Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evo. ( 26 x 2.35)
£45 ( ish)
I was looking froward to trying these out. Even more so now I’m Tubeless. They are “Tubeless Easy” which means they are pretty easy to fit. That they are. All I needed was Schwalbe easy fit, some Stan’s solution, tyres ( Dur) and a track pump.
They have a very rounded shape to them which in theory should give you lots of grip whatever angle you are leaning. The blocks are as you can see well spread and quite deep so ideal for soft conditions. The Snakeskin fends off rocks and the like whilst the Trailstar compound should give you lots of grip.
Now I’ll be honest all of the above is what is suppose to happen. For me however it’s been a bit of a tricky trail. I run my tyres about 27 psi but have found that from time to time the front lets go. Not great for confidence. In one case it resulted in a rather unfortunate Off. I’m sure in loamy conditions they are great but round here they are pretty much everything but. In soft pine needles they were ok but a couple of moments didn’t put me at ease. In fact no matter what surface they have been a bit well, scary at times. They do roll well and wear is really good, but we haven’t got on that well. Maybe in a Vertstar compound and a little heavier duty might help on the hardtail. I did have a freak puncture due to a rock which meant stop pump up tyre , slosh sealant around pump up again, ride, stop repeat. But once i got more sealant in the tyre it was all good.
I’m not going to write them off yet. maybe run a little lower pressure and see what they will be like in wetter conditions. Fingers crossed. For Summer and hard trails i would stick to Hans Dampf up front and rock Razor on the back. I found both of these to be better than the Nic.
Dmr Wingbar mk3 and Sect stem
Bars = £49.99
Stem = £49.99
Well as you know we are fans of DMR here at HTN so when a pair of the Wing Bars and a Sect stem turned up I wasted no time fitting them. The Bars are 780mm wide 35mm rise and come in a snazzy Nickel grey finish which looks very nice and wears well. The Sect stem is aimed more at dirt jump but turns out to be pretty good on the trail too. At 0 rise and 40mm reach it’s going to make for nippy handling.
The bars have a nice sweep on them and despite being 780mm wide don’t feel too wide. They take a fair bit of buzz out of the trail and with 35 rise they help keep the front up a bit which I know is rather in the face of fashion. The finish is spot on although I would prefer to see Etched markings for width as the painted marks tend to wear off. However the rest of the bar has been out in all sorts and still look almost like new. They feel good as I said and aren’t too stiff nor flexy. There’s not a lot to say other than that. They are a good price too.
The Sect stem is a bit of a Marmite one I’m afraid. The large clamp which uses 2 forward facing bolts and 2 rear facing bolts to secure the bars does a grand job of securing the bars. They are rather large bolts too which is great for strength but do add a fair amount of size to the stem. I would like to see them come down a size so it doesn’t look quite so bulky especially as it slims off a fair chunk by the time it’s got to the steerer clamp. The other down side of a large front/bar clamp is it does make fitting a set of lights, or other bar mounted gadget a tad tricky. The slim steerer clamp is much more to my liking but maybe a bit deeper would help balance out the difference in size.
The only real gripe apart from the size issue is how chuffing tight you need to do the bolts up. I have had to get a little heavy handed to make sure they don’t move. A little grease did help but i still found i was doing them up a bit tighter than i liked. Other than that this is a great set up and whipping through tight sections is a blast. The Orange finish is rather snazzy and a little Sect logo adds a touch of style too.
All in all a good set up if you like a tough but quick handling bike. Like i said the size and having to tighten the bolts are the only gripes I have. At less than a 100 notes it’s a fair deal too and a little different from the mainstream.