Schwalbe Fat Albert Review

Pro Reviews

Bottom Line
The new Fat Albert is a mixed bag of tea for me. The tires roll well, have a decent weight for their volume, have the best sidewall protection in the business and are some of the easiest to set up tubeless.

The Fat Albert front version steers well, has good traction, rails decently, and it mates up nicely as a front tire with many other brands. It is a good all around tire. It actually worked well in as a combination in both the front and rear positions, much better than the intended Fat Albert set.

The Fat Albert rear version, on the other hand, just does not cut it in my opinion. It has mediocre traction, washes out to easily, and bounces off rocks too frequently. It does not inspire any sort of confidence when trying to motor up loose climbs nor when braking coming back down, and a lot of it was due to an unpredictable nature. It wasn’t a bad tire, just not up to the old standards set by the previous Albert series nor in the same league as its competition. It did work better when the tire was mounted in a reversed rotation, but unfortunately it did not solve all of its issues.

I miss the old Albert, especially as a rear tire!

-Decent weight for volume
-Front tire
-Front tire in front and rear positions
-Good rolling resistance
-Easy tubeless setup
-Bomber sidewall protection
-Good volume

-Washout issues on loose terrain
-Rear tire traction in loose conditions (improved by reversing rotation direction)
-Rear tire bounces off rocks

Value Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
Front Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
Rear Overall Rating: 3 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

2.25 $60.00
2.4 $65.00

Schwalbe url:

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • Anon says:

    Out of interest – did you try the new-FA front on the rear wheel?

  • mountain_bomber156 says:

    Mediocre traction? I found they worked really well.

  • squish says:

    I picked a set of these up in Sol Vista at the Nationals a few months ago, and have been loving them ever since. I run them reverse of what is recommended and they just hook up, sand, roots, loose rocks, and baby heads. Set up tubeless very easy, and I’m typically running between 25 and 30 psi depending on the ride.

    Great tires!

  • Anonymous says:

    1) I did not try the front tire on the rear
    2) I am not sure if you have ever ridden in the Colorado Springs area and dealt with the Pike Peak gravel (pea gravel), it is a loose nightmare for traction adhesion. I have ridden the older Fat Albert and Albert and a whole slew of tires of late and the new Fat Albert rear had mediocre traction in comparison
    3) I did run them reverse once and that didn’t make much difference

  • Blue says:

    I found them to do quite well and preferred them to the old Fat Alberts in loose conditions (Colorado as well), though I generally avoid playing on loose gravel roads. They outperformed the older ones by a decent margin and rolled faster.

  • cesalec says:

    Brian isnt it the one on the left the rear and the one on the right the front specific?

    I do agree, with your review, it could be a great tire! So far in front I haven´t had many complaints. But the rear although it climbs like a Nobby Nic, it grips a bit more than the NN but nowhere where I should expect it over (wet/dry) roots and stone plaques.

    I don´t get why schwalbe doesn´t pay more attention to the grip in the wet. They can be dangerous! though in the dry they are terrific, but not 100% confident inspiring.

  • squads says:

    How does the tread hold up over time? I did not catch anything in the review regarding wear. I was looking at this as a possibility for a front tire.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I tried a combination using the front version in front and rear positions (reversed rotation direction for the rear one), and it worked quite well.

    I reversed the rotation direction of the rear tire, it that did help quite a bit, but it still had the same odd attributes.

    In regards to longevity, so far they have done well, but I would need more time to see how the wearing is? I used the front for a much longer period of time, and they have shown no ill effects after a lot of miles.

  • jagdpanz says:

    I`ve finished one pair of Fat Alberts (2.35) and i can tell one thing:
    Best tire i`ve ever had.

    For FR, Enduro – and even XC racing – becouse – for me, traction is most important thing on terrain :)

    Next time i`ll buy wired version. Is much heavier but also much harder (more resistant for damage)

  • Doug H says:

    Not very impressed with these tyres. I found the 2.25′s to be pretty slippy in the wet and really not that flash in the dry either. You can’t push them very hard into high speed corners as they tend to wash out. Bigger and softer knobs needed on the outer edges to give it some cornering bite. I recently had 4 weeks hard riding in Crested Butte, Ketchum Idaho and a few days in Santa Cruz Ca. The rear tyre is toast now which is pretty disappointing for the cost.

  • Peter B. says:

    I’m using FA/ 2.25 in front and rear wheels, with tubeless conversion, in a Scott Genius LTD. These are a good grip tires. I feel confident on the fast curves, since the front tire never slide, even in wet terrain. They are also some how mud proof, then I never carry too much dirt back to home. I can’t say these are the best tires in the market, but imho they have an excellent compromise between traction, weight, velocity and robustness.I have to agree: “Tires are a very personal thing “

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