29" Rubber Grouptest
Disappointed that this group test came out just after I spent weeks agonising over this subject, but glad I didn’t wait because it didn’t really come up with the winner.
Surely what everyone wants is a light-weight, fast-rolling but grippy, hard-wearing, tubeless-ready, reasonably-priced, readily-available, not too skinny, easy to fit tyre for their 29er? Why wasn’t that the objective of the test? If you’ve bought a 29er, you’re probably not looking for a downhill weight tyre, or a semi-slick hybrid tyre.
The Racing Ralph should have been just the ticket, but in normal ‘woodland’ use it tears like a tissue and leaves holes too big for Stan’s to seal. Surprised that didn’t come up in extensive testing.
Not included in the test was the Specialized S-Works 2bliss Captain or Ground Control that I am trying out at the moment. They fitted easily and sealed straight away. They have only had half a dozen rides so far, with no problems in the wet, etc., but by that time I had had three unsealable punctures in the Schwalbes on exactly the same terrain. My only criticism so far is that the Captain only measured 1.8 when it was inflated, and consequently got put on the back instead of the front, but that hasn’t caused a problem (plus I thought I couldn’t really send it back once it was filled it with sealant).
Can’t understand why such good all-rounders weren’t included in the test when such obscure and big heavy old monsters were.Posted 5 years agojimjamMember
I haven’t seen the group test you are referring to but I am assuming 880 grams was for a UST trye?
I’m sure you realise 880 grams isn’t downhill weight for a 26″ tyre much less a 29er. 880 Grams is about the normal weight for a middle of the road 2.25 26″ tyre. I think my single ply 2.5 high roller weighs about that.Posted 5 years agojezanduMemberYoKaiserSubscriber
I thought the test was pretty good, covered a wide spread of tyres. You say ‘surely we are all looking for…..’ but I wouldn’t say so, the diversity of 29ers now available mean were looking for loads more specificity from tyres. Would the carbon Niner rider be looking for the same as the Yelli Scream owner? It wasn’t a comprehensive test of every tyre available but it did educate to an extent in what you can expect and you can vary your choice to suit.Posted 5 years agoahwilesSubscriber
i was wondering about 29″ tyres…
and then i got an email from on-one; 2x folding smorgasboards for £30.
they’re round, black, averagely* knobbly, and averagely* wide.
they even inflated ghetto tubeless with no sealant, and no more faff than any other tubeless setup.
(*based on my 25ish years experience looking at mtb tyres)Posted 5 years ago
All good points well made.
I guess the plus side is the test has shown me what not to buy (for a carbon hard tail). Leaving aside the 950g Kenda which is obviously intended to be a burly old beast, nearly all of the others were not tubeless-ready, let alone UST. Ironically the light-weight Ralph was.
I like the idea of the Maxxis, but they still sound heavy for something that isn’t tubeless, and they seem relatively expensive too. I’d like a group test to be a comprehensive list of the best available, but it sounds like this was a report on what they each happened to have ridden recently.Posted 5 years agoyesiamtomMember
WTF are you doing to your ralphs to puncture them so easy? I ran one on a weeks holiday in yorkshire and use it for racing with a nobby nic on the front. For general riding though I don’t know why you’d look elsewhere than a nobby nic…unless you’re a fair weather rider of course.Posted 5 years ago
WTF are you doing to your ralphs to puncture them so easy? I ran one on a weeks holiday in yorkshire and use it for racing with a nobby nic on the front. For general riding though I don’t know why you’d look elsewhere than a nobby nic…unless you’re a fair weather rider of course.
Agree with RR bit. But NN no good in winter slop for me.Posted 5 years agohonourablegeorgeMember
yesiamtom – Member
WTF are you doing to your ralphs to puncture them so easy?
This comes up time and again on here – people buy the really light, thin-walled Schwalbes and complain that they’r really light and thin walled.
Meanwhile. the snakeskin ones are excellent.Posted 5 years agopedalheadSubscriber
+1 for Snakeskin Ralphs. I originally used the thinwall one & hated it’s fragility so much I set fire to it in my back garden, which did make me feel a lot better. Reluctantly I later tried the Snakeskin version and discovered it was a completely different proposition, & it’s now my default all-year-round tyre (I’m too lazy to switch tyres in the winter).Posted 5 years agobikebouyMember
I use (tubeless)
Specialized S-Works 2bliss Captain or Ground Control
too and on Stans. So far.. having only riden them twice so hardly a recomendation I’ve found them grippy and cope well with the mixed woods/forest S’Downs trails I ride.
Don’t normally bother reading tests, but this one I might.
RR & NN’s never crossed my mind when choosing tyres, always been a fanbouy of Spec’s stuff.
I was told by my LBS when fitting the tyres (I was away with work before you lot call me a fanny) and turning tubeless that the tyres took a while to seal, about an hour on the rear by all accounts, in fact he said cheaper tyres seal much quicker..
I’ll let you know how I get on with this weekends two solid days riding ahead..
WoofekinhooPosted 5 years agowobbliscottMember
I run Rapid Rob snakeskin 29ers, which as far as I can tell are identical to RR’s, and they have proved to be tough as old boots on knarly roots and rocks. I’ve just invested in a Hans Dampf and Nobby Nick Evo’s to run front and rear respectively over the winter. They’ve just arrived so not on yet. That combo has been recommended to me by a few people and seem to be quite popular on forums such as this. The only downside so far seems to be the price. £90 for bike tires! I’ve spent less on car tires. I wouldn’t normally spend that much, but I had a voucher. I was considering Specialized Purgatory’s before I got the voucher. We’ll see how I get on, but I’m not after something that will grip like a train in all conditions.Posted 5 years agojamesoSubscriber
I’ve not needed more than 2 sizes of Ardent (UST 2.25 and EXO 2.4) and the Purgatory 2.2 2bliss so far for everything. As for weight, 850g or so is average for these and seems ok to me, I picked up some of those thinner / lighter Schwalbes and thought they felt too flimsy, didn’t want to chance it.
Rubber Queen 2.2 BC is the only one left on the try-out list but since for dry trails the Ardents are great, Purgatorys work so well in looser or wet conditions and sometimes I like a 2.25 Ardent on the back and the Purg on the front for tail-slidey riding, so I’ve not bothered yet.Posted 5 years agomick_rSubscriber
I also thought the 29er tyre test was a bit lacking…..
They tested two Panaracer tyres – one was a semi slick and one was for hardpack. How useful is that for a UK magazine in October?
I’ve been running 29er Panaracer Rampage 2.35 front and rear for 18 months. Would have been nice to learn how they compared to the opposition.
They are a bit draggy but as a true all round non-race tyre they have been great – grippy, robust, big volume, don’t clog, not superlight but also not overly heavy. I began using them with the Schwalbe ultralight tubes on Crests (thinking I’d swap to tubeless once tubes trashed) but never bothered converting – just 2 punctures (pinches) in all this time 🙂Posted 5 years agosingletrackjennMember
Thanks for your thoughts, folks.
We wanted to include Specialized in this test, so asked several times if they would send us some tyres. They didn’t send any. That’s why none were tested.
As the responses above clearly illustrate, there is no one right tyre which does every job for every rider. It simply doesn’t exist, because we all want different things. Hence the test’s conclusion, which offered some suggested pairings for more specific purposes.
While you may not have encountered the need for particularly burly or suicidally slick rubber in your own personal travels, there are all sorts of riders out there doing all sorts of riding on their 29ers, on all sorts of terrain. Variety is the spice of life and all that. Long may it continue 🙂Posted 5 years ago
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