We’ve been running guided mountain bike holidays in the Les Arcs / Tarentaise Valley area of the French Alps since 2008. We’re all about trail / singletrack / enduro / whatever it’s called these days.
Schwalbe reintroduces the Big Betty, revamps the Nobby Nic and introduces an entirely new range of Super casings for 2021.
The pandemic has made keeping products a secret even more difficult than ever before, so while today is the official release of the new Schwalbe range, you will be right in thinking you might have already seen some of these updates. Heck, you might even own them already if you were lucky enough to bag an MY21 bike fitted with them like our Meta AM 29 test bike.
Schwalbe’s launch has been named “The Decade of Super” and the tyre maker has introduced the new range in a couple of virtual “talk shows” complete with comic superheroes to really bang home the point that these new tyres are super. In actual fact, it’s the casings of all Schwalbe tyres that have been bitten by a radioactive spider. For 2021 gone are Downhill and TLE Snakeskin APEX replaced with a new simple naming hierarchy.
Downhill becomes Super Downhill, TLE SnakeSkin APEX is now Super Trail, TLE SnakeSkin is Super Ground, and Super Gravity is, well it stays Super Gravity.
The Super Ground casing is aimed at XC and All-Mountain riders wanting a lightweight tyre with good puncture protection. The construction consists of Schwalbe’s SnakeSkin to protect the sidewalls and tread protection against cuts and slashes on sharp rocks.
What’s in it. The modern, sophisticated construction guarantees riders an optimal combination of protection, lightweight and rolling characteristics. The protective fabric insert, which runs from bead to bead, and three layers of carcass under the entire tread ensure a balance between safety and weight. Tubeless easy.Schwalbe
Super Trail takes the protection game up a notch and is suitable for XC, All-Mountain and Enduro riders. This construction is designed with extra reinforced sidewalls to fight off punctures and dampen impacts.
What’s in it. The construction is designed to combine moderate weight and reduced rolling resistance with high cornering traction and puncture protection. A stable carcass with two layers on the sidewall and three layers under the tread. Fabric layer over the entire tire together with APEX for additional protection. Tubeless easy.Schwalbe
This is the construction choice that more aggressive riders will want to consider. The Super Gravity casing promises a dynamic and stable ride, with heavy-duty sidewalls for additional puncture protection. Super Gravity construction will appear on aggressive enduro and gravity tyres for riders wanting downhill performance but not the weight.
What’s in it. The tread and strong shoulders are protected in this APEX extremely stable construction by four carcass layers in combination with stable fabric layer (bead to bead).Schwalbe
A special APEX layer protects against punctures and increases the lateral stiffness of the tire. Thanks to the turn-up construction, the tire remains unusually flexible for a particularly smooth ride. Tubeless easy.
This is the no-nonsense full-on downhill tyre for riders who demand maximum protection and stability. Super Downhill tyres will weigh more but Schwalbe’s engineers believe that the weight penalty is worth it for the powerful puncture protection and reliability they offer, especially in a race situation.
What’s in it. The most robust and stable (super) construction is double- layered. Six carcass layers protect the tread even at very low air pressures. The side walls are reliably protected against cut and pinch damage by a combination of four carcass layers and a stable fabric layer. A special APEX layer protects against cuts and increases the lateral stiffness of the tire. Due to the very stable folding core, the tires are also Tubeless easy.Schwalbe
At the opposite end of the market, Super Race is the no-holds-barred construction method reserved for the fastest rolling and most lightweight race XC tyres Schwalbe produces. These tyres are designed for riders wanting to smash climbing records and who demand low-rolling resistance and speed. Super Race is also an extremely supple construction which helps to dampen trail chatter and bumps.
What’s in it. The patented turn-up construction is characterized by an exceptionally light and supple material mix. The tread is protected by a light protective insert and two carcass layers. The side walls are protected from cuts and snakebites by three carcass layers. Tubeless Easy.Schwalbe
2021 Schwalbe Nobby Nic
The 2021 updates also see a couple of old favourites reintroduced and revamped. The 3rd generation Nobby Nic will be available in either Super Ground and Super Trail casings, and in either Addix Soft or Addix Speed Grip rubber compounds.
Nobby Nic is a versatile trail designed for all-mountain, trail, down-country, XC and even touring. For this latest update, Schwalbe has worked on ensuring the Nobby Nic is a lightweight tyre, with low-rolling-resistance for quick acceleration and efficiency. The tread is designed with an aggressive, self-cleaning, profile and stable shoulder blocks for grip in corners.
We have also succeeded in significantly improving the function of the new Nobby Nics in adverse conditionsSchwalbe
Schwalbe claims that the new Nobby Nic is more predictable on the trail, and offers great feedback. The updated tread and compound choices have also boosted acceleration, braking and even wet weather performance.
2021 Schwalbe Big Betty
Big Betty is back and she’s now available in either Super Downhill or Super Gravity builds, with a choice of Addix Soft or Addix Ultra Soft rubber compounds. As you can already probably tell, Big Betty is an aggressive gravity tyre for enduro or downhill riders.
The sturdy shoulder blocks give a lot of cornering grip. The arrangement of the centre channels ensure super easy rolling on the one hand and, on the other hand, thanks to the additionally supported brake edges, maximum performance under braking.Nina Hoffman
A tightly spaced central tread design ensures good rolling resistance and features deep ramps for optimal braking performance. Sturdy shoulder blocks give the Big Betty plenty of bite in the corners, and even if the trail is muddy she sheds dirt pretty well.
We have a few of these new Schwalbe tyres in the office to test, and so far Andi has been putting in the miles on the Big Betty on the rear of the 2021 Commencal Meta. We’ll have a review of that bike and the tyre in the coming weeks.
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