If your terrain includes these, than you probably want a tire named Saguaro. In all seriousness, the Geax Saguaro is billed as a “do-it-all tire” and employs a tread pattern that seeks to grip predictably on a variety of trail surfaces.
I have been running these tires for a couple of months now and have been impressed with their overall behavior. The connected center knobs give them excellent acceleration and very low rolling resistance, while the rounded profile lets them lean predictably into corners.
Photo credit: Geax.com
Similar to the Geax AKA, these have a bi-directional tread. Like those, I have the rear mounted for traction and the front mounted for speed, however if I was to do it over I think I might put them both in the traction direction for increased bite while braking or pushing hard into corners. In my current setup, the front slides a bit if pushed hard enough. Unlike some tires I have used, it is a predictable slip, and riders who prefer to drift through corners will like it, but I find it a bit unsettling. In a straight line, the Saguaros roll super fast with excellent acceleration and braking traction.
Geax and Easton, a marriage made in MTB heaven
On our local Denver area trails, water bars made out of logs and rock ledges covered in sand or gravel are commonplace. The Saguaros do a decent job clawing up and over these with just a little bit of controlled slippage. (As opposed to the Maxxis Crossmax tires that came on my bike. Those seemed to break loose constantly and abruptly.)
On sand, gravel, rock, hardpack or loose over hardpack, these tires maintain a good grip. I have also used them on grass (cyclocross practice) and wet gravel with similar success. On a recent ride that caught us in the rain I was surprised at how well they did on wet tree roots. Of course any tire will slip in that case, but again these slip in a predictable way and allow forward momentum to continue. On the flipside, in clay-based mud these are truly awful. They hang on to every ounce of the sticky stuff until the seat and chain stays scrape off the excess.
I have the standard folding bead version but I ended up mounting them tubeless. They seated up nicely and have given me zero inflation issues: no sidewall burps, no slow bead leaks, etc. The tread blocks also seem to be holding up well with only minimal wear after riding them pretty hard on unforgiving terrain.
My Saguaros came in at 630 grams actual weight and are available for $40.99 at JensonUSA.com, so if you are a recreational rider looking for an all purpose tire with decent weight and a moderate price, then the Saguaro is worth a look. If you are racing or just like to push the limits in your trail riding, then maybe go for the AKA instead, as they have a noticeably better grip in loose, high-speed cornering situations.
Side note: On my third ride with these I experience a sidewall cut on my front tire that Geax deemed to be a product defect. They promptly sent me a replacement at no charge and even included a bottle of Geax Pit Stop sealant. The sealant worked great for seating the beads and I have had no further issue with the replacement tire.
A big thanks to Curt at Geax for the excellent customer service!