Rampage Trail Test

Panaracer Rampage 26×2.3Saturday’s Ditch ride was a good test for the new Panaracer Rampage tires on the Moment. On the last training ride I took on the bike, the greatest difference I noticed was in the lower rolling resistance. On the hardpack doubletrack and singletrack, the lower rolling resistance benefits could be felt also. The cornering was as good if not better than the Mountain A/T’s. This was probably due to the higher side and edge knob density, and the lower, stiffer knobs. There was a noticeable deficit on standing climbs and clawing performance up rooty sections or over rolly branch pieces on the trail. Moisture aggravated this. Exploring an apparent side trail, I tried riding up an angled one-foot step-up with a rooty surface. The ground was damp and the back tire went into immediate spin-out.

Straight-line stability was very good. Even when going through muddy sections, there was no pronounced tendency to slide out sideways, even under pedaling forces that induced wheel-spin. Dry braking and traction was very good. On an Ironwood needle covered level section, I purposely locked the rear brake and the bike stopped in a remarkably short distance. I could not get the front tire to skid in the same conditions. Mud clearing was good. The tire did fill up in the gumbo mud, but cleared on the dry sections.

This is a very good general-use medium-large MTB tire. With its low rolling resistance, it makes a good tire for all-around riding, or for longer rides. It excels on dry surfaces – loose or hard. The wet or mud performance is acceptable, but not as good as the Michelin XC/R or Mountain A/T tires. I’ll give them one more trail ride, then probably switch back to the Michelins until we go up to Whistler. The rides here are short, so the low resistance is not too much of an issue, but the greater wet condition traction of the Michelins are indeed a benefit for Hawaii riding.


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