Wednesday, March 16, 2011 10.00am
By Justin Loretz, What Mountain Bike
It seems like many riders are looking for that one bike setup, a hardtail or full-suspension bike that can get by on most off-road situations. This desire extends to the components ﬁtted to these bikes and nowhere does this present a battleﬁeld of choices and compromises than tyres.
Halo have been knocking out tyres for a decade and while many are dirt jump or street speciﬁc, there have been glimpses of what they're capable of when they set out to make a proper off-road tyre. One such example is the updated Choir Master Race we’ve been running this winter, which gets back to basics – in a good way.
The Choir Master’s design remit is to be a wide, medium-volume all-rounder in a 2.35in width. Being Halo, they offer the lightweight (for its width) 640g tyre in standard full black or with the ‘new retro skinwall’ that we tested. There are no cutting-edge modernisms here like being tubeless or even tubeless-ready, but you’re not paying for those technological advances.
Older versions of the Choir Master had chunky, clunky treads with all the rolling ﬁnesse of house bricks, but in making these Race versions someone who actually rides (quickly) got their hands on the tread moulds. The new Race still has nice, wide mud (and snow) dispersing tread blocks, but they’ve been given chamfered leading edges to make them ‘patter’ less when going fast on hard ground.
Crank up the cadence and the Choir Master clears its throat and really sings along the trail. It feels like our favourite pair of 1.9in summer tyres, but with added comfort and rim protection. Carving and climbing abilities are both good, though not the absolute best in class. For the money you really can’t complain.
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