Schwalbe have made picking the right tyre easier with their new Super series of casing identification.
After Schwalbe released their Addix compounds two years ago, they now add five updated carcass constructions. Each casing is dedicated for an intended purpose, for the right mix of strength, support, weight and suppleness. Schwalbe have added some catchy names and a super hero theme: Super Downhill, Super Gravity, Super Trail, Super Ground and Super Race. We're not sure about the video but the concept sounds like a winner.
Why so much change and differentiation? Schwalbe believe (and we agree!) that year on year mountain biking gets more diverse, and the bikes we buy are more specialised for a set task than ever before. Whether that is a light-weight cross country race bike, or a modern trail bike or a downhill sled, with or without a motor.
“Therefore, we have analysed each construction on the basis of its individual scope and spent countless hours of development and tests to optimise them down to the last detail,” says Schwalbe's MTB Product Manager MTB Carl Kämper. “The carcass in combination with the rubber composition and tread determine the characteristics of a tyre, just like the skeleton in humans. One cannot see the construction, but it supports and holds everything together. The carcass has a massive impact on ridability; it defines performance, puncture protection and the weight of a tyre. Therefore, it is extremely important to ride a purpose-built carcass,” says Carl Kämper.
“The best tread and optimal rubber mix don’t bring much, if they sit on the wrong carcass.”
Super Downhill to Super Race
The five names for the new casings make it pretty simple to choose what is right for you, as Carl Kämper explains.
“We regularly come up with innovations which the MTB community rewards with a lot of trust. When talking to cyclists and retailers, we also heard that they do not want to go through the trouble of having to compare detailed specifications such as TPI (thread per inch) counts or carcass fabrics. Instead, they want a self-explanatory system. Now, even novices have access to a quick and easy way to select their carcass – no matter, whether they focus on downhill, trail or racing.”
All the mountain bike tyres of the Evolution Line come in Tubeless Easy.
For the most aggressive riding styles and for riders who won’t shy away from any jump, who will ride the steepest descents, and who will attempt any obstacle.
The Super Downhill is said to provide uncompromising stability and performance, developed for the Downhill World Cup. There are six carcass plies protect the tread area and add stability when running very low tyre pressures. The side walls are protected from cuts and punctures by a combination of four carcass plies and Schwalbe's SnakeSkin fabric layer.
There is also a newly constructed apex that protects from pinch flats and increases side wall stiffness.
Super Gravity tyres suit enduro racing and all-mountain riding. They have an extremely robust construction with four carcass plies as well as the SnakeSkin fabric from bead to bead so protect the tread and sidewalls that are subject to big impacts.
Just like the Downhill version, Schwalbe have a modified apex to protect from pinch flats and ensures side wall stiffness. But by having less overall layers than the Super Downhill casing it remains lighter and more supple.
Perhaps the most versatile casing, Super Trail is said to suit rides ranging from intense all-mountain to trail and enduro. The construction has two carcass plies on the side wall and three plies underneath the tread. This should mean you have a moderate weight tye with low rolling resistance, immense cornering grip and puncture protection.
Schwalbe still add SnakeSkin fabric from bead to bead for puncture protection and an apex for extra protection.
Schwalbe state that the Super Ground casing suits riders on flow trails as well as on long rides. So that's for you if you're not sending it into rock gardens, but want stability and efficiency for big days in the hills.
Three carcass plies underneath the entire tread and SnakeSkin fabric running from bead to bead create a good balance of safety and weight.
Getting the balance of protection and suppleness is a trade off, and the Super Race is said to offer "speed with souplesse" according to Schwalbe. No other disciplines focus so much on rolling resistance and weight as cross country and marathon racing. The Super Race construction is said to roll smoothly and brings lots of traction.
Construction is characterised by a lightweight mix of materials – with two carcass plies and RaceGuard puncture protection underneath the tread as well as three carcass plies on the side wall for protection from cuts and snakebites.
New Nobby Nic and Big Betty
But wait, there's more! While all the Evolution Line tyres get the casing upgrades, there is also a new edition of Nobby Nic and Big Betty. Nobby Nic, the third generation, is a light-weight “all-grounder” and increases performance for its unique scope: Tour, All Mountain, Trail, Down Country, Cross Country.
Schwalbe made a more aggressive tread design with more pronounced and significantly more stable shoulder knobs. The new tread should provide improved performance during acceleration and braking as well as cornering grip.
There will be options with Super Trail construction with Addix Soft and the Super Ground construction with Addix Speedgrip.
For the Big Betty, Schwalbe brought the model back for the fans. But she is back with extra strong shoulder knobs, long, supported braking edges and outstanding self-cleaning properties.
Available as a Super Downhill or Super Gravity construction with Addix UltraSoft or Soft Compound. Downhill World Cup rider Nina Hofmann has tested the prototypes for months and was thrilled: “The extra strong shoulder knobs are very grippy in corners. And the alignment of the center knobs ensures both super easy rolling and, thanks to the extra supported braking edges, maximum braking performance. Big Betty on the rear wheel and Magic Mary on the front is my new downhill combination.“
For availability check with your local Schwalbe dealer, but expect full availability by late spring, with some models landing sooner. If we can source some of the new tyres and casings to test, we'll get right on it! But we think that matching casing types to tyre use makes a huge amount of sense.