The all condition’s mountain-bike tire, are tubeless ready with a non-directional tread pattern, and uses their tough SnakeSkin sidewalls, and was designed for dry and loose or wet and rooty and rocky terrain. The tires use their Triple Star rubber compound design, specifically the TrailStar version (High Performance Trail Ride Compound). I have been thrashing a set of Hans Dampf’s, which roughly translates to “jack-of-all-trades”, on and off for six months, and they’re a good all around tire with excellent durability. One of the great aspects of this tire is there do it all character, and the outer knobs don’t need to be rolled over quite as far to hook up while cornering and steering. The 2.35-inch tires come in both a 26 and 29er versions.
Schwalbe Hans Dampf
Schwalbe released the sticky TrailStar variant of the Hans Dampf at Sea Otter last year, and then at Interbike, they rolled out two new versions, a cross country oriented PaceStar Compound (harder variant of the Triple Star Compound series) and a single compound Performance series, and the tires retail for $90, $90, $49 respectively.
The tire utilizes a nylon fabric casing, and is constructed with three plies of 67 tpi under the tread, and two plies on the sidewalls. The sidewall has an additional cross-hatched Snakeskin protection layer, to guard against cuts and abrasions, which greatly increase their abuse quotient. The TrailStar is comprised of a base layer, which provides knob stability and good rolling properties, and then a medium soft rubber running down the center knobs for traction, braking and acceleration performance, and finally, a soft rubber on the side knobs for grip in corners and riding over adverse and rocky terrain. In addition, the knobs have sipes (small micro cuts) for better flexibility, braking and grip. They dropped their usual U-Block tread design on these tires, and instead went to a more “enthusiast” oriented functioning tire, that is non-directional, and easier to corner. It was specifically designed for the drier and more technical trails of North America.
Hans Dampf Specs:
- MSRP: TrailStar $90, PaceStar $90, Performance $49
- Size: 26×2.35, 29×2.35 (only 26er in Performance)
- Weight: 26er – 760 grams, 29er 850 grams
- Casing: 67 EPI, Snakeskin Sidewall on Star versions
- Compound: TrailStar, PaceStar, Performance
- Tire Bead: Folding
- Tubeless Ready on the Star versions
Testing Rig and Terrain
Although I shrive to be objective as possible in all my reviews, tires are somewhat personal, and how they react and work for me, and my local terrain, makes it all the more difficult. So I try to be overly picky, and dig deep into their characteristics, and look for strengths and weaknesses in any terrain and conditions. I tested the tires on my Ibis Mojo HD, which has 6 inches of suspension, in any sort of terrain that Colorado can throw at you. The testing terrain is predominantly loose rocky conditions, with many long steep climbs and descents, rock gardens, slick rock, an occasional smooth singletrack and lots of ugly loose gravel. In the Colorado Springs area where I ride, we have Pikes Peak gravel (pea gravel) on most of our trails, and it’s one of the most nightmarish traction eaters that I have ever dealt with. Cornering, braking and climbing can be a lesson in humility.