Geax Gato 2.3" 29"er Tires: Final Review

Editor’s Note: This is “CG”s final review of the yet to be released Geax Gato 2.3” 29″er tire.

All right, testing is done with the GEAX GATO 2,3 29er tires – time to clean up and write my summary.

8_cleanup

Did the Gato meet my expectations? à Yes (and a tiny bit of NO)

Here in more detail:

1, Sizing: When being announced a 2.3″ width tire after having ridden the 2.2″ Saguaros, I was expecting a huge tire to come my way. When it turned out to be the same casing width as the formerly mentioned tire, but with a more aggressive tread, I was disappointed at first. On the other hand, when taking a closer look at my buddies´ bikes: The Gatos 58 mm width can already be near the limits in terms of tire clearance with some frames. And compared to its so called All Mountain brothers the Gato is almost exactly the same width, being only 1 mm narrower than the WeirWolf LT- so it is not too bad after all.

2, Riding: When putting the tires to the trail all these prior thoughts vanished into nothingness. The Gatos performed wonderfully in anything but the smoothest surfaces. I have had a great time with these tires. They rode very good in anything soft and /or rough conditions and remain capable in anything else. It sure excells in wet, muddy and / or slushy situations.

In technical riding, regardless of dry or wet, I would still opt for the Gato´s grip up front but would probably choose a smoother rolling tire in the rear (maybe the 29er 2.2″ Saguaro TNT?) – some of you have commented about this combination and I can confirm it should serve your needs very well.

In my opinion the Gato´s tread makes it a serious competitor to all the other large volume All Mountain tires – year round. It might not be as strictly tuned for rolling resistance as the Weirwolf or as enduro oriented as the Nevegal but fullfills everything in between with excellence – and reaches far into the territory of the above mentioned tires. I stick to my sentence in a earlier posting:

“Watch out for the New Kid in Town”

These above mentioned characteristics may vary to some extent in the various versions the tire will be available (folding, TNT, UST), you can choose the casing to your liking and your preferred riding.

3, Verdict: In the tested TNT version the Gato really shone as a weapon of choce for anything technical or All Mountain oriented. If additionally you are looking for excellent tubeless performance and very good traction on a large volume tire and/or don´t want to buy new (wider) rims you should have a closer look at the 2,3 GatoTNTs. Due to my extensive testing with varying tires this special ability of the Geax TNT tires – to remain stable on your rims despite its larger volume, down to ridiculously low pressures – is what really makes them something very, very unique which no competitor can rival.

I am sure there is a limit to this special quality of the TNTs – speaking of even wider tires – but in the combination of my 19 mm inside width rims and the 2.3 Gatos it has not been reached.

I haven´t had the chance to swap to 28 mm Flows or even the 35 mm Salsa Gordos at the time of testing so I can only imagine what it will do to the tire.

Ride on and hope the wait won´t be to long until the official release date – meanwhile you can try Geax´s TNT Saguaros if you like!!.

9_sundown

As the sun is setting on this last test ride – I am convinced the Gato has not even seen its dawn

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No Responses to “Geax Gato 2.3" 29"er Tires: Final Review”

  1. Dave Says:

    How does it perform in the front on transition into a corner? Is it a slam-it-over type tire or does it keep it´s head when turned in more gently?

  2. scott Says:

    I recently put a set of the Sugaro’s on my Jet 9 and found the traed compound to be way to hard. I’ve put lots of hard riding in rough conditions and the little nubbies are all still in place. Its been very wet here in NH in the last two months and these tires have not worked well at all. In the few dry conditions I have been able to ride in they were better but still not up to par with the Maxxis Ardents I was running….Scott

  3. cg Says:

    Dave, I have tried any riding styles I am capable of and to me it felt better in a leaning type of riding at higher pressures – but be reminded that I am a big fan of lower pressures for the better comfort and traction – so there I could not make out any difference for the tire would so easily adapt to the terrein that the transition was purely immaculate.

    Scott: I can see what you are saying, the SAGUARO and I think yiour comparison with the ARDENT is a bit unfair – maybe you should compare the GATO to the ARDENT. I have had my expereinces with the SAGUAROs in the wet and slippery stuff as well and agree that this is not their preferred terrain but once again at lower pressures I have found that it actually performs better than expected. My personal favourite in all but the very deeps stuff:
    GATO front and SAGURO rear and you have covered most terrains.

    Hope my review and comments helped some of you – after all its all about riding and fun at riding.

    Happy trails to all,
    cg

  4. dblspeed Says:

    Hi CG, if you tried the conti mountain king, how do you think they would stack against the gatos?

  5. cg Says:

    Hi dblspeed, unfortunately I only had a few test rides on the Conti MKs so my verdict is not really representative. To my likng the MK´s side knowbs were a bit too tall and flexy when ridden on harder surfaces. They gripped really well on all but slippery rocks and wet roots (there the GATO really shines IMO) and roll fairly well. In direct comparison I would say both tires have a lot in common in terms of application with the GATO being a bit more versatile in both directions (hard-dry and soft-wet)
    I am convinced the MK is a great All Mountain tread but somehow I just couldn´t make myself a home on the MK´s while the GATO was and is “true love” – but again my MK verdict is based on only limited riding.

    cg

  6. Lawrence Says:

    These tires look great but I can’t find them anywhere. Do you know when they will be available? Also, you mentioned a 29 x 2.4 that is coming, any more info on that tire?

  7. cg Says:

    Hi Lawrence, I hope I was able to communicate these tires don´t only look good but also perform to notch.
    To my best knowlwdge the GATO is scheduled for public release on EUROBIKE´09 (first week of September). Availability depends on production but shouldn´t be too long after that.

    Don´t know where I announced a 2.4 tire – help me out.

    cg

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