At A Glance
E-bikes and tyres have had a rocky relationship so far in the development of this new genre of cycling. Plus tyres were deemed appropriate due to the increased traction, but wholly failed to deliver the durability demanded by electric mountain bikes.Buy Tyres on
Those who demanded more durability from tyres went in search of downhill or gravity casings, yet what if an e-bike tyre could be designed specifically for the job?
Schwalbes Eddy Current is the first properly dedicated e-MTB tyre aiming to claim this sector of the market. Available in 27.5 and 29, it has a front and rear specific tread and comes in 2.8 inches ( 27.5), and 2.4/2.6 inch options (29er).
The Currents use Schwalbe's 'Addix Soft' compound, which is identified with the red stripe on the tyre; Ultra Soft isn't available presumably as it would wear out too fast. They also feature their Super Gravity casing, which adds protection to the sidewalls to help prevent splits and punctures.
Tread patterns are front and rear specific, aiming to deal with the demands placed on the rear wheel in terms of traction, whilst keeping steering accurate and responsive up front. Tyre weight is in the range of 1350g to 1415g depending on size, but on an e-bike, this additional weight is far less of an issue than on a normal bike.
On The Trail
The visual confidence the front tyre gives is huge, those massive blocks just inspiring trust in the tyre from the very start. The 29er up front looks big, but not massive and feels far more precise than a plus-size tyre.
Due to the chunky nature of the tyres, I found tyre pressure was pretty crucial and, while usually I would be cautious on an e-MTB, I could drop the pressures happily and open up huge amounts of grip.
Climbing with the large volume rear tyre was a vast improvement over anything else I have used, the paddle-like tread clawing up the steepest of climbs with ease. This meant less wheel spin and a more predictable climbing experience, as well as being better for the trail surface.
In corners there was no tyre roll and they felt predictable and gave great traction. The corners dug well into a range of terrain and the pattern proved to be a great all-rounder, providing enough stickiness for the damp whilst hooking up in the loose stuff too.
The rear tyre in descent followed the front in terms of traction and actually became difficult to break free. Cornering on rails was the style unless in the mud where it gave it's best before sliding and then clearing well.
Most notably, we've had no punctures at all during the testing despite our best efforts. Usually, my time on e-bikes is spent at least sorting a few punctures, but the Eddy Currents have lasted with ease.
Current-ly (sorry!), the best e-MTB tyres you can spend your money on. Bombproof, plenty of support and with enough traction to scale a rock face.
For more information visit Schwalbe
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.