Just imagine being a tire company trying to make an impact in today's market where, if you don't have a Maxxis or Schwalbe hot patch on the sidewall, you're basically invisible to many consumers. Your two options include making a tire that looks a lot like a Minion (shoutout to basically everyone), or you can try to design something unique that hopefully still works well. Tioga has taken the latter route in the past with their wild-looking Psycho Genius tire, but then came the more traditional Glide range that looked a lot like, you guessed it, a Minion.
Hey, there's a reason that so many burly tires are similar: The design is proven to work pretty well.
But with their new Edge 22, Tioga is back to doing things differently. The front-specific Edge is an all-mountain tire that sports a very untraditional central channel due to nearly a complete lack of crown lugs, which Tioga says creates a second cornering edge that's inboard of where we'd usually think cornering lugs belong.
I haven't ridden the Edge 22 (the show is its first public appearance) and all that might sound a bit odd, but there's some theory behind it.
Think of a tire's shape as having a crown (the top), a transition area that may or may not have knobs, and then the cornering lugs on the edges. Now picture the Tioga tire that has the usual cornering lugs to create the bitting edge when you lean into it hard, but there's also a second row of lugs higher up that also have an edge to them... Now you wouldn't have to lean into the tire so hard to access that edge, says Tioga, with the result being, ''jaw-dropping control that redefines the meaning of railing a corner.''
The most obvious question is about rolling speed, as most fast tires sport some kind of central ridge rather than a central trough. I suspect that it being a front tire means this will matter less, but I'll have to spend some time on it before we see if that's true or not. The tire pictured here is still in prototype phase, and Tioga is sussing out some of the details like casing thickness and flat protection, but they're saying that it'll come in somewhere around 900-grams.
Does it work? I don't know yet, but I do know that it's been awhile since we've seen some out-of-the-box thinking in the tire world, so I'm eager to have a go when they're ready this coming spring.