Tioga may not have the presence they once did in the mountain bike world, but they're hoping to change that with a front-specific tire that looks unlike anything else out there.
The Edge 22 is designed to give extra bite when it comes to cornering and off-camber terrain. Tioga claim that, "When it comes to cornering, two cornering edges are better than one. Current designs rely primarily on the side knobs for cornering, which work best only when lean angles go above a particular range. However, considering that gaining cornering edge engagement as soon as you enter the corner is always beneficial, we created a tread that grabs early and keeps holding over a broader range of lean angles."
Tioga Edge 22
• Intended use: trail/all-mountain/enduro
• Center gap and double cornering edges
• Synergy Dual Compound (61a/50a)
• Magnum 120-tpi casing
• Weight: 920-grams
• MSRP: $65 USD
Ok, so it's a pretty simple design in theory, and it does make some sense when it comes to cornering. By putting more emphasis on the cornering knobs, Tioga believes they have created an advantage over other designs and given more bite and engagement across a wider angle of leaning.
The idea is that there should be less of a feeling of uncertainty when cornering, and when traveling in straight line there are still knobs to slow a rider down, as the top of the inner band of knobs is still on the ground.Design and Construction
The Edge 22's side knobs are where you'd expect them to be, but the center knobs are pushed out, which creates a larger than normal gap in the middle of the tire. The center knobs now act as an additional cornering edge, and they're designed to engage more quickly when the bike is leaned into a corner or is on off-camber terrain. As the bike is further leaned, the side knobs add additional support to the center knobs. The transition between the center knob and side knob is minimal when compared to a traditional tread pattern or design. Tioga claims this helps eliminate the vagueness riders can feel when leaning a tire from center to side.
While it seems as if braking traction would suffer, Tioga claim that the two more central knobs still act as a contact patch and slow the rider down just as a traditional design would. There is a ramp on the knobs that is designed to make the tire roll smoothly and to reinforce the stiffness of the knobs under braking , keeping them from folding under increased load.
The Edge 22 has two different casings currently available, a 120-TPI Magnum 120 and a 60-TPI FlexGrid 60. The 120 is reinforced with a thin protection layer that spans from one edge of the bead to the other. The 60-TPI casing is thicker and has more cut and abrasion protection built into the sidewalls.
Both casings have Tioga's Synergy Dual Compound rubber with a 50a durometer on the sides for more traction and then a harder 61a rubber in the center for faster rolling.Performance
Since the Edge 22 is designed specifically as a front tire, the team at Tioga said to just pick a good rear tire as its mate. I mounted up the Edge 22 in its 2.5" width with a Maxxis Aggressor 2.5" on the Marin Mount Vision test bike I've been clocking some miles on lately. The Edge 22 mounted up with a low-volume floor pump first try with no issue. It was also pretty easy to work onto the Stans MK3 wheels. I inflated the tire to about 25psi, let it sit overnight, and was pleased to see that there was no issue with any air loss in the morning.
I was also pleased to see that the tire measured as true as any tire I've seen to the claimed 2.5" width at the tread. It was spot on enough that I pulled off the calipers, closed them, recalibrated, and measured again. I had trouble believing that a claimed tire width had actually, for once, measured up.
I wasn't sure what to expect on my first ride - I mean, this tire does look pretty bizarre and the bar is set pretty high by the likes of Maxxis, Schwalbe, Bontrager, etc... I picked one of the typical test loops I like to ride that we call the Maxwell-Black loop in Pisgah National Forest. It's a mellow fire road climb and then a chunky descent with a number of tight spots and plenty of off-camber roots, along with a few turns towards the bottom that would allow me to push the tire and see how well it hooked up.
In a straight line, the tire feels like any number of quality tires out there. However, once I got into some wet, off-camber roots and greasy rocks, I was able to notice some differences. On sections of trail where I've felt the front end of the bike wash many times before, I was able to keep things in check consistently. At times I would lose the rear end, but the front held true. I've been on quite a few rides since and they've only reinforced my thoughts about the tire. When cornering it took more pushing than normal to find the limit of the tire. It hooked up and the transition in and out of turns was smooth and predictable.
Is the Edge 22 a super tire that has unlimited traction in turns and off-camber terrain? No, but it does provide a lot of grip, and can provide a little extra confidence when pushing hard into a loose turn or steering into inconsistent terrain. Braking performance in wet and dry conditions is solid and I didn’t find the front end of the bike doing anything undesirable, even with the knobs spaces as they are. I haven’t had the tire in any thicker mud, but it didn’t lend itself to packing up or having any traction issues in standard wet conditions. With a number of miles in on the tire thus far, I'm not itching to pull it off the bike in exchange for something else, which surprised me and is one of the better compliments I can give it.
The tire also has a good trail feel. Where some tires seem to numb or deaden the trail in a negative way due to casing thickness, rubber compound, or a number of other factors, the Edge 22 has a positive feel to it, similar to an EXO casing Maxxis tire. The sidewall holds up without having to overinflate the tire and it doesn’t fold under harder cornering. Durability has been up to par, and I haven't suffered any flats or unexpected wear.
Excellent cornering and traction+
More affordable price than some of the competition
Limited sizes and casing options