Tuesday, December 17, 2013 12.00pm
By Dan Haworth
Those widely-spaced knobs make a fair old buzz when you hit a bit of tarmac, but the Schwalble Dirty Dans aren't actually that draggy for a mud tyre.
The hard-ish PaceStar compound – which puts even firmer, faster rubber in the centre – helps to keep rolling resistance acceptable. Climbing grip is excellent, as is straight line acceleration, braking, and mud clearing.
The softer rubber on the side knobbles combines with double siping (the cuts in the knobbles) for cornering performance that's acceptable if not amazing – PaceStar is the hardest of Schwalbe's compounds, sitting below its grippy TrailStar and super-sticky VertStar concoctions.
The very low weight (470g) is impressive, and it doesn't come via misleading size claims; this is an accurate 2in tyre. As always there's a price to pay for this lack of heft and, predicably, it's with the sidewalls. On these Evolution casings they're just a bit too thin for riders who like low tyre pressures. They soon feel a bit too wibbly and 'balloony' when run soft and ridden hard.
The tread actually does a great job in most conditions and with most riders, but this particular spec is aimed straight at the cross-country end of the spectrum. If you want a tougher, stickier Dirty Dan, go for the 2.35in VertStar or TrailStar compound.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.
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