First contact: Schwalbe Addix

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Nothing divided opinion among bicycle buffs like tires, every single person stating the superiority of the model used by him or her. However, we don’t have that many Schwalbe fans in our riding group, but it truly believe this will change shortly. The German manufacturer made a bold move by not introducing any new model, but improving the manufacturing materials of the existing ones. Addix represents the pinnacle of development enterprised by Schwalbe and the emotional charge is fully understandable given the 1.5 milion US dollars invested into it.

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It’s safe to say that when the Germans sat at the drawing board, their only thought was how to make Schwalbe great again.

A large amount of the development fund was invested on a machinery that mixes elements like sulphur, oil, rubber, resins, silicon, carbon and many more, so as the end result blows everyones mind. Say hello to a step forward in developing bicycle tires.

The newly developed Addix technology is available for the Evo range tires and every compound distinguishes itself through colour. It’s easier than ever before to pick a tire according to the discipline you intend on practicing>

  • Red (Speed) is for cross-country providing, of course, speed and wear-resistance
  • Blue (SpeedGrip) is for cross-country/all-mountain, mixing resistance to wear with grip
  • Orange (Soft) fits enduro and downhill needs, providing superior grip by sacrifing speed
  • Violet (UltraSoft) meets only the need for grip, having very soft features

In order to actually see what the Addix can do, I got to testing two different models on an enduro bike. I fitted the front wheel with a Soft Hans Dampf, while the rear one got a SpeedGrip NobbyNic. The point was to get maximum grip in the front, while the back provided maximum rolling speed. From this point of view, the test went ok, given that the tires sized 27.5×2.35 inches had an inner pressure of 1.8 bar.

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Same size for the Hans Dampf, completely different compound.
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The knobs provide good braking power as well.
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Abuse at its finest – reinforced side-wall, battered rim.

So, two hefty tires later, I started descending on the local endure trail, on a track at times moist, at times dry. As expected, each tire did its part. I wanted speed and I got it. I wanted grip and I got it. Nobby Nic slipped every here and there, but Hans sticked like glue to the ground, a feature that is not surprising if just grab each tire and notice the difference between compunds.

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The full size of Hans Dampf’s side knobs.
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Hans sticks to the ground, but the ground doesn’t stick for long to Hans.

Anyway, if you’re a fun seeking rider, this configuration can work for you. For more cautios persons, I would recommend the orange compound, with the mention that it puts some extra grams on your bike and slows you down a bit.

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Blue is meeting half-way.
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Medium-size knobs ensure decent rolling speed

The ground likes to stick to Nobby, and Nobby has nothing against that

All in all, Schwalbe solved the grip issue, since it owed consumers in this respect from past episodes, but did little to enhance weight. The Evo, Tubeless ready, normal thickness Nobby Nic tips the scale at 713 grams while a reinforced and similar Hans Dampf weighs 829 grams. As far as endure standards go, it is an acceptable value, even more so as it provides grip without withholding. Last but not least, the price revolves around a typical 45-euro range.

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