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Are Rene Herse Extralights supposed to have sidewall pinholes?

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Are Rene Herse Extralights supposed to have sidewall pinholes?

Old 01-18-21, 08:53 PM
  #26  
southpawboston
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Pretty sure I read over the summer a blog post by Jan where he rambled on in defense of his company not having an easy way to call them. It cited covid, working from home, not able to forward calls, yada yada. Basically, accept the poor customer service for a premium product even if competitors have figured out better working options.

Having read countless forum posts(here and elsewhere) as well as actual tire reviews by websites that all complain about RH tires not sealing and having to send em back for warranty, I am convinced that 30% of the reason why RH tires are so expensive is due to warranty processing costs(shipping, inventory loss, etc).
They look cool though.
I just bought a very expensive set of RH cantis and learned only by mounting them that they cannot work properly on my Jeff Lyon. I too discovered that there is no way to contact RH for support without filling out a warranty claim form. Turns out that because I mounted them, I can no longer return them. Not even for a restocking fee. Pfft....

I also have a RH crankset, which had lateral runout that I was not able to remedy by re-seating on the BB tapers or even switching out BBs. I had to physically bend the large ring to correct it. Even the bargain basement swaged crank that came on my Bike Friday Haul-a-day spins without any runout, and not one of my vintage who-knows-where-they've-been eBay TA cranks have noticeable runout.

I like RH/Compass tires and buy them for most of my bikes... I've had good luck in general with them and they do roll smooth and fast... but my experience with their components is that they look better than they function. And you'd better make sure they work with your bike before you remove them from the packaging or you're stuck with them.

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Old 01-18-21, 09:10 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
The first photo in that thread shows the exact problem you are having. It leaks at the seam on a brand new tire. Can't see if it is the whole seam or holes like yours. I just thought what a coincidence that on the same day two people post on two different forums about the same issue on extra lights. The other photo of the sliced tire also happened to me after about 20 km on a new tire. Sucks but that is the price you pay for supple tires. And please don't get me wrong, I love Rene Herse/Grand Bois/Compass tires as I have them on my three bikes and my wife's Rivendell. I am not a fan of how JH runs RH. Other small companies like White Industries or Paul Components have much better customer service than Rene Herse. For this reason I buy most of my tires at I's Cycle (Grand Bois) when I go to Kyoto. I have no doubt Jan will take care of you, it will just take longer than it really has to.
Oh, I see it now; the pic doesn’t display for me because I don’t have a Paceline registration, but I see now the link is there. In any case, yeah, it’s interesting that the OP seems to have experience with the Bon Jon EL, but yet didn’t have the current problems with their previous BJ EL tire(s). They say their tire “split open” and that there was a “telltale air jet no amount of sealant would correct.” Confusing, and quite unclear about what is happening and what the previous experience was like. Is it normal and “telltale” behavior? I can’t tell from their account.

Funny you mention Paul; I’ve got Paul bits on this bike, too!

I agree with your sentiment about “the price you pay for supple tires,” so I’m fine with the process and risks, but just want to understand if the issues are supposed to arise from porous sidewalls, or pinholes at the the mold release seams. In a way, it’s academic since the remedy is the same, but like G.I. Joe said, “knowledge is half the battle.”

I just now received an email reply to that warranty inquiry I made with RH; superquick turnaround! The replay came within 3 hours! It said to add sealant, spread it around well, and go for a ride to confirm it’s holding air, and if not, get back in touch. My message didn’t explicitly ask if the pinholes were normal, but I did reply back asking if they were, so we’ll see what they say.
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Old 01-18-21, 09:15 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jay1680 View Post
Several months ago I posted in this forum a complaint about Rene Herse customer service. At the time I purchased a set of Snoqualmie Pass standard tires (not the extralights). After 4000 km with this tire I am really impressed. I have taken these tires over really rocky gravel road descents. Despite having no tread the tires work fine on all the gravel surfaces I have encountered here in rural Mexico. I just built up a second bike with 43 mm Gravel King SS tires. They seem to be as fast as the RH tires on pavement but are much less supple than the RH tires. I really like riding the RH tires on pavement and gravel. So in spite of their poor customer service ( actually non- existent) I will keep buying their tires. All tires set up tubeless.
Well, RH just got back to me within hours, so maybe they’re getting on top of things! I have standard casing Switchback Hills on another bike and think they’re pretty flam, too. I also have Gravel Kings in 25c and 30c on two other bikes, and while it’d be unfair for me to compare those to the 48c SBHs, I totally agree with you that there is something to the RH tires which is kind of special.
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Old 01-18-21, 09:19 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I like their tires and I have a serious phone phobia, so I guess their customer service model (email) suits me fine.

I've only set up one set of tires tubeless. They are the new 55mm treaded 700C tires (Fleecer Ridge Endurance Plus), and I used their recommended sealant, produced by Panaracer. The tires were a bit of a PITA to mount, but once they did, they have been fine.

I was put off trying any of their other older tires tubeless because the idea of sealant weeping through the sidewalls and coming off rims makes it sound like they weren't originally designed to be tubeless, and they have been labeled tubeless-compatible. Maybe I am being paranoid, but I would rather just stick tubes in them and not deal with the hassle (and set up with tubes, they have been great). I had one tire that developed a split in the sidewall, and they sent me a new tire and asked for the wounded one to examine. It may well have been my fault, but their customer service has been more than I could ask for (and I didn't have to listen to highly-compressed Muzak while I am put on phone hold).
That’s good to hear. I’m also open to running tubes if the Extralight casing is too frustrating to run tubeless. Tubeless is a convenience for me, and if it ain’t convenient, I’ll happily run tubes.
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Old 01-18-21, 09:38 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
So I added sealant, 40ml to start, and besides light leaking through the holes, the sealant seemed to get sucked up by the tire: after a second, I couldn’t hear it sloshing in there, and not all the holes sealed, so I added another 30ml and they seem to have sealed fine.

I gotta get to the studio now, so I’ll check on them later this evening and see what’s happening.
So, with 70 mL of sealant, aren't you almost up to the weight of a latex tube?
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Old 01-18-21, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
So, with 70 mL of sealant, aren't you almost up to the weight of a latex tube?
...And beyond the weight of the same tire with the Standard casing.
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Old 01-18-21, 10:20 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
So, with 70 mL of sealant, aren't you almost up to the weight of a latex tube?
Dunno...maybe, but in any case, a latex tube won’t seal itself and they’re their own special kind of hell to deal with, BTDT. As I said above, if these get to be too much of a pain, I’ll happily run tubes. Probably not latex, though; they’re too fragile in my experience. I haven’t tried those Tubolito things though...
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Old 01-19-21, 07:33 AM
  #33  
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As an update, having added those additional mils of sealant yesterday, the Panaracer SmartSeal stuff, the tires held up pressure overnight just fine and are ready to ride.

I’m still hoping to hear from Herse having asked whether the sidewall pinholes are to be expected, but again, so long as the sealant seals, it’s academic, yet it’s nice to know what is going on and what to expect.
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Old 01-19-21, 08:03 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post

These tires are also as light as anything RH sells in that size.

I have never ridden RH. That ride better be better than God's chariot to justify leaky new tires.
They do ride like God’s chariot, but having actual holes in them is not normal. The sidewalls are little weepy at first but seal up with the right sealant (Orange Seal or Panaracer Sealant that they sell work, Stans supposedly not so good.

Which ramblers are you referring to? I am not aware of any size that comes out lighter than RH Superlights. They get close in the 38-40mm range, but not at all in the 44-45mm range.
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Old 01-19-21, 08:11 AM
  #35  
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While RH Superlights are about the lightest clinchers out there in their sizes (at least for 32mm and above), thats actually not the reason to be running them. Its the ride quality.

Also, i do not find it true that the Superlights don’t last long. They do just fine for a high performance tire. The casing under the tread is actually reasonably thick.
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Old 01-19-21, 08:14 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
...And beyond the weight of the same tire with the Standard casing.
Sure, if you don’t run any sealant in the standard casing.
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Old 01-19-21, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Sure, if you don’t run any sealant in the standard casing.
When I've weighed them the standard BJP comes in at 350g on the nose, and it only needs about a ounce (28g) of sealant, since -- unlike the EL versions -- the standard casing doesn't rely as much on sealant to make the sidewalls less porous. So the weights end up pretty close.

'Course, the ELs still end up being more supple, so it's not all about weight.
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Old 01-22-21, 07:54 PM
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By way of follow-up, having had a few email exchanges with Herse and them offering to swap mine out for a new pair, I’ve decided to stick with the ones I have— which I’ve not ridden yet, but have been holding air just fine— and see how it goes. Without explicitly addressing my question if the holes were normal and to be expected, Herse said that, because the tires are handmade, some variability in sidewall coating thickness is inevitable and that in their experience, once the sealant coats the thin areas, it’s all good. So, for the sake of learning something, I’m going to ride them as soon as I can and see how it goes. I’m sure Herse will honor the replacement offer if I have trouble, so it’s low risk.

The exchanges with Herse were very friendly, they replied in a timely manner, and they offered to replace the tires without any hassle at all, so I’m chalking this up as a satisfying customer service episode.

EDIT: OMG, hahaha! Having posted this, I thought I’d go and actually check-see what the pressure is holding at now, three days on. I put the pump on and the guage read 20psi; undoubtedly low, but perhaps not crazy, I couldn’t remember what the initial pressure was anyway. So I pump the front up to 50psi, and am greeted with hiss from one of those holes and bubbling sealant! A glutton for punishment, I pumped the rear to 55psi (rated max is 60psi) and got leaks from several of the holes. I’m going to get the replacements from Herse, because I don’t see how I can trust these things not to spring leaks when riding on them and they’re faced with all kinds of compression forces. I can only hope the new ones are better.

Last edited by chaadster; 01-22-21 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 01-22-21, 08:50 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
By way of follow-up, having had a few email exchanges with Herse and them offering to swap mine out for a new pair, I’ve decided to stick with the ones I have— which I’ve not ridden yet, but have been holding air just fine— and see how it goes. Without explicitly addressing my question if the holes were normal and to be expected, Herse said that, because the tires are handmade, some variability in sidewall coating thickness is inevitable and that in their experience, once the sealant coats the thin areas, it’s all good. So, for the sake of learning something, I’m going to ride them as soon as I can and see how it goes. I’m sure Herse will honor the replacement offer if I have trouble, so it’s low risk.

The exchanges with Herse were very friendly, they replied in a timely manner, and they offered to replace the tires without any hassle at all, so I’m chalking this up as a satisfying customer service episode.

EDIT: OMG, hahaha! Having posted this, I thought I’d go and actually check-see what the pressure is holding at now, three days on. I put the pump on and the guage read 20psi; undoubtedly low, but perhaps not crazy, I couldn’t remember what the initial pressure was anyway. So I pump the front up to 50psi, and am greeted with hiss from one of those holes and bubbling sealant! A glutton for punishment, I pumped the rear to 55psi (rated max is 60psi) and got leaks from several of the holes. I’m going to get the replacements from Herse, because I don’t see how I can trust these things not to spring leaks when riding on them and they’re faced with all kinds of compression forces. I can only hope the new ones are better.
Man, that is a bummer. Not a good sign that both of them did that. If it was just one I would chalk it up as a fluke, but 2 out of 2? Not good.

Let us know how the replacements do.
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Old 01-22-21, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Man, that is a bummer. Not a good sign that both of them did that. If it was just one I would chalk it up as a fluke, but 2 out of 2? Not good.

Let us know how the replacements do.
Yeah...as I mentioned in the OP, I was expecting to need to give these extra care in setup— and I had a pair of non-airtight IRC Formula tires several years ago which needed the sealant coating— so I was aware and prepared, but this is a unique situation.

It’s frustrating, but way less so given the bike these are on is incomplete, awaiting a few bits to complete the build, so I cannot ride it anyway.

Will do on the report back. Andrew at Herse said he had the tires all set to mail out the other day, and I told him to not bother; he’ll probably think I’m a freak when he sees the email I just sent!
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Old 01-22-21, 11:41 PM
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Have tried about five different sizes in black extralight. Using OrangeSeal Endurance.

I think looking back the earlier ones I tried did have more sidewall pinholes at setup.
For any tubeless tyre, once the sealant is in and shaken around I leave the wheel on its side for a day, then shake around again and flip over / repeat.

Pretty much all of my extralights do start losing air slowly if sitting around for a couple weeks or so. Doesn't bother me.

I have read a suggestion to scrub the inside of any tubeless tyre with a soft wire pad and water to remove any coating. Is supposed to help sealant adhere better.
Haven't tried that yet though.

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Old 01-23-21, 04:51 AM
  #42  
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I have been using a set of Compass /RH non-extralight Snowqualmie Pass tires on and off for years on one of my bikes. I've always used them tubed. I've been surprised at how durable and effective these paper thin tires have been on some pretty rough gravel. I personally have not had any flats with them either, also a pleasant surprise.

RH has always been squirrelly about whether or not their tires can be set up tubeless. Sure, setting RH tire up tubeless may work and the company may tacitly approve tubeless but the company's "tubeless compatible" parsing of words gives me pause. If I set that bike up tubeless for particularly rough stuff, I go with something 100% tubeless ready with additional sealing rubber like Gravelkings or MSOs. It's a small tradeoff in tire suppleness for much more assurance that the tubeless setup will be reliable.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:58 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
Have tried about five different sizes in black extralight. Using OrangeSeal Endurance.

I think looking back the earlier ones I tried did have more sidewall pinholes at setup.
For any tubeless tyre, once the sealant is in and shaken around I leave the wheel on its side for a day, then shake around again and flip over / repeat.

Pretty much all of my extralights do start losing air slowly if sitting around for a couple weeks or so. Doesn't bother me.

I have read a suggestion to scrub the inside of any tubeless tyre with a soft wire pad and water to remove any coating. Is supposed to help sealant adhere better.
Haven't tried that yet though.
Hey, I’m not trying to run a bicycle tire spa over here! Haha! Listen, obviously not all tubeless setups require that kind of fussing and doting, so if Herse do, I just wish they were more clear about it so that folks could understand what it takes to get them set up. However, my direct discussions with Herse make it clear that they think my issues are not how it should be, and they did not specify I should scrub the inside, so I’m taking them at their word on this and will be expecting the warranty replacements to setup properly when installed per their directions, too. If they don’t, well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there, and who knows...I just might resort to pedicures, masks, and colonics to get that vaunted ride of Herse Extralights! 😉
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Old 01-23-21, 08:21 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
I have been using a set of Compass /RH non-extralight Snowqualmie Pass tires on and off for years on one of my bikes. I've always used them tubed. I've been surprised at how durable and effective these paper thin tires have been on some pretty rough gravel. I personally have not had any flats with them either, also a pleasant surprise.

RH has always been squirrelly about whether or not their tires can be set up tubeless. Sure, setting RH tire up tubeless may work and the company may tacitly approve tubeless but the company's "tubeless compatible" parsing of words gives me pause. If I set that bike up tubeless for particularly rough stuff, I go with something 100% tubeless ready with additional sealing rubber like Gravelkings or MSOs. It's a small tradeoff in tire suppleness for much more assurance that the tubeless setup will be reliable.
Yeah, I’m aligned with you there. I mean, I’m willing to give a little extra care to tubeless setup of the EL, which is why I’m not ditching them and seeking a refund, and I can accept that there is some risk in buying them in terms of the vagaries of manual production. I’d have preferred, though, they were more plain and up front about the situation on their site. I get that it'd be hard to say that 1 in 5 tires (or whatever it is) may have fatal tubeless setup flaws, so maybe that means the install should specify a multi-day process, or maybe the tire should simply not be listed as tubeless.

I dunno the answer; I started this thread to collect and share info specifically about the sidewall pinholes. I’ve gotten no affirmation here that the pinholes are normal, and Herse has said merely there is sidewall variability, so perhaps I just got unusually unfortunate. Maybe I got those last two tires at someone’s shift-end who was rushing out the door and didn’t give sufficient care. Who knows?
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Old 01-23-21, 11:21 AM
  #45  
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Yeah, I’ve tried their extralights tubeless and they never sealed even with buckets of sealant. Not worth the trouble tubeless. Had the same pinholes you are describing.

I got endurance casing via warranty and they are not as supple, but they def hold sealant and seem extremely durable.
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Old 01-23-21, 03:27 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by walnutz View Post
Yeah, I’ve tried their extralights tubeless and they never sealed even with buckets of sealant. Not worth the trouble tubeless. Had the same pinholes you are describing.

I got endurance casing via warranty and they are not as supple, but they def hold sealant and seem extremely durable.
Hmm. I’ll probably just run tubes in the ELs if the replacements have the same issues.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:08 PM
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Kapusta
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Huh. I know their previous EL versions had issues with the sidewall just not sealing up, but I thought they got that sorted out. Mine (Barlows that I bought last year) sealed up, though I will say that these tires do lose some pressure after a few days, and need the sealant topped off more than my mtb tires do. Not sure where it goes, because when I took the tires off, there were no big boogers.

I think it is fair to say that although these have a sublime ride, they are a little more work to run tubeless..... but they should be able to seal up. Yours are not normal or OK.
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