By : Dave Nice
Jeff Zell of Panaracer USA contacted me about testing out a new fat bike tire called the Fat B Nimble. I jumped at the chance because of my past good experiences with Panaracer rubber, both in 26” and 29er land. I’ve known Jeff a number of years know and with an expected price point of $60 for a wire bead 60tpi and a $90 kevlar 120tpi versions, I was very excited to check them out.
The samples I was provided weighed in at 1270g, 1245g, 1261g and 1238g on my blue Park scale at work. I set up 2 wheelsets with the tires. One wheelset had Surly Marge Lites and the other 85mm Borealis Carbondales. On the Marge Lite, the tires measured out to 84mm , on the Carbondales they measured at 94mm. Tire off the rim bead to bead flattened out measured 217 mm or so.
This spring has been a typical “go home, you’re drunk” spring Colorado weather (wait 5 minutes or ride 5 miles and it can be different). I’ve had a chance to mostly run the tires on the Carbondales in snow, slush, mud, and hardpack.
Snow is where I was expecting this tire to not do so well. However, when I reversed the rear to get more of a paddle configuration it works quite well for its size; in the rear it works well at 6-8 psi. It does seem to have more float compared to other tires in its size and tread depth. On the front, in slushy soft spots it can tend to auger in a bit fast. The side knobs do seem to have a bit of a bite to get out of trenches. In 20-40 degree snow, the snow doesn’t seem to stick to the tire and that is a welcome plus. Slush and wet has been pretty stellar even on oily pavement commuting. The tire seems to stick well in those circumstances. The tread seems to pack in clay but not nearly as bad as a Knard. In more organic mud it has no problem shedding the sticky goo. In the hardpack is where this tire really shines. I hiked the Manitou Incline and rode down the Barr Trail. It’s a fairly steep 2 mile descent on decomposing granite. And the tire very much excelled in this type of trail surface.
Overall, very impressed with this tire with the expected price points. It has a great feel and not too much counter-steer issues unless you’re below 6psi on hardpack. A super great all around tire. This tire should be available in July.