Tyre choice for the tweener wheel size was slow to start, but it seems recently companies have been stepping up their proverbial games and the tiny choice you had available a few months ago has increased massively. We thought it was only fair to you to track two of the latest 650b/27.5 offerings and give you the rundown, we have legendary tyre company ONZA’s buzzword specific version of its popular IBEX tread pattern and Continental’s medium wheeled Trail King.
Some of you may remember Onza from the olden days, their Porcupine tyre was a bit of a classic (for some people), well they are back, kind of, the company has changed hands and is now based in Switzerland and not the USA, but given their tyre pedigree and their heavy hitting rider roster they have assembled you can bet your bottom dollar that these are some serious feature packed treads. This particular iteration of the tubeless ready Ibex is squarely aimed at the buzzword set with its aggressive dual compound (65a/55a) tread and 2.4″ width, weight is kept respectable at 850 grams thanks to the 120tpi casing and kevlar bead.
The Ibex’s wide open profile mean it excels in loose and in wet conditions. We’ve just put a set of these on our new test wheels for a Wellington winter so will be bringing our thoughts on these in Issue 58 of Spoke. The Onza Ibex 2.4 FRC120 retails for $89.90 and is available everywhere now.
Continental don’t need any introduction, they’ve been making great tyres for a long time, and the Trail King is one of their most popular models. They now offer it for the inbetweeners too, and we’ve got the 2.4 version to test. It also comes in a 2.2 folding version and 2.2 wire bead for the budget-minded mid-wheeler.
The tread is the same on the other Trail King sizes (small and large) and offers great mud-clearing from the wide spaced knobs, which grip on wet roots and rocks like nobody’s business. ProTection casing wards off punctures, along with APEX reinforced sidewalls to also allow easy tubeless compatibility. Weight is 1090 grams, which is in line with most E-word specific burly tyres. These will also be on test and reviewed in Issue 58. The 2.4 Continental Trail King retails for $99 and is available everywhere now.