Geax Gato 29 X 2.1″ Tires: Final Review- by Guitar Ted
The Geax Gato 2.1 tires have been put through their paces in a variety of conditions here. Now it is time to bring this test to a close and see how these treads differ from their bigger siblings and how a wider rim affected the performance.
Since my last update, (seen here), where I said I thought lowering the pressure was not a good idea? Well…..I lowered the pressures a bit. Down into the lower 20′s psi, and this did get more of the side knobs involved in my riding. Now- I didn’t have very rocky terrain to test on at this point, so I could get away with it, and I did not experience any detrimental rim strikes. Also, let’s not forget these are not the tubeless rated TNT versions of this tire either. I’m pushing these way beyond their limits, (manufacture recommendations), and that has to be kept in mind.
Since we have come into Fall, and now Winter, there have been plenty of opportunities to get the Gato into the mud. With the pressures lowered, and still on the narrow Black Flag rims, the Gato saved me from a certain wash out rather impressively with a very controlled, loose feel and the grip was better than many tires I’ve tried in this, almost greasy, mud.
Before the test closed out, I did mount these tires onto Charger Pro rims which have a generous internal width which I measured at 23mm wide. The Gato did not exhibit any great gains in dimensions from this swap, (.5mm to .7mm in casing and overall tread width), but the side knobs did face downward more than they did on the Black Flags. The pressures could be bumped back up with similar performance to where I was at with lower pressures on the narrower rims. I would recommend using these tires on wider rims for more severe, rocky terrain because of this.
Conclusions: The 2.1″ Gato is a similarly performing tread to its bigger sibling, but not to the same measure of outstanding grip and control which I had with the bigger versions on wider rims in the TNT version. Lowering the pressure on narrow rims is almost a must, but you have to go so low that if you run into rocky terrain, or lots of roots, you may get flatting or rim damage issues. I would recommend a wider rim, like the Charger Pro I tried these on, but at that point, you have to wonder if the Gato in the 2.35″ version wouldn’t be the smarter choice.
The 2.1″ version of this tire in the folding bead version then becomes somewhat of a conundrum. Light enough to be a tough conditions race tire, but due to its funky, very rounded profile, you lose the side knobs, for the most part. So stick it on a wider rim, but then it becomes a fragile, race type tire on a trail bike class rim. What do you do with something like this then? In a perfect world, maybe Geax might revisit this casing design and flatten it out a bit to help engage the side knobs on narrower rims without getting too low on the air pressure. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing this for the larger Gato version as well.
NOTE: Geax sent these tires to Twenty Nine Inches for test/review at no charge. We are not being bribed, nor paid for these posts, and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.