new Schwalbe Thunder Burt XC mountain bike tire

The new Schwalbe Thunder Burt takes the lead as their fastest, lightest cross country tire. Considering it’s brethren, that’s a tall order, but here’s their quote:

“Thunder Burt likes dry terrain, weighs less than Racing Ralph and rolls even more smoothly than Furious Fred, Schwalbe’s fastest MTB tire to date.”

It comes in right around 400g, splitting the difference between the Racing Ralph (~500g) and Furious Fred (~300g), and it’ll be available in all three wheel sizes in both standard and RaceGuard protection trim. Individual options and weights shown after the break. The tubeless ready Thunder Burt uses their 127tpi Evolution casing and PaceStar Triple Compound. PaceStar is the XC version of their triple compound layout. All Triple Compound tires get a very soft, pliable base layer, then center and side knob compounds are tailored for the application. In the case of PaceStar, it’s a bit firmer in the center and pretty soft on the edges.

The tightly packed, low height center knobs are what give it the lower rolling resistance, and taller, stronger side knobs help it hold up in the corners. They recommend it for dry conditions only and suggest it would make a great rear tire even if trail conditions call for more knobs up front.

Thunder Burt Standard
26 x 2.10 – 370 g
27.5 x 2.10 – 385 g
29 x 2.10 -410 g

Thunder Burt with RaceGuard
26 x 2.10 – 450 g
29 x 2.10 – 480 g

Available in shops this September. Retail is €54.90 (likely about $70-80 USD).


  1. So, let me guess; retail will be, oh I dunno, let’s say $105 each?

    I’m sure because it will be touted as the latest and greatest, not to mention that Schwalbe tires are already expensive, they are going to capitalize on the marketing opportunity and the gullability of mountain bikers who just have to have the best available and rape the market.

  2. Dear Schwalbe (and other innovative tire makers),
    Pretty please bring a tubeless ready 700x35c-40c tire to the market. This tread pattern would be nearly perfect. The top of this post got me excited but as I scrolled to the bottom I was yet again dissapointed by the lack of a fatcross/skinny29 option. *sigh

  3. I’ve used so many tires, I’m qualified to say that Schwalbe’s are awesome. That’s the only rubber I will put on my bikes. This new tire looks perfect for my application.

  4. I was just saying to a specialized rep at a race that specialized needed to make the side knobs on the renegade larger for more control on cornering. This appears to be a better all around low resistance race tire than the renegade. The renegade is great but the side knobs are to low profile and break loose easily but extremely fast.

  5. @BeJay – not quite 35s, but Kenda makes the SB8 and Slant6 in tubless ready 700×32. Stan’s does the Raven in 700×35.

  6. Schwalbe tires, after the thin PaceStar rubber layer is worn out your are rolling on the base rubber of the carcase and the tires are going from perfect to bad. Often this triple nano whatever rubber is gone ofter a very short distance if you are using the light tires like smart sam, furious fred, rocket ron…

    So expensive, fast wearing gear with good performance 🙁

  7. @BeJay – mateo is right plus Kenda makes the Happy Medium in 700×35 and 700×40 and that is a similar looking tread to this Thunder Butt…oops…I mean Thunder Burt. Oh and Kenda’s happen to convert over to tubeless pretty easily if you should choose to go that route.

  8. Yes!!! Thank you Schwalbe! Definitely what some of us have been asking for, a cross between the Fred and the Ralph.

  9. @Rich W. – nope, it’s not. RaceGuard refers to a nylon&rubber breaker underneath the tread whereas Snake Skin refers to an additional protective layers on sidewalls.

  10. I will agree with all above, thunder butt and like a 2.3 casing and id be ordering as i type. love that it has side knobs too thats just the best

  11. Do people really have a ton of wear issues with lightweight Schwalbe race tires? I’ve had Ralphs w/o snakeskin sidewalls last multiple seasons without issues or tears and still maintain fantastic grip. I personally like a bit of a wider tire, but the tread looks sweet.

  12. @beejay I ran the kenda happy mediums 700×40’s tubeless on notube rims without issues for gravel races and most of our cross season. Clement’s new gravel tires 35 or 40 set up well tubeless as well.

  13. I don’t get the price complaints. It’s not gullibility, because nobody is stopping anyone from trying vee or kenda tires instead. I tell everyone that it’s worth it if you want it, and the difference can be felt right away. I also tell them to see how they like the cheap tires first, before upgrading. How much do comparable contis cost? What upgrade provides more improvement for the money, without more installation labor? I’d rather improve performance with a tire change than by swapping drivetrain parts.

  14. why Continental don’t cames with this tire?
    Schwalbes are good when they are new. After they are worn the first layer – which worns very fast – a few races is enough, they are really bad in performance.

    I would by them when they will be made with Black Chili compound !

  15. @BeJay: Schwalbe makes the Smart Sam Evolution tire in 1.75. That should be right up your alley.

    Schwalbe tires are awesome. They cost around 60-70 dollars tops where I’m from. Great performance for the price. I can’t wait to try this tire.

  16. @BeJay – Kenda also makes the Happy Medium in fatcross and mtb applications. Honestly, I haven’t used them since they’ve been redesigned for dirt use(they used to be a hybrid tire for commuting and light trail use), but I used to tear them up 7 or 8 years ago here in the Texas Hill Country because, well, it’s what came on my bike. I just ordered a pair of the 700x40c’s. I’m going to use them for recovery rides on the local hike, bike and running trails. The Schwalbes do look pretty nice for a XC tire though.

What do you think?