The Ibex has been a mainstay of the Onza lineup since 2008. In fact, to many people, it will be their most recognisable.
The tyre’s wide and relatively open tread, which is combined with large edge knobs, aims to be a versatile tyre that rides well in a variety of conditions.
The new version sees a notable design departure from the previous version, mainly its double-stacked centre knobs that alternate with a more conventional-looking laterally siped block tread that covers the centre of the tyre.
Onza Ibex Details
• New tread pattern
• Narrow spaced centre knobs
• Gravity and trail casings
• Black or gumwall options
• For loose or wet ground
• 29x2.4" TRC - 900g
• 29x2.6" GRC - 1250g
• Both casings feature new Soft Compound 50 rubber
• MSRP: €59.90 - 89.90
The new tyres feature a more aggressive pattern that, thanks to its almost unique double-stacked knobs, means there’s a greater breaking edge to slow you down. Other companies are doing similar things, most notably Vittoria with their Mazza. The difference is that where the Mazza features a stepped design on the leading edge that aims to improve traction without impeding rolling speed or adding weight by increasing knob count or depth, the Ibex goes one further and offers what could be described as large L-shaped lugs that are then subsequently divided into two oblongs that run perpendicular to one another. The main difference will be that the Ibex's design will also hope to benefit from an extra edge of the rear side of the knob. This could increase braking traction.
It's also rather interesting that whilst at first glance the single centre knobs may well appear to be regular block-rectangles, there is actually shaping to the leading side, including a cut out on the corner of the outer edge.
The side knobs are a more conventional affair. The knobs alternate whether there is a cutout on either the outer or inner edge. The knobs that have the c-shaped cutout on their inner shoulder also feature a sipe.
The siping of knobs is done so to make them more flexible. Shaping such as this can aid grip by letting the knob deform more but, in some applications that might feature a raised element, can also help shed mud.
The new tyre also features an increased knob stack height, which should help penetrate softer terrain. This is combined with decreased spacing between lugs. As you can imagine, the Achilles heel of cut-spike style or more aggressive tyres can be the large gaps down to the canvas that can either lead to a vague or fidgeting feeling over rocks and roots or, in extreme cases, leave the tyre or rim vulnerable to damage as square edges can bypass the protection of the knobs entirely and go straight to the rim.
The tyre, by Ibex’s own description, offers a moderate “three out of five” in terms of its rolling efficiency and a more impressive “four out of five” for cornering. Often, particularly in respect to cornering, without knowing the surface it’s pretty arbitrary but it gives you an idea.
The tyre will be available in two casings - the GRC gravity casing and the TRC trail casing.
The lighter TRC trail casing (left) and the more aggressive GRC gravity casing. Note the extra layers of rubber and the bead protection.
The GRC model will feature a lightweight 120TPI single-ply that is reinforced by an additional 2-ply layer that will sit on the inner side of the tyre. The GRC will also feature bead reinforcement and foldable kevlar tubeless-ready bead. As the name would suggest it’s intended for anything gravity focused, be it downhill, enduro or e-bikes. The gravity casing will only be available in the wider 2.6" size
The TRC model goes without the 2-ply inner layer and the bead reinforcement. This will mean that the tyre will be far lighter but will also not offer the same level of damping or support. Its suggested use is trail and all-mountain. Like the GRC, it’s available in either black or gumwall.
Both tyres feature Onza’s new Soft Compound 50 rubber. This dual compound offering will feature 50a rubber in the centre of tread and 45a rubber in the side knobs.
The 2.4” models are available now in both 27.5 and 29”. The 2.6” variety will be available soon.