Schwalbe’s new Nobby Nic looks chunky and grips accordingly but it’s got a really surprising turn of speed in the rough or on the smooth. It’s tough, light and easy to set up tubeless too, leaving price as the only significant obstacle.
Schwalbe’s Evolution Snakeskin carcass has always been a very light, supple yet scuff-tough base for its tyres and now it comes in this Double Defense version with an extra anti-puncture layer under the tread. Add the new even easier seal of the Tubeless Easy design and you’re well protected from most tyre threats for a very small weight penalty.
There are two different compounds available – softer, grippier TrailStar and middling hard PaceStar. They work really well as a front and rear wheel combo if you don’t want to run a Racing Ralph semi-slick on the back.
The tread and TrailStar rubber mix deliver good mechanical grip and easy clearing for muddy conditions, and they even hook up predictably at all angles in typically treacherous wet woods situations. Dry and loose traction levels are good too so you can push the pace whatever the weather or geology.
Where the Nic really shines is its stand-out fast-rolling speed for such a surefooted tyre, with a really efficient, ego-boosting velocity on road or off piste. It’s also available in 2.8 or 3.0 plus sizes – but bear in mind that whatever the volume, you’re paying a premium price for the privilege.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.