Tioga G3 Tire

Vital Rating: (Very Good)
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Tioga G3 Tire
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TESTED: Tioga Glide G3 Tire

Exceptional front tire traction in a light-duty build.

Rating: Vital Review
TESTED: Tioga Glide G3 Tire

Tioga is a brand with a rich heritage in our sport. Most recognizable is their support of one of biking’s greatest — John Tomac. Innumerable riders strapped the original Factory DH tires to their 26-inch rims and dropped into the race course, determined to imitate Tomac’s success. When the time came for Vital to test the new Glide G3 from Tioga, these were the emotions conjured up, and a smirk of nostalgia spread across our mug. Like so many elements of yesteryear, would the reality add up to the memory? It was time to put the Glide G3 to the test.

Strengths

  • Cornering traction and consistency up front
  • Price

Weaknesses

  • Prone to cuts and slashes in rocky, aggressive terrain
  • Lack of climbing traction when used as a rear tire

Highlights

  • Available in 27.5 x 2.3-inch (tested) or

Tioga is a brand with a rich heritage in our sport. Most recognizable is their support of one of biking’s greatest — John Tomac. Innumerable riders strapped the original Factory DH tires to their 26-inch rims and dropped into the race course, determined to imitate Tomac’s success. When the time came for Vital to test the new Glide G3 from Tioga, these were the emotions conjured up, and a smirk of nostalgia spread across our mug. Like so many elements of yesteryear, would the reality add up to the memory? It was time to put the Glide G3 to the test.

Strengths

  • Cornering traction and consistency up front
  • Price

Weaknesses

  • Prone to cuts and slashes in rocky, aggressive terrain
  • Lack of climbing traction when used as a rear tire

Highlights

  • Available in 27.5 x 2.3-inch (tested) or 2.6-inch sizes
  • 120 TPI Magnum casing
  • Dual compound: Medium center knobs with softer cornering knobs
  • Designed for hardpack, loose over hardpack and rocky conditions
  • Tubeless-ready
  • 810 grams (as tested)
  • MSRP: $53.95 USD

On The Trail

The Glide G3 is billed as a dry conditions tire, so it was sent off to the Western Sierras in July to be put through the paces. In four months, it rained once here. Trail conditions consisted of the following; blown out, utterly barren, absolutely smoked, shelled, chunderfied, bomb-holed, somebody-should-fix-this, and I-thought-it-was-going-to-rain.

For the duration of the test, the tires were mounted to two different sets of wheels on two different bikes. The inner width of both wheelsets was just about 30mm. On identical wheels, the 2.3-inch G3 measures the same width as 2.3-inch Maxxis Minion DHF’s or DHR’s, tires as ubiquitous as any. Initially, the G3 was set up both front and rear on our bike. While not a tread pattern or design we would reach for in selecting a rear tire, it demanded to be tested as such.

Tioga vs Maxxis DHR II

Moving the tires uphill is an easy enough affair and even on sandy or washed fireroad climbs, the G3 did fine in the rear without spinning out. The ramps meant for speed, however, tend to disservice the rider on dry roots or power moves up larger rocks. The lugs just don’t quite have the shape to hold those trail features in check on ascents.

When the trail turns flat or even downhill, the G3 does just dandy. Warning: Fans of the Freeride Flick (aka Kamloops Kickout or B.C. Butt-Waggle) may find too much grip here. Angry corner punchers though? You will love this slab of rubber. Come in hot, push into the apex and the G3 hooks hard and spits you out the other side in good shape. The Tioga’s manners were very much reminiscent of the Michelin Wild Rock’r. The harder it is pushed, the better. Even in the more blown-out segments or bomb-holed corners, the G3 was consistent, holding its line.

Later in our test, we set up the bike with a 2.3 Maxxis DHR in the rear and the G3 in the front. It was in this configuration that the strong points of the G3 really came to light. With no compromise on the climbs and just a tad more drift in the rear, the Tioga’s cornering ability was showcased front and center. Post-race, and at the end of August, Downieville’s downhill is a war zone to say the least. Sunrise trail and Third Divide look as though grenades fell off the back of people’s bikes. The Tioga didn’t seem to mind at all though, tracking confidently all the way down — it truly won us over.

Long Term Durability

The Reno / Carson, Nevada, area has produced some amazing talent; Cam Zink, his brother Howie, Paul Bas, and a slew of pro-level racers. One pioneer of punishment on the bike is Jon Wilson. One could go on and on as to what this guy did for mountain biking in this region through the insane talent he displayed on a bike. The earliest memory comes from 1999 when Wilson was slinging his Tioga Factory DH tires across the parking lot in a slew of obscenities that made flowers wilt. His tires had flatted again, perhaps for the last time.

Speaking of the G3 as a rear tire and all those rocky conditions…very early on, the G3 on the rear of our bike fell victim to a large sidewall slash while navigating a new section of trail on Mills Peak. Fortunately a member of our party had a still-packaged prophylactic in his backpack, which made an incredible sidewall patch. We tossed in a tube and our rubber was saved by a...rubber. Sidewall slashes happen, that’s ok.

The next week it was off to Northstar for some mellow laps. The fresh G3 survived until its third run on the mountain, a blue trail, before spewing sealant. The tire suffered a much smaller puncture than before. It was a puncture that could have been saved with a tire plug, but it was still a bit disappointing, albeit not surprising.

The Glide G3 is at the light end of the scale and is billed as an “all-mountain” tire, so expecting it to survive the park (especially Northstar) was only mildly lofty. What these experiences did run home though is that our first slash was not a fluke and one should keep the tire’s designation in mind.

Things That Could Be Improved

A dollar to the reader that can guess our suggested improvement before reading further. It would be fantastic if Tioga were to make a heavy-duty version of this tire. Yes, the tread is less than ideal for a rear tire, but there are some gnarly men and women out there that are sworn to a burly casing for both front and rear tires. A tougher sidewall on the G3 would allow for some incredible performance and would certainly be an asset to the helm of any bike. When asked if Tioga was considering a beefier sidewall, they responded:

"Indeed we have been evaluating casing options. As you are well aware, casing material, thickness, and density changes more than just the weight of the tire. They change the way the tire deflects, compresses, and rebounds, which may alter the contact patch shape, as well as grip, traction, rolling resistance, etc.; not to mention the "feel" of the ride itself. In short, we're on it, for sure. As a brand returning to the MTB tire market after a decade of absence, we do have to work through some manufacturing constraints that limits some things. We're working closely with our manufacturing partner to speed up the process." -Kai Cheng, Tioga

What's The Bottom Line?

Tioga have made a solid offering with the Glide G3. As a front tire, it is ideal for the desert rats. We will happily continue to run it on our trail bike as the traction and cornering style is top notch. As a rear tire, not so much.

Visit www.tiogausa.com for more details.

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About The Reviewer

Brad Howell - Age: 38 // Years Riding: 25 // Height: 5’9” (1.75m) // Weight: 160-pounds (72.5kg)

Brad started mountain biking when a 2.25-inch tire was "large," and despite having threads, bottom brackets sucked. Riding in the woods with friends eventually lead way to racing, trying to send it at the local gravel pits, and working in bike shops as a wrench to help fix those bikes. Fortunate enough to have dug at the past six Rampages and become friends with some of the sport’s biggest talents, Brad has a broad perspective of what bikes can do and what it means to be a good rider. The past few years Brad worked in the bike industry and got to see the man behind the curtain. These days, though, he likes just riding his bike in the woods with friends.

Photos by Tyler George

Specifications

Product Tioga G3 Tire
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Tire Width
  • 2.6 inches
  • 2.35 inches
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Bead Folding
Durometer Synergy Dual Rubber - medium softness rubber on central tread zone with softer, slower rebounding rubber applied to side knobs
Sidewall Magnum 120 TPI casing embedded with a thin bead-to-bead protection membrane
Weight
  • 1 lb 15.4 oz (890 g)
  • 1 lb 12.6 oz (810 g)
Miscellaneous Multi-angled leading edge ramps on all knobs enhance the tread’s roll-over characteristics on rough terrains, allowing smoother, faster rolling through corners and straightaways.

Knobs that won’t buckle under hard braking. The reversal of directional forces during braking transforms the beveled ramp into reinforcement for the knob’s braking edge, preventing the knob from folding under pressure to provide unparalleled braking control.

Knobs designed to balance stability with surface compliance. Each knob is molded with a solid base foundation, featuring deep grooves, and wrapped in a more pliable rubber compound, all collectively working to enhance surface adhesion. The combination of better surface adhesion and solid knob base significantly reduces undesirable skidding for more stable rolling.
Price
  • $60
  • $52
More Info

tiogausa.com

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