The cold, wet winter days in Ontario could not keep me from testing out the Intense Micro Knobby tires. The intended use for these tires are for riding trails, skate parks, cross country trails, soft dirt hard packed dirt or on the street. I found the Micro Knobbies worked best on paved surfaces as I’ll detail in a moment.
First, the folks at Intense are not kidding about “micro”. With 7500 knobs these tires look very unique with a staggering 25 knobs across the tread and arranged in a directional arrow pattern with no definite side ridge knobs.
The tires weigh an average of 655g which is decent for a 26 x 2.25 tire of that size and much lower than the advertised weight of 710g. Fitting these tires onto a non UST rim was a snap and hardly required the use of tire irons. Figuring out the mounting direction was also easy since it was molded in the side of the tire. Inflating the Micro Knobbies was a breeze since the beads seated nicely without much manipulation. I inflated the tires to 45PSI and went for a ride.
The first thing I noticed with these tires is that they are fast – very fast. When I hit the streets I could pedal around in two gears higher than normal. Not only are the Micro Knobbies fast, these tires really grip the pavement and concrete. For fun I tried to lock up the front wheel, and I was almost tossed over my handle bars!
These tires have no side ridge – instead they have a near perfect circular profile. This means that if you lean into a corner on pavement they’re smooth as butter – no wobble or uneasiness – and cornering on these tires feel like your on rails. These tires run nearly silent since the knobs are so close together that there is no vibration like most fat MTB tires give off.
The tire packaging stated that these tires are suitable for use on the trails. Unless the trail is bone dry with no soft or muddy sections, I would steer away from riding these tires on the trails. Though the Intense Micro knobby worked well in wet (paved) conditions, these tires quickly filled up with mud on the trails.
So I will keep using the Micro Knobbies for riding on the streets and at parks. Since the trails stay mostly wet in the winter here anyway, I now have a good excuse for riding down staircases and seeking out other urban jungle type obstacles!