Schwalbe Smart Sam: Tyres That Are Silent On-Road And Quite Aggressive Off-Road

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I was converted by several notable members of these Forums to buy and install Schwalbe Smart Sam (standard issue) tyres on my Vado (47-622, 28 x 1.75"). It is impressive how quiet and fast rolling these tyres are on road, while I can ride them (with some effort) through the sand off-road. Smart Sams feel very sporty and dampen the road vibration very well even close to their maximum inflation pressure.

Some Forum member distrusted my word. Listen to Smart Sam compared to otherwise excellent but off-road only Maxxis Rekon. (It is hard to stand the trail-tyre noise on road for extended ride duration).

 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
Interesting comparison. I am hoping my incoming Schwalbe Marathon 365 tires (700 x 45) are pretty quiet too. The Bontrager Hardcase tires that came on my bike are quiet and served pretty well in the summer weather on and off-road, but the weather is now turning wetter and colder here.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Curious your suggestions for a budget, low resistance, pavement-only touring tire for my Allant (27.5x2.25). I’m planning some longer trips for next year.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
I am a big fan of Smart Sams and we have them on the rear on all of our bikes as they are extremely versatile and we have never had a flat on a Smart Sam with over 30,000km between us. However this week while climbing very steep gravel / rocky trails I found myself wishing for a Magic Mary or a Maxxis DH on the back to keep the rear end from breaking away. This kind of extreme trail riding probably takes up less than 1 % of my total mileage but when you need big knobbies you really need them. Having to get off the Ebike on a narrow steep incline means you cannot get started again unless you retreat downhill back to flatter ground. Horses for courses. I am talking about the kind of trails that would be unthinkable on Marathons . So now I am thinking I will switch back to a pair of Magic Marys on the FS bike and a pair of Smart Sams on the Charger instead of the current setup of Marys on the front and Sams on the back of both bikes.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I am a big fan of Smart Sams and we have them on the rear on all of our bikes as they are extremely versatile and we have never had a flat on a Smart Sam with over 30,000km between us. However this week while climbing very steep gravel / rocky trails I found myself wishing for a Magic Mary or a Maxxis DH on the back to keep the rear end from breaking away. This kind of extreme trail riding probably takes up less than 1 % of my total mileage but when you need big knobbies you really need them. Having to get off the Ebike on a narrow steep incline means you cannot get started again unless you retreat downhill back to flatter ground. Horses for courses. I am talking about the kind of trails that would be unthinkable on Marathons . So now I am thinking I will switch back to a pair of Magic Marys on the FS bike and a pair of Smart Sams on the Charger instead of the current setup of Marys on the front and Sams on the back of both bikes.
Again, this is going to be for pavement only.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Curious your suggestions for a budget, low resistance, pavement-only touring tire for my Allant (27.5x2.25). I’m planning some longer trips for next year.
I am still quite keen on Schwalbe Hurricanes. I have them on my Riese & Muller Delight Mountain as well as my Trek Allant +9.9s. I did a review of them back in January and am still very pleased with them. Not pavement only but superb pavement performance, even when wet.


The 27.5 x 2.4 with Double Defense, Raceguard and reflective sidewall is $41.00 direct from Schwalbe

 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Curious your suggestions for a budget, low resistance, pavement-only touring tire for my Allant (27.5x2.25). I’m planning some longer trips for next year.
I can only say I can ride into the forest now, something I could not do on Specialized Electrak (29x2.0). The Smart Sam gives me some off-road capability while it is an easy rolling and silent tyre for paved roads. I gave Smart Sams another try: On today's ride, I intentionally rode onto local gravel/dirt roads I travelled with my e-MTB in last days. Surprise! Smart Sams were only just a tad less comfortable than the Maxxis ones.

I re-iterate: Smart Sam is a perfect all-rounder.

I might agree with Alaskan re Hurricanes but I haven't tried them yet.

Steve is right regarding serious off-road riding. I keep Maxxis Minion DHF and High Roller II for next year, when I might do some mountain biking. I changed these for Rekons to reduce road noise while I would be able do cross-country riding on my Trance E+. (If the Trance were my only e-bike, I would go for Smart Sams immediately for that bike).
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I used the Smart Sam Plus version on my first ever E-bike from 2013 to 2015 and put on about 4000 miles. Never had a flat and it is truly a fantastic all-rounder. With the 3mm greenguard layer, it is even better than the Smart Sam version.


1601841803748.png
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
I used the Smart Sam Plus version on my first ever E-bike from 2013 to 2015 and put on about 4000 miles. Never had a flat and it is truly a fantastic all-rounder. With the 3mm greenguard layer, it is even better than the Smart Sam version.


View attachment 67436
Yeah Ravi that is the good one !
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
The Plus certainly has its advantages. For me, buying the standard issue Smart Sam was the matter of availability; we don't get tyre punctures in Poland frequently; and I used a lot of sealant for the new inner tubes just in case :)
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I was converted by several notable members of these Forums to buy and install Schwalbe Smart Sam (standard issue) tyres on my Vado (47-622, 28 x 1.75"). It is impressive how quiet and fast rolling these tyres are on road, while I can ride them (with some effort) through the sand off-road. Smart Sams feel very sporty and dampen the road vibration very well even close to their maximum inflation pressure.

Some Forum member distrusted my word. Listen to Smart Sam compared to otherwise excellent but off-road only Maxxis Rekon. (It is hard to stand the trail-tyre noise on road for extended ride duration).

Stephan-You are spot on with your comparison. I use the Nobby Nic all-rounder tires and they are a lot like the SS tires you have referenced. I have found they are priced much higher than many others it their class, however, after seeing your video, I may very well stick with NN or opt for the SS tires when the time comes for replacements. My NNs are great on pavement as well as off road, so they are probably worth considering. Thanks for posting! ;)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I use the Nobby Nic all-rounder tires
Schwalbe make plenty of excellent tyres, no doubt.

I made an observation during a purely urban commute ride of yesterday. The 45 km/h Vado is expected to ride at speeds of 23-25 mph when you really need that. With the Specialized Electrak 2.0 (similar to other tyres of the same class: slick but sticky ones), it is easier to get at higher speeds (less of rolling resistance) and the high-speed ride feels more stable than with Smart Sams. Yet it is the price we pay for improved off-road capabilities of the SS tyres.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Schwalbe make plenty of excellent tyres, no doubt.

I made an observation during a purely urban commute ride of yesterday. The 45 km/h Vado is expected to ride at speeds of 23-25 mph when you really need that. With the Specialized Electrak 2.0 (similar to other tyres of the same class: slick but sticky ones), it is easier to get at higher speeds (less of rolling resistance) and the high-speed ride feels more stable than with Smart Sams. Yet it is the price we pay for improved off-road capabilities of the SS tyres.
Perhaps It feels more stable on dry pavement which are already stabilizing factors. When you leave dry pavement for wet gravel and roots and rocks, that is when you need the most help. I would rather ride on snow tires in summer than drive on snow with summer tires. (-:
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
Stephan-You are spot on with your comparison. I use the Nobby Nic all-rounder tires and they are a lot like the SS tires you have referenced. I have found they are priced much higher than many others it their class, however, after seeing your video, I may very well stick with NN or opt for the SS tires when the time comes for replacements. My NNs are great on pavement as well as off road, so they are probably worth considering. Thanks for posting! ;)

Im also a HUGE fan of the NN. I have them on my Bulls Evo hardtail eMTB in a 27.5x2.8 and they are absolutely fantastic for my riding (70%offroad/30%pavement). Im surprised at the amount of wear as I currently have about 5k miles on them (rotated once) and easily have another 2k miles on them. Traction on pavement is actually pretty good although not as good as something like a motox but my pavement sections only have a few curves compared to hundreds of offroad curves. Offroad traction is hero-like. Only downsides are the cost ($90 for 27.5x2.8) and road noise. Most of my road work is on a bike path next to an expressway so I dont hear the tires much.

My other 2 ebikes (iZIP Moda E3 and Juiced CCX) are running Marathon plus MTB and Im not getting the same mileage as the NN (3k or so) although they run ALOT smoother and quieter and are pretty much flat resistant (even moreso as I run sealant in the tubes as well).

I do have smartsams on the rear of my acoustic 2019 santra cruz tallboy FS bike (DHF on front).

Looking to get another ebike (to replace CCX, either build or buy) and it will likely have smartsams in 29x2.6 initially as I want the cush of a bigger tire and a little more knobbies for offroad than the marathon plus MTB.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Perhaps It feels more stable on dry pavement which are already stabilizing factors. When you leave dry pavement for wet gravel and roots and rocks, that is when you need the most help. I would rather ride on snow tires in summer than drive on snow with summer tires. (-:
I wouldn't perhaps ride Electraks on snow but these are surprisingly grippy even around 0 C, Steve. I rode for the whole last mild winter on Electraks! Vado, technically, is a commuter e-bike. Wet gravel posed no issues. The only terrain not acceptable was sand.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't perhaps ride Electraks on snow but these are surprisingly grippy even around 0 C, Steve. I rode for the whole last mild winter on Electraks! Vado, technically, is a commuter e-bike. Wet gravel posed no issues. The only terrain not acceptable was sand.
I only meant that I would feel safer driving a car in summer with snow tires , compared to winter driving on summer tires and by extension that knobbier tires are the safer more all-around choice. I did not mean to say anything against the Electraks in particular , which I have never tried.