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Although the name hints at wet-weather performance, the Hans Dampf excels in almost all conditions. Although listed as a 26×2.35in tyre, Schwalbe could probably sell it as a 2.5in without raising too many eyebrows. 

The non-directional tread combines rectangular centre and side blocks with trapezoidal intermediate blocks filling in the gaps – there’s no ‘dead zone’ between straight ahead and leaned over. Every block is grooved to add a few more working edges. 

You do suffer a slight penalty for all this grippy goodness on smooth hardpack, with significant drag from the widely spaced centre blocks and soft compound. But you’ll forgive it when you chuck it into a sketchy-looking corner.

The Hans Dampf isn’t a bad weight, and is tubeless-ready too. Not cheap, though. 

It’s also available in 29×2.35in, and with Trailstar or Pacestar compounds.

article was originally published in Mountain
Biking UK
magazine, available on Apple
and Zinio.

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