For 2017 Schwalbe did not release a new, world-conquering tread pattern — instead the German brand reformulated the rubber compounds that make up its mountain bike tires. Four new Addix compounds cover the gamut from cross-country speed to full-on downhill durability.
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Schwalbe invested $1.5 million in new machinery claimed to be the most advanced and provide the most precise mixing process in the bicycle tire industry. With technology typically used only for automotive tires, Schwalbe's new hardware allows it to precisely control all the variables of rubber making, including speed and temperature, whereas most bike tire makers simply control just time, Schwalbe claims.
Four new Addix compounds make up the Schwalbe line of mountain bike tires:
Addix Speed is for cross-country racing, and Schwalbe says it's the fastest-rolling compound the company has ever created. Tires using this compound include Rocket Ron, Racing Ralph, Thunder Burt and Furious Fred.
The Addix Speedgrip compound falls in the all mountain/trail category. Speedgrip replaces the Pacestar compound, and can found on Magic Mary, Hans Dampf, Rock Razor, Fat Albert, Nobby Nic, Rocket Ron, Racing Ralph, Dirty Dan XC and Jumbo Jim tires.
The Addix Soft compound is for enduro and downhill tires, and replaces Schwalbe's Trailstar compound. In addition to claiming decreased rolling resistance and improved cold weather performance, durability is reported to have been improved by 50%. Tires featuring the Soft compound include Magic Mary, Hans Dampf, Rock Razor and Fat Albert front.
Addix Ultra Soft is a super tacky rubber compound that takes over the Vertstar spot. This gravity-focused compound is said to be ideal as a front tire for enduro and as a front and rear for downhill.