This weekend at the Garda Festival Schwalbe revealed a complete re-working of their Hans Dampf tire. Introduced in 2011, it quickly became a mainstay for riders looking for an intermediate tire - something that didn't have the speed-sucking tread of a full DH or enduro tire, but with enough bite to have some fun. Yet throughout its life, it never settled with some consumers. It fell apart too quickly, certainly too quickly, considering the price tag a modern premium tire carries.
Half of that issue was addressed last year, when Schwalbe went back to the drawing board with their rubber and re-launched their entire range with their newly developed Addix compounds, and they
Hans Dampf 2018 Details
• All-purpose, multi-terrain, trail tire
• Aggressive reinforced edging blocks
• Addix rubber compound
• Non-directional tread pattern
• Available in Apex, Snakeskin, and Supergravity casings
• Sizes: 29 x 2.35, 29 x 2.6, 27.5 x 2.35, 27.5 x 2.6, 27.5 x 2.8, 26 x 2.35, 24 x 2.35
• MSRP: Current pricing
• Contact: Schwalbe Tires
leveraged newer, more advanced production techniques to refine the balance between traction, speed and lifespan for every tire in their range. This newly unveiled Has Dampf re-vamp goes on not only to put any lifespan worries to bed, but also looking to make it a more capable all-round option.The New Hans Dampf
It is clear that the new Hans Dampf is more substantial than the old version. What grabs your attention immediately are the side blocks - they are much deeper and more square, arranged in an alternating pattern with much bigger blocks than before. That extra depth means that when you lean onto the side of your tire they should support you - where the smaller blocks on the old version degraded at their base relatively quickly under hard cornering. Schwalbe say this will make the tire a lot more fun to drift with and more predictable, as they believe it will break away more nicely than even the Magic Mary. On the top, the tread the profile is again much squarer, which Schwalbe say will offer more bite under braking, but should not detract from the overall rolling speed of the tire, thanks to their Addix compounds.
Looking at the new tire alongside the old one, the overall width is very similar - something Schwalbe have worked on recently. In the past, their tires tended to come up very big for their given width, where now they are much closer to the stated numbers. One interesting difference is the overall height of the tire - comparing two 29 x 2.35, Supergravity tires mounted on 30mm internal width rims, there is a small height increase. This is a concept Vittoria have also been experimenting with recently as it is claimed it adds a little extra volume to the tire for added comfort. One nice touch is that the tread is still uni-directional, which means that less experienced riders and lazy mechanics can pretty much throw the tire at the wheel.
The new tire will be available in a range of sizes that should offer something to even the most baked-in retro grouch, covering 29 x 2.35, 29 x 2.6, 27.5 x 2.35, 27.5 x 2.6, 27.5 x 2.8, 26 x 2.35 as well as 24 x 2.35. They will be available in all three of Schwlabe's casing options - Snakeskin (standard casing), Apex (reinforced) and Supergravity (heavy duty) - although some of the more aggressive options (read: 29 x 2.6 Supergravity) will be a little but further down the road as Schwalbe believe the market for a 1600g heavy duty tire may not be the core of their audience. Pricing will be consistent with Schwalbe's current pricing. We will have a set of these in to test very shortly, so we will let you know how they perform out on the trail as soon as we can