Schwalbe Nobby Nic TL Ready Snakeskin Tire - 26in $82.00
The Schwalbe Nobby Nic TL Ready Snakeskin is an ideal tire for rough conditions -- wet or dry. It uses Schwalbe's Pacestar Triple Compound rubber to optimize the tire's performance wherever possible with regards to grip, durability, and rolling resistance. The knobby tread of the Nobby Nic provides excellent traction in all conditions. Its cornering is outstanding thanks in part to the soft rubber compound and to the U-shaped shoulder blocks. They're angled 20 degrees or so towards the outside of the tire, with siping that doesn't quite divide the block, creating the "U". These siped U-Blocks can deform easily and mold over the trail surface, working to counteract the lateral forces when you're cornering hard.
It also has what Schwalbe calls, "phase shifted blocks". The simple explanation is that the tread blocks across the casing are not all in an even spacing pattern. Instead, the lateral clusters of blocks alternate from more closely spaced to more widely spaced. What they found was an oscillation that developed within the old version of this tire at certain speeds. This latest version uses the phase shifted blocks to eliminate the dissonant vibration and this decreases the rolling resistance by 15%.
The tire is designed to be tubeless ready (TL), which means you can say goodbye to pinch flats. A tubeless system allows you to run less air pressure, again enhancing the grip of the tire's tread. Better traction, less vibration, and no flats lead to a great ride. It's necessary to use a liquid sealant within the tire to get an initial seal against the rim. The sealant will also work to seal thorn or debris punctures as you ride. The Snakeskin protection is a layer of abrasion resistant fabric mesh that's embedded into the outer layer of the casing on the sidewall. It adds yet another facet of durability, making these tires prime for tough terrain.
The Schwalbe Nobby Nic TL Ready Snakeskin is available in 26 x 2.25 and 2.4 widths.
What community has to say
Premium, Predictable Rubber
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I used this tire exclusively for years. In fact, I even bought extras like they were going out of style. A new bike pushed me towards some other tires, which I had a love-hate relationship with. After some time off the Nobby Nics, I got some miles on an unfamiliar demo bike that had them mounted up. The bike felt foreign, but the handling did not and I remembered exactly why I absolutely love(d) these tires for years.
The Nobby Nic offers nearly everything you could want in a tire; Extremely lightweight, Tubeless ready, Supersonic speed, Superb grip, Predictability, Justifiable durability.
Aside from weight which I will touch on later, the most dramatic differences I noticed with this tire was how predictable and secure the grip was while they just seemed to keep rolling down the trail effortlessly. Rear break away was predictable and kept confidence elevated when pushing the limits on your favorite trail.
Tread wear seems to be a hot topic between internet forums with these tires, but I had great treadwear and easily got over 750 miles with both the front/rear on my sets. Side knobs tended to degrade from below the top of the knob, but still griped well and I did not notice any decrease in performance. Compared to my experience with Conti X-King Protection tires, these tires outlasted several of those tires. Schwalbe's Snakeskin sidewall protection is the only way to go in my opinion for extra insurance without much of a weight penalty. Only issues that came up were a puncture here or two in the tread, but based on the performance and light weight I think it was reasonable.