The legendary singlespeed frame company, On-One, launched a range of tyres earlier this year. One of those in the range is the Smorgasbord which is an aggressive trail tyre, well suited to the growing 29er trail market.
On-One have set out to offer a tyre to suit demanding trail riding. So the Smorgasbord is a big and tough tyre with thick sidewalls and a tread pattern that works exceptionally well in the UK across a variety of trails.
We’ve been testing the 29er version (it’s also available in 26). Until very recently the choice of 29er rubber was limited to fast rolling low profile tyres best suited to California... Not Wales. As more riders switch over to 29ers, there’s an increasing appetite for tyres that can stand up to burlier riding.
On-One employed the services of Shiggy Person, a legendary tyre fanatic from the Pacific Northwest who works for On-One out of their Portland office. Judging by how well the tyre rides, he clearly knows a thing or two about tyres. It works well on everything from rocky boulder strewn trails to loamy/muddy/rooty woodsy trails, making it a versatile choice and likely to work well wherever you ride on a regular basis.
The tread pattern comprises central paddle rectangles interrupted by three smaller blocks arranged in a triangle. Away from the centre line there’s smaller blocks forming a transitionary row into the shoulder knobs, which are formed in a tight line across the edge of the tyre's carcass. The individual knobs are siped allowing them to deform and find extra traction.
Those central paddles give the tyre excellent traction on steep climbs and under heavy braking, while the directional arrangement of the other knobs gives good rolling speed. Lean the tyre over and a row of supported edge blocks deliver consistent and predictable cornering grip. The tyre will slide if provoked but does so in a predictable manner.
The ‘Enduro’ tyre tested here has a single 60a compound used across the tyre. A more expensive ‘Trail Extreme’ has softer 42a rubber used on the shoulders. On our scales the tyre weight is 890g. For context one of our favourite tyres, the Continental Mountain King, weighs 740g in 2.2in ProTection guise.
Between the fingers the sidewalls have a reassuring thickness. This Eckso casing reinforcement, used on all but the entry-level wire bead Trail tyre, gives the tyre good support when run at low pressures and has proved very durable even when battering through rock gardens.
Tread pattern design is a complex subject, there are so many variables that finding a good fit for all trails and conditions isn’t easy. The Smorgasbord does a damn fine job though. It’s on drier, tacky and occasionally sloppy trails that the tyre works best. It’s good on roots, good on rocks too. This marks it out as being suitable for the Surrey Hills, the Peak District and Welsh trail centres.
We found it to provide good rolling speed, despite its relatively high weight, and traction, as we’ve mention, is right up there with the very best. The weight does hold it back at times, if you’re the sort of rider who likes to ‘press on’. Some tyres just feel right though and the Smorgasbord falls into this category.
It’ll get stuck if you try and push it through boggy mud but we were surprised just well it coped with such conditions. Away from trails that really demand a mud tyre and it is in its element. It’s very definitely not a racers tyre, but for trail riding, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better choice.
It’s a good year-round choice. Add in the low price and it looks like a bargain to us.
Tough, durable and grippy, the On-One Smorgasbord is a good aggro tyre for the aggressive trail rider
Price: £29.99 (discounted to £14.99 currently)
What On-One say:
Created with UK and Pacific Northwest riding in mind the Smorgasbord offers performance in a wide range of conditions world wide.
Unique tread elements for drive and braking grip, directional stability, control, and cornering, and positioned for optimal negative space, work together to create a tire that can take you almost anywhere.
Drive/braking: A central paddle block gives superior straight line grip for forward drive and braking. More stable over roots and square edged rocks.
Directional stability: Three tread element form an arrow pointing in the direction of rotation. A "point" block keeps the tire on center and rolling well, followed by a pair of offset blocks forming a middle channel and stable footprint. Leading and trailing edges and generous spacing keep the drive/braking grip high and latch onto square edges.
Cornering: Large well supported edge blocks form a squirm free cornering platform. Spaced far enough apart to clear mud and close enough for dry conditions. Small transition blocks provide feedback to the rider when leaning into the turns.
Negative space: This is where the grip happens on soft and loose surfaces. The tread needs to penetrate the surface, then trap and control the ground between the blocks. Great care was given to how the Smorgasbord tread flows between the knobs to hold the ground.
Working edges: The outer edges of the knobs do the work on soft surfaces. On harder surfaces the face of the blocks come into play. Broad blocks are more stable but can slide on roots and loose over hardpack. Adding sipes and raised curbs add working edges for better traction. The deeper sipes make the block more flexible, adding to its ability to grip in various conditions. Also allows the use of a longer wearing 60a rubber compound in the center with little compromise in traction on the Enduro model, whilst those well supported edge blocks allow a soft 42a compound, for the Trail Extreme version, without squirm of chunking.
29 x 2.25 (850g)
Smorgasbord Trail: wire bead, 60tpi casing, single 60a tread compound (OE Only)
Smorgasbord Enduro: folding bead, 60tpi casing with "Eckso" casing reinforcement and 60a single compound
Smorgasbord Trail Extreme: folding bead, 60tpi casing with "Eckso" casing reinforcement and dual 60a/42a tread compound.