A fast tyre from a lesser known brand, but the price, weight and wet weather performance could be better.
This Honcho is US brand Teravail’s aggro trail tyre that comes in two casing options and two widths, and aims to compete with the best trail tyres such as Maxxis’ Rekon. ‘Light and supple’ and ‘Durable’ describe the two construction types and both come in either 2.4 or 2.6in in 29 and 27.5in.
The Durable model here has an extra puncture protection layer under the crown as well as extra sidewall protection down to the bead. It blows up quite rounded and the tread is pretty uniform from side to side, with shoulder blocks not much taller than the central lugs. The central strip uses an alternate 3-2 block pattern and is pretty closely packed for faster rolling with each alternate tread row hollowed out, rather than siped, for extra traction.
The staggered edge blocks aren’t as fangy as some aggro trail tyres, so the overall effect here is of continuous grip, rather than a squared-off, jutting shape that catches at aggressive lean angles. On the trail, the behaviour is in the vein of rivals like Schwalbe’s Nobby Nic, Bontrager’s SE4 or Maxxis’s Rekon. This durable model is no XC flyweight though, as the thick reinforced casing pushes the weight over a kilo for this 29×2.4in model.
I’ve been pretty impressed with the knobblier Teravail Kessel model on a couple of bikes now, with its fast-rolling speed and plentiful grip, even in greasy conditions. This lower profile Honcho seems to have good rubber too, and shares excellent wear life as well as a predictable feel.
It worked well through autumn’s relatively dry trails, but once the weather turned it quickly lost its edge. Much like the rivals mentioned above, there’s not enough of a leap in terms of rolling speed to outweigh the loss of grip that comes with its shallow tread profile. In loose conditions and mud there’s just a lot less confidence, and even though it is tough enough and durable enough, the Honcho is less versatile in the UK, where we’re subject to mixed trail conditions whatever time of year it is.
My advice would be to stick with the Kessel, then. It’s almost as fast, offers more cut protection thanks to its taller tread blocks, and fundamentally grippier. For £70, there are a lot of other tyres more worthy of your money when moisture starts entering the trail equation.