From initial design stages, it takes approximately one year for a tire to be ready to hit the dealership. Within that process, tire companies keep a strong relationship with their sponsored racers to build the best tires for the brand.
Many people would assume that racers are a marketing campaign for a brand, but at CST Tires, racers are an integral part of the tire making process to deliver a race proven product.
“We encourage our sponsored racers to give us feedback throughout the entire design process,” said Chris Meyer, CST’s marketing coordinator. “Their feedback is the most important because they have a fine-tuned knowledge of what they need to win and what works best with the bikes that they ride.”
Racers also give input on what’s missing in the market, which helps research and development look into new products, new rubber compounds and new tread patterns.
“Their industry expertise helps our engineers formulate the best possible tire for not only their ride, but for our customers,” Meyer said.
R&D and engineers take the feedback from testing and apply it to a new prototype. Once a prototype tire is built, it goes through several design iterations that are tested in rigorous conditions for reliability, performance and rider confidence.
“When we test tires, we aren’t testing the average course with the average rider. We have elite level athletes who test the boundaries of our tires for quality. We have to think outside of the box,” Meyer said. “The feedback is more than ‘it feels good,’ one-and-done design. We identify what worked and what didn’t work; from the shape of the tire, to the materials and the tread pattern. When we learn that something didn’t work, it gives us an avenue to improve the product to make it the best it could possibly be.”
Meyer continued, “We invest in our riders because they’re investing in our company through their talent. Our racers work with us to design tires and their expertise is extremely valuable to us and the products that we produce.”
This article was sponsored by CST Tires. For more information, please visit CSTTires.com.