We’ve been fans of the Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres since they first appeared a couple of years back, so we were excited to try the new, tougher, tubeless-ready Super Gravity version. Schwalbe say it’s as tough as a downhill tyre but weighs about the same as a freeride model, at 980g. Too good to be true? We’ll see.
The Super Gravity technology uses a dual casing, like other DH-specific tyres, but the carcass design has been tweaked and resembles something closer to tyres found in the motorcycle world. The result is a SnakeSkin-covered carcass with tougher, thicker sidewalls to prevent pinch flats, while a slightly thinner, more flexible central treaded area helps lower weight.
The tread pattern and VertStar compound do a great job of keeping the tyres glued to the trail, offering predictable traction on a mixture of surfaces. Although they’re not the fastest rolling tyres, we love them in more muddy conditions, and they still held their own on the super rocky downhill trails of La Fenasosa bike park in Spain.
It was only after some incredibly brutal riding on the roughest track there that we finally picked up a pinch flat when running inner tubes.