Tires are a frequent topic of conversation on KYR, but today’s spotlighted rubber is noticeably different than anything else on the market. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or replacing your first pair of skidded-through 20″s, there are plenty of variants that need to be taken into consideration when picking your poison – width, tread depth, pressure rating… and for some riders, colors and how much the squeak are the primary selling points. But for GT, they’ve added a new element to the game, and that element is a secret layer of color hidden below the surface of their new Shred & Shed treads.
Before we delve into the technical aspects of the S&S tire, let’s get the cosmetics out of the way; the S&S tire is a variant of GT’s preexisting Pool tire, which itself is a revamp of one of their most popular tires of the 80’s. The S&S tire harkens back to GT’s neon past by layering a thin black rubber surface over a bright yellow version of the Pool tire, which is designed to wear away as you ride, exposing the bright color underneath as time passes. Stylistically, this is a great option for the rider that wants some added color to their ride but wants to be a little more subtle/creative about. The construction of the S&S tire is designed to accommodate street riders, with a 2.3″ width, micro-knurled tread and a grind-friendly sidewall. What some riders may be surprised by is the pressure rating – these tires are rated at a max of 60psi, which doesn’t seem like much compared to others out there, but like every previously discussed aspect, there’s a reason for that. With so many street riders these days running lower tire pressure, including team members like Brian Kachinsky and Albert Mercado, the S&S uses a lower TPI rating (60TPI), which softens the tire by adding more rubber to the internal construction. The tradeoff is a lower pressure rating and a little more weight added, but if you’re looking for the extra cushion on those flat landings or need more grip on those sketchy backwards rollouts, the tradeoff is worth the performance.
GT’s Shred & Shed tires are available now wherever GT BMX products are sold. The last benefit of a lower TPI rating? Lower cost! These tires should only set you back around $24.99, which makes a fresh pair more affordable than many of GT’s competitors; plus, it’s not like you can only run one of these without your bike looking all lopsided. For more info on GT’s products, point your browser to GTBicycles.com, and follow the team on Instagram @gtbmxfreestyle.