On-One “Chunky Monkey” 2.4″er Tires: Final Review- by Guitar Ted
This game of catch up is still going on here at the Mid-West headquarters of TNI.com. One of the reviews that suffered the “going on the back burner” the most is the On One Chunky Monkey tire review. (Last seen here) While I have been riding these off and on all year, I have not chimed in with the usual First Impressions or Mid-Term, but I have been riding these throughout, so here is an all-in-one review to help me get caught up here.
The Chunky Monkey lived on the front of my Inbred single speed for a part of the wet, mucky Spring we had here and then it moved over to the Specialized Camber Comp, (reviewed here), for the duration of the testing. Conditions ranged from wet, muddy, loamy, hard packed, sandy, to very dry and hard. The Chunkey Monkey is not a tubeless rated tire, but I ran it tubeless for the duration of the testing.
Tubeless Performance: Again, the Chunky Monkey is not a tubeless rated tire, but as mounted to Stan’s type rims, such as the Charger Pro wheels, (seen here), they perform flawlessly as tubeless tires. No substantial air losses, no burping, and no degradation of the tire was noticed.
Typically I ran pressures in the 20-30psi range depending upon conditions. The Charger Pro rims are a 28mm outer width rim and were about as skinny as I would want to go in regards to a tubeless set up. Again, these tires are not tubeless rated, but I had good luck using them that way. Your mileage may vary! (Did I get my point across about tubeless use? )
Ride Performance: The Chunky Monkey is an aptly named tire, showing some big, blocky tread and ample negative spaces between those tread blocks. It is really unlike many current “bigger” 29″er tires in this regard. Perhaps only the Maxxis Minion and High Roller tires come close, (see c_g’s review here), and coincidentally, the Chunky Monkey is also made by Maxxis. Go figure…
Despite all the blockiness, these tires roll reasonably well. Yes, they vibrate and rumble, but they don’t really look like XC tires, do they? For a tire of this class though, it rolls better than most and I never felt like I was dragging an anchor here. The Chunky Monkey was envisioned as a front tire, primarily, and mated to an On One Smorgasbord out back, this is the way I used it. As a burly front tire, it did really well in severe conditions of mud, deep grounds, and on rocks and roots. The tire was designed with Oregon’s trails in mind, so this did not come as a surprise to me. I was wondering how it would do when things dried out though.
On drier trails, the sharper tread block edges actually dug in and excavated traction where little was to be had. Those big center blocks do not fold over under pressure, and the side knobs also dig in nicely. I don’t think I have ever ridden a tire that roosted so much dirt as the Chunk Monkey does. Those tread blocks are almost like soccer cleats in that they dig in and grab the soil without any vagueness or sudden letting go. If the terrain is not all loose and shifty, the Chunky Monkey can be counted on to find a good foundation for turning and braking.
Conclusions: I like the Chunky Monkey for its aggressive traction and easy turning feel. It doesn’t have the most supple feel to the ride, but that’s what a suspension fork is for. The generous size, (measuring 58.9mm casing/61.4mm tread), and the sidewall protection put this tire squarely into the Trail bike/AM category, and I feel the design lives up to the sort of riding one would expect to be doing on a bike that is capable of aggressive, rough riding. Plus, it is a bargain at the prices that On One charges for it. If the width and purpose of the Chunky Monkey fits your riding style and bike, I would recommend taking this tire for a ride.
Note: On One sent over this pair of tires for test/review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review. We will strive to give you our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.