The testing of a single product can be like reading an Agatha Christie murder mystery novel. It might look straightforward at the outset, and thanks to solid detective work in the early rides you get a good idea if the product is a goodie or a baddie, but you’ve got to ride through those early impressions and dig deeper because sometimes things change.
We fitted the Saguaro 29er 2.2in tyres with tubes as we would any non-tubeless-ready tyre. The 690g folding tyre is a full width affair with a set of square-ish shoulders promising predictable cornering, a main tread pattern of small lateral overlapping bars with supporting ties to eliminate squirm and small chamfers to help rolling.
We liked the Saguaro’s strong grip from the get-go – all surfaces wet or dry, grippy or slick were handled with varying degrees of panache, but we never felt the tyre had the acceleration to make it a tyre we’d choose for fast paced rides or racing. It felt a bit dead, certainly more sluggish than its low-profile tread appearance suggested. It was like there was too much grip; we could feel the tread clawing at the hardpack unnecessarily.
Before we gave up and moved on we decided to run it tubeless, even though it’s not Geax’s TNT (Tube No Tube) casing, with a dose of Stan’s fluid. It went up at the first time of asking and has stayed up with minimal air loss ever since. The effect of this simple change on the tyre’s performance is remarkable. The tyre now rolls with speed, accelerates faster and feels more precise. A simple plot twist which proves this baddie is really a goodie.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.