I-MTB

Schwalbe Hans Dampf – Test

Looking forward to the Autumn season and EuroBike 2013 we have started testing tyres, and various other things. In the last few days we tested the Hans Dampf from Schwalbe in the 2.35 snake skin version, tubeless ready. Bagnoli Bike gave us the tyre to test and report on so we are able to be honest and open about our experience.

We tested this tyre on a Super Enduro track in Sauze d’Oulx for three days, a perfect location on some of the toughest enduro trails around. As in all our tests we are focusing on the normal rider and what we think they will gain/loose by using this tyre.

The Hans Dampf Mounted on the back. We also tested the tyre on the front.
You can see how large the tyre is.

Size

This tyre for the stated 2.35 is large, infact almost 20 percent larger compared to the stated  2.35 Maxxis Minion tyre we ran at the same time for comparison. It looked strange at first, but after a while we got used to it and stopped comparing sizes.

Rolling Speed 

This tyre rolls well, in fact considering the grippy nature and density of blocks we found the tyre similar to the Minion in rolling speed feeling.

Grip and Braking

We rode on a variety of wet and dry conditions, this tyre grips really well, we were very impressed. In loose, dry, dirt especially like that which can be found in Tuscany in our Trail Areas these tyres are really good.

Off Camber, loose and dusty soil or just wet muddy soil, rock, in fact all surfaces it was possible to brake hard and push into corners hard, with a really good feeling. Compared to the Maxxis Minion we would say a more solid feeling but when the traction stops the point at which you loose grip is more sudden.

Strength

We used this tyre with a tube and at no point did we have a problem all weekend, no holes, no pinches, no side wall damage. Our only slight negative was with the tyre mounted on the back, with a higher pressure on a dry surface, the centre tread blocks do wear a bit on the front facing edges as the tyre grips under braking. If there was a High Roller style ramp we think the wear would be less. The solution is to make sure your pressures are not too high, so the force of the braking on the back is spread more evenly over the whole tyre surface. This was confirmed when talking to other riders using the Hans Dampf, however no performance degradation was noted despite the wear.

Conclusion 

Overall then we would say that this is a strong, large tyre that will give you a comfortable ride and grip really well in most trail conditions. We would say that in dry dusty conditions this tyre is really good compared to the Maxxis Highroller and Minion which we have also tried.

On the back this tyre really gives confidence and due to the very large size the ride was very smooth and comfortable and in corners the grip was really good. Off camber we felt very confident with this tyre. With mixed and difficult trail condtions this is now our tyre of choice.

On the front this tyre also gave a lot of grip and absorbed rough trail conditions really well and cornered well with a lot of grip.  The size of the casing is large, we got used to this after a while and the 2.3 Minion started to look very thin.

In our experience this tyre is softer than the super tacky Minion we compared it against. We could not evaluate for wear performance long term, as we didn’t have enough time using the tyre.

When comparing to the Minion though we would say we still like the Minion, but if you want light weight, strong, shock absorbing, grippy tyres then the Hans Dampf is definitely  a good tyre to buy.

The price is such though, (more expensive than Maxxis) that this is a quality priced tyre. When you want good performance with the Hans Dampf you know you will get the performance you need for the money you spend.

The prefect trail for this tyre’s performance to be tested on is The Sentinal in Cala-Violina, dry and loose conditions with some hard rocky sections, we went faster than with the Minions on most loose sections as the grip was so good.

Mounting – Technical Point.

We mounted the tyres with a tube, if you want to mount the tyre as tubeless then Bagnoli Bike or any other bike dealer can advise you on how best to do this with specific rims etc.

Acknowledgments.

Tyres supplied by Bagnoli Bike. www.bagnolibike.it

 

7 August 2012  ~  Written by

Posted under:  MTB Bike Test, Parts Test, Trails

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I-MTB is an online MTB magazine and trail areas operator based in Tuscany, Italy

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