Schwalbe Smart Sam Tire

4.38/5 (24 Reviews)
MSRP : $34.49


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Product Description

Smart Sam goes well on any terrain and even on the road it rolls effortlessly. It is available in a wide variety of executions, also with reflective lines.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by fokof

Date Reviewed: October 26, 2013

Strengths:    As front tire

Weaknesses:    As rear tire

Bottom Line:   
Found it good in front and bad traction because of the same reason : the thread pattern being straight line.

I use Nobby Nic as rear tire , better traction.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Vortexian a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2013

Strengths:    Allrounder: at least some grip in any conditions, suitable for jumping and touring with heavu gear - it's extremely hard to make a snakebite on them. Suprisingly good for off-road&mud touring at medium pressure - they really get well through mud and sand. These tires are sort of "lazy" - if you block the front wheel during hard-braking at the wet pavement, the tire starts bumping instead of just slipping aside - there is a second to release the brake. Rather hard to puncture.

Weaknesses:    Rolling resistance is pretty high under a heavy rider (>90 kilos) or under a rider with a heavy luggage pack on the bike due to contact between the road and the latheral knobs even at maximum pressure. Virtually no grip at any wet&hard surface, especially during cornering. The middle flat knobs tend to tear off at high pressure (rear wheel only).

Bottom Line:   
Good almost for everything except asphalt and pavement. Good for off-road touring and XC, but I hate? commuting on them.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   8 months, still sometimes for touring

Purchased At:   Came with the bike

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Cobra, Schwalbe Hurricane, Schwalbe Big Apple, Schwalbe Nobby Nic

Bike Setup:   Cube Acid 2012 + Avid Elixir 7 + 180/160 Avid G3 rotors.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Amir

Date Reviewed: November 29, 2012

Strengths:    hard to wear out, they don't suck THAT much on dry surface

Weaknesses:    slow rolling tyres, poor grip in corners, no grip at all on wet terrain

Bottom Line:   
i see they got pretty good reviews but i got them after i wore out my maxxis larsen oriflammes and regret doing so. gonna get rid of them and try get maxxises i had before - i only got these cos of good reviews and the fact my old tires were nowhere to find in stores

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CX Rider a Racer

Date Reviewed: October 14, 2012

Strengths:    Great all arounder - Roll well, easy mounting, great grip, price, integral reflective strip

Weaknesses:    Protective layer could make this a great commuter tire.

Bottom Line:   
First off, this review is for the 700x35 Cyclocross sizing of the Smart Sam. I purchased these for off-season use and training rides due to their grippy tread pattern, 700x35 size and hard-wearing traits. The reflective stripe was icing on the cake especially given how dark it gets in the off season. I was sick of balding $50+ CX race tires on the road during training rides so I decided to give these a try. They are the widest & heaviest (450g) tires I've ever mounted on my cross bike so I expected them to feel heavy and sluggish. It's been a long time since riding a wire bead tire so I wasn't expecting much. To my surprise the Smart Sam's rolled incredibly well on pavement (comparable to a slick) but also had amazing traction on the trail. They felt much lighter than their 450g weight. I put these through one of my CX training loops that includes a mix of smooth paved roads, grassy farm trails and single-track. They performed amazingly well on all surfaces. On fast 90 degree off-camber grassy corners I could hear the treads ripping through the grass holding firm. On the road I nailed a Strava PR on a hill climb I've done many times on 700x23 road tires weighing half as much. They were also as easy to mount as a folding Kevlar tire which I was not expecting. I would not consider these race tires, but if I needed to I could press them into service. I can't attest to the hard wearing capabilities yet. Overall, I'm very pleased and for a $31.45 tire ($37.75 with reflective strip) these far exceeded my expectations. Price makes this a 5 Chili tire.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 month

Price Paid:    $38.00

Purchased At:   Schwalbe

Similar Products Used:   WTB Crosswolf, Specialized Borough CX, Specialized All-condition Elite, Schwalbe Racing Ralph & Rocket Ron EVO's

Bike Setup:   Redline Conquest Pro

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Peter Lawrie a Weekend Warrior from Cape Town, South Africa

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2011

Strengths:    Good allrounder. Rolls fast, but does not run out of track on the corners.

Weaknesses:    None for what I ride

Bottom Line:   
Great for all round riding. Fast rolling, good grip. Even a mate riding a Nevegal (in front of a Stumpie) was impressed with my bike on these when we swapped bikes.

No idea how they work in mud or wet conditions, as yet.

It is going to take a lot to get me to change....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tokai

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $45.00

Purchased At:   Chain Reaction Cycle

Similar Products Used:   Continental Gravity, Race Kings and Verticals

Bike Setup:   Specilized Epic Comp

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by firekja a Cross Country Rider from stevens point

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2011

Strengths:    This tire can take a little bit of everything that you can throw at it.

Weaknesses:    This tire while is good on most surfaces, it is definately not a do all tire.

Bottom Line:   
Most of my rides consist of a mix between hardpack and road. I do not completely trust these tires on a sharp corner on gravel. They are excellent for the road and trail though. This tire is a good compromise if you ride a little bit of everything and they seem to have minimal rolling resistance on the road. Overall I like these tires, just dont expect them to be your everything tire.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the island

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   amazon


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Gregorin a Cross Country Rider from Zaragoza,Spain

Date Reviewed: April 27, 2011

Strengths:    Offroad versatility,comfort,speed,tought,quality

Weaknesses:    Low speed & high rub in asphalt roads,height,price

Bottom Line:   
i agree that they are great for cross-country,parks,trail paths,stone roads.Quite good speed into these surfaces.
Running over potholes is quite comfort and well-driven and suddenly movemments no longer be in your bike.score(4/5)

Schwalbe says:Great all-rounder tyre but they are quite noisy tyres and low-medium speed into asphalt roads.
Quite rubbing,you´ll need strength and make an effort for moving them.So big size tyres for city and roads(2.10")score:(2/5)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   incluyed in bike

Bike Setup:   Acid Cube 2010

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Melbourne

Date Reviewed: March 1, 2011

Strengths:    Rolls fast on bitumen & hardpack.
Seems to be quite a durable compound.


Weaknesses:    By being an allrounder, it's not the best tire choice for any one surface. Ok on most, but master of none.

Bottom Line:   
If you are one of those people that drives to the venue & then hits the singletrack, this is probably not the best tire for you. There are better condition specific tires out there. For me though these are a great tire choice. They will do my 40 km round trip commute to work and back a couple of days a week. Then they will take me quickly (these things roll as well as many slicks!)the 15 km I need to cover to get off road. Sure, when I get off road they are a compromise, but a pretty good one at that.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mt Beauty

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   The net

Similar Products Used:   Reminds me of the discontinued Maxxis Ranchero.

Bike Setup:   Voodoo Sobo with : Sid Team, X0, Fulcrum Ones, Ritchey trimmings & SDG

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Piti a Cross Country Rider from Germany

Date Reviewed: December 3, 2010

Strengths:    Balance between grip and rolling resistance, long wearing, good size and weight

Weaknesses:    Somewhat unstable cornering

Bottom Line:   
Generally I hesitate to recommend Schwalbe products as I had several flawed tires and tubes in the past. So far I love my Smart Sam (2.1 ORC folding version) on the rear. It's the best compromise for combined on- and off-road riding I've ever had. This tire shows hardly any wear after several hundreds of miles. As a front tire I would use something with more evenly distributed knobs.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hotzenwald

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   IRC Mythos, Ritchey Z-Max, many others

Bike Setup:   Focus steel HT

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mohammad a Cross Country Rider from TT

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2010

Strengths:    It does What was Designed Great!

Weaknesses:    Nothing important, Just some noise on the pavement or Asphalt

Bottom Line:   
The Bike came in with Kenda All mountain Tires, cause i commute to work everyday, I got it changed with this just with 10$. This was a great deal for me, It is great. It is 2.10 but the 1.90 or 1.75 one would be better on road!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $10.00

Purchased At:   Jabbari Shop

Bike Setup:   2009 Fuji Nevada 1.0: Shimano Acera chain-wheel,Chain, Cranks, Shifters, Front derailleur & Hubs. Alivio Rear derailleur. Shimano B416 Mechanical Disk Brakes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by USAF a Weekend Warrior from Iron River, Wisconsin, USA

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2010

Strengths:    Great all-around traction wet or dry

Bottom Line:   
26 X 2.1 and it combines light weight with EASY rolling! Expensive but worth it if you have the money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   CAMBA

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $110.00

Purchased At:   RideThis.com

Bike Setup:   Ti Motobecane Fantom Pro

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by YeahWhatever a Cross Country Rider from VA

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2010

Strengths:    Very Light, Rolls fast

Weaknesses:    Tends to suck up a lot of rocks, and it is a bit pricey.

Bottom Line:   
This tire rolls faster and with less effort than the Kenda Dred Tread. I use it mostly on gravel fire roads, and it feels great. My only complaint is that I'm constantly hearing the pinging of rocks being thrown against the frame. Otherwise, it is an excellent tire. I look forward to seeing how it holds up over time.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   401

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Dred Tread

Bike Setup:   Dean Colonel Ti

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jmf69 a Weekend Warrior from Lisbon, Portugal

Date Reviewed: February 20, 2010

Strengths:    Fast roll and confortable

Weaknesses:    None yet

Bottom Line:   
After reading many, many tires reviews I decided to go for the Smart Sam and I confess that I hardly could be happier. The goal with this bike is long rides (usually several days at 80-100Km/day) where we can get every type of surface, from tar to difficult off-road trails usually carrying a considerable load for complete autonomy.
As far as I experienced, these tires are really wonderful. They are very comfortable, good grip and very fast roll. Even independently of the price they would be very good. When considering the price, they are awesome..
My congratulations to Schwalbe for the very nice work!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sintra

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Mototorres

Similar Products Used:   Michelin Country Trail, Michelin Country Mud, etc, etc

Bike Setup:   TREK 8000 (1993), weels shimano, rear derailleur XT, front SLX


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sbowles a Weekend Warrior from Newmarket, Ontario Canada

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2009

Strengths:    Excellent all round tire , fast rolling, seems to stick well to roots and rocks. I have ridden all mountain terrain with them.. Fort Rock New Hampshire and North Shore style technical trails as Raven Shoe ... The tire just seems to perform in general terms better than any tire I've used so far..

Weaknesses:    As in all round tire it's weakest link would be its mud performance... but still as far as I'm concerned it's acceptable performance as long as you don't have long stretches of deep mud.. I have used other Schwalbe fast rolling racing tires in the past.. Fast Fred for example... these were absolutely horrible in the mud ..

Bottom Line:   
I'm a big guy 220 ish ... in spring and fall I run Kenda Nagils 235 .. I was worried about going to UST wheels.. and especially only to 2.10's I purchased the evolution series triple nano. These wheels feel like I have another inch of travel and so far I have ridden them very hard over New England and Ontario rocky terrain... no flats and the tires stick incredibly well. The added bonus is that the rules superfast and or super sticky over anything I've thrown at it so far...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fort Rock New Hampshire and Raven Shoe Keswick On

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   ebay store

Similar Products Used:   Fast Fred's , racing Ron's Kenda Small block

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Blur LT - Crank Brothers Iodine UST wheelset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mr.SJ a Cross Country Rider from Germany, BW

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2009

Strengths:    Very fast, good allrounder, light and -most important- longest tire life for fast tires in my experience, similiar to Maxxis Ranchero.

Weaknesses:    None to cry about. This is made for XC and long distance riding.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the new Smart Sam EVO with the new Triple Nano Compound. Since I am riding with this tire, the "tire topic" is uninteresting for me. The EVO-carcass and the new compound is an upgrade for the Sam´s. They are touring and race tires now and I will use them for race purposes.
Very low rolling resistance like the Racing Ralphs, but better grip. Uphills with 25% are no problem. Great design, big volume and comfort. Even in bad weather conditions this is my best rear tire so far and has not to be changed due to different weather or ground conditions. In dry and medium conditions the new Sam offers plenty of grip even as a front tire. Sam EVO front and rear increased my speed significantly. But when heaven opens up you might be safer with the Nobby Nic front. No punctures!
Value: 30,- Euro is not cheap, all high end tires are expensive like this, unfortunately. But I do not know any tire as fast AND long-lasting (!!) like this. So I have to give 5.
Overall: clear 5.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Some. I have been lucky with the Speed Kings, but these are better.

Bike Setup:   HT, pressure for the Sam EVO: front 1,6-1,7bar, rear 2,0bar.

Reviews 1 - 15 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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