Ultremo Rs bulging where they shouldn't?… Step away from the bike!

Schwalbe have found a manufacturing defect that they say affects a small number of their Ulremo R tyres which may start to bulge oddly with potentially catastrophic results if ridden with the fault.

The company has issued a defect notice (reproduced below) as a result. Speaking to road.cc Fishers, Schwalbe's UK distributor stressed that this IS NOT a general recall of all Ultremo Rs only those which show signs of the defect. If you have a dodgy tyre you will know it soon enough – Schwalbe say the defect is likely to become apparent very quickly when in use.

If you are running Ultremo Rs and they start to bulge oddly the advice is to remove them from your bike immediately (hopefully you would anyway) and Schwalbe will supply a free replacement. Not to do so, in the words of the Defect Notice, could lead to a “failure” with potentially catastrophic consequences.

The defect notice is reproduced in full below but the gist is that Schwalbe says a small number of their range-topping road tyres “have not been sufficiently rubberised in the carcass layer” the upshot being that may wear through very quickly as the carcass layer chafes away. If that happens you should stop riding your bike immediately. If the fault occurs when you are riding and you really have to continue you should let some of the pressure out of the affected tyre and proceed slowly “under no circumstances continue at speed” warns the defect notice.

As we've said we're pretty sure that any road.cc user whose tyre started to bulge like this would take them off immediately and seek a refund or replacement straight away. Luckily Schwalbe are taking the hassle out of the process by offering a free replacement.

To get your free replacement take a picture of the faulty tyre and of the production code on the inside of the tyre and send them to: ultremo [at] schwalbe.com along with your name and address and they will despatch a free replacement. The notice doesn't say what you should do if the tyre has already experienced a “failure', but we're guessing the procedure remains pretty much the same – unless of course you or the bike have incurred any damage.

At 180g the Ultremo R is, says Schwalbe, the lightest professional racing tyre available it is also claimed to have 10 per cent lower rolling resistance, although it isn't clear from the Schwalbe website whether this is compared to the Ultremo DD or other lightweight tyres. The radially constructed tyre also includes a puncture protection system that uses small ceramic particles as part of its defences. When working as it should the Ultremo R is certainly a very pleasant tyre to ride.

Defect notice ULTREMO R

WARNING: Schwalbe ULTREMO R tyres that exhibit bulging should be removed from use immediately. Free of charge replacements will be supplied.

Regrettably some ULTREMO R racing cycle tyres have been supplied into the market that may suffer failure during use due to a mistake in the manufacturing process, as the effected tyres’ carcass layer have not been sufficiently rubberised. In the few tyres concerned, after only a short time in use, the fault becomes clearly visible shown by a bulge due to the carcass layers becoming disconnected.

In no case should ULTREMO R tyres that exhibit this phenomenon continue to be used. Replace the tyres immediately!

Danger: Not doing so may lead to a failure, as the carcass layer can chafe through consequently causing the inner tube to burst. If you notice the phenomenon while riding, under no circumstances continue at speed. It is suggested that the air pressure is reduced to the minimum recommended while riding at low speed and with great care.

If you have been effected by the ULTREMO R fault we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

We offer a straightforward replacement service: Send a photo of the ULTREMO R showing the defect phenomenon as well as a photo of the production code that is to be found on the inside of the tyre to this special email address: ultremo [at] schwalbe.com. A replacement will be despatched immediately.

If you have any questions please contact our Customer Service personnel:
Tel. +49 (0) 22 65 – 1 09 29

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.