Surly Dirt Wizards – 29 x 3 – In the Wild

Editor’s Note  :  We shot the video above at interbike back in September of 2014. In a strange twist of fate, Eric Sovern (from the planet Surly) shows us both a Dirt Wizard and Surly’s five inch Knard in the video. The Knards are in stores now, and Dirt Wizards just went live on so folks can start ordering them at their local shops. We’re sharing Pat Scharfe’s ride impressions of a set of test tires that he’s been waiting to ride all winter. Pat works at Missoula Bicycle Works and get’s to be one of the first cat’s outside of the Surly inner circle, to test ride the much anticipated – Dirt Wizard 29+. And guess what? – He LOVES them!


I’ve had the luxury of having a set of Surly Dirt Wizard 29’s for several months now. Unfortunately, I received them just before the snow started to fall last winter, so I was only able to log a handful of rides with them early on. Now that spring has sprung and the trails are already July dry, I’ve gotten out a fair bit with them. I’m not one to geek out on rubber compounds or durometers, I just know what I like and the feel I’m looking for. I had a first run Krampus with the standard Knards like everyone else for quite awhile. I liked the Knard in most conditions, fairly fast and held well on tacky trail but I was always hoping for a more aggressive front tire option. Last June I received a pair of the Maxxis Chronicle’s before their release and found them to be a pretty awesome tire. More aggressive than the Knard, and obviously a bit slower. I was really hoping for something more like an Ardent, but the Chronicle proved to be pretty good and definitely better than the Knard for the front tire option I was seeking. So, now I’ve built up a new Krampus MDS with front and back thru axles (which I can’t say enough good things about). When I built this one up I became the lucky recipient of DW #10 and DW #12. I’ve been running them on the front and back and all I can say for the early season riding is – Wow! Cornering is a whole new world, confidence inspiring to say the least. I’ve been running around 14lbs… I think. I’m one to go by feel verses getting a tire gauge out after every ride, (sorry geeks). I finally got my Ardentesque tread pattern, or possibly a little more like a Minion. You can definitely feel the drag of the rear Wizard on long climbs. I’ll be throwing the Knard on the back later today, and I think that will be my set up for the rest of the season. Those of you waiting for the DW…… it’s going to be worth it.


So there you have it. First hand experience from someone that has actually ridden the fabled Dirt Wizard!

(click any photo to enlarge)

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Just an old cat that rides bikes, herds pixels, ropes gnomes and sometimes writes stories. I love a good story.


  1. More like a WTB Dissent 3.0 than an Ardent. And far better tread pattern for serious dirt fun.

  2. AA – you’re gonna be a happy man. They grip like crazy and roll way faster than you’d think.

    In my opinion, the tires look more like a Minion DHF on steroids than anything else.

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