Geax Barro Race 29"er Tires: Final Review

The Geax Barro Race 29″er tires come in three versions. What we have here is the final word on the “TNT” version, which essentially is a tubeless ready tire with a UST bead interface. For previous posts on the Barro Race, check out these posts: #1, #2 , #3, and this comparison post.

august09 078

The Barro Race tires were mounted up tubeless to Mavic Cr29ssmax wheels and were run on a fully rigid bike and the Fisher HiFi pictured above. Trail conditions for the latter part of the test period dried out nicely and were ideal to check out this race oriented shoe. The pressures were kept on the lower side of the 20’s since the Geax TNT casing tends to be a stiffer casing than most tires out there.

Rolling Resistance- Knobby Vibrations: The one constant with the Geax Barro Race is the feeling on smoother sections you get from the knobs. They vibrate the bike in such a way that you feel it in the seat of the pants and on the grips. It is subtle to be sure, but odd as well, since the Barro Race has such low knobs. Again, I attribute this to the stiffer TNT casing. Once in the rough stuff, the sensation is gone, of course. Is it higher rolling resistance? I couldn’t tell by my times, but that sensation is there. I suppose I should mention here that the Barro Race showed significant wear to the point that the first millimeter of tread height in the middle of the tire had worn off during the test period. Of all the tires we are testing here this year, the Barro Race appears to be the fastest wearing one. It is a race tire after all!

Climbing: Climbing traction is very good with the Barro Race tires, but it is also very pressure sensitive. Lower pressures will reveal better climbing performance. Probably significantly lower than you would run with other tires in the class of this one. The Barro Race was very good in this way on the full suspension rig.

Braking Performance: Given the narrowness of this tire and the lack of volume, I would rate it as excellent in braking performance for this class of tire. I could break it loose if I wanted to, but it was very predictable in how it would react to braking.

Cornering Performance: The Barro Race tires do well at cornering with the excellent edge knobs it has. For a race tire, it may well be one of the best in that regard. Of course, as I have stated, it is narrow and doesn’t have a ton of volume, and with its stiffer TNT casing, you can get your pressure too high and the tire will be miserable. Play with the pressures to find the sweet spot and you will be rewarded with much better results. I found it also worked best if you use a more aggressive lean angle, as it doesn’t have much for transitional cornering knobs.

august09 079

The Geax TNT construction gives the Barro Race a great platform for tubeless use, although it may be a tough fit on some Stan’s rims and will be nigh unto impossible to mount on a Bontrager rim with a TLR plastic rim strip installed. This tire will work swimmingly with the UST type rims on Mavic, Fulcrum, and Shimano offerings though.

august09 080

Conclusions: The Geax Barro Race tires are excellent cornering and climbing tires with the caveat that you have to use the correct pressures, (read “lower”) and really lean the bike over in the corner. The TNT casing promises lower probability of getting torn up by rocks or thorns and rolls pretty well even though it may feel like it is robbing you of momentum in smoother, hard packed sections. Choose your tubeless system wisely, and the Barro Race will perform excellently in that state. This tire should be on your radar if you are looking for a sturdy, fast, trail worthy racing tire. Just keep in mind that it is indeed a racing tire, and the softer rubber compound will wear accordingly. For the right rider, this tire is an excellent choice.

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

No Responses to “Geax Barro Race 29"er Tires: Final Review”

  1. Steve-O Says:

    Hey GT,

    I found the wear to be very fast as well. I however did not notice the sensation of “buzz” on smooth sections that you describe. I also found them VERY pressure sensitive. 28 psi max in this tire. I am 195 lbs. Strangely I recently ran them at a extremely wet and muddy race at under 25 psi and they performed way beyond my expectations in slippery conditions. I did not have time to change tires before this race and just ran em anyway. The bead is crazy tight which I love. Pretty hard to peel off a tire when you struggle to get them on. I have mine on a set of DT Swiss X470 converted with a Stan’s Kit and they work fantastic. I really enjoy the aggresive cornering that this tire encourages, Stay off the brakes and drop your shoulder and you will fly! I would give up a tiny bit of that sidewall stiffness to get them at 600 grams even. You listening folks a GEAX? Great review GT, I bought a set of these based on your initial first impressions and have been very happy so far. I am going to be hitting some real rocky stuff with these soon, the place is hell on sidewalls. I love riding rocks!

  2. EBsuburban Says:

    Do you think you would rate this particular tire as high if they were run with tubes? I’ve never ran tubless and probably won’t for a while but like the tire profile and knob spacing/depth.

  3. cg Says:

    I have to agree to most everything GT has said about the BARRO RACE TNTs.
    I have felt the same vibrations commented on at low speeds on hard surfaces but found them disappearing at most any riding speed. Cornering and traction are very good considering the minute knobs. Definately much better than one would expect by looks only.

    In all other aspects i fully agree to GT´s discussion.

    But the most outstanding aspect of the BARRO RACE is that despite its exact to labelling dimensions of 2.0 it rides much more like a 2.2. Sound strange? – that´s what I thought, mounted them nonentheless and was astouned.

  4. Guitar Ted Says:

    @ EBsuburban: If I were a tube using guy, I would seek out the Barro Race folder. It is super light, and designed only for tubes. The TNT with a tube would likely ride even stiffer than it does with it just being tubeless. That said, there is no reason you couldn’t run a tube in a TNT Barro Race.

  5. Yourdaguy Says:

    I have a set of these mounted tubeless on the Shimano wheels. They are my 3rd wheel set so I havn’t ridden them very much yet. So far, I can say the sidewalls are stiff and the vibration on smooth roads is there.. They seem to hook up pretty well so far, but I haven’t had a chance to test them in ugly conditions. One thing I noticed is that compared to all my other tires that I have run tubeless they hold air far and away the best which you would expect for a TNT tire, but it is still impressive.

  6. Rico Says:

    One data-point: based on the one example I had, the Barro Race–the variant for use with tubes–is both bloody light and flippin’ small. My sample weighed ~ 475 grams, but was barely 48mm in casing width (on a 25mm rim, @ 40psi, after ~ 3 days). too small for me–sent it back.

  7. Jeremy Says:

    I had the geax saguaros mounted on Stans flows and they were total PITA to mount. I loved the tire but after a flat in the trails and only having a lever from a multitool i wanted to kill my self.

    Are these tires as difficult to mount on Stans rims?

  8. Guitar Ted Says:

    Jeremy: Anything Geax puts out with the TNT casing is going to have the UST bead which will be like the Saguaros you tried, so yes- the Barro Race TNT tires would be the same- probably worse since they are narrower tires than Saguaros are.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: