Review: Schwalbe's Big Betty Tire is Dependable & Durable

May 11, 2021 at 13:39
by Mike Kazimer  
Schwalbe Big Betty tire review

After a multi-year hiatus the Big Betty name is back in Schwalbe's lineup, returning as an aggressive tire designed for enduro or DH usage in dry to damp conditions. The name may be the same, but the tread pattern of Betty 2.0 is entirely different than the original, with relatively tall center lugs and side knobs meant to dole out plentiful traction. It's intended to work best as a rear tire, a complement to the Magic Mary or something similar.

The Big Betty is available in a 2.4” or 2.6” width for 29” or 27.5” wheels, and there's even a 26 x 2.4” option for the remaining 264Lyfe members, or, more likely, for all the groms out there rocking the smaller wheel size.

I've been testing the 29 x 2.4” Super Gravity version, which weighs in at 1363 grams and retails for $94 USD.
Big Betty Details

Wheel Sizes: 29", 27.5", 26"
Width: 2.4" or 2.6"
Casings: Super Trail, Super Gravity, Super Downhill
Compound: Addix Soft, or Ultra Soft (DH casing only)
Weight: 1363 grams (29 x 2.4" Super Gravity)
Price: $94 USD
More info: Schwalbe Tires


Schwalbe Big Betty review

Design & Construction

Casing options for the Big Betty include Super Trail, Super Gravity, and Super Downhill. Schwalbe was so close to having a naming scheme that made sense. Trail, Gravity, Downhill – those designation are all pretty easy to understand. But then someone decided everything had to be “super,” and another unnecessary word was added to the hot patch and the model description...

In any case, the Super Gravity casing uses four carcass layers, a layer of Apex sidewall protection, and a Snakeskin fabric layer. The Super Downhill casing is even burlier, with six carcass layers and two layers of Apex sidewall protection. The Super Trail casing is the lighest of the three casing options, and uses three carcass layers, one layer of Apex sidewall protection, and one layer of Snakeskin fabric.

The Downhill casing tires use Schwalbe's Ultra Soft rubber compound, while the other casing options are currently only available with the Soft rubber compound. A colored stripe runs along the left center of the tire to make it easy to see at a glance which rubber compound was used, although it does wear off over time. Orange is for Soft, and purple is for Ultra Soft.

The Big Betty's tread pattern places a priority on braking traction, with rectangular center lugs and tall side knobs that have support that extends part way down the sidewall. There is a ramp on the outside edges of each center knob to help improve rolling speed, but this is still a tire that prioritizes grip over anything else.


Schwalbe Big Betty tire review

Performance

INSTALLATION
Getting the Big Betty set up tubeless wasn't too difficult, although I did need to do some battling to get the bead seated evenly on one of the wheels I used during testing (a Bontrager Line 30). Some carefully chosen curse words and applying soapy water around the bead eventually did the trick. Once installed, the tire measured true to size, at 2.44” on a 30mm rim. I typically ran 22 psi, which provided a good blend of support and grip.

TRACTION & CORNERING
The Big Betty's braking traction is its standout trait - as soon as the brakes are applied those center knobs get to work, biting ferociously into the ground. That tenacious grip is especially noticeable in loose conditions, whether that's dry and dusty or wet and muddy, and it's in those instances that I'd put the Big Betty ahead of the Maxxis DHR II as far as overall braking traction. The DHR II is obviously no slouch in the braking department, but it doesn't dig in quite as hard as the Big Betty does.

The stickiness of the Big Betty's Soft rubber compound isn't as high as Maxxis' MaxxGripp compound, which was noticeable when riding over slippery roots or on off-camber rocky terrain. It'd be nice to see a Ultra Soft Super Gravity version of this tire hit the market for riders in wet and slimy locales. That would come with a longevity tradeoff, but I bet there are a decent number of riders willing to accept the sacrifice in order to gain more grip.

Don't get me wrong, though, the Big Betty still does a very good job when it comes to dealing with soggier conditions, especially when paired with a softer compound tire up front (Schwalbe's Magic Mary is a good partner, or, fashion faux pas aside, a Maxxis Assegai). The tread height and the spacing between the knobs keeps it from getting too packed up with mud, allowing it to keep finding grip underneath all the slop.

The Big Betty also gets high marks when it comes to cornering, thanks in part to those sturdy side knobs. There wasn't any vagueness or folding over, and it's an easy tire to trust when pushing hard into a turn. If it does lose traction it's in a predicable manner, rather than a surprising slideout.

This isn't a particularly fast rolling tire, which isn't surprising given the aggressive tread pattern, and the weight. That slower rolling speed was more noticeable on pavement or dirt road approaches to the trails – otherwise, I didn't really think much about it once things got more technical.


Schwalbe Big Betty tire review

DURABILITY
I've been impressed by how well the Big Betty has been holding up. Granted, it hasn't been subjected to any mid-summer bike park laps, which tends to be the quickest way to wear out a tire, but it has been fed a steady diet of steep trails with plenty of hard braking. The overall wear pattern is quire consistent, and all of the knobs are still firmly in place. My time on the Big Betty has been burp free - all of the sealant stayed where it's supposed to, and I also didn't experience any punctures.

WEIGHT
1363 grams is on the heavier side of things, especially considering this isn't the burliest option in Schwalbe's lineup. For comparison, a Maxxis DHR II with DoubleDown casing weighs 1190 grams, and with a DH casing that same tires weighs 1265 grams.

PRICE
High-end mountain bike tires aren't cheap, especially when comparing full retail prices. Like it or not, $94 isn't out of the ordinary. A DoubleDown DHR II will set you back $100, a WTB Judge goes for $84, and a Vee Snap WCE goes for $76 USD.

Schwalbe Big Betty tire review




Pros

+ Tough, supportive casing
+ Excellent braking traction
+ Good durability
Cons

- Heavier than comparable options
- Not the fastest rolling option
- UltraSoft compound only available in DH casing





Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIf you're on the hunt for a tough, grippy, and predictable rear tire the Big Betty is an excellent choice, especially if braking traction is high on your list of priorities. Sure, it's not the lightest, or the absolute fastest rolling, but its outstanding performance in loose terrain and overall durability helps make those points less of a concern. Mike Kazimer








194 Comments

  • 80 1
 After running Minions for nearly a decade I went to a Magic Mary/Big Betty combo this spring on the trail bike, and its been amazing. I second the notion that the braking traction of the Big Betty on the back is absolutely incredible.
  • 85 2
 I always catch grief cuz I think minions are overrated and the magic mary is a better tire. Glad someone else is breaking the mold too lol
  • 31 0
 @seismicninja: My last bike came with a Magic Mary/Rock Razor combo. I never would have tried it on my own, but I have it a go since they were on the bike. I think you’re right — Mary is the better tire. At least for what I ride.

Not sure about Big Betty here. I get why people would like it, but it’s way too heavy-duty for me.
  • 19 11
 @seismicninja: i dont think the minions are overrated, i think is moreof Minions having a reputation of being good tire, why mess with something else? just put minions and forget about tires and focus on something else.
  • 6 0
 But they have a big weight penalty.
  • 3 1
 I've been running MM 2.6 and Big Betty 2.4 on my Ripmo since last fall. I wanted more performance in difficult and muddy conditions. I was hesitant because my bike is now much heavier than with DHF2.5/Aggressor 2.5 combo or Dissector2.4/rekon2.4 that I used in the past. I was always trying to minimise weight penalty with tires. But at 200lbs, I really like this combo. Bike feels so stable and planted, very predictable...

I might be wrong but I feel like the Super Trail carcass is way stiffer than an Exo one so it feels really different than what I use to run... Would be curious to try a DD setup back to back with a supertrail setup on same wheelset...
  • 13 0
 @TheR: MM/RR is the most fun tire combo I've ever ran (not that I've tried out that many). So much grip in the front, and while the back is sketchy and loose, it's somehow quite predictable. I'm like the least stylish rider there is, but with that combo there are enough of these sideways "oh shit" moments that are still easy enough to save before you're headfirst in the trees. Wouldn't run it for enduro or anything (well, if I raced enduro), but for basic trail riding and screwing around it's so good.
  • 6 0
 @TheR: One of my all-time favourite set-ups. The decreased rolling resistance of the RR is amazing and they hook up really well in a lot of conditions(except mud..they are diabolical in mud lol)
  • 17 1
 @seismicninja: they’re too completely different tyres designed to work in completely different ways. The minion is specialist dry / hard condition tyre where the Mary is a more all round / intermediate / Jack of all trades tyre. A minion will absolutely slaughter a Mary when used in conditions it was designed for and the Mary will outperform the minion if you try and use it in conditions it wasn’t designed for like soft / loose ground. It’s not one is better than the other. It’s just the Mary is a better tyre for the trails you ride.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: I like the Magic Mary on the front but I've found RR wears really quickly on the back and even at it's newest it was no better than cheaper options.

Minions front & back is a great setup too.
  • 5 0
 Magic Mary 2.35 front + Minion DHRII 2.30 rear on both my hardtail and my FS for years. What else?
  • 3 7
flag conoat (May 19, 2021 at 10:49) (Below Threshold)
 @seismicninja: I find the squirm of the MM's tread to be offputting. It's just too soft and feels vague af.
  • 2 0
 @Narro2: That was exactly my thought when I got my bike. It’s not that Minions are bad. They’re really great. If my bike had not come with another option, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. But it was good to see another option perform as well, if not better.

A couple comments on what others have written — I have not noticed any unusual wear with the MM or the RR compared to Minions or other tires I’ve used. All about the same, really. I ride on dry conditions for the most part, and I’d still say MM are better than Minions even in the dry, though I’ve heard otherwise. In addition to dry over hard, we have some really dry kitty litter decomposing granite here that can get deep. MM is fine there. I don’t notice any squirrelyness from the RR in the back, but maybe if it was wetter I would. Sidewalls are huge and have a good bite.
  • 2 4
 @TheR: right?, a lot of riders spend a lot of time on tire related stuff, like patching, turning into tubeless, changing pivots, putting a new tube, reviewing tire options, etc. And spending that much time on tires leaves no time to focus on things like suspension set up, seat position, steam length, brake set up and individual skills (bunny hops, barturns, etc).
Just pick a tire, presure and cushcore, give it to a mechanic and forget about tires as longs as you can and focus on more important things.
  • 1 0
 @seismicninja: Same - I remember hearing that Stevie Smith preferred Margy's and I was convinced. Back then they were the Muddy Mary's, and the mud tire was the Dirty Dan - a bit lost in translation on those ones.
  • 2 0
 @shredddr: MM is the best front tire I have used for dry loose conditions. Very predictable and high grip. It is just a slow roller, but what high grip tire isn't slow rolling.
  • 6 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I see you like the Minions, saying they 'absolutely slaughter' the MM's in the hard/dry and the MM's only 'outperform' the Minions in the soft/loose. However, I've had no problems riding MM's in dry conditions and far prefer the added grip when needed on loose terrain. I would therefore reverse the wording: a MM is fine on hard/dry, but a Minion is definitely better. When also riding in the soft/loose (especially with mud), there's no comparison. A Minion is great in the dry but mediocre in the wet. A MM is very good at nearly everything.
Also, I like the grip at lower lean angles and when transitioning from upright into an angle for cornering much more than the grip > no grip > grip that the Minions provide. Probably dependent on riding style though.
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: My favourite combo and size!! Only I'm pretty sure you can't get the 2.35 MM now??
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: I said minions are a very specific tyre that works incredibly well at it’s designated purpose and it’s not fair to compare it to a something that’s designed to work everywhere in a larger range of conditions. Minions suck when you use them in the wrong conditions and god mode in the right conditions and the Mary’s are really good everywhere but exceptional at everything. Big fan of both tyres but use Mary’s way more often.
  • 3 1
 @seismicninja: Same here! The best thing about Magic Mary is the consistent traction you get through the WHOLE range from center knobs to side knobs. I never could get over on Minions the goofy stick well on the center knobs slip to the side knobs characteristic and how people would like that. LOOK at MX tires and they do not have tread patterns of big gaps between center knobs and side knobs. If you ride MX, you know what I mean.
  • 3 1
 @will-burr: It means the side nobs grab better and it gives you a little wiggle room to slide around corners etc. You get more consistent grip with transitional nobs but less overall grip especially in fast corners.
  • 3 0
 Minions, pffffft.
  • 1 0
 Same. Just put a MM and BB on my Ibis Ripmo AF. Handles Pisgah and Kanuga like a champ.
  • 1 1
 @seismicninja: It's because Schwalbe tires used to be not as great sidewall and durability wise, but they have improved a lot in the last two years. It's also highly dependant on where you ride and what weather you ride in mostly. I find DHR/Assegai far better in wet than any of the Schwalbe stuff and I have ridden everything extensively. Of course there is also preference at play.
  • 2 1
 @Lewis73: Honestly, people should stop using EXO for most things unless it's light riding. I run double down rear and EXO+ front and agree entirely with most of the rest of what you said.
  • 1 0
 @seismicninja: I have nothing to compare (first 29" tire I've had), but the Magic Mary is excellent.
  • 6 0
 @Narro2: I think minions are totally overrated. With heavy rain and cloud free sky changing more then once per day, those tire's are bad. Grip in wet conditions are not that good and the most important, they suck ball's if it is cold. We might have summer temperatures allready but if I climb my local mountains there is still snow.

Dry conditions yeah go for it but the protection on minions are shit compared to the super gravity build.
I have two BB in that configuration and since November they had no punctures. I am riding only Enduro and mostly 200km a week. They look exceptional good but what is more important I don't even take a tube or bacon with me because they shrugged off anything. DD is a joke compared. The only other tire who was that good was an Onza with gpr40 but that's the wired DH competition tire from them.

29x2.6 is f*cking heavy, 1,45kg to be precise. 2.4 is like Pinkbike told allready.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: we agree, but it's the wording used ('absolutely slaughter'' vs. 'outperform') that paints a different picture. I believe this hyperbole doesn't justify the small but noticeable difference in the dry. When someone new to the tires reads those words, they might believe the Mary's suck at the dry as much as the Minions suck in the slop. I don't believe that to be the case.
  • 7 0
 @Serpentras: basically, they're great if you live in Australia or Nevada, but are totally overrated for most of the world where precipitation isn't a once a year event. Going by the raving fan posts at PB, a lot of people are probably riding the wrong tires for their environment. But that's the hard thing about tire reviews and opinions: in what conditions and at what tire pressure at which weight and with what kind of riding style did one compare tires? Change one of these parameters and the comparison might be totally invalid for someone else.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: So what would be a good Maxxis tire for a verry hard ground coverd with dusty loam and a lot of washed out roots?
  • 1 0
 @dark-o: very soft rubber for the roots. No experience myself with Maxxis tires on this type of surface. Continental der Kaiser seemed to work fine for friends in the french Alps during summer. Minions in the softest compound would probably also work very well.
  • 1 0
 @Rusettipasta: idk about a rock razor, but the new NN is legit. More predictable than a SS and still fast rolling.
  • 4 0
 @Lewis73: You're not wrong. The Super Trail construction is 5 ply in the sidewall and 4 ply in the tread, compared to 3 ply in the sidewall and 3 ply in the tread for an EXO casing (including the anti cut/pinch layers for both). People like yourself have gotten smart about weight, just because it's heavier doesn't mean it's slower... although a LOT of people have trouble with that idea.
  • 2 0
 @nzandyb: it's slower in acceleration (more rotating weight), but not necessarily slower in keeping speed
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: Yes that is also true! I'm referring to speed holistically above and beyond the simple physical properties of a rotating mass though. As things go, a tire's weight is a terrible indicator of it's performance..
  • 31 0
 I could buy a YZ250 for that price! Oh wait, or something like that…
  • 15 0
 maybe the YZs tire weight comes close...
  • 3 0
 You can't but I bought 2 Dunlop MX33 rear tires for 100€ this evening. Hard to justify the difference of price based on raw material costs and RD cost for top level MX tires is much higher than for Mtb. Gotta love being take for a living wallet tho ...
  • 1 0
 I get Schwalbe for 49,99€ max no matter what setting. House full of 26ers out of paranoia. Sorry for the price people, but they do make the best tires, I say save some place else.
  • 19 0
 They also make this tire in a "bike park" edition- Retail price is like $42. It has steel beads so super heavy (1580g for 29x2.4) but works great as a rear tire if you are cheap like me.
  • 3 0
 The bikepark versions (Magic Mary has/had one in 27.5) are not really "advertised" but actually great as REAR tyre in combination with something soft/ultrasoft on the front for the average bikepark usage:
1) Sufficient grip for a rear tyre in most condition (when not looking for the last 0.1s),
2) Long lasting in comparison with soft / ultra soft tyres on the rear,
3) Great value, at 25 EUR in Europe...
  • 19 0
 run magic mary/big betty myself absolutely love it
  • 5 0
 thats magic front and betty rear? I gotta try this combo
  • 2 0
 Me to, amazing combo. And the braking prowess from the BB is unbelievable!
  • 18 2
 If you run Mary's front and back you can get away with less brakes too, just stop pedaling and the bike will coast to a stop.
  • 3 0
 @RonSauce: so take off the brakes and save weight?
  • 6 1
 If I was trying to save weight I wouldn't have 3000 grams of tire.
  • 2 0
 Me to. I run Mary and Betty on both my HT and squishy bike. They mention Bettys breaking performance but don't forget that it also means it has great climbing traction as well. Betty climbs things with ease that I struggled on with lesser tires like Nobby Nick.
  • 4 0
 @RonSauce: People used to complain to us about Magic Mary being too thin at 750gr. now people complain on PinkBike about too much weight. Oh they are just right, best in class, live with it.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: details details.....
  • 1 0
 @8088yl0n: theres always a winning bitch ahaha ,people complain of everything
  • 15 0
 I recently went to an Eddy Current ST front / Mary SG rear setup, and I can't believe how supportive the Schwalbe casings are. The tires roll much better than expected, they hold air/sealant perfectly, and they grip/corner like mad. I would say wear is on par or slightly better than any other tire in the category. I'm a larger rider and the feel of these tires is unlike anything I've tried, which includes comparable tires from Maxxis, Kenda, Michelin, and even Tioga. The weight is much less of an issue than I thought it would be. I'm interested in trying different Schwalbe combos, and I always like to try new tires, but with my current experience I don't know if I want to go back to any other brand.
  • 5 0
 This! ^^^^
  • 4 0
 Try Vittoria TLR Casing, the Mazza with TLR casing is absolutely brilliant on the rear for heavier riders.
  • 1 0
 Sure they wear great, don't believe everything you read, for 10000$ you get 12000 comments from bots nowadays, destroying reputation of whatever you like. "Kenda surprize" style. Or if that doesn't help you turn their factory (in Japan?!?) on fire. Truth is hard to guard.
  • 17 0
 Gosh, what must the DH casing model weigh? 1360g is nuts.
  • 8 1
 chasing is thick and strong AF
  • 8 1
 Have to have a massive poo before each ride to compensate for that!
  • 1 0
 My 650b is 1625g if I remember correctly.
  • 14 0
 I have used Schwalbe tires for a long time. I will admit there was a period when they could not be considered durable. However I would say for the last 3 years this has not been an issue.
  • 3 1
 I use the ultra soft MM as my winter tires for North Vancouver, the wear is fine in the winter and super sticky(and a good snow tire to boot)but if i add any road to the trail or when the temps warm up, you can almost watch them wear out.
  • 1 0
 durability exactly why I've never tried the Schwalbe
  • 13 0
 After being on Maxxis for the past year I went back on a comparable Schwalbe. I think what I like most about the Schwalbe is the casing just feels so GOOD! Damp and doesn't fold over. Super Gravity is super heavy but honestly feels like the highest quality tire available.
  • 14 1
 The UltraSoft compound is awesome on the magic mary.
  • 8 1
 @Kazimer You should put in your report what the tire is designed for and what you used it for. It was not until "Pinkbikes" take that i realized it was for rear tire use.
  • 1 0
 I currently run Magic Mary/ Big Betty but am going to try Big Betty's front and rear and see how I get on. They aren't too dissimilar to the DHR which people run on the front.
  • 6 0
 I'd be interested in its performance as a front tire, considering many use e.g. a DHR2 as a front tire as well.
Could it be a better front tire than the Mary for more hardpacked trails?
  • 2 1
 In other words, the question could be: "For a front tyre, would it be better than a 2.40 DHRII MaxxTerra that weight much less and works super well everywhere?"

BTW: the Magic Mary is not that awkward on hardpack, especially in soft compound and with a bit more pressure Wink
  • 3 0
 @danstonQ: uh nope the MAXXIS tires suck especially in cold weather.

For the op question, they are good as a front tire. I use BB since November because shit weather. They are holding out well. As a front tire it would last even an eternity.
  • 1 0
 I've just picked up a pair of BB's to try this. Will be coming from MM/BB so not new to these tyres
  • 1 0
 @exmouthlocal: have you tried BB on the front yet?
  • 1 0
 @deli-hustler: no, broke my hand at black mountains in June and only now back on the bike, gonna stick with MM now the slop is here but will do BB on the front when it drys next year.

I got the idea from a Ben Cathro clip on IG where he did it, I dm'd him and he said it ran fine. The BB isnt too far from a DHR2 which DH riders have run F&R for years
  • 5 0
 I'm really grateful that Schwalbe still provides great 26" tire options for us dinosaurs on tiny wheels. I dont think they can make lot of profit on the 26" mold, but they sure do get some customer fidelity by doing this: once I'll find the money to eventually upgrade to a 29" modern superbike, I'll be looking for Scwhalbe tires.
  • 7 3
 Hope the durability is better than the last couple Schwalbes I’ve been on. Last one I tore 51 knobs off at the base in 10 rides! I freaking love the performance out of Schwalbe but only get a couple rides ever feeling that performance. Went back to trusted maxxis and it’s been working great!
Assegai/DHR2
  • 3 0
 Tearing at the base is the ABSOLUTE WORST wear pattern for a mountain bike tire. Maxxis side knobs slowly degrade on the interior, and usually the most at the top and the least at the bottom. Tearing at the base means sudden traction loss. Gradually wearing down the interior (like a Maxxis) means a slow predictable loss of traction over the life of the tire.
  • 5 0
 @rickybobby18: Agreed and while my DHRs have been wearing like that, the High Roller is the worst tire I have seen as far as knobs tearing off. I tore every single knob off (corner AND center) of a maxxterra in 3 weeks. And then did the same thing to the replacement.
  • 1 0
 @rickybobby18: had to replace my prior gen Butchers because I discovered 6 side knobs tore off at the base and I could see the nylon carcass, about 1/2cm square. Spectacular failure at only 120 miles! Good thing I had a spare set of Mazzas ready to go
  • 1 0
 @rickybobby18: EXACTLY. It sucked. Was leaking sealant too cuz of it. At least with the maxxis it’s just blown out degraded knobs rather than torn off
  • 4 0
 Did you try the new Addix ones? Durability seems to have massively improved since then. Haven't heard anyone complain about tearing off side knobs on Magic Mary's ever since.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: yes, I’ve used nothing but the Addix ones. The magic Mary actually held well but it was in the front. The nobby nick and Hans both got annihilated in the rear
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: yes the old Hans and especially Nobby Nic are incomparable to the Magic Mary. Mary in the rear is holding great (as long as the ground isn't always dry hardpack, in which case a Minion is preferable anyways), but has higher rolling resistance.
  • 1 0
 My experience exactly. I have been running MM (orange) super-gravity for about a year and I'd never before ripped knobs clean off the tire. They are amazing tires while they last but they don't wear nearly as long as Maxxis. The soft rubber also seems to dry out and get brittle over 3-4 months so I wouldn't recommend them for a garage queen bike (one of a quiver) either. They are meant to be ridden hard and fast it seems. Here for a good time, not a long time.
  • 7 1
 Meh about Schwalbe tires, but as a name combo, Big Betty and the Ass Guy is tough to beat.
  • 2 0
 Also billy bonkers
  • 2 0
 Should put the Ass Guy in the back then
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: yes I agree
  • 2 0
 Anyone got an idea of how the schwalbe casings compare to maxxis? Initially it seems like trail = exo/exo+, gravity = dd and dh=dh. But the weights are quite different, so I'm wondering if they're not really equivalent. For example could you go from a dd to a super trail and get similar protection (as he weights are more similar than to a super gravity)
  • 6 1
 Super trail is like Double Down, Super Gravity is basically a DH casing, Super DH is overkill for pretty much everything.
  • 1 0
 Thanks
  • 1 1
 @c-radicallis: super gravity is similar to having double down sidewalls with an exo crown.
  • 5 0
 Based on what I know about the new Schwable casings from riding experience, the Super Trail is much more sturdy than an Exo, hence the weight difference... I don't believe there is a 1 to 1 comparison of Super Trail:EXO, Super GravityBig Grin ouble Down, and Super DownhillBig Grin H (Schwable:Maxxis). Frankly I think the Schwable Super Downhill are one step above a Maxxis DH and likewise on down the line. So a Super Trail is comparable to a Double Down, and the Super Gravity comparable to a Maxxis DH.

When Amaury Pieron was destroying the field in 2019 he was running Schwable Super Gravity casings, and that was before Schwable released their new line of casings which added more layers to the Super Gravity. The new Schwable Downhill casing was designed to be thick enough to ride at the highest level without an insert.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: That's the old Super Gravity, which is now the Super Trail.
  • 1 0
 @c-radicallis: ah ok thanks for that.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Gen 1 Supergravity was kind of what you're describing (3 total fabric/plies in the tread, 4 in the sidewall +rubber apex layer), currently Supergravity has 5 in the tread area and 7 in the sidewall. Super Gravity tires have won DH world cups in both Men's and women's races.
  • 2 0
 @c-radicallis: The old Super Gravity and the new Super Trail do not share carcass construction elements: Turn up vs French fold, 50 vs 67 tpi, rubber sidewall insert vs fabric apex layers. Functionally the new Super Trail is considerably more durable in the tread area than the old Super Gravity (prior to 2018 ), with the sidewalls being moderately similar in durability... that is to say virtually indestructible.
  • 2 0
 Sounds like a nice alternative to dhr2 which i consider the gold standard for an all around aggressive rear tire. I Agree with all the above on the MM front tire. I like it in the wet winters in pnw it grips and sheds mud. in summer i like Dhf 2.5 instead fior its faster rolling speed. Really liking the 2.4 Dissector exo+ as a dry season rear. Grippy and fast while still breaking well.
  • 4 0
 for $94 a tire, they'd better come with a "never ever ever ever go flat guarantee"
  • 4 0
 magic mary ultra soft on the front and big betty soft on the rear, for me and for my trails, is the best combo.
  • 2 1
 That's super cool to have this tire in a 26" option but for me it makes no sense to be 2.4" wide as Magic Mary is only available in 2.35 width for this size and it's intended to pair it. I mean no one would put wider tire at the back. I'm on a MM on both wheels and sometimes I feel it slow at the back. Would like to give MM/BB combo a try, because HD seems like not aggressive enough while MM looks like too aggressive for rear.
  • 4 0
 Who cares if the rear tire is nominally 1,27mm wider than the front?
  • 3 0
 They're the same width mate, and if they weren't no one would care, and if they did care just say you're running moto style and then they would think it's cool
  • 1 0
 Yup, but not only that... the 2.35 MM has a shorter sidewall than the 2.4" BB in the 26" option.

Schwalbe please make the 26" Magic Mary in 2.4 with a taller sidewall to match up with 26" 2.4 Big Betty Smile

Thank you kindly
  • 2 0
 Looks like my plus sized DHF that I accidently bought for my rear wheel. I use DHR II on the front. Weird to have grippy rear and great cornering in the rear but not front. Rolling reistance is a bit high.
  • 1 0
 Hey @mikekazimer, you said in a podcast episode a while a go that you were running a winter tire that you really liked but couldn't talk about yet (something about being a tech editor with separate wheels to swap in for mud). Is this that tire?
  • 1 0
 “Super” stands for super difficult to get the bead on or off the rim. Was sold on super gravity tyres until I realised they are too difficult to repair trailside because the bead is too stiff. I won’t be buying them again unless this issue is resolved.
  • 1 0
 My 2 cents on Schwalbe tyres. Liking my Soft Magic Mary 2.6 up front. It can be a little slippery on wet off camber roots but on the whole, it is a relatively good tyre. I'm running the Super Trail casing. At the back currently I have the Nobby Nic Performance 2.35. before that I had a Hans Dampf 2.35 Soft in Super Trail but I found it quite draggy and not a good gripper in general, not good up front either which I tried with the NN out back. The NN performance is as good if not better and if you want better grip then the NN in Soft would work well. Schwalbe Speed Grip compound is rubbish. Tried a NN 2.6 out back which only is available in Speed Grip and in the wet, you just spin out on everything. Lowering pressure to 18psi I created a nice sidewall slash on the Super Trail casing with contact against fallen tree branches on a level part of a natural trail I was riding. This on a relatively new tyre. Not impressed - also mounting up on the Bontranger Line Comp rims with the rear rim strip can be tricky. Getting the hang of it but can be done with soapy water and a floor pump. Just got to let the tyre settle in on the rim though which they do over the course of 12 hours. Would love Schwalbe to do a Nobby Nic in 2.6 either in Performance compound or Soft with the Super Trail casing., Would be my goto Summer tyres or pair nicely with a MM up front. Winter, MM front and rear. All that being said, I have a Vittoria Agarro 2.6 on order and will try that out back with the MM up front. If it goes well, I might then try a Mazza up front down the track as well in 2.6 Not much elevation where I ride but natural trails that can be rowdy as f. Also have a bit of transit time to some trails so I want reasonable rolling with combo of grip and reasonable wear. Choices, choices.
  • 5 0
 You lost me at $94 USD
  • 3 0
 $50 on discount in Germany. That is, unless there's a global pandemic....
  • 3 0
 264Lyfe! I like that there is still quite decent availability for proper 26" rubber, just bought a 26" Der Baron Projekt.
  • 2 0
 Great underrated tire
  • 1 0
 Did you get the 2.5" width, and how does it measure up?
  • 2 0
 @AndrewHornor: Der Baron Projekt is only available in 2,4" width in 26" size (the old Der Baron is available in 2,5", but that tire is pretty different animal to the Projekt version). I haven't even tested the tire yet, so I can't say how it measures up to other tires performance wise, but size wise it measures up pretty nicely to the nominal 2,4" size: 60mm carcass/62mm knobs on a 25,5mm rim.
  • 1 0
 @verskis: right, missed the name change. Thanks!
  • 2 0
 I've bought Pirelli's Scorpions for my dirt bike, and were 70 € including transport!
How can mtb tires cost more than mx tires????
  • 2 1
 weight.
  • 2 0
 @weezyb: two times more? Come on....
  • 5 0
 Con: Shimano Brakes
  • 31 28
 Schwalbe / durable - pick one.
  • 15 1
 The Mary and Betty are durable tires. They have recently changed their casings to become more durable as well.
  • 20 0
 I think this used to be true but I've been very impressed with their tires since they went to the Addix compound.
  • 5 1
 This is what's kept me from trying Schwalbe. I'm not racing, and I can give up a few seconds of downhill time for the sake of not having to buy new tires all the time. An Aggressor DD rear, and Assegai EXO front in *dual compound* lasts an eternity, even for a 190lb guy who rides 10ish hours per week, fast, in very unforgiving terrain (sharp rocks everywhere, not much dirt). It grips incredibly well, and when it breaks traction it drifts veeeeery predictably.

Anything else I've tried wears out so much faster. I'd try Schwalbe, but do they have any tire compounds that come close to the longevity of the Maxxis combo I've mentioned? I can get a DC Assegai to last 4-5 months and and almost the same for the Aggressor and I don't even run them til they're slicks. That's like 200 hours of riding or more.
  • 3 0
 I have a super soft Magic Mary that's getting pretty worn after 5 months or riding 2-3 times a week. Though the Super gravity soft is holding up really well on the rear after the same abuse.
  • 9 0
 @rickybobby18: Addix soft tires (orange) are pretty sticky and last ages
  • 6 0
 Never noticed any lack of durability with Magic Marys compared to, say, Minions.
  • 6 0
 @rickybobby18: The problem with maxxis dual compound is that their only tire available with that rubber and DD casing is the Aggressor. If they made a Double Down DHR with dual compound rubber they would be in a position to compete with schwalbe, but right now they aren't.
  • 3 4
 The thread on my super soft Magic Mary in the old super gravity casing in the front lasted longer than a Dual Compound EXO DHR in the rear
  • 2 0
 I can confirm that the Super casings are an improvement in durability over the previous generation. But that's what made them heavy AF.
  • 3 1
 Specialized tires are the most durable I have found while still being soft enough for everything I ride. Maybe a little too firm for wet weather and slippery roots but not terrible at all.
  • 3 0
 @moefosho: And massively increased the weight too.

Still my tyres of choice though!
  • 5 2
 @rickybobby18: I get 3 months out of a maxx grip Maxxis on the rear. I’ve just got 18 months out of a Orange magic Mary on the rear. Doesn’t have the same levels of grip as a Maxxis but it’s not far off. For how well they roll considering the massive amount of grip they have and how well they last they’re definitely up there with my favourite tyres.
  • 12 2
 @thenotoriousmic: My BS radar is beeping loudly. The only way you get 18months on rear is if you have not used your bike for 15 of them.
  • 3 0
 @jpculp: i urge you to try schwalbe then. I recently went from a Specialized Butcher to a Magic Mary on the front and it feels like i'm riding on rails compared to the butcher.
  • 5 2
 @c-radicallis: Are you aware of the fact, that every tire lasts longer in the front, than in the rear?
  • 2 0
 @cec0: it’s still actually going on my sons bike as it rolls fast for wheelies and it’s heavy so it spins for a long time believe it or not. I just killed a high roller in three month as a comparison.
  • 2 0
 @cec0: Yes, of course. I just thought some people would still be interested in my findings since the rubber compound on those tires were in complete oposite ends of the spectrum. Maxxis Dual Compund is perhaps the longer lasting rubber there is right now availabe with ok casings and thread patterns, and Schwalbe Addix Super Soft is softest compound Schwalbe offers.
  • 2 1
 @cec0: Thanks for this. All the whining about Schwalbe not being durable because means Schwalbe deleted all the light options.

All the riders that are light, using MM etc for XC or trail and/or riding slow/smooth/smart are now forced to use tyres that are 40-60% heavier because heavier riders riding DH without look were they put their tyres were using the lighter casing when they should have been using the heaviest DH versions.
  • 1 1
 @c-radicallis: so your groundbreaking conclusion is: tire lasts longer in the front Smile
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Oh I believe you. It is heavy. It rolls fast, because it doesn`t have knobs anymore Smile
  • 1 0
 @cec0: haha you are totally understandable if you only had the older non super variants.
They are not on the same level.
DD is a joke compared to super gravity. And it is not even the thicc boy from Schwalbe.
Minions also suck ass for cold weather.
Only on dual compound they are acceptable and guees what , no real tire in DD is made for DH/Enduro riding.
  • 1 0
 @Serpentras: I used to run schwalbe before Adix and that was when I became salty, I admit. Now I have adix supertrail MM / BB combo (not by choice, they came on bike) and even though they do grip well, in fact I love them.I like the fact, they are a bit tougher than maxxis. I`m also tearing sideknobs off my front after just couple of months, while the knob is still sharp (with just a few bikepark laps). That`s never ever happened on maxxis and was always my gripe with schwalbe. I wanted them to be good and they are. But only for a short amount of time, before they fall apart. And that`s my problem with them.
  • 1 0
 @zede: For light casings and agressive treads you're probably better off with Maxxis, but i'd say Schwalbe's, Michelin's and WTB's move torwards stronger casings makes sense since many rider were now riding with inserts.
  • 1 0
 @c-radicallis: yeah, I think it's the only option left now. Which is a shame because I really liked the "light" MM.

It usually started leaking sealant after a few months but pumping the tires every week is not a big deal compared to having a bike that is 1kg heavier because of the tires. I know that many people here don't pedal their "trail bikes" other than on the flat (that's why people use inserts and strong casings) but that's not the case for everyone.
  • 1 1
 @zede: all I can say is that I want a durable tire. I am speaking about punctures mainly. Because this will absolutely ruined my flow. Sometimes I could not fix it. Most of the time my significant other complaint, why it took me so long to get back. Because of dead tires I am willing to take extra weight. Yes if I am chose MAXXIS DD for the rear and exo+ on the front I would get almost 1kg lighter bike.
My bike is the Privateer 161. Total custom and expensive/exotic parts. Build to last, with mostly light part's except the suspension because coils.
I don't see the need of rim inserts. My carbon rims need to take the abuse otherwise it's a wasted opportunity in my book to stay lighter. I tried rim inserts but non of them could saved the rim. Maybe slowed the process...
Because the tire is the first thing who will die I want it to be strong and only die because wear/lost knobs.
Compared to Michelin the new Schwalbe tires are much better for protection and general wear. Mostly 500km and my Michelin wild Enduros had lost side knobs. Sometimes ripped the casing that the tire had to big holes.
  • 1 0
 @cec0:
No - on the contrary - just don't keep locking the rear wheel and the tire (DHR2 Dual) lasts forever (way over one season - around 2000km ) just the side knobs get chewed up.
  • 2 0
 Wish I still had that late 2000s Bouncing Betty DH frame to put some Big Bettys on.
  • 3 3
 "That slower rolling speed was more noticeable on pavement or dirt road approaches to the trails – otherwise, I didn't really think much about it once things got more technical."

In other words, it doesn't matter.
  • 3 1
 but do they warp out and make rims feel untrue after one mounting like maxxis'?
  • 1 2
 Your stretching the tyre when you lever it on to the rim for the first time. That’s why there’s a bounce in your new tyre. Just leave it inflated at max inflation overnight and it should sort it.
  • 2 0
 The Big Betty is too much tire for me. I do really enjoy the Super Trail Rock Razor as a rear however.
  • 1 0
 I'm personally a 2.6 Hans Dampf guy - so impressed by how fast they roll, predictability and long life combined with a reasonable weight.
  • 1 0
 How wide are your rims? Would like to try some Schwalbe combo in 2.6 width but not sure if 30 mm is enough?
Also, how wide are they? Have you ever measured them?
  • 2 0
 also comes in 27.5 x 2.8 which is a boon for those of us who have mullet bikes with a big rear tire (Marin ATe2)
  • 1 0
 I was thinking to myself, just how enjoyable and well written Kazimer's article are. Really good stuff.

But I also found a typo. "Loose" should be "lose".
  • 1 0
 Been running new Betty for a bit and it rips...wasn't a fan of the old one I tried but couldn't get it to work for me...the new one hooks up...easy to pitch and drift
  • 1 0
 I have been a believer in the Muddy Mary since riding in Scotland, currently have the Dissector on the back but I think I need to get me a Betty!
  • 9 8
 $100.. yeah ok

Just bought 2 Kenda Hellkats for $120 off CRC no tax free shipping
  • 11 0
 Could get Schwalbe Magic Mary (soft/SuperDH) and Big Betty (ultrasoft/SuperDH) 29x2.4 for $127 USD shipped from Bike24.
  • 16 0
 Can't compare non-msrp to msrp. Hellkats MSRP is $80-$85USD per tire, only $9 less than these Schwalbes.
  • 4 0
 I've been doing double Kenda Pinners - got em both for $100. Pretty good tires - not as good as double assegai but half the price its worth it IMO. I'm not trying to squeeze seconds off race runs so NBD for me personally.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, thought they looked interesting - looked at price- back to my Butchers.
  • 1 0
 One of the few bike parts that are cheaper in europe
  • 2 0
 @SickEdit: It's sad, I work at a bike shop and I can buy tires cheaper from Europe than at cost here in Canada.
  • 2 0
 @coherosand: I love the performance of my Pinners, but they are looking like they wear faster than my minions.
  • 1 0
 The problem with the minion is the cornering knob with the sipe as soon as it wears the knob folds and I fall
  • 1 0
 Many moons ago I had Muddy Mary's. I really liked them and wish l could try Magic Mary's.
  • 1 0
 "Tubeless setup wasn't too difficult".... "I did need to do some battling"

Hmmm.... Was it difficult or not?
  • 1 0
 Hey kaz. As someone who has reviewed and ridden all 3. Shorty, baron, or big Betty if you had to buy for your bike?
  • 2 0
 Could you please do a test on the new Michelin tires !
  • 2 0
 The ol double B's
  • 2 2
 Schwalbe and Durable, not really two words which sit together comfortably. Michellin Wild Enduro best tyres on the market
  • 1 0
 except to casings are made from tracing paper, front tyre burps arent fun and wild enduros provide those by the truck load.
  • 1 0
 @MartyMcfly2810: yeah i burped mine a few times, the rear feels flat if you do a hard g out turn, but the grip is insane
  • 1 0
 looks legit!
  • 1 0
 But does it bam-ba-lam ?
  • 15 16
 Never head of a Shwalbe mtb tire that was durable
  • 13 1
 Those new ones are. Even the Super Trail is very tough.
  • 6 6
 the side knobs on their Hans Dampf went away. I said not anymore. Maxxis everywhere.
  • 2 0
 to me, only the magic mary, while the hans dampf was a one ride tyre for years
  • 3 1
 @lkubica: Yep. The super trail casing is the same as the old super gravity casing.
  • 1 2
 A 3lb anchor...I mean "tire"? GTFO
  • 5 0
 1300g isn’t bad for a 29er enduro tire. My 26 inch nevegals weight more than that
  • 5 6
 Michelin all the way !
  • 2 4
 Me too, only Michelin
  • 1 1
 @DonaldTee: Yeeew!
  • 1 1
 Too bad the Wild Enduro are sold out everywhere, at least in 29"
  • 3 6
 You sure that isn't just a rebranded DHR2?
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