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review

Ere Research Genus Pro CCX Skinwall

9
£89.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Supreme comfort and feeling of speed, at a price that might make you wince
Supple casing
Easy to fit and inflate
Light
Compatible with hookless rims
Limited size options
Expensive
Weight: 
275g

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The Ere Research Genus Pro CCX has taken some of the best elements from earlier generations of tyre technology and brought things up to date, with a tubeless-ready construction and compatibility with hookless rims. The 320TPI cotton casing is beautifully supple and feels fast, but it don't come cheap.

For more (cheaper) options, check out our guide to the best road bike tyres.

> Buy now: Ere Research Genus Pro CCX for £89.99 from Ere Research

Construction

Cotton has been used as a carcass material in performance road racing tyres for many years, with brands such as A.Dugast and FMB being world renowned and the go-to options for race tyres with a tubular construction. Tubeless setups are largely replacing tubulars in all disciplines except cyclocross; even at WorldTour level, most teams have begun using tubeless setups as they've been found to be faster than tubulars.

Cotton as a tyre material is porous and not airtight, which is an issue when attempting to make it tubeless ready, and one reason why it isn't more commonly used. Here, the inside of the Genus Pro CCX is coated with a thin layer of latex, creating a surface that should prevent it from being porous. Because of the latex, it is vital not to use an ammonia-containing tyre sealant (most sealants, including Ere Proclose, are now ammonia free).

TPI (threads per inch) values of 60-120 are typical for road tyres, although some manufacturers add the values of multiple layers together and give an inflated figure. The greater the number, the more supple the carcass will be, in theory enabling the tyre to deform on surfaces, making the ride more comfortable and, in most cases, faster. Cotton casing tyres can achieve TPIs in excess of 350; the Genus Pro CCX has a 320TPI cotton casing.

It includes a Zylon bead, a material increasingly being used in tyre beads. It has many of the same advantages as Kevlar, but will not stretch over time.

2023 Ere Research Genus Pro CCX tyre - 2.jpg

Ere says the Genus Pro CCX has a 65a durometer rubber compound ("for a perfect mix of performance, comfort and control) that contains CarbonX, nano-sized fibres of which it says improve rolling resistance without sacrificing grip.

Hookless

The Genus Pro CCX is labelled as a hookless tyre; it can be used on any tubeless-compatible rim, but the tyre pressure limits remain the same. The recommended tyre pressures may appear low – a minimum of 58psi (4 bar) and a maximum of 72.5psi (5 bar) – but this is consistent with ERTRO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) norms, which set a blanket maximum pressure for any hookless rim at 72.5psi (5 bar).

Recent testing by multiple brands is showing that lower pressures, within the range recommended, are faster on the road.

The Genus Pro CCX can be run with a tube, although you'd probably only do so in the event of a puncture that requires a tube rather than sealing. If you'd still prefer to run inner tubes, Ere has a non-tubeless version, the Genus Pro CCR.

The tubeless-ready version is available in a 26mm width as well as the 700x28mm I'm reviewing. The claimed weights are 220g and 250g. Our pair weighed 275g and 279g.

Fitting

I fitted the tyres to a set of Ere Genus II AR45 wheels and also tried them on some Cannondale Knot 64s, to check fitment on a different wheelset. It was straightforward for both; they went onto the rim easily, with just the final section requiring a tyre lever.

They inflated quickly using a track pump, and though there was some sealant bubbling through the carcass, it didn't last long. After re-checking the pressure, only a few psi were lost, and throughout the test I didn't see any more sealant leaking through the carcass. I can only assume the sealant was needed to give a completely airtight seal in the carcass.

Ere Research Genus Pro CCX carcass.JPG

The Ere wheels have a 21mm internal diameter, and after inflating the tyres to 60psi they measured 27.6mm, just a little under the stated size.

Performance

The ride quality of the Genus Pro CCX tyres is brilliant – they offer a massive amount of comfort while still providing feedback to your hands. While this may seem contradictory, small surface changes are most noticeable, and equate to feeling more confidence in the tyre's levels of grip. This feedback is their biggest benefit; on descents, to really feel what the tyre is doing can really boost confidence and speed.

2024 Ere Research Genus II CL45 wheels - rim 2

Ere doesn't give any claimed figures on speed or rolling resistance, but there is absolutely no doubt this is a fast tyre. Ere simply says it has 'Very, (very) low rolling resistance'. I haven't found any independent rolling resistance test results for it, but I'd put money on them being among the fastest true road-based tyres you can buy.

As well as good cornering grip, traction is good too, not once slipping when climbing.

I didn't suffer a puncture either, although I did have some concerns, mostly because testing was in winter when road surfaces are typically at their worst, with more grit and thorns present. There is an Armis X Puncture protection layer under the rubber tread section, but no puncture resistance layer in the sidewall.

The rubber tread section itself is also thin, and its lifespan likely to be limited, but this is a race-orientated tyre and not uncommon.

Value

Speed often comes at some cost in cycling, and these tyres certainly tick that box. A pound short of £90 is a lot to spend on a single tyre, but if you want all-out speed – if their rolling resistance stats are close to the Vittoria Corsa Pro TLR, another 320TPI cotton casing tyre – you would save almost 20W against the Continental 4 Season, a popular all-round road tyre.

There are currently only a few tubeless-ready tyres available with a cotton construction, with the nearest in terms of specification being that Vittoria Corsa Pro TLR mentioned above. It has the same 320TPI construction and is the same price. The Vittoria is available in a wider range of widths – 24mm, 30mm and 32mm in addition to 26mm and 28mm. It's also compatible with hookless rims, with the same maximum pressure, or higher pressures for standard tubeless-ready rims.

There's even a limited edition Gold version, if money really is no option, for £299.99 a pair.

Challenge produces the Strada, another handmade option, with a 300TPI casing. Purists might spot that it has a 'SuperPoly' casing, rather than pure cotton. This is a synthetic material, with claims of being stronger than cotton, but faster than nylon-cased tyres. The Strada is tubeless-ready but not suitable for use on hookless rims. It costs a little less, at £75 per tyre. (Liam tested the 25mm version back in 2020 and was very impressed.)

Italian company Veloflex also has several handmade tubeless-ready tyres, the closest model to the Genus Pro CCX being the Corsa EVO TLR, which has a 320TPI cotton casing and Zylon bead. It's available in 25mm, 28mm and 32mm sizes, and is significantly cheaper at £46.

Conclusion

Swapping tyres is perhaps the easiest and most noticeable way to improve performance. The difference between a general, all-around tyre and a race-orientated cotton casing tyre is huge, with the supple casing delivering extra speed and comfort. Ere has taken the technology and brought it up to date, alongside only a few competitors, and the Genus Pro CCX delivers incredible performance with a beautifully smooth and fast ride quality; the only drawback is that it all comes at a substantial price.

Verdict

Supreme comfort and feeling of speed, at a price that might make you wince

road.cc test report

Make and model: Ere Research Genus Pro CCX Skinwall

Size tested: 28mm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

ERE Research says:

The Genus Pro CCX Cotton tyre is a game changer in the tyre industry. Ere Research is one of the first tyre manufacturers that managed to successfully add CarbonX® material to the rubber compound used in our Genus tyre line-up.

With the genus tyre being one of the best performance tyres on the market in terms of overall performance and especially its very high grip levels, it has quickly become the to-go tyre for performance seeking riders.

The CCX tyre has combined the best of all worlds: Very (very!) low rolling resistance, strong grip and high durability.

The Genus tread pattern is designed to offer a smooth roll on the straight lines and plenty grip in corners and turns.

The CCX tyre is compatible with hookless and rims and can be used as a tubeless tyre.

Genus CCX range

We took the original Genus tyre to the next level and have added handmade 320 TPI skin-wall and black versions that come in a clincher, a tubular and a tubeless version, they bring a level of suppleness that makes this tyre pretty much unbeatable when it's you against the elements or other riders in high-speed corners and challenging road surfaces. Extremely low rolling resistance paired with a durable rubber compound with good grip.

Together with our performance wheels are now in the position to offer the best performance out of a tyre-rim-wheel combination, by taking this position we can pursue more innovation for tyres and wheels over the coming years.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Ere Research lists these details:

General

Intended use - High performance competition

Tyre weight - 220 gram - 26C / 250 gram - 28C

Tyre production - Handmade

Rubber compound - CarbonX® / 65a durometer

TPI - 320 TPI

Carcass - Cotton

Type - Foldable clincher tyre

Puncture Protection - ere ArmisX / CarbonX®

Tyre bead - Zylon Bead Cord (ZBC)

Color Available - skinwall

Tyre pressures

28C

Recommended tyre pressure: 4.5 bar / 65 psi

Maximum tyre pressure: 5 bar / 73 psi

Minimum tyre pressure: 4 bar / 58 psi

Tubeless (ready) - Yes

Rim compatibility

28C

Recommended inner rim width: 19C

Minimum inner rim width: 15C

Rim type - Clincher/Hookless

Size - 700C/28"

Size ETRTO - 28-622

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The rubber is perfectly attached to the cotton casing, which isn't always the case with this type of tyre.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

It's very light for a tubeless tyre, and feels fast.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Given how thin the material is there is perhaps less mileage in them than some, but it's too early to say really, and I haven't noticed that they are wearing any more quickly.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

Cotton casing tyres are known for their comfort and it's no different here.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

It's at the pricier end even of top-end race tyres, though it performs brilliantly.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It is designed to be a fast race tyre, and the performance certainly matches that. It rolls well, with a supple construction that also delivers comfort and grip.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The comfort and ride feel.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

In terms of performance, nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

These are top-end race tyres and come with a price to match, but they're not outrageously expensive compared with other high-end tyres.

They are beaten on price by the Challenge Strada Pro, which is available in 27mm and 30mm widths in addition to the 25mm we tested in 2022, and 'only' £75. But Challenge also makes the Criterium RS, which Jamie loved, and that matches the Ere's £90 price tag. And Vittoria's Corsa Pro TLR shares the 320TPI cotton casing construction, is similar on weight (295g), and equal on price.

You can get race-orientated but standard nylon casing options for less, such as the Pirelli P Zero Race TLR for £78.99, and the Schwalbe Pro One for £66.99.

It also looks very expensive compared with the Veloflex Corsa EVO TLR, which has a 320TPI cotton casing and Zylon bead, and costs £46.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? For fast road use at key events where speed is a big factor, it would be among my top choices.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, and in particular for anyone with hookless tubeless rims who is looking for a fast race tyre.

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's excellent. It's designed to be a race tyre, and the performance it has shown is simply brilliant. It feels incredibly quick, and has a supple, comfortable ride with plenty of grip. On top of that, it wasn't hard to fit, and is compatible with hooked, or hookless tubeless rims.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 168  Weight: 61

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding

Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.

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1 comments

Avatar
Miller | 5 months ago
0 likes

Well, a GP5K lists at the same price so other tyres can also make your wallet shudder.

I've used quite a few cotton casing tyres over the years and comfort and road feel is always excellent. Puncture resistance is often not, however. Maybe TLR fixes that.

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