The Speedy Trail Slayer: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6″ Review

Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29 x 2.6

The magic bullet of tires is highly subjective depending on trail conditions, riding styles and personal preferences.  Lucky for us we have flavors to fit nearly every riding style including some exceptional ones that seem to do it all.   The new 2.6″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic is the latest size of one of my personal favorites to offer that edge.


Details:  Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6 Addix Speedgrip | $80-$98 | Weight: 862.3 grams (avg of 3) | Sizes: 27.5 and 29 (tested)


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Ibis Ripley V3 Nobby Nic 2.6
The 2.6’s help give the Ibis Ripley a new level of confidence.

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On Scales Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6
This was the heaviest of the three that I weighed.  The other two were 847g and 849g

Our friend Barrett from Red Wolf Mountain Bike Tours provided an initial review and detail of the new Addix rubber compound here: Initial Review: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6.  Basically, the new Addix compound is formulated for more grip in a longer lasting and faster compound.

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Is the 2.6″x 29 Nobby Nic the holy grail of fast trail tires that bites?  It should be since it’s the only one that is currently available!  The increased air volume and footprint of the oversized 2.6″ Nobby Nic appears to be leading the charge to find the sweet spot of tires.   Maxxis and others have announced their 29×2.6, but have yet to release presently.

Riding the 2.6

Schwalbe tires, in general, I feel work best for riders that ride light and don’t try to push the low air pressure limits.   With that said, that is what the 2.6 allows you to do with the extra volume.  At 145lbs I’m running 18psi front and 19 rear with no problems and feel that I can hit the lines as fast as I want without hitting rim.  I run 3-5psi more with the 2.35″ Nobby Nic on the same 34mm internal Ibis 938 rims.

Increased footprint with added tire volume most definitely gives some added confidence and wicked traction.  Wet roots, rocks, and leaves all feel a little grippier.  I find myself breaking later and pushing harder into the corners with traction to spare.

The tire claws at any terrain.  The ability of this tire to perform in any terrain really is amazing.   I haven’t really found a condition that this tire doesn’t excel in other than maybe sharp rocks.  If your local terrain has sharp rocks, you might look towards something that has a little more protection.

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Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6" Addix
After roughly 450 miles the new Addix compound 2.6’s are holding up very well.

Handling is a little more responsive than the previously tested 2.8″ Nobby Nic .  When pushed on hardpack there is less tire flex since you need to use more pressure and have shorter 2.6″ sidewalls.  I’d probably downsize to a 2.35 if all I rode were smooth and buff xc trails to save some weight and rolling resistance.  The 2.6″ Nobby Nic is my preferred tire for my mix of rooty, rocky and sometimes loose terrain.


Positives

  • Low weight and rolling resistance
  • Very predictable with great traction in loose, dry or wet
  • Oversized footprint conforms to roots and rocks for extra traction and stability

Negatives

  • Puncture resistance in rocks when really pushed by aggressive riding
  • Expensive – 2.6″ sizes aren’t available in lower-end models yet.

While riding aggressively in the rocks and roots I did puncture two rear tires.  Both were a result of riding the edge of tire pressure too finely.  One was simply a puncture in the tread and the other was a snake bike that put a hole in the tread and bead.

I definitely prefer the 2.6″ Nobby Nic to the previous 2.35’s on my Ibis Ripley in rough terrain.  The Ripley’s shorter travel is quickly overwhelmed while attempting to hang with friends riding bigger travel bikes on rough descents.  The added grip of the 2.6″ gives me the confidence to hang corners a little faster and float through the rough with more sure-footedness.

Purchase the Nobby Nic here: Competitive Cyclist

 

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. John Williamson

    Whoa, I thought this tire was only available in the Apex sidewall which come in at 950 gms. With the weight you show, it woulfd have to be just the Sankeskin sidewall. Could you verify?
    Thanks, good write-up

    1. Chad Davis

      Hi John! Yes, you are correct. It is the Snakeskin sidewall. I should have specified, thanks for the comment!

  2. Steve

    Hello and thank you for the review!

    I own a 2015 Fox 34 150mm non-boost fork. My wheels are Derby 40mm (34mm internal width). I’m currently running a Minion DHF 2.5 (wide trail version). FYI: I own a 2015 Yeti SB5C.

    Can I replace it with a Nobby Nic 2.6 tire? I’m pretty sure that tire will fit on my wide Derby rim as a front tire (I know for sure it won’t fit as a rear tire). So, my question to you is: “Will it fit on my wheel as a front tire?”

    Thanks,

    Steve

    1. Chad Davis

      Hi Steve! I’m pretty sure the 2.6 NN will fit in your 2015 34. The 2.6″ NN measures about 65mm’s wide on a 35mm internal rim and is about 712mm in diamenter. You may not have a ton of tire clearance. If you need a lot of clearence for muck it may be a little tight.

  3. Scott

    Mine both weight 930 and 940 grams although that’s weighted some sealant that has dried. Not light tires- the Maxxis Recons are much lighter at a true 780 grams. However the NN corner a lot better. So which do you choose, the better cornering but heavier tire or the tire that is way lighter at the same exact width and volume?

    1. Chad Davis

      Hi Scott, Thanks for the info. Schwalbe may have added some weight to the NN. A friend just got some that are over just over 1,000 grams! I’ve not spent much time on the Recons, but the little time I have I did like them. They seemed to roll fast for sure. Hmmm, maybe I should try to grab a pair to try out?

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