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Schwalbe Nobby Nic ADDIX SpeedGrip Snakeskin TLE tyre review

We put the Schwalbe Nobby Nic ADDIX SpeedGrip Snakeskin TLE tyres through their paces, here's what we thought.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic
(Image: © Schwalbe)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Trustworthy all-rounder tyre that’s a lot faster than it looks, but it’s expensive.

Pros

  • +

    Decent grip with surprisingly little drag and low weight despite generous sizing

  • +

    Superlight, trail and enduro carcass options and TubeLessEasy inflation is a cinch

Cons

  • -

    Only one compound option and the SkinWall version is fragile.

  • -

    Expensive

The Schwalbe Nobby Nic is deceptively fast and has been around for ages, but the latest version is obediently controlled in all conditions. It’s available in a range of sizing and sturdiness options, but it’s expensive and there’s only one compound choice.

Performance

While the Schwalbe Magic Mary and other Schwalbe MTB tyres come in a range of new ADDIX rubber recipes, the Nobby Nic is only available in a SpeedGrip option. That’s not as treacherous on roots and wet rock as it sounds, and decent sized tread lugs and fast clearing, mud friendly spacing hook up OK in mucky conditions. It works well in drier conditions, where it digs into loose rock and sand before breaking away with a very controllable drift. This makes it particularly well suited to the 2.6, 2.8 and 3.0in options and they’re also available in the tougher Apex construction for stability and survivability at low-teen pressures.

Whatever size you go for, carcass construction and compound mean it always rolls impressively quickly with minimal drag and a buoyantly floated feel. Add relatively low weights for a full tread tyre and that means speed and agility that you’d normally associate with much more compromised control. Tubeless inflation, cut resistance and tread life are all good on the SnakeSkin and SnakeSkin Apex versions, but be wary of the admittedly very pretty, minimal mass LiteSkin versions as they’re significantly more fragile and porous sidewalls can affect sealing.

Verdict

Naturally fast, buoyant and light for its size, the Nobby Nic is a great choice for adding a tailwind to your trail riding without compromising control. It also lasts well and the plus-size versions are particularly good. There are no stickier options for wetter conditions though and LiteSkin versions need a lot of TLC.

Tech Specs

Price: £67.00
Weight: 810g
Sizes: 26-29in x 2.1-3.0in width

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg