Review below featured on www.bikehub.co.za
Though a little before my mountain biking time, Onza (or OnZa) was one of the big brands in mountain bike tyres and other components in the late nineties. While the brand faded away in the early 2000’s more recently a swiss-based company relaunched the Onza brand and range of tyres.
Meet the Onza Canis which I’ve been testing out over a good few rides. The Canis is somewhat of a crossover tyre, classed by Onza as “Cross country / All mountain” it is said to give a combination of low rolling resistance and good grip.
I tested the Onza Canis 29 x 2.25 C3 RC2 Tubeless Ready. And yes those numbers all mean something. C3 is Onza’s Cross Country Casing with 60TPI - sturdier, thicker sidewalls for a little more puncture resistance vs. the thinner and lighter 120TPI. RC2 denotes the dual compound rubber materials used in the tyre makeup: harder 65a in the center for durability and good rolling and softer 55a on the outsides for grip.
- Size29 x 2.25
- BeadKevlar / foldable
- PriceRRP R 650.00
At 750g per tyre they're on par with other similarly specced all rounders. Price wise they are also competitive considering the price tags on some top end tubeless tyres are in the neighbourhood of R 700-800.00
The tyres were first fitted to a set of Easton EA70 XCTs and later to a pair of ZTR Crests and both were no trouble at all. Although I opted for some assistance from a tyre lever for that last little bit, getting the tyre onto the rim was possible completely by hand on either wheel. I ran them tubeless and when it came to inflation (which can be a pain without a compressor) a standard floor pump did the trick for both wheels.
On the trails
My first few outings on these tyres were to a very wet and muddy Tokai. I was impressed by the grip even in the soggy conditions which Onza don't really class these tyres for. Thanks to the open tread pattern on the outer edges mud and dirt cleared well and they held on impressively well. In the really sticky clay-like stuff though, traction was limited as they struggled to dislodge the gunk.
In drier conditions I was quickly impressed with the rolling performance. What was first just a feeling of “woah, these are fast” was reinforced on the extended gravel roads of the Baviaans Kloof. On the open dirt roads they were fast rolling with good acceleration and none of the sluggishness slightly grippier tyres can add.
Through windy singletrack I found myself increasingly pushing the traction limits and confidently so. On a mixture of hard packed soil, slippery pine needles and roots, loose and sharp rocky sections they performed well and predictably. Only in very loose sand and very wet conditions did I find they began to lose contact.
For general trail and singletrack riding I found I got the best traction performance running them at lower pressures: usually 1.6-1.8 bar front and back depending on the terrain. Any higher and they tended to get overly slippery over rocks and roots (for reference I weigh in at around 73kg).
Having ridden close on 600km with these tyres over varied terrain so far they've held up well, but they have still got a lot of life in them. In terms of puncture resistance I’ve not had a single issue to date. So far I am very happy with the durability, but I’ll report back after a few thousand kilometers.
In the end
In a short space of time I’ve become a big fan of these tyres. They are well suited to my riding habits delivering on the combination of grip and low rolling resistance Onza speak of. Those looking for more grip might opt for the beefier Ibex up front, but for my riding the Canis front and rear does the job well. Given the more wallet-friendly price and the impressive performance the Onza Canis delivers excellent value in an all-rounder tyre.
I won't be taking these off until they need replacing!
Onza tyres are distributed by Rush Sports in SA. The following versions are currently available in leading bike stores:
- Onza Citius 27.5x2.4 60TPI
- Onza Ibex 26x2.25 60TPI & Onza Ibex 27.5x2.25 60 TPI
- Onza Canis 26x2.25 60TPI; Onza Canis 27.5x2.25 120TPI & Onza Canis 29x2.25 60TPI