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ONZA Canis 2.25 29er Tires: On Test/First Impressions: by M-1

Many of you who pay attention to these little bits and remarks in our posts might remember a couple of references to the ONZA brand (e.g in the posts on the BMC Speedfox SF29). Also, those of you who are a bit older, will remember ONZA from the “olden days” when they made a range of tires, grips, seatposts and some of the most controversial pedals (elastomer, not spring based) that I know of. Their popularity has wavered over the years and I believe that at one point they may have been out of business all together. Well, Onza’s back (same name but as a SWISS company!!) with a full range of tires for road, BMX and various types of mountain bike riding. For this test Cosmic Sports, the ONZA distributor for Germany has sent us a pair of Onza Canis MTB XC Race/All Mountain tires. There are several versions and sizes of this tire in the 26” format but for the 29” Canis there is only one size (2.25” ) with the choice of two different casing qualities (60 or 120 TPI). Thus far, the 29er tires, strangely, don’t appear on either website but they are available. In any case, My two samples weighed in at 780 g & 790 g, while according the info we have, they’re supposed to weigh 700 g a piece. Early production issues or an overly optimistic brochure?

PRE-RIDE DESCRIPTION: The tread pattern is a “curious” mix of repeating widely spaced knobs and also four triangular-closely spaced knobs in a triangular pattern. All the front faces of those tread knobs are tapered to help reduce rolling resistance which seems to work. Between those sets is a trio consisting of an "X" in the middle and a couple of reverse facing knobs. Also, all along the outside of the tire there is a row of side knobs for cornering traction. The photo shows better. On the 2.25” version that I have they measure at 52.6 and 53.0 mm for the casing and slightly wider at 54.6 and 55.0mm on the widest point of the tread. Oh, and there’s a cute little wolf paw print that occurs on the tire occasionally as well.

This version of the Canis on test comes marked with C3 120 ( that is 120 TPI casing), which suggests a soft and supple but equally light and durable casing. In direct comparison to other 120 TPI casing tires it feels quite firm though. The compound is called RC2 (Dual Racing Compound) which is 65a/55a durometer dual compounds split between the center and the sides. Like the other the 26” versions it is tubeless ready. Onza rates the Canis 5/5 for rolling resistance (on the good side I’m assuming) and 2/5 for cornering efficiency. ONZA’s recommendation is for hard pack or medium soil and loose over hard surfaces. MSRP of the 29er version on test is € 59.00. The lower end version should be a bit cheaper.

MOUNTING & RIDE IMPRESSIONS: Mounting the tires onto the BERGAMONT«s EASTON EA70s was a lot harder than I had expected. I broke one plastic lever trying to pry it on. Strangely c_g who has the same tires and wheels on his current test rig, (the BMC), didn't have any such issues – so it may be that mine were brand new or simply an overly tight batch – I will report back on this in my later posts. Initially I mounted only one tubeless which pumped up immediately with a floor pump and no “sauce” inside. When later I finally mounted the other tire as tubeless also, it had stretched out while being used with the tube, giving me some difficulty in re-inflating it tubeless. After a couple of rides on the tires in gravel, rocks, snow, ice and pavement, I have had no issues in regards to the performance of the tire. In fact, I like them quite a lot. They roll well, dig into nearly any surface and hold well and corner well. You can see in the photos that they shed mud relatively well too, but then again my dirt is not the sticky clay-based kind.

Due to the cold/ice I haven’t really tested how far it can lean before breaking free though but I will keep on riding them and report back in more detail, this is merely a first impression after all.

Keep on Riding! M1

You can read more great reviews of 29" orientated products over at Twentynineinches.com

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