Terrene (say "Tear-ane") is a rider-owned startup tire brand that promises no-nonsense marketing, realistic pricing and top-performing designs. The subject of this review is their latest addition, the very aggressive Chunk Tough, 27.5 x 2.6-inch knobby. The Chunk was released last year in a conventional 2.3-inch casing and its 2.6-inch monster brother comes into the market mid 2018.
Billed as a technical trail/enduro tire, the 2.6" Chunk is available in a "Light" or a "Tough" casing. Both casings are single-ply, but the Light casing is a more flexible,120 threads per inch, while the Tough casing is 60 TPI for better abrasion resistance. The major
Terrene Chunk Tough Details
• AM/enduro, front/rear
• Dual-compound tread compound (51a/62a)
• Directional tread pattern
• Available with Light 120 TPI or Tough 60 TPI reinforced casings
• Sizes: 27.5x2.3 / 27.5x2.6 / 27.5x3.0 / 29x2.3 / 29x2.6
• MSRP: $70 USD
• Contact: Terrene Tires
difference in the Tough version, however, is three panels of cut-resistant nylon fabric inserted in the sidewalls and under the tread, and rubber-cushioned bead seats.
Massive L-shaped edging blocks, paired with well defined rows of staggered center blocks are the defining attributes of today's most dominant DH and enduro tires.
All Terrene tires are tubeless ready and use dual-compound tread rubber - softer on the edging blocks for cornering bite, and with harder rubber on the crown tread for longer wear. Chunk tires use 51a durometer rubber on the edges and 62a in the center, which is a good balance between a super-grippy, short-lived 42a gravity racing tire and a longer wearing, all-purpose 60a single-compound option. Weight for the 2.3 is stated at 960 grams for the Tough and 830 for the Light versions, and our Tough 2.6 tires came in at 1140 grams each. Terrene keeps its pricing simple: $70 USD for either option in 27.5-inch.Features and Performance Setup:
Terrene's website says that its tires are no-problems, tubeless ready, but I had some difficulty getting the Chunk tires aired up to rims that I had successfully mounted Schwalbe tires to with zero issues (32mm Syntace and 28mm Diamondback rims). The 28-millimeter inner-width Diamondback Blanchard hoops fell to the left of Terrene's suggested 30 to 40-millimeter inner-width rim measurements. Typically, stiffer casings (like Terrene's Tough tires have) mount up more easily, because the beads naturally spread apart.
Pressures and rolling resistance:
After a few unsuccessful attempts, using an air compressor and a number of tubeless hacks, I wiped the Stan's NoTubes Race fluid from my shop floor, hosed out the tires, and installed tubes to seat the beads and, hopefully, coax the tires into submission.
After gently unseating one side of the tire beads and removing the tubes, one tire inflated without a hitch. The second took a little squeezing before it inflated. The fight wasn't over, however, as small amounts of fluid continued to weep from the bead seats throughout the first ride, and I needed to top off the pressure occasionally for two or three days. Not off to a great start.
Larger volume casings require lower pressure to achieve similar casing stiffness as smaller volume tires. I run 2.6-inch tires with 22psi in the rear and 20psi up front (1.52/1.38 BAR). Those pressures gave the Chunk tires a good deal of cornering support without stealing the suppleness and grip needed to climb or descend the steep granite faces of my home trails. At those pressures, the Chunks measured 2.49 inches (63.25mm) at their widest point - about the same as a 2.35-inch Schwalbe Magic Mary on similar rims (Note: Chunks and Marys measured the same width on 28 and 32mm IW rims).
I won't lie, after the tubeless-ready wrestling match, I was secretly hoping that the Chunk tires would roll slowly and corner without conviction so I could write a little revenge into my review. Truth be told, however, the big, blocky tread rolls quite nicely over hardpack and paved surfaces. A little worse than a Maxxis DHR and a little better than a Schwalbe Magic Mary. Like most gravity-oriented tires, if you get out of the saddle and lay into the pedals, the rear tread blocks grind audibly against hard surfaces and rolling resistance increases. On the trail, though, the tire rolls as well as the better knobbies in its class, and the tread pokes through the dust and detritus to find grip where many tires would be wasting a small portion of each pedal stroke on wheel spin. In short, outside of the fact that they weighed 1140 grams, Chunk tires were much more efficient - everywhere - than I anticipated.Cornering and braking:
Aside from a few water crossings and slippery wet boulders, I can't speak to the Chunk's wet-condition performance. It found sufficient grip in those fleeting moments to assure me that I needn't worry about it. Most of my riding took place on fast-paced dry trails over surfaces ranging from hard clay, to deep sand, bare rock and rolling gravel. Edgy tires like Schwalbe's Magic Mary and Maxxis Minions work well here, especially a Mary up front, because you often need a front tire that can grip well under hard braking on loose soil. Terrene's most aggressive trail tire puts on a good show in all those conditions, with an unexpectedly seamless transition to the edging blocks while leaning into a corner, and both the front and rear tires track a tight line without much drifting. Chunks will drift, but grudgingly so.
Chunk tires carry a lot of speed, but they don't accelerate with much authority out of the turns like lighter-weight hard-pack specialists with shorter crown treads do. And, that's okay, because it only takes one look to understand that these beasts are designed to dig and grip, not to dance and dodge their way down the trail. The benefit of their tall center blocks is also reaped when you need to squeeze the brakes hard down a sketchy drop. The heavy tread gets the job done in a hurry and those reinforced edging blocks can hang on an off-camber for what seems like eternity.
Overall impressions: Like a Schwalbe Magic Mary, Terrene's Chunk is more tire than most of us will need for fast-paced trail riding. The edging tread is its strength, but unless you are racing DH or enduro - or ride every trail as if you were, its aggressive crown tread and DH tire weight are unnecessary baggage.
I have about 50 miles on them in rocky terrain with no abrasion or cuts. So far, Chunk's durability rates well, and if I continue to be impressed by their cornering and braking grip, I'll probably keep one on the front, but switch the rear to a faster-rolling tire like the Schwalbe Rock Razor or Maxxis Aggressor. I'm hoping that the Chunks will be easier to mount on another brand of rim. If not, that's a concern.