Cheap Tyres Vs Expensive Tyres | Can You Tell The Difference?

Cheap Tyres Vs Expensive Tyres | Can You Tell The Difference?


– What do we look for
when we’re buying a tire? Well, the marketplace is awash with different tread, casing and tire, compound options. What do you actually look for? I think, between friends, we can agree that price
does play it’s part, but we’re hopefully
here to inform you today as we do a back-to-back comparison
of four different tires. (gentle music) So we’ve got four tires
for direct back-to-back, to back-to-back comparison. Everything from your value-based
sort of OE-style tire, all the way through to your high-flying, ground-hugging downhill tire. So let’s take a look
at what is going to be a comparison within a comparison. Here we have two Trail Kings. So the tread pattern is the same, but one comes in a very,
very good value, 25 quid. Whereas this one, is near 60 quid. So what’s the difference? Is it just compound and does
it make that much difference? Well, for a start this
one is tubeless ready, uses a higher thread count,
which is what we call a TPI, and it also gets an extra ply of rubber. So it should provide more
support in the corners. It actually comes with
Continental’s black chili compound, which hits the holy
grail of more durability whilst also providing more grip. Next we have a tire that is
definitely more aggressive while sharing the same
casing as the Trail King. This is the Der Baron. Now this is something of
a bit of confusion for me, because I always say
it’s, “The Der Baron,” but I’m pretty sure “der” and
“the” mean the same thing. I wonder if in Germany they
call it the, “Der Der Baron?” But I’m not so sure. Definitely a smidge more aggressive, as well as being a touch heavier, but only a handful of grams. Also tubeless ready and using
that black chili compound. So now we have the der Der Kaiser, which is the fully works downhill tires. So the same one you’ll
be seeing in the teams like the Athertons running. Super aggressive tire that’s actually got six plies of rubber,
an incredibly high TPI. Much higher than even the Barons, and it is a fair bit
heavier, almost 400 grams. So how’s that going to
translate out on the trail, and is it worth pushing
around that extra mass? (upbeat rock music) So here we are on the entry
level, the Trail King. And honestly, after
many years the majority of my riding life riding heavier tires, straight off the bat, it pedals so fast it’s
like being on a E-bike, it feels great! Definitely I’ve been a bit naughty, I’ve actually installed
them tubeless ready, when technically speaking they’re not a tubeless ready tire. But they seem to go up okay. Maybe just practice, I
wouldn’t recommend long term but I think for just one or
two rides it will be fine. I’ve actually got them
a little bit higher psi than I would normally, just to allow for the thinner tire casing. And I think that while that
sounds like a unfair thing, I think it’s going to
allow each tire to work as it’s intended. The thing I’m kind of, I suppose, nervous about with this tire, is how it copes with big compressions. (upbeat music) So even up over pretty
smooth jumps like these, it’s amazing how much you
can feel the tire deform. Especially on this last one, it seems that it’s hit a few compressions. Now that’s with a higher psi, than a perhaps one with
a same treaded tire with the different casing. Quite significantly higher as well. It’s amazing that lack of
stability that you felt, in the air thanks to that takeoff, kind of screwing in you a
bit and kicking you a bit. (upbeat music)
(bike tires spinning) This kind of thin-style of tire does feel noticeably less stable,
especially through kind of, high compression turns. Maybe if it had a tube in there it would help support that chassis? However I was rin, din, dinging like nobody’s business down there and do I think if I did have a tube, it would have probably have punctured. So it’s a difficult one to decide. Super efficient climbing, and perhaps if you’re not
used to really hitting out those hard hitting descents, then perhaps this is a great tire for you. It’s certainly cost-efficient, plus also kind of a pretty decent quality. (upbeat rock music) (bike pump pumping) So now we’re on the
slightly beefier version of the Trail King. And also, in this instance,
the more expensive version. Straight off the bat, you can tell there’s a
degree more rotational mass. Although that’s only really when I was kind of
spinning it up to speed. But what’s remarkable is
that I’m a full 10 psi lower on this tire and just mucking
around in the car park. Just feel so much more stable. So it will be really interesting how that compares when
we’re out on the trail, especially on those takeoffs where the tire was squirming before. (gentle rock music) Definitely over the little
punchy accelerations in and out of these turns over the roots, you do notice that
increase in mass firmly. It’s certainly not the end of the world, but it is noticeable. (gentle rock music) Even through some of these little turns whilst going uphill, but
carrying a shade more pace, I can definitely feel more stability. Which is crazy ’cause we haven’t
even begun to descend yet. (gentle rock music)
(tires spinning) So much more stable! Oh, my God, it’s just the
feeling of confidence. It’s just so much better! You can just go into flats, no worries. Oh, I just felt so much safer. Where I hit upon earlier
on with performance. And I suppose what that word means to you is very different. But to me, it’s literally like riding with a set of stabilizers
on compared to before. I think when you sometimes go to tires with softer compounds, you notice the way they conform, even the very small vibrations
is mightily impressive. That other tire did a
perfectly reasonable job, especially considering it cost drastically less amount of money. (gentle rock music) So here on GMBN, we don’t
really review stuff, that’s not what I’m here to do. I’m here to, hopefully, provide you with information
on the differences. And I do have to say, going
from quite a thin sidewall to a more of a enduro or trail casing, has been really eye opening. I couldn’t really believe
it, to be honest with you. And this isn’t something
that’s specific to Continental. Most brands, be it Schwalbe or Maxxis, also offer that same tread
pattern in different casings. It’s even things like, on the climbs, how much difference it makes
having that more support in the carcass of the tire. (gentle rock music) (tires spinning) So that’s both sets of Trail
Kings, done and dusted. Now here’s time for the Baron. (upbeat rock music) (bike pump pumping) So this is a lot more aggressive, in terms of the tread,
than the Trail King, but using the same casing, and it’s also about similar money. Coming from the car park then, you can already hear the difference. The knobs on the Baron are slightly taller as they kind of rrrt-rrrt
as you put down the power. That noise, in my mind, probably doesn’t point towards efficiency as each of those knobs are going
to have to deflect and warp, and that in itself will
be a loss of power. (upbeat vocal music) That noise of inefficiency and drag that we heard on the road, is no longer here now on something looser. And a heavy, more aggressive tire can actually be quite good for climbing. Can you imagine it trying
to scramble it’s way up the smooth steps and
nooks and crannies of roots. But it’s heavier and like I said, all those knobs are going to deflect and be energy sapping in the long run. (upbeat vocal music) You often see people at trail centers on really hard-packed terrain running these sorts of cost bike tires. Now it’s a great tire, don’t get me wrong. I do wonder, perhaps, if you
wouldn’t be slightly better at going for something with
a shorter stack height, in terms of the knobs. (upbeat rock music) (bike tires spinning) Yet again, another massively
different experience by changing tires. Although this one isn’t
such a surprise admittedly. You know, we all do experiment
with different tread patterns and these ones with the longer knobs, almost like a cut spike, definitely do fair better
in the looser stuff. But you do feel them kind of rolling, kind of squirming on that
hard packed man-made stuff. Especially your berms or you’re hitting really high cornering mode. So I would say for most riders, if you’re on your trail center stuff, maybe stick to something
like your Trail King, or your High Roller or your Hans Dampf. Something that isn’t quite
so long in terms of stack, and it will actually feel so
much more stable and consistent in those high load turns. But personally, myself, I like to ride more natural trails,
a lot of loose terrain so I would probably be continuing
with this sort of tire. Maybe you could mix
and match if you wanted the best of both worlds. That lower stacked on at the rear, where most of your weight is, so when you are slapping
bass it kind of feels a bit more stable and
a bit more predictable, (upbeat rock music) Time for the downhill specific casing which is quite substantially heavier. I mean, straight off the bat, you can see why you normally
wear them on a downhill bike. And the emphasis being put
on gravity-oriented riding, because they are noticeably heavier. I’d say it’s similarily
reminiscent of pedaling upstream against the strong
current of terra miselata. So you’re certainly putting the watts out just to get it going. On the flat you don’t
notice it but even then, just going up a slight incline, bit of acceleration, and it
is drastically different. Whoa.
(laughs) Oh, ah! Ugh, I can’t talk anymore. And yes, as soon we get
some punchy climbing… (laughs)
My word! Neil used to say he used
to pedal around on these in his enduro days. (upbeat rock music) For me, I never fussed
about weight, whatsoever, when specing up a bike. But normally the downhill
tires are maybe a step too far. Having said that, the way they can handle those compressions, and
those lumps and bumps, and keep you feeling super stable is really quite impressive. It’s amazing the level
of stability increases as you’ve gone to a thicker tire especially on relativity small
jumps that overshooting them is always on the back of your mind. But actually going deeper
with thicker tires, it felt so stable and
actually it’s a lot safer. So for bike parks and stuff, I would say it’s really
worth thinking about. (upbeat rock music) (tires spinning) Downhill tires do have an uncanny ability to damp out the trail and really reduce that noisy, harsh feeling that you get. That being said, they
take a bit of manhandling for your trail centers,
your pedally climbs, so that’s why they tend
to be the port of call for really aggressive riding
on gravity-oriented trails. However, some people have been known to ride a downhill tire on the back, to provide that stability
we’re talking about, plus also mixing it up with a
slighting thinner casing tire for the front. So I’ll leave that up to you to decide, whether it’s worth it for yourself. But I think a week in the Alps, is something I would be thinking about. So in conclusion, are
expensive tires worth it? And how does a 25 quid tire
stack up against something that costs over twice as much? Well, I think remarkably good. I mean, obviously, it depends upon your intents and purposes. But 25 quid for a tire that’s going to enable you to ride trails, and probably, you know, let
you have a good time on them, well that sounds like a good idea to me. However, if performance is on your mind, undoubtedly the difference is huge. I would say it is going to open up so much terrain to you and your bike. No matter if you have the best suspension or the best geometry, it’s still relying on
the information being passed on to it by the tires. So tires really are an
important factor for me. In terms of the various
different tread styles, I think definitely if you
are a trail center weapon, you absolutely love
hunting those Strava KOMs, both up and down. Then something like a
Trail King is a great tire. It doesn’t roll so much
but is very, very stable, and also very pedal efficient. The Baron is still probably
going to be my go to for all ’round riding in the southwest. But if I was to do an
uplift day or similar, I would be reaching for downhill tires. The way they pad out the
terrain is second to none. So hopefully we’ve helped shed some light, and enable you to make a more
informed choice in the future. Now if you want to see people
really work for their money and not just changing tires, check out how the boys
got on with none other than Nino Schurter. As they where absolutely
put through their paces in the gym and checking
out just how strong he is. For that one, click down there. And if you want to carry
on with the theme of tires, I did a really in depth
how-to for setting up tubeless over on GMBN tech, so click down there. As always thanks for watching, and please don’t forget
to like and subscribe to keep this all going. Thank you very much.