Review: Schwalbe Nobby Nic Tires

Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evo Tubeless Ready Tire 2011

The Schwalbe Nobby Nic is a new favorite among our staff.

Overview: Designed to be your go to tire for any situation, the Scwalbe Nobby Nic is a true all-around performer.

Price: $64.99-71.99

It is commonly known that if something is a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ it must be a master of none. On the contrary, we mountain bikers look for products that are designed to tackle everything, from steep technical climbs to descents scattered with rock gardens and twisty single-track. Not only do we expect our gear to be tough and responsive, we have come to demand it.

Nearly every bike manufacturer offers a steed that is presented to the ever growing ‘all mountain’ market. It is easy to find a frame, fork or handlebar designed for this type of riding. What is tough to find are tires that provide enough traction to keep your rear wheel from slipping during climbs in addition to deflecting sharp rocks when it’s time to get medieval on the way down. Schwalbe comes to the rescue with the Nobby Nic, a tire that is remarkably light, extremely tough, tacky and durable.

My mission was to put these tires to grueling tests of epic rides through a variety of terrain. My first ride on the tires was exceptional. I set out on my favorite local trail here in the hills of  San Luis Obispo and set a new time record on both the climb and descent. The Nic gave me constant traction on the way up and gave me added confidence when the terrain got nasty on the way down.


The U structure of the Nobby Nic.

Schwalbe calls the Nobby Nic an ‘all grounder’ tire, which rang true when my rides turned muddy, sandy, rocky, loamy or dusty. The knobs are spaced perfectly adding to its traction by deflecting mud and tearing away at the trail. The ‘phase shifted blocks’ evenly space the tread for excellent grip and eliminate tire vibration. You will notice the tread creates a ‘U’ structure. This U block pattern angles the outside knobs 20 degrees to mold over the trail surface which comes in handy when the corners are sharp.

My initial perception of the tires being too tough to roll was destroyed by the Pacestar compound specific to the Nics. Pacestar rubber compound keeps the knobs agile to grip and move fast over a variety of terrain. These tires deserve to be on your bike, continually keeping you locked to the trail with the durability to last all season long. Besides, why would you want to buy a tire designed for one season when you can have a set that keeps you rolling ride after ride?

My only negative remark about the Nic is that it lacks traction in tight turns. Compared to a WTB Weirwolf that grabs even the loosest berms, the Nic tends to loose traction in these instances. Granted, this is the performance characteristic the Weirwolf is designed for, while the Nic is an all grounder tire capable of any terrain. At a killer 250 grams lighter than a 2.3 Weirwolf AM TCS, the Nobby Nic is just as durable, leaving the competition lagging behind on those long, grueling climbs.

Bottom Line: The Schwalbe Nobby Nic is a killer tire designed to keep you rolling strong and efficiently to destroy any trail that lies in front of you.