I’ve been a fan of custom cutting mountain bike tires for many years. The most common benefits offered by cutting tires are lower rolling resistance or opening up the tread to improve grip in loamy or loose over hardpacked trail conditions.
This cut was aimed at improving rolling resistance. The Schwalbe Hans Dampf is a great tire with outstanding grip, but it’s rolling efficiency leaves something to be desired. Since the tire is not directional or front/rear specific, it is a prime candidate to benefit from a custom cut. I wanted to make the tread front specific, so I could afford to sacrifice all of the driving/climbing ability of the tire in order to improve the rolling resistance.
The results of the cut were outstanding. Rolling resistance significantly improved and I noted a decrease in tire vibration as well. Cornering performance did not suffer at all making it a win all the way around. It took about 20 minutes to get the cut done and it is something you can mindlessly do while watching TV or listening to the radio. You might as well do something productive during that time anyway! All you need is a pair of diagonal cutters and you can start experimenting yourself.