News Review

First Ride Review: Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2018 – The new version of the legendary allrounder

At first glance the tread pattern of the new Schwalbe Hans Dampf with its elliptical centre-lugs looks very familiar. But if you compare it against the older version you’ll notice that Schwalbe’s engineers didn’t leave a single knob untouched. We had a chance to test the new version and can tell you exactly what it is capable of.

New Generation
The genes of the original Hans Dampf (left) are unmistakable and so are the changes on the updated version.

With a more aggressive tread and wider knobs the new Hans Dampf wants to be an all-rounder for all types of terrain. In the past we have often criticised the small side lugs because they were too soft and buckled away a little too easily when cornering. On the new version the side knobs are significantly wider and reinforced on the sides like on the Nobby Nic and the Magic Mary. The centre lugs have grown in number and in size and are now biting into the soil more aggressively when braking. This means one thing: more grip!

The new tread-pattern of the Hans Dampf features chunkier reinforced side-knobs which won’t buckle away as easily when cornering.

We ran the 2.35″ version of the new Hans Dampf with a tubeless setup on 29″ E*thirteen TRS Race rims and didn’t have any issues. On rims with 31 mm inner-width the Hans Dampf takes a rounded shape. The staggered studs ensure an even transition without leaving any gaps in the profile. This allows at least one row of lugs to dig into the ground at any angle.

Bigger is better
Die Stollen wurden um einiges vergrößert und in ihrer Anzahl erhöht

The Hans Dampf on the trail

Lake Garda is well known for its rough terrain and millions of sharp, pointy rocks. That’s why we were more than happy to ride with the puncture-resistant Super-Gravity Version of the new Hans Dampf. During our test the tire packed-away quite a number of hard hits on the rim and proved to be perfectly puncture-proof. The newly designed aggressive side-knobs won’t buckle away even in fast, tight berms and totally impressed us with an outstanding grip. We were pleasantly surprised by how forgiving and good-natured the tire feels. Even after sliding off on lose terrain the tire rapidly recovers and finds its grip.

The soft Addix compound offers superb grip in dry conditions and great damping characteristics. In our first test we were able to collect quite a number of impressions but unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to test the tire’s performance in wet conditions or on soft terrain. However we know from numerous previous Schwalbe tests that the soft Addix compound offers great grip in wet conditions combined with acceptable rolling resistance and reasonable wear.

Prices and availability

The new Hans Dampf will be available from July in all common wheel-sizes. The Addix Soft Compound will be available as an option for all 2,35” tires with a Super-Gravity carcass. The harder Addix Speedgrip compound will only be available in combination with the Apex carcass in 27,5”x2,6”, 27,5”x2,75” or 29”x2,6” sizes. Like most Schwalbe tires the Hans Dampf will also be available in the cheaper Performance-version which features a harder compound and a simpler construction. If you’re still holding onto your old 26″ rig you can relax – the Hans Dampf will also be available in this size.

Conclusion

The new Schwalbe Hans Dampf is a superb allrounder for all sorts of mountain bikes. The softer Addix version with the Super-Gravity carcass is the ideal tire for hard-core shredding sessions on fast trails. It’s too soon for us to comment about durability and performance on soft terrain but you’ll soon find a complete test of the new Hans Dampf.

More info at: schwalbe.com

Words: Felix Stix Photos: Valentin Rühl