FIRST LOOK: Dash Cycles Gretchen Clincher Disc
article & images by Nick Salazar
Aug 29, 2016
Dash Cycles has just unveiled a stunning new addition to its lineup of impressive products: a clincher version of its ultralight Gretchen 25 disc. The new Gretchen Clincher, shown here, is also tubeless-compatible, but I will be happy to use a plain old inner tube and Continental GP 4000S II tire. Other than its new clincher construction, standout features include a slightly new profile, and some aesthetic changes.
The new profile starts at 25mm wide at the brake track, increases just slightly to 26mm a few cm down, and then remains at 26mm straight down to the hubs. The disc remains completely uncovered carbon, no clearcoat is applied. Dash has added a small stripe of unidirectional carbon as a distinctive aesthetic feature, to help identify the product as theirs even if it gets debadged later on. Personally, I like this little flourish, it looks great.
Again, the Gretchen Clincher is also tubeless-compatible. While most of the best rolling-resistance tires have been traditional clinchers, there is some interesting development happening in this area, including the launch of the Vittoria Corsa Speed (Open TLR) tire. In a test by Bicycle Rolling Resistance, the Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR handily defeated the previous CRR champs, the Continental GP TT and Specialized Turbo Cotton. For now, I'm sticking with my Continental GP4000S II as an excellent mix of low CRR and high puncture resistance, but these are interesting alternatives to consider.
As usual, Dash keeps the weight to an amazingly-low number of 890g. For reference, that's a whopping THREE HUNDRED GRAMS lighter than Zipp's own Super-9 Carbon Clincher Disc. It even manages to be lighter than a Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher rear wheel, by 10 grams.
Have a look at the gallery below, and get your own Gretchen 25 directly from dashcycles.com. The wheel retails for the same price as its tubular predecessor, $2500 for the wheel. It's definitely expensive, but also in line with the price of other discs on the market.