Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
NOTE: Tires are a very personal thing, and they are hard to be subjective with. Tires are very dependent on the conditions and terrain they are used in and the riders riding style. When reviewing tires I had access to a very large swath of tires and could make many comparisons on the same exact terrain, making A/B comparisons much easier. Out of all the products I have tested, you need to carefully read the review and take everything with a grain of salt, just because I find a tire lacking somewhere does not mean that you the reader will have the same findings. “I’m a god. I’m not *the* God… I don’t think”
I have been using the Schwalbe Albert series of tires for many years, and have always had a special fondest for them. I had predominantly used the Albert snakeskin version (26×2.25), which rolled well, had bombproof sidewalls, good traction, decent weight and was easy to set up tubeless. The original Albert series came in the Fat Albert (26×2.4), the Albert (26×2.25) and the Little Albert (26×2.1) versions.
At the Interbike 2008 show Schwalbe had a couple of new tires on the market. One of the most interesting was the revamped Fat Albert. They come in a 26×2.25 and 26×2.4 size, and in a front and rear specific version. The newly revamped tire has their new U-Block technology and their new Triple Nano compound. The filler particles for the Triple Nano have been changed in size from 200 nanometers to 10 nanometers. This means reduced internal friction, which lowers rolling resistance and smaller particles mean more surface area so grip is improved.
The front is tweaked for handling and braking while the rear has been optimized for traction and curve control. It still retains the classic Albert series tread pattern and come in a Snakeskin, Performance, Double Defense (only in the 2.25 size) and Tubeless versions.
Hey hey hey! It’s Fat Albert!