I have been riding the Geax AKA 29″er tires quite a bit of late in both the TNT and folding bead versions. Now it is time to welcome you to my Mid-Term report. The earlier post on the tires can be found here.

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First, I want to note that I have the folding bead tires on Duster rims now which are 28mm wide. The AKA measures at 55.4mm casing/55.7mm knob to knob on the Dusters at 40psi/2.8 Bar. This mimics the TNT on the Cole wheels closely. The folders are also on my 2007 El Mariachi single speed.

Ride Performance: Okay, with that out of the way I will say that I am very impressed with these tires in everything from dry hard pack to loose over hard, to tacky dirt. Beyond that, I can’t say much, since I haven’t had the opportunity to run them in big rocks, or in mud, but I will say that since tacky dirt is already showing signs of packing up the tread, I wouldn’t think mud will be this tires friend. As it should be expected too. This tire rides really nicely otherwise.

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Rigid single speed performance was great. I really didn’t see any down side to using this tire on a single speed rig. The AKA has so far shown an uncanny tractability over varied terrain that I did not expect it to show. So, roots and embedded rocks don’t seem to be an issue on the rear for climbing. The front isn’t a big, pillowy tire, but it isn’t harsh at a nice pressure, (35psi/2.5 Bar front as I rode it), and it cornered well, just like it has on the hard tail front suspended bike.

I had the opportunity to ride the TNT AKA on the fine trails of Lebanon Hills in the Twin Cities area. These trails were in primo, dry, fast condition when I rode there. “Leb” features tight, twisty, rock strewn trails with a few fast, flowy, bermed sections that are pump track-ish fun. The AKA was the perfect tire here and railed the hard packed single track as hard as I dared to. The bigger rocks were rolled over just fine as well, but keeping in mind that everything was bone dry. Wet rocks may be a very different story!

novembertesting 012Essentially, the AKA is a tire that seems to have more grip than you would expect from such small knobs. There is a bit of a rolling resistance penalty, but not much. These tires also have a distinctive whirring noise on hard packed surfaces that is pretty unique. In terms of turning performance, the AKA is only upset by marbley surfaces and wetter dirt where it will begin to slide out a bit. Otherwise I haven’t been brave enough to push it so hard that it gives way on hard pack. I’ve pushed it further than most other tires need to be to break loose too.

Someone asked about a comparison to a Saguaro, and I would say that the AKA is at once faster and grippier than that tire in many hard packed, dry scenarios. The Saguaro has that blank area in the tread which requires a bit more commitment in a corner to get the tire to bite hard, and sometimes I find that the Saguaro will slide out due to that. The AKA has a full compliment of knobs across its face, so at any lean angle it has working edges hitting the surface which I find to be more my style. Also, the AKA is a bit more rounded in profile than a Saguaro, (speaking in terms of the treaded area, not the casings), and this lends an air of stability, I think, in favor of the AKA on hard pack. That said, the Saguaro has a bit more bite in loamy soil and is better in loose stuff, in my opinion. Just a bit different tires for different settings.

Stay tuned for a final review coming soon.

Twenty Nine Inches received these tires for testing and review at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review. We will give our honest thoughts throughout.