The widely spaced central treads are harder compound 65a rubber to increase durability and reduce rolling resistance. Their wide spacing offers decent levels of grip but, despite the harder compound and ramped lugs, the Ibex isn’t a fast roller.
There are no intermediate lugs, so you transition straight onto the softer 55a compound side lugs – there’s a slight no-man's-land in grip levels between the two sections. If the tire loses traction, the side lugs catch the slide before it gets out of hand. The aggressive box-like side lugs help you hit corners and off camber sections harder than you might.
They need to be mounted on suitably wide rims, otherwise their profile becomes rather ballooned, and the supple 120tpi carcass is prone to rolling.
Given that Onza says that the Ibex is designed for riding anything from enduro to downhill you can forgive its sluggish performance on climbs or the flat. Its forte is certainly on the descents with the impressive grip levels from the open tread design, and where its 941g weight doesn’t matter so much.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.