30 June 2011 - 23:29One More Four Letterer
It has done nothing but rain here, which is really lame. Our trails need serious time to dry out. We’ve been rained out of our Thursday night shop rides more times than we’ve actually had them. It has been a rough year weather wise for sure, and thankfully I have the road bike to help me when the madness takes over.
Not tonight though! My dancing partner was to be the WFO, which I have named The Honey Badger. I was counting on it’s attitude to get me through the ride unscathed.
The doppler said impending doom, but we were going to try and sneak in a cheeky one at Town Loops anyway. I know I needed a change of location, even 8 miles away was going to be enough, and lets face it, The Loops are fun to ride. We pedaled into the woods under darkening skies in a light mist.
The trail conditions were not great. Variable at best, but as bad as I have ever seen or ridden it. Every rock or root was as slick as a trout (a neat VT saying I overheard today). The thing about the WFO, is that it is a very stiff bike. If one of the ends changes direction, the whole bike changes direction. Speed was not sought on the ride tonight, nice and easy was the tempo
After the last ride I had on it, I determined that leaving the WTB Bronson tires on the bike would be a bad choice, and after a face chat with Mandy about which tire might be good at wet roots, I decided to try the Schwalbe 2.35 Nobby Nic, with the new and improved triple density Pacestar compound. Was it good?
Well, Imma gunna preface this by saying I don’t actually think there is any 29er tire out there that is good at wet roots. So I at least expected them to be bad, and was not dissappointed. Although, I found myself letting air out of the tires during the ride several times, which seemed to help.
Let’s back this thing up a bit. The Nics in 2.35 are pleasantly plump, high volume, round and have a directional tread pattern that is designed to dig in and stay in. My tires were in the 760g range, which puts them firmly in the pocket of a big lightweight tire with actual knobs. It has a pretty aggressive shoulder, but nowhere near that of the overly aggressive Bronson.
I started out the ride with ~28psi, which felt pretty firm to me. After some time on the forest floor, I wished I had the ability to better monitor how much pressure I was letting out during the ride. My gut tells me that these tires would do pretty good ~23 psi for someone my size. My gut normaly tells me good things, like “put bacon in me” or “how ’bout a beer?”. I have learned to trust it.
Back to the question “was it good?”
On anything BUT the wet roots,these tires were nothing short of awesome. Even the slimy rocks. But it was the roots that gave me the most problem. Letting air out of the tires definitely seemed to help. There is so much volume in this tire, that I think with low enough pressures this tire could actually envelope those pesky slick roots and tell them who is the real boss.
They roll surprisingly fast for a tire with such blocky non ramped treads. They excel in loose/mud/soft conditions.
I think I might even go out in the morning and try them out again. I’ll report back with my findings tomorrow. I think this tire has some really good qualities, and I am pretty stoked to learn more about it. Then I will be off for the weekend. And when I come back, I will have more awesome stuff to talk about.