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The Schwalbe Tacky Chan has a surprise up its sleeve: it’s less draggy and tiring on autumn-winter trail-enduro rides of decent length.
- Brand: Schwalbe
- Product: Tacky Chan
- From: schwalbe.com
- Price: £74.99 (29×2.4in, Super DH casing, Addix Ultra Soft compound)
- Tested by: Benji for 4 months
- Almost mud spike levels of grip
- Confoundingly fast-rolling
- Sheds mud well
- Tyres ain’t cheap
- Not available in sub-DH casings yet
- The name is just… wrong
The Tacky Chan already feels like something of an outlier, even within the Schwalbe family. It doesn’t have an alliterative name (Magic Mary, Nobby Nic etc). And it doesn’t have the same basic knobble array as most modern Schwalbe tyres ie. Wicked WIll, Nobby Nic and Magic Mary tyres all have essentially the same knobble tread pattern, just executed in differing levels of grrr.
The Tacky Chan is very much a whole new thing.
To be honest, I was sort of holding off on reviewing the Tacky Chan until we got hold of less-DH incarnations of it. The Tacky Chan tyres I’ve tested are the Ultra Soft Super DH versions. So yeah, 1.3kg and pretty stiff carcass.
To be even more honest, I was also sort of holding off on reviewing the Tacky Chan because my initial rides were rather… meh. This is not a tyre designed for summer trail bike duties. There’s the Schwalbe Magic Mary and even Nobby Nic for BST biking.
It is only the past few weeks where the Tacky Chan has come into its own. Or revealed itself. And it’s only after back-to-back testing it against other mud/loose conditions that it has made sense. Made sense and deeply impressed.
To cut a long story short, the Tacky Chan is fast mud tyre. It may well be a fast dry-loose-conditions tyre too. I wouldn’t know. I live in the Pennines. We don’t have dry-loose anything.
Compared to established classic mucky rubbers such as the Maxxis Shorty 2, the Michelin Mud, the Specialized Hillbilly and even Schwalbe’s own Dirty Dan, the Tacky Chan is significantly easier on the legs. Despite its weight and its nominal sticky rubber, it zips along amazingly swiftly. You could say that its compound confounds.
I’m not going to try to explain why or how this is. Tyre treads continue to be a total black art of illogicality and contradiction. Looking at the Tacky Chan there’s just no way that it rolls fast is there? But it does. Well, not ‘fast’ compared to a regular all-round trail tyre but way faster than other grippy mud/loose tyres. It rolls pretty much on a par with a similarly Super Soft Schwalbe Magic Mary, for example.
Maybe there’s something about that yawning chasm between the centre tread and the shoulder knobs that helps reduce drag? I have no idea. All I know is that it is bafflingly nippy for such a grippy tyre.
I would however state that I suspect that some of the Tacky Chan’s swift rollingness is purely down to it being slightly undersized. It’s not as gallumping as other brands’ 2.4in models. It consequently feels less squidgy or deformy. Sure, it’s probably less comfy too but I’m not sure there’s a need for comfy when the terrain itself is soft.
This is not to say that it shies away from roots or is jarring on rocky bits. The ramped centre lugs – and the high amount of siping on all the knobbles – does a great job of damping the initial impact of tyre-on-object. Although the Tacky Chan is very edgy-accurate, it can still deal with jittery jarring duties really well.
Schwalbe understandably make a big play of the Tacky Chan being part-designed by Amaury Pierron (who won several World Cups on these tyres) and how their speed can make the difference between 1st place and 1st loser. But the rolling speed of the Tacky Chan has a much more useful side benefit: less draggy and tiring on autumn-winter trail-enduro sorta rides. It no longer feels like “oh, I’ll put mud tyres on and just session the woods because I can’t be doing with pedaling these rubbers around”. With the Tacky Chan up front (and at the back too if need be) the effort of turning the tyres over and over feels pretty much like regular trail tyres but with far more capability.
|Price:||£74.99 (29x2.4in, Super DH, Addix Ultra Soft)|
|Tested:||by Benji for 4 months|