GEAX 2.3" Gato 29"er: Exclusive Euro Test- Out Of The Box

Editor’s Note: This exclusive pre-release test of GEAX’s upcoming “Gato 2.3″” 29″er tire is brought to us by “chris_geotec”, who resides in Germany. “chris” has received a set of the upcoming GEAX Gato 2.3 inch tires and is sharing his experiences with us here at Twenty Nine Inches.

Out of the box and mounting: by chris_geotec
The 29er Gato: This is a tire that was first introduced for ´08 in a 2.1 26er XC tire and
even before release was already celebrating its first race victory in XC in Schladming in late´08.
I have ridden this tire on my 26er and, (despite my personal resolution to never ride anything
smaller than 2.2″), I honestly did like it so I was really excited to hear it would be released in
a wider 29er version.

When receiving the tires in the TNT version I was once again stoked by the cool graphics
the new GEAX line has. They have the same cool looking grey sidewalls like the TNT
Saguaro. They show immaculate workmanship. The tread is the same as the 26er Gato´s
but enlarged proportionally in size – meaning the knobs as well as the gaps in between have
grown. The two tires I received had a weight of 780 grams and 805 grams in the TNT version, so
we are looking at something like 700 grams for the folding and ~ 900 grams for a UST tire. Remember
GEAX usually offers every tread in multiple versions – despite the growing popularity of the
TNTs.

1_gatophoto: c_geotec

The tread itself has more shapes and grooves to name,
giving it a very technical look. The many grooves &
recesses look like they could help the tire to comply better
to the ground – adding traction and smoothness. It will be
interesting to see whether this is purely cosmetic or for
real. The side knobs as well as the center line have a
reinforced base – good news for those suffering from
punctures and cuts or from ripping the side knobs off in
extreme maneuvers.
As with all tubeless ready tires mounting can be hard on
your levers (have a few spare plastic levers or best use
metal ones) but in exchange you get very easy inflation,
even with a floor pump, the first time. When mounted on my
standard XC rims (19 mm inside) the Gatos started out
with 56.2 and 55.9 mm width, but after only a few days
have stretched out to the true to size marking GEAX is known for – 58 mm!! Who ever was
expecting to find the next step to even wider tires – keep
hoping. But I feel that this size is already close to most frames
tire clearance.

2_profilePhoto: c_geotec

By the numbers and looks alone it becomes clear this tire
aims to please the “aggressive XC & All-Mountain” riders
amongst us.
When mounted the tire has a distinct cross section which
can best be described as “angular” or “sectored”: The
central knobs, aided by their reinforcing base are more
flattish with only a slight curve to them (hmm… makes me
think …”large footprint, much grip?!?”), then you have a
section without any knobs and laterally the strongly angled
side knobs, called “rails design” by GEAX.
Note that I never even tried mounting them with tubes –
why should I – these tires are made for tubeless
applications.
More to come….

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12 Responses to “GEAX 2.3" Gato 29"er: Exclusive Euro Test- Out Of The Box”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    That is going to be huge! Can’t wait to see them someday.

  2. Stevo Says:

    Gato front – Saguaro rear anyone?

    Look forward to hearing more about these and a ride report soon…

  3. captain bob Says:

    Good thinking Stevo. Could be a great combo.

  4. chris_geotec Says:

    Stevo – very good thinking indeed for dry to medium.

    Wait for more to come,
    Chris

  5. Stevo Says:

    First thing I thought of when I read your post there Chris. Considering most of the conditions I ride in are dry, then your comment has me looking forward to your ride report even more!

  6. UnitedWeRide Says:

    Chris where in Germany are you? I am stationed by Ramstein. I look forward to your review. Right now I am going to run the Sagauro 2.2 TNT out back with 2.4 Mountain King up front.

  7. chris_geotec Says:

    HI UWR,

    I am way south near Munich. Did you get the Saguaro here in Germany or from the US?

  8. UnitedWeRide Says:

    Chris,
    I havent yet. I am deployed in Iraq and will be home soon, so I plan to order from somewhere before my return. I am having a hard time finding a US vendor with the TNT version.

  9. chris_geotec Says:

    I might be able to help directly here in D – after all GEAX is Italian.
    (Maybe you contact G.T. and he will give me your e-mail address for direct communication.)

  10. UnitedWeRide Says:

    sounds good, use the diggers@twentynine email for that?

  11. chris_geotec Says:

    Yep – I know some places they can be hard to get –

    (or if you prefer you can oder directly through any bike shop with the German distibutor NTS Handelsagentur; info@neumann-thieme.de).

  12. SSinGA Says:

    With the lack of a center row of tread blocks the pattern on htese loots like it will be a slow roller on harpack surfaces. Look forward to further reviews.

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