Monday, September 10, 2012

Geax Mescal 29er TNT 2.1 Tire Review

I put one of these tires on the back of my full suspension 29er in anticipation of the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest race, figuring that it would be a fast light option, and given my experience with Geax's durability and tough casings in the past, maybe it wouldn't flat on me.

The tire itself has a very low center tread with a chevron shaped knob and a tight row of medium sized cornering knobs. It looks fast and it felt it too. The minute I rode the bike I could feel a difference (the old tire was a Spez Captain) which is impressive since I only changed one tire on the bike. Part (most) of this is its light weight of course- 625 grams for a tubeless compatible 29x2.1 is pretty damn good. The 2.1 size is about spot-on, unlike many manufacturers tires. The Mescal did its job during the race and I felt reasonably fast despite coming off an injury not too many weeks prior.

I left it on the bike for the next few months to try it out on the trails. It seems that the Mescal is also a passable trail tire. I found that it gripped very well on dry or slightly moist packed trails, it was more than competent (for its size) on loose trails, but it's Achilles was the smooth limestone rocks of the East Mountains. No tire is good on those rocks but the Mescal seemed worse than most. Perhaps it was the tread, the size, the rubber compound, or a mix of all those things, but it was just a bit scary and aggravating on those trails.

The sidewalls do seem thin compared to the trail tires I usually run (which makes sense), but I never suffered a flat or puncture. It could be luck, but Geax seems to do well for me in this regard. Generally, he 2.1 size alone leaves it off the trail tire list around here, but trail riding in other parts of the country is different, and if you are looking for a tire that you can definitely race on, and use on your not-too-rugged local trails as well, the Mescal deserves a look.

Charlie S.

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