The Rampage is probably the most effective and useful mountain bike tyre you’ve never heard of. It’s a lot like the Kenda Nevegal, with a row of twin tread blocks with chamfered leading edges offering an outstanding blend of low rolling resistance, grip and mud clearing ability.
While the Nevegal may get the glory, the Panaracer Rampage can and does beat it in some areas. The ZSG Active compound used on the new 680g SC model is getting perilously close to a perfect blend of being sticky enough to grip in places where you wouldn’t think it could, and having a reasonable wear rate so your investment isn’t being visibly eroded.
We ﬁtted our test pair to a 6in travel trail bike and went looking for trouble. It didn’t take long to ﬁnd it – not with the tyres but with our nerve. The tyre loved any and all contact with the wet bedrock slabs on a wet lap at Afan Forest in Wales, allowing us to brake later and harder than we thought possible – even heading into some of the tight downhill switchbacks where you normally have to keep the bike upright as you slow it.
With the 2.35in wide rubber ﬁtted we were able to brake and lean simultaneously, with a sense that under no circumstances was the tyre going to skitter or slide out from under us. If you like to brake late and blast it on the trail, then ﬁt a couple of the Panaracer Rampage SCs on your trail bike and just get on with the pedalling.
The lighter but less sticky Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evo just pips the Rampage for acceleration and outright cross-country speed, but for steady riding on harder, rockier mixed terrain and absolute stability in turns both wet and dry, the Panaracer Rampage SC is the tyre we’ll be reaching for.