I am reading a tire review at http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/road-bike-reviews/schwalbe-lugano-2015 and it says

the Lugano had a gigantic height stroke. Most tires have this, but the Lugano was awful, you will probably notice it on the bike. This is a sign of low-quality control.


quality control seems to be low as the Lugano used for this test came with a severe height stroke. To keep the price low, they probably just don't bin the bad tires.

What is it? This tire is very low-scoring so I think it is bad.

  • 2
    I'm guessing that they mean a radial indentation in the sidewall. Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 1:45
  • 2
    I've tried to contact Jarno Bierman, author of that page, for a definition. See what happens. (EDIT) Got a reply confirming that @ojs answer and carel's comment are correct.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 6:03
  • 3
    I think you mean what is called in German 'Höhenschlag' the rolling surface of the tyre not being a perfect circle but slightly egg-shaped. Poor quality control indeed or poor seating on the rim. But it could also indicate a wheel that is badly out of true.
    – Carel
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 15:32
  • 3
    @Carel I updated my answer from your comment. If you want the points, I'll upvote if you write it as answer.
    – ojs
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 7:28

3 Answers 3


It means height variation, and it is a non-idiomatic translation.

Edit: As pointed out in comments, the translation is from "Höhenschlag", where "höhe" means height and "schlag" translates to blow, slap or stroke. It means specifically bicycle tire or rim that is out of round vertically. Lateral out of round is Seitenschlag.

My original guess: There are many German words that translate into "stroke", and one of them is "Hub". It translates to stroke in the same sense as "stroke" in four-stroke engine. Other possible translations are "travel [of piston etc.]" or "(vertical) lift", and it is used in phrase "Hub- und Senkbewegungen" meaning "up and down movements".

Even though the company behing Bicycle Rolling Resistance is located in Netherlands, the name Jarno Bierman sounds German (well, Jarno is Finnish name but there are people named after motorcyclist Jarno Saarinen all over Europe), and Dutch language is closely related.

  • 2
    Here's the reply from the review's author Jarno Bierman which agrees with you. > "height stroke" is out of roundness. It's a translation from the Dutch word "hoogteslag". The 2015 Lugano review didn't have the spin up video's yet, I think it would have been obvious from the video as the out of roundness was more than 2 mm. Most tires have an out of roundness of less than 0.75 mm.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 12:11

Searched and found nothing.
It seems that even within the Bicycle Rolling Resistance site that is the only article that uses that term.

With only the context of the article to guide - my best guess is that "height stroke" is another way of saying out of round. Poorly made tires may have a high spot even when correctly installed/seated that can be noticed when riding the bike.

Emailing the site might give an authoritative answer.


Never heard it before sorry. To guess, I'd say it would be the outer rolling edge of the tyre (when installed correctly and inflated) that has "runout".

You know how a tyre sits poorly when some part of the bead isn't clicked into the bead-seat on the rim? Well, imagine that but caused by variances in the construction of the tyre, so that the two opposite beads are not exactly parallel around the tyre. That would lead to a sector of the tyre being either closer or further from the wheel's axle than the rest of the tyre.

The comments about "cheap price" and implied generous limits on quality control suggest that these are not expensive nor high-precision tyres. However there are 12 700c tyres on Wiggle that are cheaper than this Schwalbe.

Note it gets 1/5 and no other review has scored so badly on that site.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.