2010 Nobby Nic 26” - King of the Dirt

Written by Sean Clancy
Created Date: Wednesday, 15 September 2010 22:58

The Schwalbe Nobby Nic mountain bike tire has been a top seller in the European market for years, but relatively new to the US market. For 2010 the company has re-designed their “top of the line” tire with several improvements while continuing their use of their proprietary super sticky Triple Nano compound,in time for a re-launch in the US market.

As far as technical upgrades, the most striking is a new varied block and unidirectional-position tread pattern designed to reduce rolling resistance by 15%, but also improve grip, durability, mud-shedding and braking. While durability has been increased, weight has actually decreased by 30 grams down to a reasonable 540-570g/tire in size 2.25. What is remarkable about this weight reduction is that the casing has actually been improved as sidewalls are now rubberized for added protection against dreaded sidewall-tears (that are far too common in some high-performance tires in the sub 540 gram range). One sidewall tear in an endurance mountain bike race quickly erases any performance advantage gained from saving 20g/tire.

While test-riding the Nobby Nics in the Breckenridge 100 mountain bike race this year (26” x 2.25 on a Turner Flux), the tires made it through one of the hardest 100 mile mountain bike race in the USA without a single flat and the Triple-Compound rubber worked as advertised, hooking up nicely. In fact, after the first 220 miles of riding rocky and often technical terrain in the Boulder and Breckenridge, Colorado areas, the tires have not yet flatted and the tread appears as good as new. For a 180lb rider who often rides with a full10-20 pound hydration backpack, that is remarkable.

In summary, for 2010 the high-end Nobby Nic tires are a bit lighter with improved sidewalls, have lower rolling resistance, improved mud-shedding knob pattern, and still are as sticky as ever. If you are looking for true “top of the line” racing equipment for endurance mountain bike racing tires, you will be hard pressed to find a tire equal to the Schwalbe Nobby Nic.