I was on the lookout for a new pair of tires for my Santa Cruz Bronson. I wanted the tire to provide lower rolling resistance than what I currently had, and it needed to work well from hardpack to loam. Since I respect the trails and don’t ride in the mud, mud shedding wasn’t a concern. So I settled on the Hans Dampf. These 27.5×2.35″ tires are just the ticket.
There are a variety of choices in the 27.5″ size. The Hans Dampf comes in two compounds, two width choices, and a gravity version. Not bad for just one tire. I opted for the longer-lasting PaceStar compound, which was supposed to combine low rolling resistance and durability.
The Hans Dampf comes with folding beads and is tubeless ready. All you need is a tubeless ready rim and some approved sealant. This version of the tire sports Snakeskin sidewalls with a 67 thread count per inch, which is a pretty good choice for mountain biking. It’s a good balance between puncture resistance and rolling resistance. 120 TPI does have a denser amount of nylon filaments, but they are thinner, and are therefore easier to cut.
At 795 grams per tire, these are roughly middle of the pack as far as weight goes. They aren’t the über lightweight tires promising to push you up the hill, nor are they the “I will never flat” bombproof DH tires either. They are perfect, though, for those who trail ride and even mix it up a bit over rocky and rooted terrain.
The tread pattern is an alternating center block pattern of three rows, with a decent transitional block with angled trapezoidal blocks converging to an aggressive side block pattern. Depending on the width of your rim, you will have a fairly even hemispherical tire profile.
Installation of the Hans Dampf was easy enough with a floor pump. I ran these tires tubeless from day one. They snapped happily in place at about 25 psi and sat evenly on the beaded rims with no effort at all.
I managed to mount these tires on three different wheelsets with no issues at all. The first two wheels I mounted them on were beaded and both had internal widths of 21mm. The profile of the tire was more round on the narrower wheels than it was when installed on a set of Enve M70 wheels, which are beadless, made of carbon, and have a 25mm internal width. Once I installed the tires on the Enve rims, it changed the profile of the tire and how the tire behaved on the trail for the better.
In both use cases the Hans Dampf worked great on a wide variety of terrain. I found them particularly adept on the slightly-softer (not muddy) ground. They offer a bunch of cornering grip when pitched on their sides. When pitching the tire in a corner, there is no dead zone, just all-out grip. That’s worth the price of admission right there.
I did experience a bit of carcass roll with narrower rims. But once these were mounted on the wider carbon Enve rims, I didn’t notice any tire roll at all. I guess the hype about “wider is better” holds true in this case.
Over all these are a great semi-aggressive set of tires for your trail / enduro bike. They’re not the best in wet, muddy conditions, but they do a great job at almost everything else. I was paticularily suprised by how well they hold on granite and other rocky surfaces. If you’re an owner of a set of wider rims, the Hans Dampf is a great choice: very stable with no carcass flex.
Thanks to Schwalbe for providing the Hans Dampf 27.5s for review.