Schwalbe Hans Dampf Evo Trailstar 2.35 review£49.99

Excellent winter mountain bike tyre

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Hans Dampf are the German equivalent of ‘jack of all trades’ but this outstanding tyre has proved it’s a master of most since its introduction last year.

Typically for Schwalbe, it’s a cinch to set up tubeless-ready with a slosh of sealant, and despite a reasonable weight for its listed 2.35in size it actually blows up closer to a 2.5in.

Although we’ve grumbled about the lack of hard-riding survival from Schwalbe’s other tyres, the Hans has proved as tough as nails. Even sets we’ve ragged all year round are still going strong, with whatever surface damage they’ve picked up not propagating into anything worse.

The high-volume Snakeskin carcass is supple enough to remove any wooden rattle on harder surfaces, and it moulds to the ground superbly if you drop pressures right down.

When rocks have allowed we’ve regularly run it below 20psi for ultimate filthy grip without burping or creeping, and at those pressures it’ll perform as well as even the best winter specialists. Add a bit of wind, though, and it’s surprisingly pedal friendly and responsive if you just stick to the stickier Trailstar triple compound on the front and the harder Pacestar triple on the back.

It comes in 650b sizes as well as 26in and 29in options, which is fairly rare among the current crop of winter rubber. Because the tread isn’t directional you can just flip the tyre round when it starts looking worn too, which makes its price less of an issue.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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