Amidst the tangled web of wheel and tire sizes having flooded mountain biking in recent years, Schwalbe has moved to simplify the process of finding the appropriate tire for your riding style, with the goal of simultaneously providing an unparalleled performance advantage. Do you throw a leg over the ol' shred sled three or for times a month on relatively mellow terrain? Or perhaps you’re an aspiring World Cup racer?
Regardless, all of your favorite Schwalbe tires are now available in the German brand’s new Addix rubber compounds, which come in four versions specifically developed for cross-country racing, general trail riding, enduro racing and competitive downhill.
This simplifies selecting the appropriate tire from what was previously a dizzying array of casing and compound configurations. Additionally, Schwalbe claims to have lassoed the mountain-bike-tire unicorn by simultaneously improving grip, rolling resistance, durability and damping across all tire genres--giddyup!
What is Addix?
Schwalbe says the Addix rubber compounds utilize a state-of-the-art mixing technology not generally seen in bike tire manufacturing, which ultimately creates entirely new formulas fine-tuned to meet the demands of each discipline and simplifying the tire selection process along the way.
The four Addix categories are: Speed, Speedgrip, Soft and Ultrasoft. A colored stripe on the tread and sidewall hotpatch indicate which Addix compound is featured.
The Speed category features a red stripe which indicates to endurance racers this is a tire likely to meet their performance demands. The new classification also excludes irrelevant casing options, allowing riders of this type to focus on the tread patterns offered featuring the red Speed stripe. Speed category tires replace Schwalbe's prior PaceStar offerings with, Schwalbe claims, faster rolling and a considerably longer tread wear.
Unless you're lucky enough to live at the base of a lift-access bike park, you probably do the majority of your riding on a trail. Schwalbe's SpeedGrip category was developed with versatility in mind and is meant to have the widest range of application in their line. Designed for everything from cross-country riding to mid-travel all-mountain shredding, Schwalbe says SpeedGrip is 62 percent more durable than the old PaceStar tires, while also raising the bar on traction by 35 percent.
Aggressive riders, from weekend warriors to enduro and downhill-oriented shredders, have long sought tacky rubber compounds for premium traction in loose, rocky and wet conditions. Traditionally, tires of softer rubber compounds have worn out quickly. Schwalbe promises that the tires in the Soft category are specifically designed for fast rolling characteristics, damping qualities for maximum grip on varying terrain and in wet conditions, as well as longer tread life.
When fractions of a second separate heroes from also-rans, competitive riders spare no expense to have the ultimate advantage against the clock. These are the riders Schwalbe's new UltraSoft compound Addix tires are designed for. UltraSoft was engineered to have maximum damping qualities on challenging terrain, plus be much faster rolling than other super-soft compounds currently available. In Schwalbe's words, "The new compound with maximum damping is perfect for hardcore use in enduro and downhill." Riders in chilly climates will appreciate the UltraSoft line has been developed to maintain performance quality in cold weather conditions.
Addix tires are currently available in U.S., and I recently spent a day riding the new 2.6-inch Nobby Nic 29er Plus size tire on the dynamic and challenging terrain of Santa Barbara, California.
Addix tires are currently available in U.S. More at schwalbe.com