Monthly Archives: April 2009

Marty’s Geax Saguaro tire review.

Click on photo to go to Saguaro on Geax.com

I got some Geax Saguaro TNTs a while ago. They are a bit porky compared to the foldable bead version, but I am not really a weight weenie. The Saguaros are truly 29×2.2, so they hold a decent amount of air. Idid not weigh the tires because I was too anxious to throw them on some rims.

I mounted the TNT Saguaros on Flows Rims with Stan’s yellow tape and Stan’s presta valves, all of which works like a charm. I used a mixture of Stans and Slime. No seepage of sealant, aired-up the first time with a compressor and held pressure for over two weeks with no discernible loss. However those tires are on the rims for good, they are not coming off till they need to be replaced because they were damn near impossible to get on. I have ridden them for a few rides now and they feel much better than the Rampages they replaced. There is a slight buzz when cornering on pavement but they roll fairly fast and smooth in a straight line. When I got into the woods I kept lowering the pressure in increments ( a short pfft-pfft) till I ended up with the tire feeling very smooth on the fire roads with no vibrations coming through. It felt like I was on smooth pavement, yet the tires were not squirmy. The trails were generally dry and baked hard except for some shady areas in lower ground where there was some tacky dirt (but not mud) underneath the leaves. Coming off the fire roads onto the single track I felt great. Nothing  earth shattering, the tire gripped the ground, did not spin out on short steep climbs, nor did it slip on roots and rocks. There is not much to say other than there were no negative surprise. There is a freshly logged section covered in branches, wood chips, and gravel that would cause my cross bike to bounce over the larger branches or slide off them and get whipped around side to side. The Saguaros pinned smaller branches to the ground and rolled over them without the branches rolling about or the tire sliding along the branches. I just smoothly rolled over. I kinda took it for granted. The same on rocky sections. One section that I know well I went faster than I usually do, while I did feel the kicking and bucking of the bike I also did not worry about pinch flats.

The Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29×2.4 is my current standard for a shit-hot tire. Do the Saguaros roll as  well as the Racing Ralph 2.4? I am not sure. The Saguaros are tubeless, run at a lower pressure and my RRs are mounted with tubes and run at a bit higher pressure (~30-35psi?) since they rolled off a velocity Blunts rim at lower pressure. Even with higher tire pressures, I managed to pinch flat an RR a few weeks ago while riding with Phil. The tubeless’ psychological effect of believing that there are no more pinch flats is a bonus on the bumpy stuff. Subjectively the Saguaros is a bit more confidence inspiring on rougher stuff (tubeless vs tubed?) but most races in Germany do not really have super-rough stuff.

So which one will be my race tire?

The ultimate test for me will be the mud. Right now I am really liking the Saguaros, partly from the “new stuff buzz”, the great price we got from Geax, and they do roll  great on hard dry and tacky stuff. RRs suck in the mud. So when there is some inclement weather I will have to ride the RRs and Sags back to back. The Sags will surely remain my fun tire during the summer and fall.

I am kicking myself for not getting the foldable bead version because I bet it would have been just as easy to set up tubeless at a little less weight. Plus they are cost a bit less. However I wonder if they are more prone to ‘squirm’ than the TNT version.

I also have a Geax Barro Race foldable and Barro Race UST to try. Damn, not enough time or wheelsets to do it all. How do you guys like the Barro’s?

Marty

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