Schwalbe Johnny Watts User Club

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Many owners of Sport Utility Vehicles never take their car off-road...

German bicycle tyre manufacturer Schwalbe has noticed similar phenomenon in the world of e-cycling. Many users of luxury e-bikes hardly ever leave urban environment. Moreover, many people buy e-MTB for good (often dual) suspension, sporty look, and excellent gear -- for commuting purposes -- with intention of occasional off-road excursions -- but with no wish to ever ride technical single track. A new owner of e-MTB is often disappointed how unsuitable an e-MTB for urban environment is. The tyre noise and rolling resistance on pavement can infuriate anyone.

An here come Johnny Watts tyres. Silent on pavement, good enough for casual recreational trips in easy off-road. Fast rolling, low rolling resistance. As advertised.

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Giant Trance E+ Pro 2 with new Johnny Watts (65-584, 27.5 x 2.6").

I decided to convert the wheels from tubeless to tubed again. First of all, there is no single indication JWs are tubeless-ready. Perhaps they are but I am not ready to swap tubeless tyres myself (for instance, I don't own a compressor with Presta valve adapter), and nobody could have helped me with the swap at the moment. Moreover, tubeless setup is so messy...

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The icons read: Performance, Double Defense, E-MTB tire, Addix Compound. No "TLE".

Swapping tyres on the first wheel made me weep (I actually hate installing tyres). With the second wheel, I was so much infuriated I was swearing, used raw hand power and installed the inner tube/tyre in 5 minutes, even no soapy water needed! :D True, I had a good lesson from YT and gained experience.

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7 km in 21 minutes, mixed terrain. I rode asphalt, muddy wet & bumpy gravel, fire-roads, wet sand as well as easy single track. No issues whatsoever. Silence.

Benefits of using Johnny Watts tyres:
  • Convert your e-MTB into an all-rounder
  • Totally silent on paved surfaces
  • Apparently faster on pavement (I estimate 3-4 km/h cruising speed faster than on aggressive off-road tyres)
  • Less pedalling effort, especially noticeable off-road.
Perhaps I would hesitate if I needed to ride a technical single track on JWs. For recreational off-road riding, it is much more pleasant to ride on Johnny Watts than, say, Maxxis Rekons or Minions.

Greatly recommended. Please share your experiences with these wonderful tyres!

Dedicated to @Alaskan :)
 

Stanley

New Member
Very interesting. I might jump. My current bike has Schwalbe Marathon Almotions on it. Great on the road but pretty poor on dirt.

What did you have on your bike previously and how do the Johnny Watts compare to your old tires?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Very interesting. I might jump. My current bike has Schwalbe Marathon Almotions on it. Great on the road but pretty poor on dirt.

What did you have on your bike previously and how do the Johnny Watts compare to your old tires?
  • Set 1: Maxxis Minion DHF (F), Maxxis High Roller II (R), (27.5 x 2.6" in all discussed sets) - perfect in the most difficult situations off-road, noisy as hell on pavement
  • Set 2: Maxxis Rekon (F, R) -- still excellent grip, a tad quieter on-road
  • Set 3: Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro (F, R) -- most excellent on ice, very very good in muddy off-road -- not overly loud but still noisy on pavement, especially at higher speed
You see, for me, tyres that can ride through shallow sand are adequate off-road. I don't need more.
 
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RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
My Johnny Watts experiences are like @Stefan Mikes and my equipment is similar (Giant MTBs - his is FS, mine is HT).
(JW experience listed in other threads as well).
POST (2 back to back) with some initial impressions and a short video
POST with additional comments about mud

My first set of tires (OEM) are Maxxis Forekasters (F, R). fairly noisy on pavement and decent all-round off road.
Conditions here (Calgary) are generally dry and the tires did everything I wanted, even on the occasional muddy days.
I did use them in the Rockies on some more technical rides, and the biggest issue was my own technique on a new bike, not the bike or tires.
With 2500 Kms on this bike since I was out there (Canmore) , we'll find out if I feel the same way, and I intend to try the JWs on the same trails.

My second set are also Ice Spiker Pros, and they are an amazing tire for winter.
My experience on off-road mud was not as good as Stefan's, but when conditions get to a certain point in the shoulder seasons, I just have to make a decision as to studs or not - make the change, and live with the choice and the realities of our fickle weather.

I do live in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, so my terrain will likely be different than the Masovian plain of Poland.
For example, very few of my rides have less than 300 meters of climbing.
It's my opinion that that any of my comments in regards to tire performance, will almost always have a component of grip while ascending or descending.

Final thoughts on JWs, extremely pleased with them as a pavement tire on my HT, as I do ride with friends who aren't into off-road stuff.
For the stuff in the dirt, when it was dry, they performed as well as the Maxxis on the terrain I was riding on.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
You guys have done an outstanding job with your well thought out pres here. I was swaying between these and the Smart Sams. Now that I know how well the performance is as an all-rounder, this will seal the deal for me when I am ready for them. I do like the tread design, however, the missing 'TLE' certification does not make them any less of a good candidate. I also have not opted for tubeless. Haven't had any issues with tubes thus far. 👍
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
  • Set 1: Maxxis Minion DHF (F), Maxxis High Roller II (R), (27.5 x 2.6" in all discussed sets) - perfect in the most difficult situations off-road, noisy as hell on pavement
  • Set 2: Maxxis Rekon (F, R) -- still excellent grip, a tad quieter on-road
  • Set 3: Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro (F, R) -- most excellent on ice, very very good in muddy off-road -- not overly loud but still noisy on pavement, especially at higher speed
You see, for me, tyres that can ride through shallow sand are adequate off-road. I don't need more.
Thanks for sharing your experience... have you noticed any positive impact on the range with the new JW's?
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
I would still maintain that they are not the best for wetter conditions off road. However the conditions I normally ride in which are normally dry, I think they're going to be a very good choice. For example today, my 50km ride was all on roads and paved paths and they handled brilliantly.

Tomorrow, I could very well be up on the trails on Nose Hill Park and could encounter some muddy sections and likely still a bit of snow. Having ridden them now for a few weeks I think I will be ready for some of the slipperier conditions and I think the tires will perform just fine. But i think that when you need knobbies, you need knobbies...not JWs.

Great all-rounder.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Thanks for sharing your experience... have you noticed any positive impact on the range with the new JW's?
I can't speak for Stefan, but my SWAG is that I'm likely getting at least 5% better range on harder surfaces.
No SWAG at all - I can certainly ride faster - I am hitting the 32kmh assist limits a lot more than I used to.

If you are unfamiliar with term SWAG
= Scientific Wild A$$ Guess
 

FezUSA

Active Member
Swapped the Super Moto X's that came pre-installed for the JW's, 2.6 fr/ 2.35 r. So far so good, but only have about 30 miles mostly paved trail. It snowed last night, so it will be a little while before I'm out again! That's due to my comfort, not the tyres!!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Subscribed...
Just went tubeless on the Rekons today, so I'm OK with that for now. If I switched to JWs I'd be tempted to try tubeless on them.
Not sure JWs are tubeless ready.
Thanks for sharing your experience... have you noticed any positive impact on the range with the new JW's?
I have noticed significant range increase with JWs. My ride was a 44 km mixed terrain trip in dry conditions. I have returned with 48% of 625 Wh battery. Silent on paved surfaces, good grip off-road except sand and rough dirt. The tyres could cope with the latter surfaces yet they were slipping sideways a little.
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
Not sure JWs are tubeless ready.

I have noticed significant range increase with JWs. My ride was a 44 km mixed terrain trip in dry conditions. I have returned with 48% of 625 Wh battery. Silent on paved surfaces, good grip off-road except sand and rough dirt. The tyres could cope with the latter surfaces yet they were slipping sideways a little.
Some people say that a "foldable" tire is tubeless ready. I have no idea.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Not sure JWs are tubeless ready.

I have noticed significant range increase with JWs. My ride was a 44 km mixed terrain trip in dry conditions. I have returned with 48% of 625 Wh battery.
Silent on paved surfaces, good grip off-road except sand and rough dirt. The tyres could cope with the latter surfaces yet they were slipping sideways a little.
Good to hear about the positive effect on range. I'm still on the fence regarding the off-road capability on the steep technical stuff.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Johnny Watt tires are not designated by Schwalbe with the TLR (tubeless ready)
No TLE icon...
They are not officially tubeless ready. However there are numerous reviews on Amazon and elsewhere where riders have installed Johnny Watts tubless and had satisfactory results. Given their volume, the amount of sealant required would outweigh a light tube like the Tubolitos

Personally I use Tubolito MTB+ tubes which are lighter weight than tubeless rim tape and sealant, do not make a goopy mess, hold their pressure well, are easy to patch and have low rolling resistance. Many have reported little or no difference in ride quality between Tubolitos and Tubeless mounted tires.
 
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bob armani

Well-Known Member
Swapped the Super Moto X's that came pre-installed for the JW's, 2.6 fr/ 2.35 r. So far so good, but only have about 30 miles mostly paved trail. It snowed last night, so it will be a little while before I'm out again! That's due to my comfort, not the tyres!!
I am with you on the comfort aspect of riding. Have never been a big fan of riding in very cold conditions. Perhaps it may be from having to drag through the snow and sleet in my younger years doing newspaper deliveries. Ouch! :rolleyes:
 

WinterKill

Member
Region
USA
City
East Bethel
What pressure is everyone riding on your Johnny Watts?

Are you using different pressures if you plan on riding mostly off-road as opposed to on road for the majority of your ride?