“The Tioga Binary is a combination tread tire (smooth center with knobby sides) that doesn’t have the typical “combi-tread” look. A common perception of tires that combine a smooth center with knobby sides for multi-surface use, intended as having the best of both worlds, is usually that they end up not being so good at either application. We aim to chip away at this bias with the Binary. The Binary’s uniqueness lies in the two rows of elongated ridge tread positioned between its smooth center portion and knobby sides. These seemingly innocuous ridges indeed provide two functional features that set the Binary apart.” – Tioga
- On-road, they act as intermediate tread when cornering; and
- Off-road, the elongated ridges turn into treads that stabilizes the tire, especially on looser terrains, going more precisely where it’s pointed.
“Combination treads” in conventional layouts (smooth central portion flanked by full-sized side knobs) has a common concern when riding on road/sealed surfaces: when leaning more aggressively into a corner, there’s increased chance of washing out (often result of abrupt change from rolling on smoother center tread to suddenly the knobby sides hitting the surface as lean angles increases). The elongated ridges applied in the intermediate zone of the Binary addresses this issue as they serve to bridge the abruptness between the two distinct zones. As lean angles increases, shifting from rolling on the smoother center to the sides, the inside edge of the elongated ridge tread kicks in and engages with the road to provide cornering traction (while preventing the abrupt change to the knobby sides).
“When the terrain gets looser and with more irregularities, the elongated ridges’ function shifts from bridging (the abrupt center and knobby sides) to stabilizer as they assist in keeping the tread going more precisely where its pointed. The ridges (for visualization purposes, think rudders on loose terrain) help to minimize the tread from sliding around on looser terrains, thereby stabilizing the tread and enabling the tread to better go where it’s pointed.”
“Oh, a quick word about air pressure. I’m likely rephrasing something you know very well, but as with all tires intended for multi-surface use, adjusting and experimenting with air pressures magnifies its effectiveness. On road (sealed surfaces), the tire performs better with higher pressures; off-road, letting some air out to allow more tread conformity will enhance ride quality–and those magic numbers differ from rider to rider. We don’t expect all riders to constantly adjust pressures, even keeping it at constant pressure the features described above are still functional, but for prolonged riding on any one surface or for optimal performance, it pays to adjust pressures accordingly.”
“The Binary will be available in March, in tubed version. Tubeless-ready version is planned but won’t be available until next season. What we are bringing to the table now is a unique tread concept that, according to our testing (and of course don’t take our word for it as you’ll judge for yourself), rolls very efficiently on-road, with an extra cornering edge for additional traction at higher lean angles to minimize washing out when cornering on road or hard-packed dirt.
Off-road, on loose dirt/soil, soft to moderate gravel, the Binary hooks up surprisingly well (doesn’t look like they would), and goes where its pointed with minimal slippage. The Binary shines on sealed road to moderate rough gravels (rougher off-road stuff calls for knobbier tires).”
With an MSRP of US$35 (with folding bead), it’s an excellent value for those that ride with tubes.