Schwalbe Hans Dampf Performance Review (2013)


After more than 5 months of supporting abuse, I reckon that Schwalbe did a pretty good job with the Hans Dampf Performance tires, but it could have been better. Unlike the greater EVO tires, the Performance line shows its holes when you closely inspect the compound which simply provides less grip and also after you ride it about 10 times (about 500 km), a limit over which wear becomes clear.

Hans Dampf Performance’s rolling speed turns out to be good, taking into account the size and 2.35-inch width. Bulky as the may seem, it actually helps absorb impact very efficient, really helping the suspension in this regard. The knobs are placed quite whitty and allow the tire to be used in either directions when wear marks begin to show. Cornering is the strong point of these tires, an action that holds no secret for them and makes you gain precious seconds when you’re in a hurry.

However, the Hans Dampf tires have a nemesis in the form of muddy conditions because they lack a self-cleaning system, otherwise performing well in wet conditions.

Uphill seems to favour their grip features even if the slope becomes to steep, but only if you inflate them to the right pressure, which for me was between 2.5 and 2.7 bar. Less than this will put your balancing skills to test, while more will reduce grip significantly, although it will increase rolling speed. The good news is that you’ll have to be really resourceful in order to make a snakebite happen in any of these cases.

Summing things up, Hans Dampf have enduro and all-mountain written all over them, and even a bit of functionality for downhill so long as wet conditions and gravel don’t make it into the picture. Further good features include they’re foldable and each weigh 760 grams and if you desire even more good features you could go for the EVO version, available with different compounds and the three famous mountain bike wheel sizes.