- Germany's Schwalbe has a new trail tyre
- As usual, it has a characterful name - and comes in three casing types, depending on your terrain requirements
- The Wicked Will is part of a trend towards wider trail tyres, that can still roll at high efficiency
Schwalbe has revived one of its classic mountain bike tyres, the Wicked Will.
The German company is renowned for its meticulous R&D approach and very interesting product naming strategy. Wicked Will is a tyre that has specific relevance to South African riders, combining a large size with mild weight.
More riders are realizing the benefit of rolling a slightly wider tyre, which allows for lower specific tyre pressure. Why would you want to run your mountain bike tyres at lower pressure? Comfort and confidence.
Overinflated tyres are horrible to ride on rocky or rooty terrain. They are deflected too much by terrain, ruining your steering confidence. Lower pressure allows the tyre to form to terrain, generating grip, instead of being deflected and bouncing you around.
Ride comfort is the other benefit of lower tyre pressure, reducing terrain harshness, especially on a long ride.
Bigger and wider - isn't slower
The trend in mountain bike tyre design, has been to adopt the 2.4” casing width, as a new normal. A few years ago, you’d rarely see a tyre wider than 2.25” on most South African mountain bikes, but 2.3- and 2.4” sizes are now standardizing.
Schwalbe has designed the new Wicked Will to give you that large casing, which allows for low-pressure inflation, without adding too much structural weight.
Wicked Will is available in three variants, all sized 29x2.4”. Each of these has a different level of protection, running from the tyre bead, along the sidewall.
Which one is best for local conditions?
The Wicked Will Super Race is lightest, at 820g, flowed by Super Ground (830g) and the most impact-resistance version, Super Trail (920g).
Engineers at Schwalbe believe in an abundance of sipes, which are those tiny ‘grooves’ you see on the tread blocks. These make each tread block more dynamic, by giving it additional edges to react to terrain changes and your inputs – when steering, pedalling or braking.
Although the Wicked Will has a mid-sized centre tread, creating less drag, but there are bigger shoulder blocks, to support cornering.
If you are looking for a large volume tyre, with fair puncture protection, the Wicked Will Super Ground has an apt specification. And besides, who else makes a mountain bike tyre, that possibly matches your name?