing Team), the new version of the Skeleton Racing Lab has been revised and optimised to integrate our Made in France performance range. By enriching the Racing Lab range, we wish to highlight our know-how, built in particular thanks to the collaboration between the R&D department based directly on the French manufacturing site and all of its professional riders. This proximity makes it possible to take athletes' feedback into account in order to integrate them into the product development process through numerous tests and prototypes.

New Skeleton Racing Lab

An ultra-light and rolling tire; that was the initial demand of the athletes. Designed in 2.15 width, the Skeleton is willingly larger (53mm) than the other XC models in the range, with a shape made for modern XC racing. It’s designed to deliver the perfect ride at low pressures, and it uses our best XC casings. It provides excellent rolling and distortion performances to support the most technical riders and respect the new requirements of cross-country races. Front or rear mounted, the Skeleton will be indispensable on dry or mixed terrains.

From the profile design, a spinal column can be seen, giving the tyre its name. All the different knobs are articulated around this and link together to ensure permanent contact with the ground and harmony in the tyre’s construction.
Hardskin reinforcement and RRXC compound

Regarding the compound, the Skeleton uses the Race Ripost XC concept, consisting of three compounds and dedicated to pure performance. Race Ripost XC is dedicated to pure rolling performance. Tightly bonded to the casing, it is hard in the central section to ensure fast rolling, comfort and flexibility on both sides to provide grip and deformation.

The Skeleton Racing Lab will be available in 29 x 2.15 and will be available in three new versions:

A "black wall" version, focused on lightness and speed, a notable asset for speed enthusiasts during XC competitions.

New Skeleton Racing Lab Hardskin

A version reinforced with a Hardskin textile grid from bead to bead, positioned on the 66TPI casing. This reinforced model has been developed to meet a rather typical demand for XC marathon, ready to face long distances safely. It's a perfect compromise for races like the Transvesubian for example.

Hardskin grid reinforcement

A "tan wall" version, which in addition to its appealing colour also brings additional comfort. Indeed, the technical process which makes it possible to obtain the "tan" colour also contributes to increased flexibility due to the mixture not containing carbon black. Thus, the casing deforms even better than the black version. This may remind some of the behavior and comfort of tubulars. In order to make the most of all its benefits, the brand advises monitoring tyre pressure. Given its flexibility, it is possible that 0.1 bar more than for the "black" version results in better ride sensations.

New Skeleton Racing Lab tan walls

Races already won with the Skeleton Racing Lab :

- David VALERO - MMR Factory Racing (Champion of Spain 2018, Winner of Andalucia Bike Race 2019, Winner of Mediterranean Epic 2019) - Natalia FISCHER (Champion of Asturias Bike Race)

- Joshua DUBAU - SUNN Factory XC (Champion of Europe U23 2018, Champion of France U23 - 2018, 2nd overall XC World Cup U23 2018 )

- Sébastien CARABIN - Merida Wallonie MTB team (currently 3rd in UCI marathon ranking) – Alice PIRARD (Champion of Belgium marathon 2019, 2018 )

For more information:

Author Info:
hutchinson-cycling avatar

Member since Feb 14, 2019
12 articles

  • 26 0
 Maybe I should start selling my totally spent tires to XC racers.
  • 1 0
 Thought the same thing
  • 13 2
 Slicks on the front, for when a fully extended post is hitting your ass on the descents is not sketchy enough
  • 2 0
 Seen a Furious Fred or Maxxlite? XC tires get skimpy my dude.
  • 2 0
 Watch them race.
  • 7 0
 I have been running the Hutchinson Skeleton RR XC this year, got mine in April, so I think this might not be accurate. I am surprised that they didn't talk about how lightweight these tires are.... Switching from a Maxxis "XC" tire will save you at least HALF A POUND of the most important rotational mass. These work amazing on hardpack, even with a little dust on top. I usually run a Hutchinson Gila up front, but when it is super hot & dry, I run them front and rear. I reeeeaallly wish that I didn't have a torn muscle in my forearm, because I would be riding them sooooo much m0ar Frown
  • 2 1
 That's nice. Now, how about the manufacturers making some 750g or at least sub 800g 2.35-2.4's with decent knobs on them. Ha! Not everyone needs DD casings or wants to carry an extra lb or two on their wheels.
  • 2 0
 Schwalbe Nobby Nic wants a word with you.
  • 2 1
 @sherbet: haha! I should have been more clear. Tires that actually hold a line when it gets soft. I have two in the garage basically new, that need to go.
  • 1 0
 Hans Dampf 11601104 are listed at 795g. Tho they may not be 'willingly larger' or 'a perfect compromise for races like the Transvesubian.' Knobs are heavy. You're asking for a lot.
  • 1 1
 @gmoss: totally agree. NN are only good on the straight and level. Off camber nightmares!
  • 2 0
 I've been searching for this tyre and the best I've found is the Michelin Wild AM...and after that Bonty XR4. Both are probably bang on 800g or a touch over. Used a 2.35 Nic on the front before the Wild AM and had to totally readjust my riding style to something that actually bit and carved its way around corners rather than understeering and constantly hunting around for grip.
  • 2 0
 Vittoria Peyote's are that and are 750g for the 29x2.35
  • 2 0
 @slimjim1: You're describing my experience too!
I now have an XR4 on the front (2.4" about 800 grams) and a Michelin Force AM (not wild) on rear at 2.35" under 800 grams.
Awesome combo and can actually perform in more all-around conditions.

This coming from a 2.35 NN in the fron that kept washing out.
  • 2 0
 @mountainbikerfisher: That's a nice setup for a trail bike. The XR4 has a nice volume and supple ride to it, decent grip as well. The Wild AM is a bit smaller and stiffer, tends to 'ping' off stuff a bit more, but it does corner a bit harder...

I've found the Force AM and Force XC to be two of the most reliable sub 800/700 gram tyres I've ever run on the rear (the XC version wears quickly in dry rocky terrain though, the side knobs become useless after 300km or so). Currently experimenting with a 2.35 Mezcal on the rear and it is FAST and the tread is lasting very nicely but its not as robust or grippy as the Force AM (have punctured it twice - fixed with plugs).
  • 1 0
 @slimjim1: Nice, I've always wanted to try a Mezcal on the rear as well, glad its working out for you.
I've become a fan of Michelin tires after years on Maxxis and Schwalbe. Vitorria looks great as well.
  • 3 0
 2.15 seems a bit old school to me. I think a lot of XC racers are going wider these days.
  • 1 0
 For the tread design 2.15 is ok imo. I would only use these on smooth single track, which you don't need 2.2s or 2.3s.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: I must admit I don’t change tyres for different courses (Rocket Ron / Racing Ralph 2.25) - except if it’s very muddy.
  • 7 4
 1998 called: they want their tires back.
  • 2 0
 Hard Skin - is it a skinhead revival band?
  • 1 0
 that would be ForeSkin
  • 3 0
 That's gravel AF
  • 2 1
 I have never tried a Hutchinson tire on the dirt.
  • 5 1
 I have not used anything else for 20 years now.... I try as many tires as I possibly can, and I always toss everything else, nothing has the same level of quality, maybe the new Vittoria's might, but I haven't tried them yet. Do yourself a favour, and try them... The Gila is a great all-rounder, the TORO is beyond burly and grippy, and the Squale is super aggro Big Grin . I wish there was a XC version of the DZO DH mud spike, I loooooovvved them in the snow & mud
  • 1 1
 Plenty of marketing jargon selling these tires. I thought XC racers were obsessed with weight.

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