The Schwalbe Wicked Will Tire Rolls Fast and Light and Still Corners Well [Review]

The Schwalbe Wicked Will is a lightweight, fast tire designed for light trail and downcountry riding with excellent transitions and firm cornering grip.
Schwalbe Wicked Will tire profile

The Schwalbe Wicked Will is positioned as a short-travel trail bike tire for most conditions. It’s offered in 27.5″ and 29er diameters in multiple widths and constructions to fit a variety of use cases. I’ve been rolling on the 29×2.4″ Super Race version for several weeks now, and here’s what I’ve learned.

Reviewer profile height: 190cm (6’3″) weight: 75kg (165lb) testing zone: Southeast, USA

Schwalbe Wicked Will tire specs

Schwalbe describes the Wicked Will as light and fast, designed for trail/XC riding. There are lighter, racier tire models in the Schwalbe XC tire line, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to call this a downcountry tire. That being said, as far as Wicked Wills go, the Super Race configuration I tested is the fastest, lightest and most race-oriented of the constructions Schwalbe offers. This also means the Wicked Will Super Race tire doesn’t offer as much protection or durability as the others.

Graphic: Schwalbe.

This Wicked Will uses Schwalbe Addix Speedgrip compound which again distinguishes it from XC-race tires that use the Addix Speed compound. Speedgrip is softer and therefore should offer improved grip under certain conditions while also wearing more quickly.

The sidewall on this version of the Wicked Will is known as “Transparent,” and in addition to its natural rubber color, you can actually see some of the threads in the casing. Schwalbe includes just a thin strip of puncture protection underneath the middle of the tread. The casing uses a three-layer, 67tpi carcass. A Kevlar folding bead and tubeless-optimized chafer round out the tire construction.

Short, siped center knobs are designed to roll fast while similarly sized and ramped transition knobs give way to beefier, reinforced side knobs. On 32mm-wide rims the 2.4″ tire has a round rather than squarish profile. The use of shorter center and transition knobs brings to mind the Maxxis Forekaster, though the knob shapes and sizes are very different between the two tires.

The Schwalbe Wicked Will is a uni-directional tire and officially weighs 820g. It is not a front- or rear-specific tire, so it can be run in either (or both) spots.

On the trail

I tested the Wicked Will as a front tire on the Canyon Lux Trail, a short-travel trail bike, on a variety of rolling trails in both wet and dry conditions. Schwalbe says the Wicked Will is good for everything from hardpack to soft conditions, with just a slight preference for dry trails. In my experience that’s spot on; the tire hooks up well and rolls fast on dry hardpack, and it also does a good job clearing loose and wet stuff thanks to the open tread pattern. The side knobs proved beefy enough to dig into corners when the trail was loose, though I don’t think I would run the Wicked Will as a rear tire in similar conditions for lack of more robust center grip.

The Schwalbe Wicked Will transitions better than average when it comes to cornering. Leaning into corners the tire feels intuitive, and there’s no question when or if it’s going to grip. The side knobs are robust and despite the focus on a lightweight carcass, the sidewalls don’t feel overly floppy at pressures between 15-20psi. I didn’t experience any punctures or pinch flats during my tests, and rarely needed to top off the air pressure.

Thanks to its light weight and fast-rolling design, the Wicked Will feels great on hardpack and even pavement. It’s a front tire I’d place near the top of my list for mixed surface riding like bikepacking and for riding hot laps on my local flow trail.

Over rocks and roots the Addix Speedgrip rarely slips. The compound strikes a nice balance for sturdiness and grip without wearing down too fast. Based on the number of miles I’ve put in on these they seem to be holding up quite well and should easily be good for another few hundred miles.

Pros and cons of the Schwalbe Wicked Will tire


  • Lightweight
  • Robust cornering knobs and nice transitions
  • Compound is soft enough without wearing too quickly


  • Not a lot of center grip for rear tire use in tough conditions
  • Minimal puncture protection

Bottom line

The Schwalbe Wicked Will is a solid front tire choice for riding downcountry and short travel trail bikes on mixed surfaces, and in most conditions.