Hey guys, as I’m super bored at school in my study, I figured I may as well make this, to help others to choose what trials tyre they should be getting for whatever style of riding they have or demand from a tyre.
I have experience in both bike and uni trials, and have used all of the following tyres at some point in both of my sports. I also consider feedback and opinions of riders from both trials sports such as Joe Hodges and many of the top British biketrials mod riders.
NB: These reviews are for trials riders, and not street/flat riders who have different demands in these tyres.
Maxxis Creepy Crawler
One of the most popular trials tyres, especially for beginners. Designed by Dani Comas as a tyre to aid him and his teammates with super grip on natural terrain which the original Monty tyres were failing at.
Grip- Second to none, as proven in previous biketrials world championships where these and Try-Alls were the only tyres were gripping on the wet mossy rock sections. Still grips OK in wet.
Compound- 42a super tacky compound by Maxxis, extremely sticky and grippy, but can have a ‘dragging’ feeling.
Bounce- Fairly decent, nothing particularly ground-breaking, but good. Soft and slow rebound. Depends on rider’s own personal taste and tyre pressure.
Wear-rate- Wears down quite quickly in comparison to other tyres like Try-All. Notorious in biketrials for wearing quickly.
Sidewalls- My pet-hate feature of this tyre, the quality of the sidewall is horrid. Threads start appearing and many in biketrials have torn the sidewalls. Sidewalls are very thin and fold extremely easily which is why many top riders dislike this tyre as sometimes a preload for a no-prebounce gap can just ‘loop out’ because the sidewalls ‘slip’. Very hard to explain, but this is the main reason why top riders stray away from this tyre.
Pinch-resistance- In biketrials, let’s just say people HATE this tyre’s pinch resistance because the thin sidewalls crush the inner tube inside when they fold like mad. I’ve known riders on London bike rides to have had 4 pinch flats from Creepy Crawlers in one day. In uni, less is the case, but you may as well know the reputation for this tyre from the bike perspective…
Overall: Get this tyre if you are on a budget, extremely cheap compared to some other tyres. The grip is really something you should be looking for when riding natural especially. If you like running your tyre at super hard pressures and ride natural, then this tyre is fine for you. For urban riders, this tyre still grips great in the wet, but it does wear a bit faster than other tyres. But, for flat riders, due to the build style and quality of this tyre, it is not a good candidate for shaving. Too thin and ‘thready’ in areas for it to be suitable for shaving.
Another very popular tyre choice, but sadly at a comparatively high price. Extremely grippy, with an advantageous tread pattern.
Grip- Very very good, the undisputed best for grip on wet round rails, the way the tyre is shaped on the corners with the low-profile side treads and the sidewall that sticks out slightly, it has great ‘edge’ grip on rails, which I was shocked to see when Joe was riding along a long wet round rail.
Compound- Sticky stuff, not quite as draggy as the Creepy Crawler, but definitely one of the longest lasting treads compared to some other tyres.
Wear-rate- surprisingly slow considering how grippy this is. Joe Hodges still has his one from around a year ago when he first got his Koxx sponsorship.
Tread-pattern- one of the nicest features of this tyre, it is designed to flick out mud more effectively than the traditional ‘block tread’ style of most tyres. Looks great, grips extremely well on the edge of surfaces, biketrials riders LOVE this tyre.
Bounce-like Marmite, this is love or hate… me and Joe used to hate the bounce of this tyre because it is so damn different in feel to tyres like the Monty Eagle Claw and Maxxis CC. But after a while, we got used to it and love the way it bounces. Extremely bouncy for sure, its hard and thick sidewalls give a hard rebound property making the bounce feel ‘stiffer’.
Sidewalls- extremely good sidewals, thick and a nice chunky wall of rubber. Much much nicer than CC or Eagle Claw sidewalls which rip and show threads. Makes this tyre perfect for shaving.
Pinch resistance- pretty decent, not many biketrials riders complaining, definitely MUCH better than CCs on this front.
Overall: Extremely nice tyre, with the highest construction quality over any other trials tyre. Amazing grip, innovative tread pattern, unique side-grip properties, decent pinch resistance, super long lasting… A great tyre for BOTH urban and natural riders… (a very rare feat).
Monty Eagle Claw
Essentially, this tyre is an upgrade of the Creepy Crawler. Same style of construction and improved in almost all areas.
Grip- read Maxxis Creepy Crawler
Wear-rate- lasts a decent amount of time, longer than the CC, but Try-All lasts longer for sure. Still damn impresseed.
Sidewalls- like the CC’s except a tad thicker and does not have the unreliable folding properties that can upset your preloads. Good stuff… however, my only criticism is that the sidewalls are still slightly ‘papery’ like the CC and threads poke through, makes it look cheap and feel cheap. Meh, no great loss.
Pinch resitance- DAMN good, so damn good. Joe hardly ever got pinches with this tyre, and the biketrials people I ride with share the same view and experiences.
Bounce- Insanely good, insanely… good… Joe’s choice tyre for bounce. Again, bounce is very much down to personal preferance and tyre pressure.
Overall: Really really really good tyre, in a nutshell: a Creepy Crawler with most of its flaws improved! Only criticism: papery sidewalls with threads poking through. A must for natural riders.
Monty Elite/Atlas/Salmon wall/Yellow wall/White wall
The original style of Monty tyre, has been around for years and years but discontinued a few years ago. Great bounce, shit grip.
Grip- ergh, not very good at all. It is shocking how badly it grips in the wet. Shall we just say that back about a year ago, me on a Creepy Crawler was beating Joe on an old school Monty at some wet natural because he was slipping so much. In the dry, it’s fine.
Compound- very funny compound that is SUPER soft, but not grippy… almost like foam?! Mmm…
Wear-rate- Pretty decent, lasts a fair amount of time with most people, but not as good in this case as the Try-All. Similar to Eagle Claw in this case from my experience and many others’.
Pinch resistance- read Monty Eagle Claw, very similar in this case
Bounce- EXTREMELY stiff rebound properties due to the extra extra stiff sidewalls, this was the key feature of the tyre. I loved this tyre for bounce, and hundreds of bike riders would agree. But again, bounce is very much personal preference.
Sidewalls- SUPER thick, and give a hard rebound, shame that threads start appearing over them making it look old extremely quickly.
Overall: Very good if you plan on riding in the dry and on urban. Not so good for wet at all. However… vintage. Also… damn easy to get on and off rims!
Echo (ALL-BLACK 2007/2008 onwards) and Onza Sticky Fingers
These two tyres are the same model of tyre except the Onza has a coloured stripe down the middle (either redbrown or grey). This tyre is extremely underrated and not as bad as some may think. Joe Hodges used the Onza tyre to win his first British trials championship. Also, the Echo is THE choice tyre for British Biketrials urban riders. Not too great for natural or wet weather though…
Grip- Nothing special at all… little bit better than the old school Monty tyre in this case(refer to old school Monty tyre review above)
Tread pattern- very tightly packed blocks, and very stiff blocks at that! Not too great for grip compared to other tread patterns (e.g. Maxxis, Try-All, Eagle Claw)… but gives low rolling resistance so bike riders love it in this case.
Bounce- Fairly decent actually, seriously. This is the main reason why biketrials riders are using the new Echo for urban… stiff rebound
Pinch resistace- Fine, nothing to worry about as much as Maxxis CC. Average… not terrible, not ground-breaking. Good enough for most riders.
Compound- hard compound… low rolling resistance, but not so grippy in wet. Wears at a similar rate to Luna in past experience (pretty decent)…Sticky Finger’s mid-tread compound is softer than the black compound so it wears a little faster.
Overall: Great for urban riders, a nice alternative. But there are better… this is mainly a preferable tyre for biketrials riders. Not so good for natural at all! Similar to Luna in many respects
Ah, the Luna… before the Maxxis CC came out, this was the original beginner’s tyre. Damn hard compound, solid construction. Loved by many uni riders… HATED by biketrials riders beyond belief. No one half-decent at biketrials really likes this tyre. Funny how these two worlds collide…
This really is a love or hate tyre. I personally dislike it, many people on the otherhand love it.
In a nutshell: Hard compound, stiff rebound, average pinch resistance, reasonable wear rate. But heavy as hell compared to other tyres. Low rolling resistance. Average grip. Also, a bitch to get on and off rims compared to some other tyres.
There are a few other tyres out there, but are so damn rare now that no one really can use them. (e.g. Monty 2.7 and the original Echo Supatrial white-stripe). I’ll get reviews of these up if anyone really wants.
Regarding the BOUNCE issue… like I stated in many of the above reviews, it is down to personal preference. This is one factor that is variable, and different people will like different types of bounce. Some people hate the Try-All bounce whilst others love it. It’s a matter of getting accustomed to different types of bounce.