Schwalbe relaunches the Big Betty and five new carcass options

Schwalbe Super casings
Schwalbe's new Big Betty and Nobby Nic (Image credit: Schwalbe)

Schwalbe has revived one of its most cherished downhill tires and added a new line of casing options.

Product managers at Schwalbe wish to offer mountain bikers who push the limits of their tires a more convenient alternative to inserts, in relation to puncture resistance and also high-load cornering support.

The German tire specialist has reconfigured its product portfolio with five new ‘Super’ carcass choices: Super Race, Super Ground, Super Trail, Super Gravity, and Super Downhill.

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Each of these new casing designations features a specification material composition, with the Race and Ground options being lighter, targeted at XC riders who desire lower rolling resistance.

‘Super’ carcasses of the Trail, Gravity and Downhill variety is quite self-explanatory and offer a graded layering of Schwalbe’s puncture resistance and sidewall support technologies.

The Super Downhill carcass features no less than six materials layers and two layers of Apex puncture proofing. Schwalbe’s Gravity has four carcass layers stacked upon each other and a single ply of Apex puncture-resistant material, whilst the Trail version is similar but has one primary material layer less.

Lots of layers to prevent punctures - and the need for inserts

Lots of layers to prevent punctures - and the need for inserts (Image credit: Schwalbe)

New treads too

Beyond the diversity of new casing options, downhill and enduro riders will be thrilled to know that Big Betty has returned.

There are no less than 18 new Big Betties on offer, and of course, Schwalbe has kept it real by continuing to offer a 26x2.4in option.

If you are on a more contemporary wheel size, there are additional casing sizes to choose from, with Big Betty 27.5 available in 2.4-, 2,6- and 2.8in widths. The 29er version sizes in either 2.4in or 2.6in. Schwalbe’s Addix Soft or Ultra Soft rubber compounds are on offer with the Big Betty, illustrating its product destiny as a descending tire, instead of a mileage muncher.

Nobby Nic followers will take note of the trail/enduro tire’s new tread pattern. Schwalbe’s third-generation Nobby Nic has a more grip biased tread design, with greater size and structural stability applied to the shoulder tread block. This should result in more accurate steering feedback in corners.

Sizing options for the new Nobby Nic are comprehensive. It is available as a 26in tire but more of the demand will be in 27.5in diameter size, where 2.25-, 2.35-, 2.6-, and 2.8in widths comprise the range. For riders on the 29er wheel size, there are 2.25-, 2.35- and 2.6in. 

Rubber compound choices are Addix Soft or Speedgrip, allowing Nobby Nic riders to find a good compromise between outright grip and durability.

Pricing for the new Big Betty is €59.90 to €67.90, whilst the revised Nobby Nic trades between €59.90 to €69.40, depending on specification.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.