Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres £42

Capable and versatile rubber

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

The new Nobby Nic hooks up in almost all kinds of dirt, flicks most of it off – even the evil clag – yet thanks to some clever engineering actually weighs about 30g less than last year’s model.

To the untrained eye, however, there’s little difference between the old Nobby and this 2010 version. Subtleties like the re-angling of tread blocks and tweaking of block positions relative to one another may be hard to detect individually, but during our back-to-back trail testing against the ’09 version they came together to make an already good tyre a great one.

The 2010 Nobby Nic has increased climbing grip, better transition to edge when you lean it into turns and more usable feedback across the board. We felt more confident to explore the limits of traction on our bikes with the new Nobby fitted than we did running the old one.

Available in sizes from 2.1-2.4in and several sidewall options (including tubeless), we tested the mid-size Evo 2.25in tyre. At 540g (down from 570g in ’09) it is very light for a fully treaded go-anywhere tyre, and is similar in weight to semi-slicks from other brands.

Some of the performance must be attributed to the Schwalbe Triple Nano compound which, while not the stickiest or the hardest wearing, does strike a good balance between the two camps.

The Nobby’s new lightweight construction also allows trail riders access to cross-country race weight tyres, saving weight at the outer edge where it really counts without sacrificing grip or footprint.

With the new Nobby Nic installed you’ll immediately notice how easily the wheels spin up and also the ease with which you can change direction – just flick the bar and they’re making the turn. A great if slightly expensive all-round option.

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