Cycleholix Magazine reviews the Porcupine Skinwall

Here's what Cycleholix had to say about our Porcupine...

German cycling magazine Cycleholix included our flagship Trail/AM/Enduro tire, the Porcupine, in their review column and we wanted to present the results.

Thorsten Illhardt was the man for the job, a technical editor at Cycleholix and as an avid enduro rider with a background in downhill, he seemed to have all the necessary credentials for testing this tire. He fitted the tires onto his Last trail rig with DT-Swiss EX511rims using Onza Seal Up sealant and set off!


"The latest edition of the Onza Porcupine comes with a modern and open tread, which with very little rolling resistance should function excellently on an all-mountain bike. The core idea from the original 90s tire is still upheld: long, "pointy" nobs for superior grip. The Porcupine is available tin 27.5" and 29" and is so non-retro, that there is not even a 26" option - who cares though? Depending on your taste, it comes in widths of 2.4" and 2.6", while the weight for the 27.5" skinwall comes in at 820g, and 920g for the wider 29" model in black. I opted for the 29" 2.4" skinwall Porcupine, which according to Onza weighs in at 810g. My scale weighed it in at 846-847g, which in my opinion is not only acceptable, but also remains within the +/- 8% variance tolerance."


The DT-Swiss EX511 rims have a 30mm width, which Thorsten described as perfect for the recommended 28-35mm rim width compatibility. Mounting the tires was no trouble at all and the Seal Up was the ideal "partner in crime" for the Porcupines. Thorsten was able to mount and air up the tires with a standard pump and was pleased this is doable.

When it came time to ride, Thorsten made sure to pay close attention to the air pressure he was using. This factor he describes as being the most important when testing tires, due the different brands own standards in puncture-protection, rolling resistance, grip, etc. After a few variations, he landed on a pressure of 1.8bar in the rear and 1.6bar in the front. 

On the trail

"I found that I really enjoyed the low rolling resistance the tires offered. This showed clearly that it is an all-mountain intended tire. Longer rides with over 1300m of climbing were no trouble at all and I never had the feeling that my pedalling was being weighed down or stuck by the knobs. The concept of tightly assembled center knobs with a ramping on the front end along with the 60a rubber compound really let the tire express its strengths.

I was thoroughly amazed at the puncture protection this tire offers. Despite the single-ply casing with nylon layering in the walls I never experience a penetration of the casing not was I bothered by snake-bites. Tire inserts and spare tubes could have been left at home no problem."


"Another highlight that I found on Onza's Porcupine was the grip on dry ground. In steep passages with rocky edges and roots I never felt like I was losing traction. The same sentiment was reflected in the braking-traction, which I attribute to the high count of knobs in the tread. Despite not having much wet conditions, I can say these factors in this context ensure the tire tracts well in slippery conditions."


"I find the Onza Porcupine to be a first-class all-mountain tire with excellent rolling performance and great flat-protection. The grip is maintained in steep sections and the braking traction is excellent, both in dry and wet conditions equally. [...] The mounting of the tires was easy and worked seamlessly with their sealant and a simple pump. Fantastic! 

All in all, the Onza Porcupine is a very much successful relaunch of the classic tire by the same name and principles in the 90s and is optically a very pleasing product."

(view the original review in German here)