SDW Tyre Experts
Riding the SDW in a day – first week of August so should be dry, and I’m considering tyre choice.
I’ve ridden it before in a day on Ardent Race 27.5 three years ago.
This time I’m on a 29er Scott Spark 900RC and would like some informed opinions please.
Currently I have Barzo / Mezcal 2.25 combo on the bike and in the shed I have Rekon Race 2.35 – which is likely to be the better choice for the single day ride in terms of rolling resistance / weight / durability?
Or would I be better off getting Ardent Race 2.2?
I’m 80kg, 53 years old and no racing snake so need the marginal gains.Posted 1 year ago
I did it on WTB Trail Boss / Riddler, I currently have Barzo / Mezcal TNT’s fitted and would be more than happy using them.Posted 1 year ago
Not the ardent race- that’s the slowest of the bunch imo. Either as you are or switch if you want. Nothing wrong with the barzo / mezcal combo.Posted 1 year ago
Mezcals all round for me – they are tough n fast. I’ve still not broken one on the downs.Posted 1 year ago
Thanks chaps – think I might just replace the Barzo with a Mezcal.Posted 1 year ago
Yeah tough carcass, fast rolling tread.
It’s the sharp flints that get you. Make no mistake – that’s different to “riding rocks” elsewhere and some manufacturers have protection in the right place, some don’t.Posted 1 year ago
I did it in a day on 2x Mezcal. Fast rolling, grippy enough and the sidewalls are nice and strong. Probably fatal last words but I’ve never had an issue with Vitoria tyres on the South Downs but pretty much every Schwalbe, Conti or WTB tyre I’ve used has ended up with sidewall damage from flint.Posted 1 year ago
I’ve ridden specialized butchers and (more suitable) slaughters for a few years now without issue.Posted 1 year ago
Decided on a pair of mezcals for my new wheels, no regrets so far. I have one with the old g+ carcass and one on the rear with the newer carcass. Not sure what it’s called.
Guys I ride with use a variety of tyres- Rekon race, butchers, slaughters, Nobby NICs, mezcals. All work, no real issues with any of them. Rarely see a problem, and that’s thousands of sdw riding miles per year.
Thanks again chaps, will either get another Mezcal for the front or just run the Mezcal / Barzo set I have – thinking about it the extra front grip might be handy from the Barzo and they still run fast?Posted 1 year ago
I don’t see why you’d bother switching the Barzo, unless it’s worn out.
I assume tnt casing?Posted 1 year ago
Yes Barzo in great condition.Posted 1 year ago
Digging up this old thread as I am curious to see whether the barzo/mezcal combo worked for you @four I am struggling to find a decent set of fast rolling tyres that have decent enough protection for the South Downs. Tried out some of the Hutchinson Krakens with the hardskin – roll fast and the sidewalls are pretty tough, but got a few holes in the tread after first couple of rides and needed to plug one last night – for 4 weeks use, the rear in particular, looks like a pin cushion already!Posted 2 weeks ago
My lad rides Barzo/mezcal on the downs and that is a great combo. No issues w punctures or flints
I ride Spesh Ground Control (F) and Fast Trak (R) and that is another great combo. Tubeless and no issues w punctures etc
Both combos provide plenty of grip for current conditions, wouldn’t want anything heavier duty for SDW in a day really.
A mate tried Schwalbe RaRa and RoRo recently and he struggled with whichever one he was running on the back.Posted 2 weeks ago
Do not know about the mezcals use both barzos which are great tyres on Ridgeway not ridden SDW in years so long ago was using Smoke lites.Posted 2 weeks ago
Got them from SJS Cycles – listed as in stock
Vittoria Mezcal III Tyre – 29 x 2.10 Inch 52-622
Vittoria Barzo Tyre – 29 x 2.10 Inch 52-622
Skinny for extra speed. Not sure which casing they are – suspect the harder-wearing trail casing
Posted 2 weeks ago
@sotonkona cheese was the adjective my mate used about the Schwalbes.
I’ve done lots of SDW and recently did KAW and I’m running mezcal mezcal and both TNT and have had no issues at all since I put them on .. runs to touch large wooden desk to appease puncture gods 🙂
If, big IF, you get good weather you will fly along and should it shower or even chuck it down mezcals will keep you safe.
Got caught in a torrential hail storm ten days ago on SDW and Ridgeway and survived – even on the wet chalk!
JamesPosted 2 weeks ago
Thanks @fatbikeandcoffee that’s good to know – think TNT might be the best option then.
I got caught in the torrential rain last night up there, was lots of fun on the chalk with the Hutchinson Krakens, it was like ice!! 🙂Posted 2 weeks ago
I’ve done a winter on a Barzo front and Mezcal rear, sliptastic! But there are better winter combos, but I think we have a habit to over tyre when we possibly don’t need to. MY winter last year was Dissector x 2 and that worked well.
I think wet and green chalk is the slippiest surface known to man and think it would make a good replacement for ceramic bearings LOL
Good luck on the ride, its a cracker.
JamesPosted 2 weeks ago
Yeah, it really is @fatbikeandcoffee – I had a comedy accident last winter where the front wheel just disappeared beneath me (Schwalbe related!) on that green chalk, I couldn’t unclip fast enough but luckily fell into a hedge, a soft-ish landing, except for all the brambles!
Thanks James, I’m really looking forward to the ride, have done most sections before, just never all together in one day. I’m just hoping to mitigate any annoying tyre issues and get the bike as light and fast rolling as poss now!Posted 2 weeks ago
I’m planning on riding it with a Forekaster & DHF. Not sure if the Forekaster will be tough enough. It’s EXO. I’m not heavy. What do you think?Posted 2 weeks ago
Suspect the Forekaster will be tough enough. Are that and the DHF not pretty draggy tho? I’d be after something a bit quicker.Posted 2 weeks ago
Yeah, I think the Forecaster and DHF, whilst good tyres, might be a slog on some of those climbsPosted 2 weeks ago
Hoe about ikons front and rear? Or ikon rear, something else on the front?Posted 2 weeks ago
It’s been fairly soggy last few days around Chichester so might be a little exciting in the wooded bits….. but should dry up fast I reckon. I might head up around Cocking area tonight for a look.Posted 2 weeks ago
Well I did the ride and got a puncture (it sealed with a plug) TBH I’m not impressed with the Mezcal – maybe they just don’t suit me.
My choice is a return to Maxxis in whatever flavour suits you and the conditions.Posted 2 weeks ago
Thanks for the update @four – was that the Mezcal with the TNT bead too?Posted 2 weeks ago
what sort of punctures do folks get on the sdw? I don’t think I’ve ever had a serious one up there (and ride a fair amount in the area) – I’m using some old wormdrives at the moment and they’re pretty skinny as tyres go!Posted 2 weeks ago
Pinch flats used to be a thing when I used tubes. But now it’s thorns (which the sealant handles well) and the main offender – sharp bits of stone/flint that you can’t really avoid. They made a massive gash in the sidewall of an Onza Ibex a couple of years back and destroyed an Ardent EXO on my older 26er. Ran some heavier and slower rolling Pirelli Scorpion Trail S tyres (with the Pro Wall) over the winter, didn’t get a single issue in 2000 miles of riding up there. They’re not great on dry trails though and the compound is pretty hard so it’s tough going on the hands/wrists. I wanted something faster rolling but with a similar level of protection – although I feel that magic tyre doesn’t necessarily exist!!Posted 2 weeks ago
I did it last week with 2.35 Barzo front and rear. If you check Rolling Resistance it has got a good rating, slightly worse than Mezcal, and also good puncture protection. I wouldn’t put on a Recon Race, I have one and it feels so flimsy in comparison to the Barzo; I would fear sharp flint slicing. Grip-wise you’ll be fine…if it is wet then nothing will grip anyway!Posted 2 weeks ago
I’m not saying that in the 36 years I’ve been riding on the SDW I’ve never damaged a single tyre, not once. I’m definitely not saying that.if anyone thinks I did then they are wrong.
Being sub 60kg and a devout coward would have helped if it had actually happened but as we all know I never said itPosted 2 weeks ago
In the last 18 months having gone tubeless, I haven’t had a single puncture……Posted 2 weeks ago
(prays to puncture gods) but my front and rear both have a number of thorns that i can’t be bothered to remove.
Prior to that, with tubes, it was usually pinch flats, and once had a gashed tyre on the flints dropping down to Whitewool Farm that needed a gel wrapper to get to our B&B where Mrs Epic had a spare in the boot.
Oddest one was my lad who punctured with a Dark Star lapel pin embedded in his rear tyre – no idea how that happened. Summer raves no doubt (?) …..
@Mjsmke It’ll be a no to ikons for SDW. I’ve had a set on my lightweight xc bike and they’re cut to ribbons. Got sealant coming out in 3 places. They’re holding for now, but as soon as they fail it’ll be back to mezcal/barzo combo.Posted 2 weeks ago
I’d need 27.5. Doesn’t look like many options out there from Vittoria.Posted 2 weeks ago
When I ride longer rides I like to run my suspension a touch softer and my tyres harder to avoid punctures, run fast yet still feel comfy.
I rode the Cairngorm Loop 300 a couple of years ago on Maxxis Highroller 2 front and Ardent rear. Not particularly fast rolling tyres. And they were fine.
You’ll be fine with the tyres you have. Have fun. And remember it’s the stops that ruin your average speed so if you want to do it in a good time then try to minimise your stops. Of course if you’re not that fussed about time, have the odd ice cream and shandy 👌Posted 2 weeks ago
I live local to the Winchester end and rode it today. I’ve got my summer tyres on (29er hard tail), Forekaster up front with a crossmark 2 on the back.
A very fast combo for the downs but to be fair, I’m not getting much lean angle in my turns!Posted 2 weeks ago
Also if you are wanting marginal gains, I’d also recommend you wear a Lycra jersey and shorts.
I’m really liking my inboard mini bar ends on my XC bike. They offer a different hand position and allow you to get more aero on the bike.
Something like this:
Posted 2 weeks ago
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