MTB Tire Test: Schwalbe Thunder Burt TL-E PaceStar

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Test Summary

Conclusion: 5 / 5 Highly Recommended
Weight: 573 grams
Rolling Resistance: 22.3 watts
Puncture Resistance: 8 / 6

Schwalbe Thunder Burt TL-E PaceStar road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

This Thunder Burt Evolution SnakeSkin Tubeless Easy 29 x 2.25 is a 2015 model year tire. From the beginning of November 2014, the Thunder Burt 2.25 will be available in a SnakeSkin version. The slightly smaller 2.1 Thunder Burt is still available in LiteSkin, SnakeSkin, and RaceGuard versions. This tire was sent to me by Schwalbe Holland for test purposes; I want to thank them for this! It also shows they have a lot of confidence in their products.

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Starting with the 2015 model year, Schwalbe seems to have gone for a different naming scheme. The Tubeless Ready tires aren't available anymore and appear to be replaced by LiteSkin tires. The SnakeSkin versions now have a new "Tubeless Easy" label. It seems like Schwalbe is recommending the SnakeSkin tires if you want to go tubeless because of much easier set up. You should still be able to run the LiteSkins tubeless but set up isn't as easy.

The SnakeSkin part means this Thunder Burt has reinforced sidewalls and a 67 TPI carcass instead of the 127 TPI carcass of the LiteSkin tires. If you ride near sharp rocks a lot or get a lot of sidewall cuts, this might be something to go for. I'm not sure what the differences are regarding rolling resistance. My best guess is that the rolling resistance of SnakeSkin tires to be a bit higher than the lighter and more subtle LiteSkin tires.

Manufacturer Specs
Brand Schwalbe
Model Thunder Burt TL-E PaceStar
Year 2015
Supplied By Supplied by Schwalbe
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range High
Buy At (advertisement)
Manufacturer part number 11600657
TPI 67
Compound PaceStar
Bead Folding
ETRTO 57-622
Size Inch 29"
Width Inch 2.25
Specified Weight 575 grams
Max Pressure 54
Made In Indonesia
Available Sizes 29 x 2.25
29 x 2.10
27.5 x 2.25
27.5 x 2.10

Schwalbe Thunder Burt TL-E PaceStar Test Results

Schwalbe Thunder Burt TL-E PaceStar  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size and Weight Measurements

Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622-17C, Pressure: 35 psi / 2.4 bar)
Specified Weight 575 grams
Measured Weight 573 grams
Measured Width Carcass 54 mm
Measured Width Tread 53 mm
Measured Height 51 mm
Measured Knob Height Center 1.4 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 3.8 mm
Measured Total Thickness Sidewall 0.85 mm
Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs) 1.40 mm

The Thunder Burt sent to me by Schwalbe Holland comes in with a weight of 573 grams, which is very close to it's specified weight of 575 grams. Of course, knob height is very low with center knobs at 1.4 mm and side knobs at 3.8 mm. Volume is reasonable with a width of 54 mm and a height of 51 mm.

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Rolling Resistance Test Results

Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph / 8 m/s, Load: 42.5 kg / 417 N)
Inner Tube Conti MTB 29 (225 gr butyl)
Rolling Resistance 55 psi / 3,8 Bar 18.5Watts
CRR: 0.00555
Rolling Resistance 45 psi / 3,1 Bar 19.3 Watts
CRR: 0.00579
Rolling Resistance 35 psi / 2,4 Bar 20.0 Watts
CRR: 0.00600
Rolling Resistance 25 psi / 1,7 Bar 22.3 Watts
CRR: 0.00668
Use the formula: RR (watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load

Rolling Resistance is excellent for a tire with reinforced sidewalls, it beats the Continental Race King by 0.1 watts at a pressure of 25 psi / 1.7 bars and comes close at higher pressures. The Thunder Burt looks like an excellent compromise between the Racing Ralph and Furious Fred.

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Puncture Resistance Test Results

Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)
Puncture Resistance Tread 8 Points
Puncture Resistance Sidewall 6 Points

Puncture Resistance is slightly better when compared to a Race King of Racing Ralph Tubeless-Ready. At this moment, I'm only able to test the puncture resistance of the tread area. I do am working on a sidewall puncture resistance test as well, which should show a bigger difference between the SnakeSkin and LiteSkin versions.

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Schwalbe Thunder Burt TL-E PaceStar  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Depending on air pressure, the rolling resistance of the Thunder Burt SnakeSkin is slightly lower or slightly higher when compared to the Continental Race King RaceSport that has been in the top position for a long time. Choosing between the Continental Race King and Schwalbe Thunder Burt SnakeSkin seems to be a trade-off between more or fewer knobs, stronger or weaker sidewalls and ease of tubeless set up.

If you're shopping for a mountain bike tire with very low rolling resistance, easy tubeless set up, reinforced sidewalls and you don't need a lot of big knobs, the Thunder Burt SnakeSkin is a great choice. The LiteSkin version of the Thunder Burt should be even faster.

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RATING: 5 / 5
Highly Recommended


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