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

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Marty’s Geax Saguaro tire review.

  1. Thanks, This review was exactly what I was looking for. I rode the TnT version past 2 years on my 26er and just ordered for new 29er. Then I heard all sorts of talk about the Racing Ralphs. What did you end up racing? I think for an all around tire I will remain happy with the Sag’s.

    Thanks

    MIke

  2. Lodewijk

    Hi Marty,

    I agree with most of your review. I tested myself this tire for 6 months + now and i have riding so many different tires in my past i can’t remeber, i am a tire fetish…

    After a marathon race in the German hills i can say with confindent that this Saguaro 29×2.2 TNT plainly suck in the mud and wet root stuff. RR sheds mud much better and slip less. Comparing the threads you probably could have guessed it yourself, but the proof is always in the pudding. I was really disappointed with the peformance on thick mud and wet roots. It felt almost similar to riding Furious Freds…

    Saying that, on another marathon some months ago it was very dry and it was similar terrain (just dry that time), i had a blast with these: comfort/speed/traction/control, all above average. I guess when you are riding in warm dry regions with hard pack and sometimes patches of slippery soil or sand, these tires are very good. These tires float over sand or debri like it is not there.

    Dispite what Geax says, i will buy myself the Geax Barro Race 29×2.0 tnt for Dutch/German wet so/so days. They position it as a dry tire, but the thread is very similar to the Michelin Dry (the old one) , which was by far the best allround tire for Holland/Germany during the off season where it could be wet and dry, and if wet the mud was soilly. The selfcleaning ability looks very promissing. Have you touched the Geax Barro Race 29×2.0 tnt already?

  3. Lodewijk… I agree with part of what you’re saying. The Saguaros don’t work well at all in the mud as they pick up and retain a lot of it. As far as roots and rocks, I have to say that they’ve worked really well for me even when wet (not really muddy).

    The Barro Race is a perfect tire for hardpack but I would be a bit careful using it at speed on gravel. I can’t really blame the tire but I had a pretty bad crash last year using the Barro Race in a marathon. It doesn’t grip in the corners at high speed like the Saguaro does and would have in that case.

    I and a couple of teammates used the Saguaro in Finale and we had great luck with them. Even with rocks, dust, sand, etc. on the course I never slipped or spun out.

    I have a set of the Barro Race TNTs. They are definitely heavier than the ‘normal’ Barro Race but the sidewalls are also noticeably stiffer. So, if you are someone who likes to run low pressures, that might be a great thing for you.

    The Barro Race might be perfect for you in Holland and Northern Germany though. Please report back after doing so.

  4. Lodewijk

    Reporting back on the Geax Barro Race TNT 29×2.0

    Mounting:
    very similar to the Saguaro’s, it is hard to fit the tire. If you would flat during a race, better not stress yourself with putting a inner tube in, just hope the slime you put in will work, else you have a DNF for that competition. That said, i haven’t flatted any Geax TNT yet.. 2000km+ of which also multi stage Alpen Trophy in Austria (Schladming).

    Riding:
    Like wunnspeed already stated: this isn’t a gravel road tire. The moment there is lots of loose gravel on the track, it starts to slip/roll over them, leaning harder will give you alot more grip, but there isn’t a warning for loosing grip, it just slips at once. This is caused by the very low knobs, they can’t reach the hard pack underneath.

    In Central European conditions (hills but no alpine mountains) this tire is a fast. They accelerates quicker then the heavier/chunkier Saguaro’s, rotational weight is less, say 150g per tire. The cornering is better, especially if you lean hard, which is mostly the case in CC courses or technical marathons. The tire is very round, the transition when leaning into the corner is smooth, but you can’t coast around the corners, this tire demands you to put the pressure down to make it grip. I was surprised with the grip of this tire, considering the very low middle knobs. Breaking power was better then with Racing Ralphs, Saguaro’s or others. Grip while climbing was also very good.

    I didn’t have any problem with muddy patches nor with wet roots. My assumption they would do well in this type of terrain was correct. I ride them during a 100km race in Dutch hills in changing weather conditions. The course was for some duration dry, then it was muddy wet and in between it was half/half, never any problem or weaknesses.

    The tires doesn’t contain so much air as the Saguaro’s 29×2.2 TNT do, they are alot less comfortable. At 2.2 bar (i am 80kg) it was jumping around too much, bounching up and aside, but after going down to 1.9-2.0 i found the sweetspot. These tires are very pressure sensitive. Another thing is the ‘buzz’, they make some shaking and some noise when you ride on tarmac, but mostly this is when you ride with somewhat high pressure and with low speed. The moment you crank open the throttle this goes away. I don’t mind this ‘buzz’, it just tells you: “Get off the stupid tarmac, you fool!”. In the terrain this ‘buzzing’ disappears.

    Verdict:
    Very good addition to my tire stash. They serve a different role then the Saguaro’s and do it well.
    When riding in hilly conditions with not so much loose gravel the Barro wins the battle if the terrain is not too rocky and harsh. In alpine terrain i would mount the Saguaro’s, they add alot of extra comfort (next to each other the Saguaro is almost an inch higher, making it a 30″), ride silent and fast on tarmac (lots of alpine riding involves stretches on tarmac), only downside is the more sluggish cornering and the extra weight. Regardless of terrain i would choose the Barro if it is muddy, they shed mud very well and have enough grip.

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