Time for some fresh rubber on my mountain bike. Duro Tire came on board as a sponsor or sorts this year, so I’m giving their line-up a go. It’s not the kind of sponsor I won’t be biased about them, and if their product is good I will tell you. If it sucks, I’ll tell you. When I was checking out their web presence, one of the big hurdles I noticed was a lack of information and lack of reviews on their tires.
Their product catalogue was here: http://www.durotire.com/Portals/0/Images/Catalogs/Duro_bike_2014.pdf
The tread is similar to a Kenda Nevegal, with a directional tread pattern, wide spacing, and super aggressive side knobs. The sidewalls feel thick enough to handle rough terrain. They mounted up fairly easily. A quick run around the bead to pre-seat it, and they seated with a floor pump. There was minimal sealant leakage to make it seal well too, and no dimpling through any pores in the sidewall. All of those are good signs that this tire is designed as a tubeless tire…..something that is not abundantly clear from their specs. (tubeless technology is noted on their catalogue overview, but there is no mention of it after that) The tread compound feels relatively firm, but that is a totally subjective measure. If it is a harder compound, that will serve well for tire wear. Time will tell.
It’s not Tubeless if it isn’t Stans. At least I don’t need to look any further. Don’t be skimpy when mounting up new tires, pour it in! I’ve hear all kinds of things like adding glitter into the mix, or buying bulk latex and making your own sealant. Why? It’s so easy to get a hold of these sample bottles that store well, are incredibly portable, and convenient to boot. I always have a couple stuffed in my trucks side panels, just in case. But don’t forget your tire plugs, just in case its a huge hole you need to fix on the trail.
Note in the picture above, the comparison between a new Duro Switch to a used Shwalbe Hans Dampf, one of my favorite tires. Aside from tread pattern, one big difference is about 60 bucks.
On the first ride with them, the tires preformed as well as you would hope enduro tread would perform. Massive amounts of traction, good grip while leaning the bike into corners, they jump well (not subject to tire performance though), grip rocks well, are stable, etc, etc. etc. I have high hopes for these being a great tire choice, considering the combination of thick sidewall and performance so far. So stay tuned while I see how they hold up, and get riding!