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IRC El Gato Tire

4.13/5 (38 Reviews)
MSRP : $50.00


Product Description

If you’re twisted enough to compete in trials, or you’re one of those people who commute all winter while normal folks retreat to the comfort of their heated Subaru™, then you need a pair of El Gatos. Featuring a wide 2.25 square profile, high grip rubber compound and near-indestructible SPR System sidewalls. Everything but a coupon for free psychiatric evaluation. Click on the image to the left for an enlarged photo showing tread detail and related product specifications.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (38 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by chill dizzl

Date Reviewed: September 22, 2012

Strengths:    Crazy grip.

Weaknesses:    Heavy. Expensive if not a closeout/leftover.

Bottom Line:   
These tires are indeed heavy compared to the current 2012 lineup, but they still grip like crazy. If you can find them on closeout and aren't a racer, they are the best. I do burn through a set in a season though, maybe a little faster than others. I wish I bought some extras when I found them on closeout.

Anyone getting pinch flats is likely not a smooth rider... if trials riders are not pinching with these, it's probably your technique.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Summerland B C Canada

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2006

Strengths:    Lotsa rubber. Paddle middle for going up and down and double row side knobs for smooth and progressive sidehill action. Surprisingly low rolling resistance. Comfy ride at 40 psi. Wears as well as anything else.

Weaknesses:    Supposedly weak sidewall, but it's already almost 900g and probably 700 of that in the tread! Haven't blown one yet, but...picks up lots of weeds in the closely spaced side knobs. Isn't trendy. Feels goofy, but works, on pavement.

Bottom Line:   
This tire has lots of flexible rubber on the ground so the slide and hookup thing is really smooth. With skill you can crawl up amazing things, but brute force is not so rewarded, as the knobs keel over, especially if you are a heavy rider [I'm 165] . At higher speeds and agressive loads, it's just another, and a bit too heavy, tire. But it reliably gets me to the finesse bits where it shines. It's an almost historical design that is still in production, so there must be a reason.
I went through a period of knob shedding and sidewall blowing - grrr$$$- which stopped when I got on these, so I guess by comparison to some its an economy tire, especially on a per pound basis! I gave it five chilis for still entertaining me after two seasons.


Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Mythos, Serac, Panaracer Fire, Bontrager, Ritchey, Python, Superheat

Bike Setup:   SC Heckler, original type, marz MX pro eta 105 [yes!] , XTR V brakes, and whatever else was proven, light[ish] and reliable.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Summerland B C Canada

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2006

Strengths:    Lotsa rubber. Paddle middle for going up and down and double row side knobs for smooth and progressive sidehill action. Surprisingly low rolling resistance. Comfy ride at 40 psi. Wears as well as anything else.

Weaknesses:    Supposedly weak sidewall, but it's already almost 900g and probably 700 of that in the tread! Haven't blown one yet, but...picks up lots of weeds in the closely spaced side knobs. Isn't trendy. Feels goofy, but works, on pavement.

Bottom Line:   
This tire has lots of flexible rubber on the ground so the slide and hookup thing is really smooth. With skill you can crawl up amazing things, but brute force is not so rewarded, as the knobs keel over, especially if you are a heavy rider [I'm 165] . At higher speeds and agressive loads, it's just another, and a bit too heavy, tire. But it reliably gets me to the finesse bits where it shines. It's an almost historical design that is still in production, so there must be a reason.
I went through a period of knob shedding and sidewall blowing - grrr$$$- which stopped when I got on these, so I guess by comparison to some its an economy tire, especially on a per pound basis! I gave it five chilis for still entertaining me after two seasons.


Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Mythos, Serac, Panaracer Fire, Bontrager, Ritchey, Python, Superheat

Bike Setup:   SC Heckler, original type, marz MX pro eta 105 [yes!] , XTR V brakes, and whatever else was proven, light[ish] and reliable.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Adam a Weekend Warrior from Edmonton, Alberta

Date Reviewed: August 25, 2005

Strengths:    Grip, Grip, Grip. Rim dent resistance

Weaknesses:    Weight I guess

Bottom Line:   
I bought this tire because I was tired of flat spotting rims when the tire (velociraptor) was at proper pressure. Since it was a trials tire I didn't think it would fare too well on trails but I was very wrong. I have had zero pinch flats with it and no more rim denting. It grips fantastic on loose and muddy stuff. It is by far the best loose terrain climbing tire i have used. Great price too. After a few years of riding however, I am starting to develop some sidewall abrasions/soon to be cuts, but thats kind of expected. 4 chilis for overall due to the weight.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cambodia Trail

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $22.00

Purchased At:   MEC

Similar Products Used:   WTB velociraptor, IRC mythos

Bike Setup:   Fisher hardtail w/ Z1 freeride, lx/xt/sram drivetrain, hayes hydro discs

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Richard from Sedona, AZ

Date Reviewed: August 4, 2003

Strengths:    Grippy and very secure in wide variety of ROCKY terrain (not much soil here). I abuse them almost daily on hard xc DH w/really sharp rocks (ALL trails here are rocky rocky rocky - sandstone, basalt, limestone) and a number of trailside cacti, w/ no punctures yet. I've been riding for about a year after 7 year lay-off, I'm kinda sloppy and way too fast, so I POUND!

Weaknesses:    none that I can tell. WAY better than my last tires!

Bottom Line:   
Most of my friends are much more experienced than I, and though I may not have the grace (or a full suspension ride like they), I keep up on climbs and downhill w/o slipping around. I just don't slide. Everyone wants my tires!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   came with bike - don't know cast

Bike Setup:   Good 'ol Cannondale F700 (95) w/ Thudbuster, Shimano fixins...

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian a Cross Country Rider from Calgary, ALberta

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2002

Strengths:    Decent size
good tread pattern for rear wheel
great traction in loose and slippy stuff including mud, ice and snow.


Weaknesses:    Wear fast (duh, you don't get grip without wear...)
A bit heavy at 800+g, but not bad on the back.


Bottom Line:   
My friends and I find this tire works great on the back for winter trail/technical riding including snow, mud, wet roots, and not bad when a bit icy. I can get up very sketchy climbs on barely packed snow, sidehills seem ok, and braking is pretty good too. The 2.25" size is just the right fit on my bike (Rokko 2.4 was rubbing on the rear stays, but it has great rear grip too).

Get one and put it on the back wheel if you want a soft, grippy tire for anything loose or slippery. This tire Climbs!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything technical

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   MEC

Similar Products Used:   Rokko 2.4, Spec. Enduro Pro, Michelin XC, Tioga XC

Bike Setup:   FSR XC, B4 disks, El Gato on the back (mounted "backwards" so the scoops can grip), still looking for the right front tire.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by SGT. ROCK a Racer from Edmonton, AB

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2002

Strengths:    Cheap for a big Kevlar tire (thanks, MEC)

Weaknesses:    Heavy for a non-reinforced casing tire

Bottom Line:   
IRC makes good tires - other manufacturers may beat them with one model or another, but overall their product line is great. I use the Mythos XC as my XC race tires, and they rock. The El Gato is basically a beefed up Mythos XC rear - taller knobs, wider casing, flatter profile for a bigger contact patch. The tread profile is virtually identical - centre paddles alternating with directional knobs. The Gato simply adds a third directional knob where the Mythos has a gap.

I wanted a freeride tire that was tough, but performed like an XC tire in climbing, cornering and braking. The Gato is it. I'll run it with a DH tube to prevent pinch flats on the drops. Paired with a Kujo 2.35 DH on the front, I should have a great trail setup.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $22.00

Purchased At:   MEC

Similar Products Used:   Many

Bike Setup:   2002 Norco Launch

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert a Weekend Warrior from Mt. Seymour

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2002

Strengths:    Good traction for climbing on loose gravel, mud, over roots, etc.
Adjustability of inflation.


Weaknesses:    Wears just a little fast, but for the rubber compound it lasts long enough

Bottom Line:   
Pretty good rear tire. After it's warn a bit, put it on the front of a XC bike and let a little air out.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   MEC

Similar Products Used:   Superheats, Maxis Highrollers, IRC

Bike Setup:   Cove Stiffee with 5" Bombers

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Beeco a Weekend Warrior from Bradford, England

Date Reviewed: February 11, 2002

Strengths:    It grips like hot glue!!!!
It is light for a 2.25.
I can't see how anyone can puncture one.
They're f***ing awsome.
I will never use anything else


Weaknesses:    ????????

Bottom Line:   
These tires won't slip.I'm runnig about 25-30 psi.When i do a gap and land right on the edge it never slips unlike tiogas.They cushion everything so it feels like you've landed it mint even if you haven't.I payed £30.
This tire is great for trials.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any where wit rocks

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   Aire Valley Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Tioga 2.1-worst tire ever

Bike Setup:   DDG shooter, Hope xc on mavic D521, Coda 901 on mavic x517.
Panaracer 2.1 up front, trusty EL GATO on't back.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nick from Tempe, AZ

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2001

Strengths:    Good soft rubber compound really grips up on concrete
Fairly wide, reasonably strong sidewalls


Weaknesses:    Could be wider.. but then it would be heavier
Sidewalls could be stiffer, but again, then it would be heavier


Bottom Line:   
I ride urban trials quite a bit. I have 6 years of XC experience and not quite 1 year of trials. I'm not fantastic at it, as I haven't learned to lurch yet, but I do a lot of stuff that tests this tire- hopping up steps, 3-4' dropoffs, and occasionally leaping down staircases and such to break the slow-speed monotony. This tire holds up well for me. I run about 30 PSI and I weigh 180#, and I've only pinch flatted once despite missed j-hops up ledges and staircases. I decided to try this one to shed the weight of the Kujo I used to use. The Kujo's sidewalls are much thicker and stronger, so you have to run higher PSI with this one, but the softer sidewalls mean you get good wraparound and good traction even with higher PSI. The soft rubber really grips noticeably better on concrete and steel too. I've gone for 3-foot j-hops that I didn't get the back tire up high enough for, so the tire contacted the edge just behind the bashguard, and the tire help its grip well enough to allow me to hop the rest of the way up. I'm really fond of this tire.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Urban trials

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   IRC Kujo

Bike Setup:   Zebdi stock trials

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by chris a Downhiller from scotland

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2001

Strengths:    corners well, pretty tough, good resistance to punctures

Weaknesses:    not grippy enough

Bottom Line:   
good strong tyre at a reasonably good price

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Similar Products Used:   tioga 2.1/2.3

Bike Setup:   sintesi

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tom a Racer from Mtn View, CA

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2001

Strengths:    Looks cool
Grippy


Weaknesses:    too small
very poor pinch resistance


Bottom Line:   
I bought this tire hoping it would be as good as all the hype said it was, and all I can say is I sure wasted my money! I used to run 15-20 PSI on my Tioga DH's without every pinching, and now with these crappy El Gato's I even pinch at 35 PSI...what kinda of sh*tty tires are these anyway? I took a look at them more carefully...they have the same weak, thin, and floppy casing as IRC's XC tires, they're not even close to 2.25" in width, and they still weight 850g! Sorry IRC, but you really blew it this time.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Panaracer Fire DH 2.3"
Tioga DH 2.3"


Bike Setup:   stock trials

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Krado a Weekend Warrior from Singapore

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2001

Strengths:    Being a trials tyre, it rocks when I'm trying to scramble up a steep rocky slope.
Dosen't eat sand or mud, important when going really, really... fffffaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssstttttttttt!!!

I used to have semi-slicks on my bike, but then I decided to go down instead of up and bought this tyre with a Kujo DH in front.

Performance is great, I found myself cornering harder than ever before and the tyre hooks up great!!

I tried bombing Tasek with this tyre, and it rocked! I descended faster and more confident that I wouldn't slip sideways out of the track. That happened once when I was still on semi-slicks.


Weaknesses:    Hard to mount it on rim.
Pinch-flat resistance. I blew one when I landed sharply on a ledge when doing some basic trial stuff. Other than that, nothing else.


Bottom Line:   
A really cool tyre for trials!

Aggressive free-riders take note! This tyre can do more than just Trials! The tyre grabs soil like diamond-studded wheels and your can go faster and lean harder!

not for XC use, it's heavy!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   eh?

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   Yuppies!!

Similar Products Used:   Tioga Dh tyres
Maxxis Calibos/Kraken combo


Bike Setup:   Stock DB Vectra Comp se save 4 a few parts

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Craig a Weekend Warrior from kelowna, b.c., canada

Date Reviewed: December 27, 2000

Strengths:    man these tires are da shaznat!!! man in the summer spring and fall i love them!!!

Weaknesses:    suck azz in the snow

Bottom Line:   
These tires are wicked in everything but snow... i took my bike out the other day, my friend and i went out to slide around in the snow... he runs irc also(backwoods) man in the snow he was just wastin me!!! my tires plugged with snow like a whOrre workin all night... they blew n#ts soo bad i was gonna take em off and burn them!!! But then you have to remember, yes they are a trials tire, yes they do work AWESOME on dry, anything summer...so i decided to keep em.. and i also read, another review on these tires saying you get better traction if you reverse the direction... i am gonna do that tonite cuz were goin snowin tommorrow!!! happy trails!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything scary

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   a friends house

Similar Products Used:   everything

Bike Setup:   fisher-> betty(98), irc, serfas seat, oury grips, lx, superdeluxe, sweetsweetsweet.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joe Bob the 16inch bikerider a Weekend Warrior from Vic, BC, Can

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2000

Strengths:    Not too tall, grippy. Good width.

Weaknesses:    Not enough pinch flat resistance

Bottom Line:   
This tire has been a great confidence builder. I got it for NUTT'N, which is sweet. I use this tyre in the back, and I run it fairly low to take up some of the shock of a hardtail. I do mostly urban riding so the landings ain't exactly soft. But this tire has made it much more bearable. The only problem is there isn't quite enough flat protection, but I got it for free so it still gets 5 peruvian hot peppers for value.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything urban

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Rokko, IRC Kujo DH


Reviews 1 - 15 (38 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Mas Grande El Gato en Los Gatos

My buddy rode to the top of Kennedy and opted to decend Dog Meat yesterday around 3pm. As he started decending the first fast straight away near the top he spotted what looked like a large dog in the little flat area before the second big drop in (before the up). as he got closer he realized it wa ... Read More »

Ventana El Gato Loco

It was time for a new bike. After riding a 29 ss for over a year I knew I wanted something fs with 29" wheels. I don’t do any real technical riding. Mainly buffed singletrack with a little rolling semi-tech. It had to be agile and light, 4" of travel should handle anything I ride. It also had to cli ... Read More »

el gato-not just another winter bike

Finally got some pics to post of my winter ride. It's right at 30 lbs. without the rack, which (the rack) was built by John Evingson. These things are sweet and light. Many thanks to Chain Reaction for getting me all the goods. Bontrager bars, stem, fork and post. Formula oro discs. Xtr hubs. Love e ... Read More »

Hutchinson Barracuda/IRC El Gato

I'm considering this combination F/R tires. Anyone have any experience with either? I will be using them for AM. MRC Med compound for the Hutch. Will be used on Idaho singletrack which is generally hardpack with some loose / sand. Thanks,Read More »

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