Geax Gato 29"er Tire: Two Souls Of A Tire

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the Geax Gato 29″er tire by chris_geotec. Part I can be found here, and Part II is here.

A word about the two souls of a tire:

Here are a few words on what the GEAX TNT tires have taught me.You all know that a tire consists mostly of casing and tread (I know this is a bit simplistic). The tread meets the eye and in most cases a tire is liked or rejected because of this. In my ~20 years of mountain biking, and before going tubeless, it usually was enough for me knowing I liked the tread and size (As long as I could afford it, I would always go with folding – mostly due to weight reasons). Than I went tubeless and soon realized the other soul of a tire that I had been neglecting – the casing.

5_amwheel

When mounting any tire tubed and riding standard to high pressures (> 2 bar)you can get away with much. Wide tires on narrow rims – not much of a problem. But when you go tubeless and want all of its benefits (better traction & comfort, plus lower rolling resistance) you will soon be riding lower pressures. That´s where the casing (and the rim)becomes key factors that decide between fun and disaster. Riding stability, folding over tires, burping, and blow offs are just a few keywords…I guess you all know the story in one way or the other . Like most, I settled with a compromise somewhere within the interdependent variables: (a), rim (width & type), ( b), tire (size, tubed/tubeless); (c) , riding pressure -and all these influence rotational weight, comfort, and traction (be it objective or subjective, but that can be another discussion). After many years of much trial and error with tubeless it has not been a question of whether I wanted to go tubeless, but what combination I would have to compromise the least. To me this is (or better said: was) lightweight tubeless rims (Notubes, FRM and such) and tight fitting folding tires. (To my defense: Tubeless ready tires are mostly unknown here in Europe and UST were simply too heavy and stiff to my liking)…. end of story (…so I thought).

6_tnt

Then came the one day I got my hands on GEAX´s TNT tires and for the first time I had the perfect casing in my hands – that is to my style of riding. Can you believe they were offering this tubeless ready version for years – fully unnoticed by all of Europe? Not only did the tight and strong bead allow easy inflation and safe riding with no risk of burping under any pressure (like all tubeless and tubeless ready tires) but also the trick reinforced sidewalls were allowing for stable riding at pressures I had thought impossible before. Believe it or not but I rode the 29er 2.2 Saguaro (and the 29er 2.3 GATO) down to 1.2bar and that on 19 mm inside width rims! (… and yes I am not the lean racer type rider). In the end I found the tires´ sweet spot to be about 1.5 bar in the rear and 1.4 up front. Believe me when I say that comfort is top notch, traction is increased to new levels and the overall rotational weight isn´t bad at all with the ZTR 355 rims either. So with GEAX´s TNT tires we have the positive synergy of two souls – casing and tread working together, be it for 26 or 29er…. and now we have a new kid on the block: The 29er GATO 2.3.

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No Responses to “Geax Gato 29"er Tire: Two Souls Of A Tire”

  1. Steve-O Says:

    Hey GT,

    I recently purchased a set of Geax Barro Race 29 TNT tires and could not be happier. They are kind of on the heavy side for a race tire however, my 2 previous 29er tires the Nanoraptor (650 grams) and the Racing Ralph (650 grams as well these weights are an average) although both were bigger and slightly lighter (Barro 660 grams) I had nothing but isssues with both converted to tubeless. The Barro rides bigger than it is, I would think that is because of the reinforced sidewalls and I had to use WAY less Stans as there was no leaking through the sidewalls. I am 200lbs, race expert and at speed I kept peeling off the other 2 tires. Very pleased with this tire, finally found my 29er tire after 3 years. I may try the new Bonty offerings in the future but these are a permanant fixture for a long time.

  2. Guitar Ted Says:

    Steve-O: Yes, the TNT Geax construction is bomber and just what we needed. I agree, the Barro Race seems a bit porky for it’s size, but it will make up for that in durability and performance. You should realize some lower riding pressures than you may have thought possible with these tires as well.

    Happy Trails! 🙂

  3. Milto Says:

    I am looking for some tyre advice.

    I live in Australia and ride mostly dry smooth single track. I am looking for a bigger 2.3 – 2.4 tyre as a rear to get a bit of extra cusion. Preferably TNT but something that will also roll fast.

    Can anybody give me any ideas of some options worth looking at?

    Thanks

  4. Guitar Ted Says:

    Milto: I would suggest the Geax TNT Saguaro or the new Continental Race King. Both tires are not quite 2.4, but they have great volume for their size. The GEAX is a tougher tire with more aggressive tread. The Race King is not as heavy, not as tough, and rolls much better than the GEAX offering. Both will set up tubeless very well.

    It will depend on your needs as to which one you choose , but I highly recommend either tire. 🙂

  5. Milto Says:

    Thanks GT

    I have been reading about the racing ralph’s. Anyone set them up tubeless yet?

  6. Kosmo Says:

    I just received a Snakeskin version of the RR. On the non-Snake RR, I considered the sidewall to be FAR too thin and flimsy for tubeless use. The snakeskin is a different animal. The sidewall has quite a bit more substance to it, and I would consider trying it tubeless. Maiden voyage tomorrow, in tubed mode, though.

    My garage impression gut feel is that it would be about as sturdy as an IRD Fire mounted tubeless, and I’ve had very good luck in the past with that setup.

  7. professed Says:

    Milto,

    Try the Racing Ralph 2.4 – very light, comphy and fast rolling.

    Sets up easily tubeless and the big bag gives it some defence if the trail gets rougher.
    I ride with it on a rigid fork on Sydney sandstone with plenty of grip and no problems so that should give you a good idea of what it can take.
    I also race with one on a suspended 29er as it is such a stable as fast roller.

    Something tougher is the Bontgager XDX 2.1. Sets up as big as a 2.3.

    Both also readily available in OZ but the Bonty only from Trek dealers

  8. diesel29 Says:

    Does anybody know how hard the saguaro29 tnt is to mount on the stans arch rim, I have heard some claims that people could not mount them on the arch rims nomatter what they did? Also anybody know a good place to purchase the new saguaro29 tnt in the US. I am one of the 200 plus pounders who have been looking for a tubeless 29er tire that wont fold or burp air or blow off on me.

    GT I read the recomendation of the Geax saguaro or the Conti race king in the above post based on what I have said which tire do you think would hold up best for me. The race king sounds tempting but I dont want to sacrifice durability.

    Thank you for your time.

  9. Guitar Ted Says:

    diesel29: First of all, the Saguaro TNT is going to not be a great fit on any Stan’s rim. The two just do not play well together.

    That said, I would highly recommend the Saguaro TNT to you. Any LBS that deals with Bike Mine as a distributor should be able to get some.

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