Schwalbe's Fat Albert is one ofThe most popular lightweight, big, high-air-volume casingTires forToday'sTrailbikesThanksToTheTrailStar compound: an easy-rolling base layer, grippy center, and extra-gripper edge knobs for cornering. EVO
I have been using the Schwalbe Albert series of tires for many years, and have always had a special fondest for them. I had predominantly used the Albert snakeskin version (26×2.25), which rolled well, had bombproof sidewalls, good traction, decent weight and was easy to set up tubeless. The original Albert series came in the Fat Albert (26×2.4), the Albert (26×2.25) and the Little Albert (26×2.1) versions. Continue reading →
FLAT ALBERT!. This is the last straw for my relationship with schwalbe. my Yeti SB66 came with racing ralphs on the back, and they got an unrepairable sidewall tear on the 4th ride. I forgave them, and fitted Fat Albert. Guess what, 10km into my FIRST ride with them ..... another unrepairable sidewall tear when riding in a lightly gravelled fireroad !. seriously these things arent even fit to be called a tyre.
SCHWALBE are SCHIT !
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2012
Strengths: Roll well
Weaknesses: No grip especially in the rain. Tyres slide on roots, rocks and mud far too easily.
I thought these tyres were suppose to be a good allrounders and they came as standard my cube. I do a mixture of DH and xc and found these tyres to give no confidence what so ever !! In the slightest bit of wet they start to slip around and it does not take too much for bike to slide out. The smallest of roots
And I could be a gonna. In the dry they do not give the confidence going into berms that they will hold. They do however roll well for a fairly big tyre if doing xc on them. Have changed to a mm and bb now and it is a whole new ball game. Awesome in comparison.
Strengths: True all-round tire. Good grip in all conditions, dry and wet. Fantastic wear resistance.
Weaknesses: Rolling resistance
I've been using this tire for almost three years, and they are my overall favorites for trail riding. I didn't have a single puncture with that tire, and they have lasted longer than any other MTB tire I've used. Grip is good and consistent in all conditions, without any particularly strong or weak spots.
I have to ride some distance on asphalt to get to the local trails, and rolling resistance is a little high in these conditions, but at least the asphalt doesn't seem to wear them out.
If you're racing, there are a few faster tires for specific conditions, but you have to pick the right one for each race. If you basically want to have fun on the trails, Fat Albert handles equally well in all conditions, making it the best all-round tire I've used so far.
Similar Products Used: Nobby Nic, Racing Ralph, Conti X-King, Maxxis Ardent
Bike Setup: SC Nomad, 2x9 X0, Talas 36, Formula The One.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 4, 2011
Strengths: Really I cannot come up with single strongpoint except perhaps that they have not worn out.
Weaknesses: The rolling resistance is something to be dealt with and in the rain pray really hard not to slam yourself to the ground simply pulling though a rocky or rooty section.
I am a fairly new to mountain biking so at the beginning I thought I was just handling the bike poorly. The tires was skidding left and right, the rolling resistance was something to deal with and in the rain I had to pray really hard not to slam myself to the ground simply pulling though a rocky or rooty section.
As the time went by and I gained confidence I realized that I really couldn't trust the tyres. Cornering was like playing russian roulette, the tier never tells you that is losing traction until...it's late!
On gravel a nightmare, on loose over hardpack really bad, when is wet I wouldn't ride it.
They came stock with the bike and now I am trying to find a better replacement. Shouldn't be hard.
Strengths: Fun to slide slowly in corners, sometimes fun to slide unexpectedly
Weaknesses: Terrible in deep sand, not confidence inspiring in bumpy/rocky sections, prone to flats, rear wears very fast
These came stock on my Yeti ASR7. They have good climbing traction, are relatively fast, and do alright in general. They are really fun in corners... they're a bit like High Rollers in that regard, but have a slow drift that gives you a great rush. Hitting that sweet spot takes a bit of practice though, but makes you love corners.
Pointing it downhill on a tight rough section proves to be kind of scary. It's just too sketchy to rely on. Braking performance is kind of bad, cornering isn't sharp enough for sudden corrections, and it likes to bounce more than other tires I've tried.
Overall, not so bad that I'd replace them, since they're fun to ride on, but I won't be replacing them with the same.
a Weekend Warrior
from Austria / Mexico
Date Reviewed: May 20, 2011
Strengths: Schalbe, light, fast rolling
Weaknesses: price, no good traction, poor grip over roots, rocks, and wet.
My bike came with Nevegals installed and they felt good riding down, but every single time I had 2 to 3 pinches on my tubes, and they were tooo draggy riding up. Then I tried the Racing Ralph and nobby nic comobo, great light fast roling, until the rain caught me riding and oh boy were they slippery.
Then I tried the Fat Albert supposed to be much better, but they werent apart from the poor grip when wet of the RR and NN, the FA never felt confident.
Changed to a Minion and well the Minion have to be in the top5 list of anyone, they are great, but heavy.
So I decided to give the Big betty 2.4 a go. They feel lighter than the Minion 2.5 and are much bigger, they roll as well as the minion and feel great, the grip is good, they have never slipped on me yet at the beginning the pressure was makind them lose the line. But once you find the right spot for your weight they feel simply like a fast rolling velcro.
Great tire, definitely so far my best front tire. the minion following closely. If the BB 2.4 would fit my rear it would an all BB combo.
Similar Products Used: Schwalbe Nobby Nic, Racing Ralph, Big Betty; Maxxi Minion DHF; Kenda nevegals sitck-e
Bike Setup: 2008 Giant Reign 0
a Cross Country Rider
from Bozeman, MT, USA
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2010
Strengths: Sticks like glue. Lightweight for its size.
I bought a 2.4 Fat Albert snakeskin for the front. My bike came spec'd with Nobby Nics, which I thought were the most amazing tires I had ever used. I wanted something plump and aggressive up front, so I bought the 2.4 Fat Albert and it's also amazing. Kung Fu grip. A huge difference maker. Schwalbe really does make some incredible bike tires, and although I have only had this one for a month so I can't yet comment on its durability, my NNs lasted a lot longer than expected. In fact the rear one, when worn down to near nothing, was still climbing better than the Maxxis High Roller I replaced it with.
Bike Setup: Fuji Reveal, 5" travel trail bike, XT everything.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2010
Strengths: Not sure. It looks cool? I didn't pay full MSRP for it?
Weaknesses: This tire did not last 2 months. Zero grip up anything other than hard pack and even then sketchy.
I have a Schwalbe Big Betty 2.4 Gooey Glooey on the front that is absolutely ridonkulous. Based on that, the hype, the reviews, the fact that Yeti is putting Fat Alberts on their 2010 575's, et cetera I thought I would give the rear specific Fat Albert 2.25 a try on the rear. I typically like to run an XC type tire on the rear (Larsen/ Crossmark) but wasn't getting the traction I need on some of the trails I ride. I really, really wanted this tire to be great, give me some more bite when I need it and at the time of purchase everything looked promising. On the very first ride the tire almost hooked up on rocks, roots, steep singletrack but were a little squirrely. I was not sold but I kept on trying thinking "I need to learn how to ride this tires". However, by the 2nd or 3rd ride they showed considerable wear and tear. They became less and less stable. I.e. no braking power, no turning stability, no climbing grip. I have gutted out another month on this POS because I can't stand wasting my hard-earned money on a tire that lasts less than a month. I finally wore the knobs down to nearly slicks after less than two months of riding. Gratefully, I yanked the Fat Albert off this week and threw on an old High Roller that has about 60% tread left on it. It was like riding a new bike that grabbed ahold of everything. What was I thinking suffering with the Fat Albert for so long? Don't make the mistake I did. Save your money and buy something else. 1 chili for terrible tread life and pathetic performance.
This is a review for the 26*2.25 EVO carcass FAT ALBERT's in front and rear specific versions. Can someone explain to me what the buzz is all about with thess tires? They seem to be all marketing hype and zero in terms of performance. They don't grip on any trail surface - dry to wet - yet the knobs tear and break off easily! Very disappointing for a tire that is so expensive. In addition, I've run the gamut as far as pressures with these and even at low pressures they still are sketchy. To make matters worse, they flat easily. I went 2+ years without a flat on other tire brands, with these I've had multiple. I'm using these up as soon as I can and switching to something else. I won't be burned twice.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sacramento, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2010
Strengths: High volume, good wear and good rolling resistance, moderate weight for a high volume tire
Weaknesses: Moderate traction when dry, poor traction when wet. Wet rocks and roots are downright dangerous. The rear tire is especially bad. Constantly slipping when the going gets tough, either up or down.
This is for the front and rear specific, 2.4 up front and 2.25 in the rear.
DRY CONDITIONS: Up front the 2.4 offers decent grip in most terrain excelling on packed and loose dirt, doing well on hardpack and loose over hard. Adequate on roots and rocks, but thats about it. In the rear the 2.25 is decent at its best on packed and loose dirt, and mediocre on hardpack and loose over hard. Roots and rocks are just frustrating, this tire bounces and slips all over the place.
WET CONDITIONS: If you're thinking of this tire as your all year tire or you live/ride in a perptually wet area, look elsewhere for a tire. Up front the 2.4 is mediocre at best on wet dirt/mud and very poor on roots and rocks. In the rear the 2.25 is even worse. They are so bad I would have to say they are dangerous. Even riding down level singletrack these tires (both front and rear) will slide off of wet rocks and roots that are flush with the trail. You know that feeling you get riding across wet railroad tracks at an angle? That's how these feel with all rocks and roots when things are damp or wet. Not only do they not inspire confidence, but they make you paranoid.
These may be a good tire for you if you ride in a dry area without much rocks or roots, but I wouldnt recommend them for much else. There are many other similar tires that work much better.
3 chili's for Value: They werent super pricey and will last a while.
2 chili's overall: Poor performance makes them a tire that will sit in your spare bin
Similar Products Used: WTB Stout, WTB weirwolf 2.35 and 2.55lt, panaracer fire FR, maxxis ridgeline and rendez, Conti Mountain King 2.4 and more
Bike Setup: Used on Cannondale Rush and RZ120. I'm 225-250lbs depending on time of year and ran this tire from 30-40psi to find what it likes. It seems to like a little lower psi
a Cross Country Rider
from Bay Area, CA
Date Reviewed: June 17, 2009
Strengths: Unbelievably grippy, rolls surprisingly well
Weaknesses: Brings half the trail with it, quite spendy at retail
Note: this review is for the newest Fat Alberts, front & rear specific, 2.4 front, 2.25 rear, both Snakeskin sidewall protection. As above, run w/Stan's sealant on Arch rims, about 20/22psi front/rear.
I've gone from a Weirwolf devotee to a Nobby Nic fanatic, and with a couple rides on the Fat Albert may have found my new religion. It's true that most of the hardpack trails in my area really call for a fast rolling tire with relatively round profile. And it's true that $60+ per wheel is really far too much to spend for a bicycle tire. But when the summer dirt gets dry and churny, and you start looking for those new gnarlier lines, is it so wrong to be wanting a bit more in the grip department? And this is where the FA comes in ... in spades.
Compared to other Schwalbe tires like the Nobby Nic & Racing Ralph, the FA is noticably more square, with super-aggressive side knobs. I've yet to exceed their cornering capacity, and so far there's be none of the dreaded knob "fold-over" that can plague tires like the weirwolf. The FA's really seem to excel in loose rocky conditions. Our rocks are relatively small & loose, but still the FA really does a great job of plowing through them with relatively little deflection. I've noticed they pick up a LOT of rocks to fling at your shins & down tube (not gravel, like baseball-sized, or cricket-ball sized, to put it in metric terms). It's a little painful, but I see that as proof that they're doing their job.
On loose & loamy stuff, they seem to drift only slightly, but I haven't really put this to the test yet to see how predictable or limited this is.
As for rolling resistance, which is one of the selling points of the Nobby Nic and high on my list of priorities, it's a little early to tell. I was expecting it to be far worse, though, and I can't really say that I notice much of a difference, surprisingly. There's a little added weight over the NN, so some of that may be part of it. Overall, I'd say that the FA feels like a faster tire for unpredictable conditions, since whatever you may lose on the flats & climbs is more than gained by superhuman confidence and speeds on the descents.
The new church is open. See you there.
*I don't own a caliper to do any measuring, but the 2.4 looks big. There is no way it would fit in the rear on my frame, whereas I've been able to fit other 2.3 tires in the past. So I would say that the prevailing wisdom of subtracting .1" from all of Schwalbe's reported dimensions does not apply in this case.
**Incidentally, setup with Stan's sealant was a total breeze. I've had really good success with durability of the Snakeskin sidewalls in rocky conditions, and it does seem like this helps the beads seat properly for a tubeless setup. And I'm hoping the wear will be excellent, as with past Schwalbe offerings (better be... given the price!).
a Cross Country Rider
from Logan, Utah, USA
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2008
Strengths: Very durable, Somewhat quick rolling
Weaknesses: Wire bead, A little on the heavy side for me.
Good all around tire. It took forever to wear out. I can't believe how long it lasted. It's a little too heavy for me to get excited about buying it again, but if you're not too worried about weight I highly recomend it!
Strengths: Very stable behavior, large volume, relatively low weight
Five chilis for value, as this tire is exactly what I was looking for. There ain't too many allround all-mountain tires to suit my "one-bike" setup. I take my bike to 6 hour epics as well as to the bike park. I don't like to change the setup meanwhile and these are one of the very few tires on the market to actually accommodate that.
They aren't really "super" or "amazing" at any one condition, but they are good anywhere. I like the stable handling, no surprises ever. Generally grip is good, but remember nothing will grip on wet rocks or roots. Not enough experience on mud to judge them there.
Rolling resistance is not the greatest but hey, it's an off-road tire.
At around 700 grams they're not too bad for a big volume do-it-all tire. Sidewalls (the new snakeskin) seem ok after a couple of months' bashing.
So overall a great tire. Ofcourse anyone would like a 200g tire that would roll like a slick and grip like a chihuahua on your leg, but let's face it - ain't gonna happen. So full five chilis to this donut!