Schwalbe Nobby Nic 650B Review

27.5 Pro Reviews Tires

Tire Comparison
I don’t really have a lot of 650B tires that I am familiar with other than the Pacenti Neo-Moto, and I have gotten a lot of ride time on them during a review I completed last year. I found the Neo-Moto has excellent braking, decent traction and good climbing attributes, and tough sidewalls, but the lack of width, and a harsh ride flying down rough terrain left me wishing for more volume. I swapped the rear with the Neo-Moto during my test period, and I got a great cross comparison against the Nobby Nic. The Nobby Nic blew the door off them in cornering, traction and volume, and they could be run at a significantly lower pressure without undo issues. The Neo-Moto had better acceleration, quicker steering and their size meant they fit in the rear yoke of my Mojo HD. Even though they barely fit on my Mojo HD, I greatly preferred the monster Nobby Nic, as I found the Neo-Moto entirely too Skinny Winne in direct contrast.

Nobby Nic Measured Specs:

  • Weight – 714 and 692 grams
  • Full tire height – 27 13/16″
  • Carcass width -  2.28″ or 57.8mm
  • Carcass/knobby height – 2.1″ or 53.7mm

NeoMoto Measured Specs:

  • Weight – 722 and 719 grams
  • Full tire height – 27 5/16″
  • Carcass width – 2.1″or 53.7mm
  • Knobby Width – 2.25″ or 57.2mm
  • Carcass/knobby height – 1.95″ or 49.6mm

Bottom Line
The 650B Nobby Nic is a great all around tire and offers a wide footprint with good contact, though it rides taller than wider. The aggressive XC tire, has big beefy knobs, which work in synergy with each other for great adhesion and traction properties, for better control, steering and excellent cornering characteristics. These babies love to haul through berms, and come into their own when brought up to speed in that terrain. The tire is predictable, and can be ridden fast and in almost any conditions with confidence, though when pushed hard in All Mountain terrain, they felt harsh and slightly out of their comfort zone. It’s easy to set up tubeless, and although it’s not the stickiest tire in their line-up, when run at low pressures it has performed admirably. They roll well for a big monstrous tall tire, though the height means they might not fit into the rear yoke of all frames?

Pros

  • Great Cornering – Berm loving machines
  • SnakeSkin sidewall protection
  • Easy tubeless installation
  • Great traction (at low psi)
  • Low pressure monsters
  • Monstrous tires

Cons

  • Not sticky on rock slab and slickrock
  • Expensive
  • Durability?

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme 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 and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Rob says:

    Good to see the NN now offered in the 650B size. I run the 26″ NN snakeskin up front and it has quickly become my favorite tire. Just a great light, fast, stable & grippy tire. Price is brutal though!

  • LyNx says:

    Silly comment to list the size as a CON because it doesn’t fit into a 26″ wheel designed frame if you ask me. I think the size is a big PLUS, just use the right equipment and you’ll be fine.

  • Francis says:

    >>Silly comment to list the size as a CON because it doesn’t fit into a 26″ wheel designed frame if you ask me. I think the size is a big PLUS, just use the right equipment and you’ll be fine.

    I agree with this Brian. This tire size and design is fully realizing the potential of 650b. Small 650b tires designed to retrofit to 26ers are the problem.

  • Vince says:

    As far as I am concerned the Neo Moto 2.35 is the base line all 650B tires will be judge against. I’m not sure I will be trying this tire at $90

    So are small 26er tires designed to retrofit to 24 inch cruisers? Really, because not everyone likes 2.35 tires…..so people still like 2.1s :/

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I removed the size constraint as a con. I also added a small section showing the Neo-Moto vs NN.

  • francois says:

    Right on Brian. This article/review has a lot of legs so thanks for editing. I should have my Nobby Nics 650b to test soon. How’s the sidewall btw? A friend had a Nobby Nic 26er last night and the sidewalls were very supple but seemed a little soft for All Mountain use.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Yes, supple but soft sidewalls, that’s why I broached the topic about pushing them hard on AM terrain. The sidewalls have been tough, greatly due to the Snakeskin protection.

  • Fran says:

    In my experience with multiple nn and roro tires all top line evo models the side knobs are a joke, look at that last image and how porous the inside is, 4 more weeks and those side knobs will fold over and are straight dangerous for any high speed cornering.

  • Zuke says:

    Good review! I liked all the pics!

  • Slowie says:

    Good review! Good idea to add the NeoMoto 2.3 comparison.
    I love the SnakeSkin just as much as you do!
    The question of the week: which (online) shop has them in stock?

  • Motoxer913 says:

    The 2.4 nobby nic EVO was garbage on my 26″ 5″ bike. Ran them tubeless on 2 different wheel sets including my rock solid mavic crossmax’s and couldn’t keep the stupid tire from rolling around like it was made of jello and even worse up front while riding aggressive through rock gardens and small drops the paper thin sidewalls kept rolling over and burping air which sent me over the bars multiple times and causing shoulder injury. Even bumping them up to 40psi didn’t help the sidewalks just completely give way when run tubeless.
    These tires are absolutely horrible for aggressive riders due to the paper thin sidewalls. Stay away from them at all costs! I went back to my trusty nevegal 2.35 up front and happy again. Still experimenting in the rear. Runing a Specialized Purgatory 2.2 control right now and so far I like it.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Were they the tubeless ready and snakeskin versions? I ran these tires tubeless at 18-20 psi through some heinous rocky terrain, and never had a burp or tear?

  • Paul Lindsay jones says:

    Yeh I run the rocket ron 2.4 26 tyre and the best tyres I have ever had! Really good. Running around 17psi and I weigh around 82 kilo and I ride extremely hard through rock gardens and everywhere else, I mean very quick on my 9.8 kilo bike.

    Never had any problems with these tyres, really good to be honest, and must have done about 300 miles and all the knobs are still intact. They are the pace start 3 weight is 530g each, lightest at this size, although weighing 545g on my scales, schwalbe have been known to make lighter tyres than their advertised weight, so may be could cause a problem if the tyre if it was a lot lighter and supposed to be 530g.

    I’m running supersonic tubes as well by the way.

    Thanks for the article, I’m thinking of building a 650b for next year, but would really prefer to have rocket ron 2.4 tyres, don’t know if schwalbe will make them or not? Suspect they are in the pipline..

  • Paul Lindsay jones says:

    Yeh I forgot to mention I run these tyres on mavic crossmax wheels, I have different sets of crossmax all rim brake models 1st gen and 2008 UST, tyre bead sticks really well to the UST rims, it is a must though to pump the tyres up initially to 60psi to get the bead to seat properly..

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