Geax 29″er Tires Preview For 2012: GEAX shows off the potential new 29″er treads: by c_g

… and the news keep on coming: GEAX, the Italian tire manufacturer and MTB branch of VITTORIA S.P.A. has recently given us the opportunity to have an exclusive first look at what may well become their new 29″er treads for 2012.

Like most of you know, GEAX has been in the 29″er business for a long time with their “Oldie but Goodie” SAGUARO (which was recently re-visited by Grannygear here), the dry condition, race specific BARRO RACE 2.0, and more recently the aggressive and wet condition GATO 2.3, (being on test with Guitar Ted here), and fast yet grippy AKA 2.2, (tested here).

(Note though: All of these tires are prototypes and GEAX reps wanted us to make absolutely clear that it neither has been decided which ones will go into final production, nor when – but chances for a 2012 extension of their line-up are good.)

So what doe they have for us (potentially) coming in 2012?

3 Sturdy 29

Already shown on some prototype bikes (e.g. the new BANSHEE 29″er) we have seen the GEAX Enduro/Freeride oriented STURDY 2.3 tires. (On test with Grannygear here) And sturdy they look! Those ramped & squared knobs look like they can take anything. I had the opportunity for a short trail ride on a Sturdy equipped bike and … boy these tires can take some beating and by their massively raised and very close side knobs make they make for a killer cornering grip! At 2.3” width and a weight of about 1.00 kg (2.2 lbs) per tire (TNT version) the aggressive nature of the GEAX Sturdy will not be questioned much. One sure could feel the weight but then again for the intended use they are fairly light still.
This tire should be a welcome addition for those new long travel 29″er full suspension bikes we see coming for the next season.

1 Mezcal 29

Next we see the much rumored and by many desperately awaited tread pattern long awaited adapted to 29″ers – the MEZCAL. This semi slick tire with the aggressive side knobs (taken from the GEAX Gato) had a 2.1” width. By visual inspection I tend to believe GEAX´s claim for a low rolling resistance, smooth and fast tire, that still has very good cornering control and so gap the bridge between a fast XC tire and a full on all-round tire. The claimed weight for the folding version shown is about 520 g which is pretty good for the size.

1 Aka

Last but not least we have one more for the racer – the AKA 2.0. The AKA 2.2 version is one of my favorite tires for its speed and grip. Now it may receive a downsized brother for XC applications. I like volume and this one looks rather skinny but it may just be what some competitive bikers may be looking for. By what I know the AKA 2.2 this sounds promising.

2 Mezcal 29
Mezcal 29″er tread.

3 Mezcal 29
Mezcal 29″er, 3/4’s look.

2 Aka 29
A skinnier AKA for the XC racers.

Remember, these are merely prototypes with no word on availability but if you are interested in seeing any of them in production – why not let GEAX know … they may just listen :).

We may be getting some test samples as production gets confirmed but for now this is a good preview of what GEAX is thinking might be suitable applications for 29″er. (Editor’s Note: It seems as though GEAX has indeed decided to go with the Sturdy, given the fact that Grannygear wasn’t given any indication as to the tires he received being anything other than production models. Also, we have noted that the Sturdy has long been said to be ready for production. Our best guess right now is to say that at least the Sturdy looks to have the green light. But again, anything can change….)

What I see is more and more diversity and I welcome that!