Some time ago, I tried a set of 27.5 x 2.8in Schwalbe G One Allrounds on a dirt and paved trip in Spain – and I was kind of blown away. Somehow, they turned a relatively heavy and slovenly steel ‘plus’ bike into a spritely allroad machine. I wrote a glowing review for Bikepacking.com… only for them to be discontinued!
Luckily for 2021, there’s a 27.5×2.8in option on the cards. It’s the same tyre, albeit in the DD – Double Defence – version. What this means to the ride, aside from minimising the chance of punctures, I’m not sure. As 845g it is, however, about a quarter of the weight more, given that the lightweight version claimed a svelte 655g. But even so, it comes in at comfortably below the 1kg mark and will likely be considerably lighter than the tyre it replaces.
Luckily for me, I managed to get hold of one last set of discontinued lightweight G-Ones (art. no. 11601056, Evo, SnakeSkin, TLE, with a reflective sidewall) and now that I’ve fitted them to the SWB, my enthusiasm for this tyre is renewed.
For ‘all road’ day rides out of Oaxaca, it immediately gives the bike a noticeable pep on sprints from traffic lights, it steers quickly, and once it’s aired down a little, it’s very compliant on rural dirt roads. When I hit the inevitable paved stretches back into town, I don’t begrudge them at all – in fact, it’s the opposite. With this tyre and a comfortable ‘alt bar’, it’s hard to see why I’d want a drop handlebar gravel bike, aside from it being a bit lighter overall. I bet a gravel bike would be fun to kick up to speed, but I don’t think they’d be a massive difference when cruising along – gearing differences aside – and the 2.8s would pull ahead on any descent that’s burlier than a forest road.
In fact, on everything but really loose corners and very gloopy mud, the G-One Allround does surprisingly well, even dry rocky singletrack if you air it down a little – which you can confidently do, given its large volume. Sure, it’s not a proper mountain bike tyre and won’t grip like one when you really push it, but you can’t have everything, right?
Anyway, if you have a rigid 27.5in Plus bike, these tyres are well worth a try. Better still, maybe you can track down an older set and save yourself some all-important rotational weight for stop-start day rides. From my experience, even the lightweight version is still plenty durable.
If you’ve tried the latest version of this tyre, let me know how you get on!
The current 27.5 x 2.8in G-One Allround shows up on the Schwalbe website as Art. No. 11600953.01. It’s listed as 845g, is tubeless ready, and costs $59.
Unfortunately, the G-One Allround maxes out at 29 x 2.25. How great would a 2.6 or 2.8in version be!