Onza Canis XC Tire Runs Ahead of the Pack and Claws into Corners [Review]

The Onza Canis is a dogged XC mountain bike tire up for everyday trail riding duty.
Onza Canis tire

Like bikes themselves, there’s no one-size-fits-all for bike tires. The big, heavy lugged ones have drawbacks like pedaling efficiency and weight, and the lighter ones sacrifice grip and durability.

The Onza Canis has been in the brand’s lineup for some time, but earlier this year they updated the tire with a revised tread pattern for better traction, while trying to keep a low rolling resistance. Onza still bills the Canis as a cross-country/marathon tire, but it’s proven to be more versatile. I’ve been riding the Canis for a few months now and it’s quickly become one of my favorites for pedally trail rides.

About the Onza Canis

The new Canis fills in open channels with transitional tread blocks for easier cornering. The center knobs have more ramp to them and the corner knobs are chunkier.

The tire is only available as a 29er. Remember, it’s a cross-country tire, and few bike brands are using 27.5″ wheels for their XC bikes, as the wheel size has been relegated to “mixed-wheel” and “fun” bikes. The tire gets slightly wider and is only offered in a 2.3″ width. Onza uses a dual-rubber compound with a 60a durometer for the center knobs and a 45a durometer for softer side knobs.

To give the tire some armor, Onza used foldable kevlar beads with an extra rubber coating to help seat the rubber on a rim and it has a single-ply 60TPI casing.

The tire is available in a tan wall and solid black finishes. The black (tested) tire weighs 800g and sells for $70, while the lighter version weighs 20g less and sells for $5 more.

On the trail

Onza’s marketing material around the foldable kevlar beads seems justified as the Canis snapped on easily to my rear rim, although I am not sure what the last single-ply tire that really gave me trouble mounting was as it tends to be more of an issue with downhill tires. But hey, I’ll take an easy tire install wherever I can get one.

I set this up on the rear of my Ibis Ripley AF, which is more of a “downcountry” or trail bike. I was concerned it might a little too light to command my handling in Colorado’s dry, dusty, loose summer conditions, but I was wrong.

First, the tire buzzes along smoothly sapping a minimal amount of energy. Considering this is labeled an XC/marathon tire, it’s a little bulkier than a lot of options out there. Onza makes one more XC/marathon tire — the Svelt — and it has a lower profile than the Canis but somehow weighs slightly more. If you’re looking for a faster tire in the Onza lineup, the Svelt is probably it. The brand says it is more so for dry and hardpack conditions, whereas the Canis leans farther into softer soil capability but should be surefooted in both. The Canis has had good climbing traction up and over roots in the various conditions I’ve been riding this summer.

The XC tire really surprised me though with its aptitude on the downhills. The Canis claws into dirt and holds a line well. The tire has a round profile like most XC tires and it rolls over onto its side and hooks into turns. The brake bite is quick and distinct too.

When it comes to the downfalls of the Canis, it’s similar to other cross-country tires which shave knob height for speed: the Canis loses grip when things get too steep or too loose. Aside from this issue, which I’d say is more of a proper expectation, the only other downside I’ve noticed is that they are wearing somewhat quickly. I probably have between five and 10 rides on the tire pictured here and the side knobs are showing some deterioration.

Onza Canis tread

Pros and cons of the Onza Canis mountain bike tire


  • Great rolling efficiency
  • Plentiful traction in corners, up rocks, and hitting the brakes
  • Reasonably lightweight


  • Not as fast-rolling as other XC tires
  • Quick wear

Bottom line

Onza might call the Canis a cross-country/marathon tire, and they’re not wrong, but it’s capable of stepping up to everyday trail riding duty with a swift and strong attitude.

  • Price: €64.90 (about $70USD)
  • Buy from onza-tires.com.