A South African brand tyre – why not? We’ve got South African brands for just about everything else in mountain biking. The folks at Two Wheels Trading, who own the Momsen brand, have begun a collaboration with Arisun, an established Asian tyre manufacturer which makes tyres for many other brands, but now also has it’s own brand– much like Maxxis did.
We got sent two Mount Graham’s one on the front and one on the rear of the Momsen VIPA 29er we tested. Our immediate thought was that it’s too rounded a profile for a front tyre, but ideal on the rear.
Some of our less skilled testers confirmed this, saying they felt a little unstable on hardpack corners. Our more skilled testers agreed, but were able to make the necessary adjustments to manage any kind of potential washout (usually requires putting more weight over the front).
We rode these tyres on Gauteng hardpack and rocky terrain and KZN’s loamy surfaced trails so got a good idea of the tyre in varied conditions. Arisun is the official tyre supplier to the Kargo Pro racing team too, which adds some ‘pull-through’ credibility to the brand in the domestic market.
The Mount Graham has a small, low, relatively moderately spaced knob pattern on the sides with a short, squarish edge knob and fairly tight-spaced centre knob, making it a fast-rolling tread that’s especially at home on hardpack, the surface most common in South African stage races and marathons, making the 2.20-inch an ideal width too. Our test models had a 120 TPI (threads per inch) casing, which has been specially made for Momsen (the Mount Graham only normally comes in 30 and 60 TPI) to make it lighter, but it’s obviously faster wearing as a result.
Another important factor is that Stan’s No Tubes has tested and given the Momsen Mount Graham by Arisun the thumbs up in terms of sealing/tubeless capability. We found the tyres held air very well during the seven weeks we rode on them.
According to Two Wheels Trading, the official South African distributor, 60 TPI and 30 TPI versions of the Mount Graham will soon be available in 27.5 and 26-inch sizes. There will be seven other models in the Arisun stable available in South Africa too.
WEIGHT: 640g (folding bead)
SIZE: 29x 2.20
CONTACT: www.twowheelstrading.co.za; 041 3721418
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*Originally published in TREAD Issue 30, 2014 – All rights reserved