Strengths: Fantastic grip in every condition I have ridden. Improved cornering, braking and overall traction/confidence compared to the many other 29er tubless tires I have tried.
Weaknesses: None thus far. Some would say price, but I pick them up cheap (on-line) and buy two sets. Weight is very good given the improved overall grip/traction and confidence.
Note that this review is based 2.35's front/rear on my Rigid Single Speed(s) over NorCal trails (rocky, hardpack, loose over hard, gravel, loamy) 29er tires I have owned (tubeless, w/Stans): Slant Six 2.2, Maxxis Ikon EXO 2.25, Specialized Ground Control 2bliss 2.3/2.1 combo, Michelin Wild Griper2 2.25 and Racing Ralph 2.35/2.25 combo.
For the last two years, Racing Ralphs were my tire. Light, durable enough and fast, but also fast wearing. Eventually I tired of sliding out on loose turns (or having to slow substantially) etc. I wanted more grip and was willing to sacrifice a few grams to get it. Enter the Nobby Nics. I put these on my heavier SS (Niner SIR 9 w/Steel from fork) and these tires have been such a noticeable improvement over the RaRa's on every trail I have ridden. I can climb better (important on a SS), corner much faster, and braking traction is fantastic. I still have RaRa's on my lighter racing SS (18.7lb Niner One9), but will switch out the front soon with a NoNi. Got them on Sale on Fleabay for ~$55 a tire. Probably could be found a bit less with some patience but I am pretty damn satisfied.
Weaknesses: Squirmy, unpredictable traction (except you can predict they won't grip), knobs are too tall and too soft, slow rolling, do not corner well, wander on the flats, heavy, expensive
I would have to say this is one of the worst tires I've ever used in 20 years of mountain biking, and I've used a TON of different tires. I really have nothing good to say about them. They are heavy, slow rolling, and have exactly zero traction on any surface I've tried them on - loose, loose over hardpack, hardpack, soft dirt, rocks. DO NOT lean the bike into corners or you WILL go down. There are no transitional knobs between the center and outside knobs so you go from minimal, squirmy straight line traction to no traction if you lean the tire over. The side knobs are tall, but they're so soft and flexible that they instantly let loose. I've tried the Nobby (I have the 29 2.35 Evo Snakeskin model) front and rear, both trying the rotating direction as indicated and then reversed to see if the grip improved. Nope. My average speed/time on my regular rides went down almost a full mile per hour after going from a Rampage/Captain combo to these wretched beasts. Maybe they'd have more grip if your terrain features soft, loamy soil, but they are terrible (in my experience) on anything else. Buyer beware.
Similar Products Used: Too many to list. I really liked the Big Betty (26" Gooey Gluey version) and I like the Racing Ralph (running a 2.4 as the front tire on my singlespeed), but these are terrible. Other 29'er tires used - Panaracer Rampage, Specialized Fast Trak LK, Specialized The Captain, Specialized Ground Control. Heck, even the Fast Trak had better traction.
Bike Setup: I used these as a front tire on a RIP 9 and a On-one Lurcher, and as a rear tire on the RIP.
Strengths: These tires were great in braking and cornering and had decent straight-line stability.
Weaknesses: The stiff sidewalls let you run lower pressure but also made the ride slightly harsher. They wear really fast.
The first time I used these tires was riding down Palm Canyon into Palm Springs they probably saved my life on that ride. They had very good breaking in the loose desert soil on that ride, decent cornering, and rolled fairly well. I then did numerous trail rides and loved the tires and all kinds of conditions. Finally I went to Sedona and spent three days riding on slick rock and loose rocky conditions that's where the problem showed up. I have less than 400 miles on the rear tire and it is completely gone away it doesn't look too bad on the side jobs but they've been undercut and act like flaps and just let the rear wheels slide sideways at any off camber opportunity. My set of racing Ralphs did exactly the same thing in less time. These are great tires if you want to replace them constantly I'm going back to a Maxxis Ardent on the rear and will keep experimenting with front tires
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: March 10, 2013
Strengths: Rolls fairly well for a big tire. Tire has good grip almost everywhere.
Weaknesses: Seems to be wearing out on corner knobs, a bit of undermining going on after a few months riding
Purchased a 2.25 to replace a Conti Mt King in rear, I was looking for something that had some decent transition knobs because the Conti was bad on angled rock faces and while cornering on harder surfaces.
First ride I noticed a big improvement, seems to roll slightly slower than the Conti but corners more consistently with no surprises.Overall a good choice for most riders,seems to do most things well.
Price wise I think it's getting a bit much and it was hard to justify getting yet another new rear tire. After about 200 miles I'm noticing some major undermining on the cornering knobs so I'l need to replace this tire in about another 100 miles or so.
That's why I only gave it 4 stars for Value, $70 for a tire that lasts 1/2 a season seems a bit much but it does work rather well for a rear tire. It does get a 5 star rating in my mind in side wall durability, I ride trails that are loaded with rocks and the Captain control and Purgatory tires have been a disappointment due to weak sidewalls.
I do hear the Hans dampf's are more durable so may look there or might get the Trail King come spring.
Strengths: Great traction on just about anything (with-in reason), great durability, low weight, great looks, sheds mud, tough sidewalls, good volume, easy to mount / set-up tubeless with Stan's, fast rolling...
Weaknesses: These are one of the more expensive tires on the market... but totally worth the price of admission!
These are by far my new favorite tires! The trails I ride vary in terrain, including dry, loose, hard-pack, moist, rocks, roots, grass, stream crossing, steep inclines / declines, flats, rollers, etc... These tires grip like Velcro to just about everything! I've also ridden many S-Works tires (Renagades, Captains, Ground Controls, Purgatory's, FasTraks) and these Schwalbe Nobby Nic's seem to be the best of all worlds... I'm running a 2.35 on the front and a 2.25 on the rear. They are holding up well and I feel like I can ride noticeably faster on both familiar and new trails! I've been running big S tires for several years now and have been very pleased with them... but on a whim I wanted to give these a try... as I said before, I now have a new favorite!
After switching from 2.25 Rocket Ron EVOs earlier this summer to the 2.35 Nobby Nic EVO to get more grip in sand and loose soil, I'm really impressed with the improved traction and durability. Using Stan's on tubeless compatible rims, I've had no flats. The increased weight is certainly noticeable, but not a bad trade off. Wears well too.
I ride in a lot of sand, loose dirt, rocks, and sagebrush.
Strengths: Traction. Rolling resistance. Tubeless ready bead. Weight (not too bad at 700 grams)
Having ridden many different tires over the years I didn't need to spend much time riding Nobby Nics to know they are fantastic tires. For the past year and a half I've been riding with a Racing Ralph as my front tire. By in large the RR has performed admirably but I didn't gain total confidence in it. Though the tire rolled amazingly well and cornered nicely I never got comfortable with medium banked turns (maybe transitions is a better word for it). The Nobby Nic is different. I don't have to think about turning anymore. I just do it and the front tire stays hooked up. Plus, Snake Skin sidewalls are confidence inspiring and Schwalbe's TL bead is "the truth". Paired with Stan's rims the babies really hold air. Although people complain about the price there are deals to be had. Just do a search and use the price matching feature on your favorite site.
Strengths: Grip in a mixture of damp, wet and dry conditions, on dirt, gravel and in mud. Versatility and ability to run low pressure when tubeless.
Weaknesses: The only one is price, hence 4 chilis on Value
Been running this tyre for several months now and am more than happy with it. It has great grip in a real variety of conditions. It was reasonably easy to mount tubeless on ZTR Crest rims, and with some Stans sealant inside I have had no problems whatsoever in several months. It sealed very well - I run it at about 17-19 psi and only have to add a small amount of air once every month or so. I can tell by the look of the tyre it's going to last - it is not wearing out quickly on the dirt / mud / gravel trails we ride.
Highly recommended - if you can afford it!
Weaknesses: None I know of. Haven't riden in the wet yet.
I got my new Sepcialized Epic carbon 29er with standard Fast Trak front tire which I hated. The tire kept washing out on me and made me really tentative in sandy switchbacks. I bought a Nobby NIc 2.25 snakeskin TL from Wiggle and fitted it tubeless first go. The tire has been on now for about 2 months and the handling has improved out of sight as has my confidence level. I kept the 1.95 Renegade 2 bliss on the back and love the combination. I know people complain about the cost of Schwalbe tires but you get what you pay for. I have no complaints!
Strengths: Light, durable, fast, good traction, awesome tubeless set-up
Weaknesses: Not the best in wet, muddy conditions
Ran these for a full year on my 29er singlespeed mounted on Stans Flows. They set up tubeless easily with a floor pump and that was it. Rode the crap out of them without a single issue, these tires are plenty tough enough to handle riding rigid. I found 25-28 psi for best performance on a rigid bike. They hook up great without sacrificing rolling resistance.
Best 29er tire I have used so far (see long list above). Would run these on my 29er all-mountain rig too, except I'm hoping that Hans Dampfs will be even better for that.