As promised earlier today, here is the post I would have put up long ago, but for Blogger's hiccup last night that didn't get resolved until late this past morning.
Enough about that. I want to share with you my initial impressions on this new commuter tire from Geax called the "Evolution 29"" (Notice: The link takes you to the 26"er version because this tire isn't quite available yet.)
The tires are listed as "prototypes", so if changes occur that don't line up with the website, don't be shocked. I will say these tires I received from Geax to test are very "production" looking examples though. They have a wire bead, and don't seem overly heavy for a commuter type tire at just a bit over 800 grams each. These are listed as being 1.9" in width, but on my 24mm wide Alex TD-17 disc rims, I am getting a measurement of 49.5mm/1.95", and that with tubes in place. This is measuring the widest part of the casing, as the tread width is much narrower, obviously.
The tread itself is made up of many triangular shaped, very shallow blocks, with little open space between the tread blocks. When the tires are inflated on my rims, the casing forms a very rounded shape, and these tread blocks are very rounded in profile, not flattish in the middle as shown here. (Un-mounted tire in the image)
I also noted that the sidewalls of the casing were fairly flexible, and that the treaded area felt softer in compound than many urban/commuter/recreational tires I handle at the shop. Geax uses a "XC Casing" on the Evolution 26", which they claim is more supple for a livelier ride feel. The compound used in the 26"er is their "3D Aramid" compound, which has particles of Aramid fibers interspersed throughout the casing to help prevent punctures. Does this 29"er tire feature these same technologies? Geax hasn't gotten back to me on that yet, but I have no reasons to believe that it doesn't.
So, how do they ride? Well, pretty dang nicely! I am still experimenting with pressures, so I haven't had a chance to ferret out what I think will work best there yet, but these tires are smooooth at lower pressures! They still roll well too. How low? How about 26psi front, 30psi rear? I could detect a bit of a draggy feeling from the back, so I've bumped up pressures some, and I'll let ya'all know later.
I should add that I replaced a set of Gen I Specialized Fast Traks that have to be some of the highest rolling resistance 29"er tires I've ridden. Certainly for their class, they are the worst. So, anything feels better than those tires, but that said, the Geax Evolutions are nice. I also will add that I am not an advocate for high tire pressures. I'll get into that another time though.
Hope you enjoyed that sneak peek at these tires I am reviewing for Twenty Nine Inches. I'll have some more things to say about these after I get some time on some gravel roads with them, so stay tuned.