Thursday, May 3, 2012

Schwalbe Hans Dampf Impressions

Schwalbe makes some good tires and the Hans Damf 2.35 is no exception.  It was designed to be an "all-arounder" and was developed specifically with North America in mind with all the varied conditions we can see in different parts of the country.

The Hans Dampf is a Proper 2.35. When cornering hard, I can get it to rub the chainstay. I really like that mine both weighed in at around 780 grams. That is bad ass! These are potential trail tires extraordinaire! They have stronger sidewalls "Snakeskin"- Schwalbe's nomer, and are tubeless ready (not UST).

I mounted them up on two different bikes and headed out to Sedona, AZ. to see if they would make me a hero. They did very well but I didn't manage to achieve hero status. Sedona doesn't have a huge amount of variable conditions- there is slickrock, and loose sandy stuff, and that's it, but they did just fine. They did what they were asked and sometimes more, and the more I rode them the more I liked them, and trusted them.

I have ridden the foothills a handful of times on them too. Again, they pretty much do what is asked. When they do let go on the corners, they do it predictably. I only ride on tires this wide once in awhile (usually Moab or Sedona)  and I have noticed that they can float around a bit, and loose traction earlier on the loose-over-hardpack trails of the Albuquerque foothills and similar areas. The Hans did this too, but not as bad as other tires this size that I have tried, so I'd actually put that in the positive column for Hans.

They feel like they roll pretty dampf well for their size and level of traction, and I'm excited to try them on the longer rides in the East Mountains and up at altitude.

On the negative side, the knobs are "chunking" and "mushrooming" (like most Schwalbes do) and they will probably wear down quicker than most tires. The price paid for the triple compound rubber and whatnot...Of course, Schwalbe being Schwalbe, they are freaking expensive!

There are definitely tires that do some things better, but these are very good all-around tires at a great weight. The price is too high and the level of wear too high for them to appeal to the majority of riders, but if you want a great all-conditions tire in a large size, at at low weight- then the Hans Dampf is your bad boy.

Charlie S.

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