The Schwalbe Nobby Nic SnakeSkin Tubeless Ready is a performance tire for the serious rider or occasional racer, combining unshakable grip with wicked speed. This version of the Nic is almost 10% lighter than its predecessor. Built using the blueprint from the Racing Ralph, the tire uses a unique knob spacing pattern to hold its line on steep loose climbs, and to decrease vibration at high speeds, allowing the tire to roll faster. A perfect choice for someone looking to train and race on one set of tires. Schwalbe Tubeless Ready tires have a specifically shaped and coated tire bead. This bead quickly seals on the rim and provides safer seating without the extra weight penalty of true UST tires.
I have used this tire tubeless for a month. Sounds like it's not long enough to review a tire. Really, it is, as I've ripped it to shreds both front and rear.
I'm a Minion lover so please understand this as a benchmark. IMHO Nobby Nic is a very capable but very fast wearing rear tire. Fast and climbs very well, yet wears uber-quickly. At 30 psi the tire in the front is terrible, it bounces off every rock and unsettles your bike. I let the pressure decrease due to running tubeless and getting thorn punctures, suddenly I found the tire was fantastic, I tested it, it had dropped to 17.5 psi (digital gauge) and I weigh 95 kg with gear, it was finally deforming around the rocks and gripping on the off camber, although I'd be inclined to pump it to 25 or less psi if going for ride.
in summary I'd recommend this tire to racers or once a week weekend warriors who don't care about cost and are willing to run lower than recommended pressures up front.
Strengths: Rock crawling. This tire laughs at rocks and grabs ahold of them like some kind of stone lovin' octopus.
Weaknesses: Surprisingly, consistent slippage on front tire in fast turns on small grain dirt/sand regardless of loose or hard pack.
26 X 2.25 Double Defense w/ Pacestar compound on fully rigid bike.
These are the priciest version of the Nobby Nic, basically because of the "Double Defense" with a combination of Snakeskin sidewalls and High-Density Guard. I do not "do" flat tires, so any added cost or weight to ensure drastically reduced odds for a flat are negligible. I'm running these around 30lbs (I weight 190) and ride a fully rigid SS. These tires love rock crawling and grab any and every thing it can with ease. Despite the Double-Defense, the tires retain an impressive nimble character. The only surprise was the consistent slippage on the front during fast cornering. It's beginning to be predictable due to the consistency of slippage so with riding adjustments it is manageable. I was very surprised at the cornering issue as the tread has quite an impressive side bite. I have also noted the interesting tread pattern; it appears as if they run backwards...but the directional indicator on the tires insures the rider they indeed have them on correctly.
Strengths: Fairly lightweight and fast-rolling tire considering its knob height and straight-line drive/braking grip.
Weaknesses: Does not rail turns very well. Due to the tread layout and profile, these tires do not like to be leaned over, AT ALL.
I am a big fan of Schwalbe's Rocket Ron. I bought the NN's for winter use in the mid-atlantic, where it can get a bit mushy/sloppy. These tires hook-up quite well in a straight line due to the tall large knobs. They also roll quite nicely, considering the foregoing.
However, the tire's tread profile is almost flat and the knobs do not wrap very far around the sides of the tire. Half of the tread is only 3 knobs wide. So when you try to lean the bike over and carve turns, you find that the grip breaks-away suddenly at relatively modest lean angles. This does not suit my riding style, AT ALL - and was a deal-breaker for me.
I also tore a sidewall pretty quickly.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: March 19, 2013
3 chili value = no opinion..came with the bike
2 chili overall = better than a few but one of the worst tires I've ridden. hate them. feel like I'm riding a noodle. running the same pressure I've run for years and years and it never feels like enough. BTW, I weigh 165-170. Even tried running more to the point of excessive, i.e. 50 psi. Just makes them feel worse. at normal pressure they fold and pinch and just blow. going back to nevegals.
Similar Products Used: nevegal: still the best and on order. tioga, specialized, geax, other kenda, hutchinson, etc.
Bike Setup: '12 Yeti 575
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: March 1, 2013
Strengths: Super good grip in wet conditions, and they go alright on hardpack surfaces as well, but from my experiences they are a loose over hard/wet conditions tyre. Nice volume. Way better gripping on 90% of surfaces than my old Small Block 8's. Same price as the Maxxis range of folding bead tyres (AUS$59).
Weaknesses: As I haven't been riding them for that long, the tread is still great and no defections in the side walls or anything. More rolling resistance than my old Small Block 8's, but I was expecting that from such a knobblier tyre. Judging by other reviews though I might run into a few problems with the sidewalls in the near future...
I am reviewing the Nobby Nic 29 x 2.25 Performance tyre. I would consider myself an intermediate/agressive rider who every ride pushes myself to the limit every ride. Where I ride (Glenrock, Australia) the trails are often moist for long periods of time after rain on most of the tracks and trails. So I went to my local bike shop and picked up a pair of Nobby Nics after reading some reviews of how grippy they are. so far i am thouroughly enjoying the tyres and they have exceptional grip in nearly every condition, apart from hardpack and sand (I have slipped out a few times on hardpack surfaces, hard to believe, yes). So if the trails around your area are moist or gravelly with some loose dirt, I would recomment these tyres over any tyre I have ever tried. Much better than the stock Small Block 8's.
Strengths: I was riding the Racing Ralph's and decided I needed a better gripping tire. After reading some reviews I decided to try the Nobby Nics. Great gripping tire for sure. I felt like I was on tracks on the trail.Great tire !
Weaknesses: Just a little slower than the Racing Ralph's
Its a great gripping tire. My favorite so far
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2013
Strengths: light weight and good traction. nice shape and volume
Weaknesses: in the rocky conditions I ride in, the sidewalls wore through after 200 miles...I've never had ANY other tire do that in 25 years.
These are light, grippy, good handling tires. I like the profile and the high volume. The problem: in the extremely technical and rocky areas of Northern Colorado that I ride in, I wore through the sidewall of the rear tire in just under 200 miles. As the tire passed rocks and they brushed the sidewall, it just wore the rubber off down to the casing and then right through the casing all the way around the rear. There ended up being 2 holes in the sidewall of the tire and I had to trash it...F-. The one on the front isn't in as bad of shape but it's also starting to wear the same way. I've been riding mountain bikes in this kind of terrain for 25 years and consider myself an expert rider. I'm also not a clyde, am pretty smooth and not that hard on stuff...I've never had a tire do anything like this. These came on my '13 Giant Reign 0 and I won't be buying any more for the $75 to $90 they sell them for. The tires on my bike were the EVO carcass without the snakeskin sidewall. The snakeskin sidewalls may be better, I'm not going to find out. I can buy some Nevegals for less than $40 and they won't have this problem.
Similar Products Used: Kenda Nevegal, Kenda Small Block 8, IRC stuff, a myriad of others
Bike Setup: 2013 Giant Reign 0
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2013
Strengths: Seem to hook up well in wet and dry conditions alike. Not a significant amount of rolling resistance for such a high profile knobby. Work well sans tube with my Stan's NT Arch 29er rims. Knob wear is moderate, IMO; not as bad as some have experienced. While I don't necessarily notice any added benefit while climbing, rarely, if ever, do I find the tire spinning out during rocky, wet ascents. The tire does seem to almost "self correct" and hook up on the outer knobs when sliding out. Hard to explain that one, but it seems to hook up rather aggressively.
Weaknesses: After about a year of relatively high miles, probably 1250 - 1500 give or take a couple hundred, there are a bunch of micro-tears. The sealant handles them, but it is using the sealant up pretty quickly. The knobs are probably at a little over 55 - 60%, so I'm ok with that.
I like the tire. It's pricey, but I feel like it has performed admirably for the year I have had it.
Weaknesses: Side wall. I've read sever reviews commenting on the sidewall.
This tire came on my new Giant Trance X 29'r. It seemed decent, a little more balloon shaped than what I was used to, but I decided whatever, let's go ride.
I'm not a pro and don't claim to be, however on my second ride with these, I pealed the tire off the rim. And ate crap. Two broken ribs.
Admittedly I was just a little bit out of line off the jump, but still should not have pealed the tire right off the rim. And yes, I know it was the tire off and not a blow out. It took me ten minutes to get up, and when I did, the tube had not blown yet. The tire was pealed off of about 18 inches of the rim and the tube was sticking out in a big bubble still inflated.
That never should happen. Taking them back to LBS to exchange for something more reliable..
Just my experience. I'm not an expert, but consider this tire to be unsafe.
My loyal WTB Timberwolf wore out and WTB is no longer selling the tire, so I bought this very expensive ($80) Schwalbe 2.4 Nobby Nic with snakeskin and all that tubeless jazz to replace it. I considered the price only because of the definite weight savings and loyalty behind the Schwalbe brand.
Unfortunately, what I found was less than ideal.
I ride in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon mostly, but occasionally ride in Washington as well. Mostly west (WET) of the Cascades. And let me say, while this tire hooks up decently in the muck (even when it's at the near end of its life), the tire wore wayyyy too fast. Less than four months of pretty inconsistent riding. Some of this time was on the 1-2 mile road to the trailhead (and then the same back). But most was spent in a drier Oakridge. It was run breifly last Spring before I swapped it out to finally wear out a Timberwolf after realizing that the tire did not hook up in the dust/sand as well as I had hopped but went back on for July Mountain Bike Oregon where it was fairly new. After just that one weekend of riding (shuttles so no long gravel roads), the tire look pretty damn chewed up.
Additionally, about a month or two later (I tore a muscle in my chest and was off my bike for four weeks), each knob had about 50% of its life left. This was after just about 100-200 miles single track.
Overall, pretty disappointed. If you're a racer who doesn't mind spending a lot of cash for tires that are short lived, run these if your races are in the mud. They'll save you rotational weight and hook up nice enough (no complaints with wet weather traction really). But for us riders who just ride for ridings sake, spend less money and deal with the extra weight of another tire. I don't skid and am light on my brakes. Our trails aren't rocky either.
A friend's Hans Dampf set appears the same. And another friend had issues with both of his Schwalbe Rocket Ron 29er tires lasting a very, very short while as well (sidewall rip in one, tread issues in the other).
Similar Products Used: WTB TImberwolf, Maxxis High Roller, Ardent, Schwalbe black shark, Bontrager tires, Azonic Vigalante, etc.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Heckler - 1x9
Tim C. King
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 23, 2012
Strengths: Traction, durability
I ride in a lot of sand, dry soil and rocks common to northern Nevada. I run Stan's tubeless on a 29er full suspension bike. My riding weight is about 180 lbs and I'm a 'light' cross country rider.
I went to the 2.40 Nobby Nic EVO from Schwalbe's 2.25x29 Rocket Ron EVO to get more traction. The NN's deeper tread and wider size is notably better in these conditions, at the expense of being slightly heavier.
Lot's of goat heads where I ride. I never get flats unless the Stan's dries out. These tires appear 'bullet-proof' in the conditions I ride in.
I bought the 26' 2.25' EVO with snakeskin, but the was delivered the one without snakeskin. I was excited to try the NN, so I agreed to keep what I had, and skip the hassle of exchanging it.
The tire was a bit narrower than I expected, but I tried running it on the front, anyway. On technical climbs, I seemed to find angles where I would completely lose traction (Stan's flow EX wheel), and have the front end wash out entirely. I seemed to be getting onto the sidewall when I made sharp turns to get between obstacles (obstacles I'd ridden many times with other tires). After a few of these events, I gave up on the NN on the front and moved it to the the back. I went back to the 2.3' Spec Captain Control on the front.
The NN worked ok in the back for technical climbing. The traction is ok, but not quite as good I've experienced with other options (including the worn tire it replaced). Initially, I didn't have many complaints about the cornering, except that I seemed to occasionally roll the entire tire over onto the sidewall. The tire would make some nasty noises, but I always recovered (never had this problem with other tires), and the tire was still inflated. Today, I puctured the sidewall on a 1 ft off-angle drop. Stan's would not seal the hole. I've experimented with a variety of pressures, but this tire keep rolling onto the sidewall (I weigh ~210). I'm looking for something else; I'll probably try something from Maxxis. I'm disappointed, especially given the $$.
Tubeless setup was easy. The tire held air, even without sealant.
The tread held up well to the rocky riding I do in Colorado.
Strengths: Grip in loose, dry conditions, low pressure, reasonably light
Weaknesses: Wear very, very fast.
I run 2.35 x 29 on a RIP9. Exceptional all around traction in loose, hardpack, and rocky (haven't really had an opportunity to ride them in wet, rooty conditions) They corner like mad, climb well, but they are wearing out after just over a season. I usually tear sidewalls well before I wear out tread, so I don't know how to rate the durability. They seem soft, which would explain the crazy grip! I'm running Stan's rims and sealant, and have yet to have a single flat on these, which again, is unusual for me.
Similar Products Used: Ardent, small block 8, racing ralph, ignitor
Bike Setup: Niner RIP9, Stans,
Date Reviewed: August 29, 2012
Strengths: Low rolling resistance for fast riding. Good traction over XC style trails.
Weaknesses: Not that I have personally experienced. I don't take these tires and use them on any downhill type rides nor do I ride these on really muddy trails. These were made for XC style trails and they are unbelievably good. Those who complain it doesn't have traction (especially when riding on wet surfaces) needs to re-examine how they ride personally. As I doubt the tires are to blame.
These tires are well worth the money.
Awesome, get it if you wanna go fast and still hug the ground.