Sidewall strength vs pressure vs weight savings

I’m curious what you have found to be best. Thick, thin, tire inserts? I haven’t ridden any thick sidewalled tires other than the nightrider on my 36er. What I have noticed with 2 ply sidewalls is a tendency to fold while pecking and to autosteer if pressure is below around 22 psi.

Depends a lot on the type of riding you do.

For Muni, sidewall strength is essential in my mind. On my 27.5er I first had a really light and thin 2.8er tire that was very hard to control. Then I changed to a slightly heavier model with apex carcass and it’s so much better steerable and more forgiving.


Hi Eric, what tires are you talking about?

I am rebuilding a 2.8 wtb vigilante with a tire insert. I’ve just cut in an half a lighter wtb ranger to be able to get the rim back. I’ve tested it with a 7PSI setup (I did need to test it even without tire sealant) and it was incredible and also rideable. It was the first time I rode upon a curb (never been able to do it). But I’m considered a crazy one guy. No one thought about Berd spokes, but I did test them before speaking. No one use a tire insert, but I did test it before expressing any opinion. I did also test tubeless ghetto setups on all my wheels before becoming mad for hooked rims or hookless rims. But I’m considered a crazy guy, so go on using light tire for road use and strong sidewall for heavy muni. Every other options doesn’t exist if you stick to the common ideas.

In my opinion the best choice for muni is the lightest grippy tire witn a tire insert. If the lightest tire isn’t tubeless ready, go on with a tubeless ghetto setup (but remember it will be a one way setup: it will be extremely difficult/impossible to disassemble). For a road use the best choice is the lightest tire without a tire insert and a tubeless ghetto setup (far better than any normal tubeless combo because you won’t ever experience tire burping). I now ride normal tubeless with tire insert if I need dampening, ghetto tubeless if I need lightest rotational mass avoiding any burping risk

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So the tire insert allows you to run lower pressure without so much auto steer or tire folding or burping as well as use a lighter tire to compensate for the weight of the insert?

And a heavy sidewall tire will give me better ride behavior and control at the expense of weight?

Also, I imagine this is all relative to the weight and riding style of the rider. Someone who weighs 50 kg might find little or no benefits to a heavier sidewall or insert while someone who weighs 100kg might find they make a major difference?

If you use a tire insert like Vittoria airliner your aim is not a lower PSI, to use more tire dampening, your aim is use tire dampening+insert dampening (so avoid tire insert made only to preserve rim or keep sidewall straight, you need a tire insert made to let you ride home flat).
So the tire insert won’t let your ride lighter it will increase amazingly the dampening property of your tire. An hard sidewall tire will weight the same but with half the pros

So when I ride over a drop or over bumps a tire insert is going to be better. How about for hopping?

Do not use pre hops.

However I suggest you to test and decide your preferred solutions. Just consider than solution. Avoid rim pro, huck norris and insert like them. Prefer sausages style inserts

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The bad one with the thin sidewall was the Specialized Purgatory Control 27.5x3.0.
The good one that I still ride is the Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5x2.8 EVO APX TLE TS.
It has an apex-reinforced sidewall:
(Apex carcass comes from motocross tires)
More infos on it here: 650B 275 26+ 275+ Felgen Reifen Erfahrungen - #148 by Eric_aus_Chemnitz
If you can read german, I made review on both here: 650B 275 26+ 275+ Felgen Reifen Erfahrungen - #150 by Eric_aus_Chemnitz


Here’s the translation of my review:

Apex is the key!

So, here’s my report on the Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5x2.8 EVO APX TLE TS.

So that you can better assess, the following in advance:
My tire experience is quite limited. On the 24er I have so far always had Duro Wildlife Leopard (first with tube, now tubeless) and on the 27.5er I previously had the Specialized Purgatory Control as 3.0er. The Erfurt Marathon I once rode on a Maxxis Ardent 29x2.4. I have no experiences with more muni tires.
I do not ride technical downhills and do no big drops. So my experience is limited to cross country.
I also do not belong to the people who regularly measures the pressure and adjusts it to the tenth of a bar exactly. For me, a tire must be well rideable within a wide range of pressure and not just have a small sweet spot. I only pump up very rarely.
The most important criterion for me is “benelovence”.

The Duro has almost no auto steer and rolls smoothly over almost everything. It never gets bumpy, always has good damping.

The Purgatory Control has the problem of most folding tires in this dimension: the sidewalls are simply too thin and not very stiff. The tire often wants to tell you where to go and has too little damping. In the terrain, he is thus often too bumpy, swings up and forgives few mistakes. Sometimes it even starts hopping on even ground if you accidently pedal in its natural frequency.

The Nobby Nic with Apex carcass behaves much more like the Duro. The sidewalls are a lot stiffer than the Purgatory Control despite he is in the same weight class. Thus, he can be maneuvered very precisely in the trail and absorbs shocks very well without catapulting one out of the saddle. Almost as good as the Duro. But it is a good three-quarters of a kilo lighter than a Duro in 27.5 would be. He forgives errors quite well. Between several successive roots he calms down very quickly, so that you can tackle the next obstacle usually without remaining vibration from the previous.

The tire rides very fast. Thus, it feels much more MTB-like on the trail than the Duro. With the Specialized I have always wanted my 24er back while being on the trail, now with the Nobby Nic really everything fits perfectly. So you can take full advantage of the better rollover behavior of the larger wheel. With the Specialized I tried to avoid all roots and stones, with the Nobby Nic I can easily take every bump that looks like fun.

Also on uphills I come much further up than before with this tire.

The Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5x2.8 EVO APX TLE TS rides fast, agile, precise on the trail and behaves very good-natured. He does not punish you for smaller riding errors immediately with a UPD but handles them quite well. Almost as good-natured as a Duro, but much lighter, faster and more agile. Auto steer is almost non-existent. For me, it has what it takes to be an absolute reference tire in this size. Feels really like the bigger and faster brother of the Duro.