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Ordered some Schwalbe Smart Sam tires for a mixed surface bike I'm building. I foresee a 25% road 25% gravel 50% single track use breakdown. I was originally considering lighter weight XC tires like the Recon or Rocket Ron for the low rolling resistance while on gravel and tarmac. I saw the Smart Sam in 27.5x 2.6" width in heavy DD casing on sale at Chain Reaction. The continuous center tread line looked great for road use and more aggressive casing interested me as the rocks on my local trails have been know to take out lighter weight sidewalls. The Smart Sam isn't a tire I see mentioned very often when talking about tires around here so I thought I would give you guys a closer look and first impressions.

I got them in over the weekend and mounted them up yesterday. Tires mounted up easily by hand without tools and the bead was easy to seat. Heavier casing helped it retain it's shape which makes mounting quick and easy. Left it overnight at 35psi with 3oz of Orange sealant. Tires sealed up great virtually no lost air after that first night.

2.6" Forekaster v. 2.6" DD Smart Sam v. 2.25" Nobby Nic
Tire Wheel Bicycle tire Automotive tire Synthetic rubber


First impression was this tire is a lot more aggressively knobbed than I thought it would be. The center and side knobs measure 0.4mm taller than the knobs on the skinnier 2.25" Nobby Nic. The Forekaster's side knobs are just a bit higher but the center knobs are 1mm shorter. Compared to the 2.6" Forekaster the Smart Sam's case is just shy of 1mm wider but the Forekaster's knobs extend past the body so it's total width is about 1mm wider at the knobs than the Smart Sam. I haven't had a chance to test it off road but on the pavement the continuous center knobs makes a tremendous difference in tire noise and vibration. Gut feel after looking at the tires side by side if I would expect it to perform similar to the NN or ForeKaster while turning and engaging the side knobs. I would expect to see a tradeoff sacrificing some loose braking traction for smoother rolling performance on asphalt. Braking traction normally isn't an issue on the hardpack and lose over hard XC single track I plan on using this bike on so I think it will be a good tradeoff for the needs of my bike. Unfortunately the bike frame is still a couple of months out so it will be a while before I can give the tires a good shakedown.
 

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Ordered some Schwalbe Smart Sam tires for a mixed surface bike I'm building. I foresee a 25% road 25% gravel 50% single track use breakdown. I was originally considering lighter weight XC tires like the Recon or Rocket Ron for the low rolling resistance while on gravel and tarmac. I saw the Smart Sam in 27.5x 2.6" width in heavy DD casing on sale at Chain Reaction. The continuous center tread line looked great for road use and more aggressive casing interested me as the rocks on my local trails have been know to take out lighter weight sidewalls. The Smart Sam isn't a tire I see mentioned very often when talking about tires around here so I thought I would give you guys a closer look and first impressions.

I got them in over the weekend and mounted them up yesterday. Tires mounted up easily by hand without tools and the bead was easy to seat. Heavier casing helped it retain it's shape which makes mounting quick and easy. Left it overnight at 35psi with 3oz of Orange sealant. Tires sealed up great virtually no lost air after that first night.

2.6" Forekaster v. 2.6" DD Smart Sam v. 2.25" Nobby Nic
View attachment 1948278

First impression was this tire is a lot more aggressively knobbed than I thought it would be. The center and side knobs measure 0.4mm taller than the knobs on the skinnier 2.25" Nobby Nic. The Forekaster's side knobs are just a bit higher but the center knobs are 1mm shorter. Compared to the 2.6" Forekaster the Smart Sam's case is just shy of 1mm wider but the Forekaster's knobs extend past the body so it's total width is about 1mm wider at the knobs than the Smart Sam. I haven't had a chance to test it off road but on the pavement the continuous center knobs makes a tremendous difference in tire noise and vibration. Gut feel after looking at the tires side by side if I would expect it to perform similar to the NN or ForeKaster while turning and engaging the side knobs. I would expect to see a tradeoff sacrificing some loose braking traction for smoother rolling performance on asphalt. Braking traction normally isn't an issue on the hardpack and lose over hard XC single track I plan on using this bike on so I think it will be a good tradeoff for the needs of my bike. Unfortunately the bike frame is still a couple of months out so it will be a while before I can give the tires a good shakedown.
[/QUOTE

Thanks for the info.

I maintain a small fleet of bikes for family and friends, and the first upgrade is tires, usually purchased by me.
It has always been a challenge trying to find reasonably priced tires, available in 26 in oftentimes, that handle a wide variety of terrain.

Bob
 

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I've been using Smart Sam on my old (2000) GT Avalanche 26 inch for the last couple of years mainly on hard pack trails and they've never let me down with grip and for the money they've got to be one of the best .It has always been a compromise though because I also ride on tarmac to get to the trail.
Now have a new bike so got to sort out tyres.
 
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