Twentynineinches took some Porcupines out and here are their impressions...
German publication Twentynineinches took our flagship Trail tire, the Porcupine, out for some testing this past winter and came back with some detailed results on their experiences with the tire!
Their tester and reviewer c_g started off by reflecting a little bit on Onza's legacy and the legend that the Porcupine has left in the memories of many riders. His goal was to set out and see exactly how successful our latest tire release has been and to judge the tire by modern standards and riding performance.
We obviously set our standards high and describe the tire as the "ideal allrounder for riding disciplines from touring to all-mountain riding, with excellent grip, strong cornering performance and low rolling-resistance." This was the bar c_g was aiming to examine and test, so let's see what he had to say!
First off, the tire is available in many variants: 27.5" and 29", in 2.4" or 2.6" widths with the lighter TRC-casing (foldable, single-ply, 60TPI). This can can be combined with either the black dual-compound (60a/45a) or with the non-performance compound in the "extravagant" white colourway (all 60a). c_g tested the 29" in 2.6" and 2.4". The black DC is available in all-black or skin-wall.
"All of the models are of course tubeless-ready and the weights for the test tires came in at 905g for the 2.6" and 800g for the 2.4", which correlated with the manufacturer's listed weights. The prices are reasonable, with the 2.4" setting you back €54.95 and the 2.6" €59.95.
Looking at the moderately open and blocky tread, one does tend to think that this tire is a universal applicable Trail/AM tire. The pattern is arranged in a 3-3-2 layout in the rolling-direction, with differentiated knobs across the width to accommodate their roles on the tire (i.e. cornering or flat ground). The canal through the middle promises grip for the outer knobs. The knobs are high and arranged tightly, so that the rolling resistance is not affected by this.
Mounting the tires was no trouble at all, as was to be expected after what I had read about this tire.
The ride was exactly what Onza promised - a great allrounder! This was interestingly enough also the case on the street, but especially noticeable on the trail. Oh, and the skin-wall option looks pretty good too!
The first big advantage one notices on the trail, is the successful combination of the low rolling-resistance along with above-average grip. For my tastes, the tire rolls very well; quiet and soft, while generating lots of traction and still providing that lovely low rolling resistance. It is remarkable how good the consistency of this balance was as well, which is why I previously mentioned the noticeable ease, with which the Porcupine rolls on the streets.
Given these qualities, the grip is very good on many surfaces. From dry to moderately damp trail, the tire doesn't seem to have any boundaries to this grip and always performed astoundingly well. The braking-power and traction were fantastic in these conditions and I was never left disappointed and would even go as far to suggest, that there are some pro enduro riders out there who would experience an upgrade with this tire.
Even when the trail got properly wet and slippery, with slick roots everywhere, it really took quite the push to get the Porcupine to even slip just a little. When it was time for the mushy, soft and sticky mud, the Porcupine was surprisingly good at self-cleaning the mud from its tread. This must have to do with the arrangement of the knobs and the spaces between them.
The cornering was indeed also good. I found this to surprising given the previous qualities, but it was the case. This is due to it's round profile and precise tread across the edges. The outer knobs touch the ground late into the angle of the corner, so I had my doubts, but the tread dug in well and held even better.
The TRC-casing was certainly for it's weight one of the more stable and stong casings that I've ridden. As I searched for the lower-end tire-pressure, I was quite challenged to find where it was. The rear settled at a low of 1.3bar and in the front 1.0bar. It was at these points where the tire began to lose traction in the corners and (obviously) was not efficient to ride. Nonetheless I never experienced any burps or losses of air!
The new Onza Porcupine is very appropriately deemed a great all-rounder and is more than capable of providing riders in Trail and AM categories a reliable, fast and versatile tire. I would recommend this tire to any rider, because of its low rolling resistance, amazing grip, great traction and excellent cornering. Good job, Onza!"