Just looking at the Tioga Edge 22 front-specific MTB tire, I felt like its unique tread pattern should do what Tioga claimed it would – provide excellent cornering traction from initial onset to full lean. I was stoked to put one to the test, and pleased to find that it does grip extremely well in all kinds of corners.
I didn’t have a long time to test the Edge 22, but I got lucky with the weather and was able to gauge the tire’s performance in sloppy mud, in ideal ‘after the rain’ conditions, and on dry dirt. I wasn’t surprised to find the tire biting hard into any berm or corner on all my rides. The impressive thing is, the Edge 22 also brakes very well, rolls fast and tracks well over wet technical features. For specs and technical details on the Edge 22, check out my announcement article here. In this review, we’ll discuss how the tire handles on the trails.
The Edge 22 is available in 27.5×2.5” and 29×2.5” sizes, both of which feature Tioga’s Synergy Dual Compound rubber (firmer in the middle, softer on the sides). The model I was riding was the 27.5” Magnum 120tpi version.
My first test ride with the Edge 22 was on a muddy day in Squamish, B.C., where I started on slippery technical trails and finished on a smooth machine-built jump line. The technical trails I rode were greasy enough that any tire would have been challenged that day. It was hard to get a precise feel in the muck, but I could tell the Edge 22 had good braking traction and solid steering grip.
When I hit the jump line’s butter-smooth berms, I could tell right away the Edge 22 was biting in really well. I also noticed the tire provides a very smooth transition as you lean into and out of corners. When you ride in a straight line, you ride on the inner cornering knobs like you would normal center knobs. When you lean the bike over, those inner knobs do a great job of seamlessly rolling you into the sweet spot where you’re sitting on both rows.
Feeling a ton of grip from the Edge 22, I railed down the rest of the muddy trail as fast as possible. I almost thought the ideal trail conditions were fooling me, but I was soon convinced Tioga’s design was achieving exactly what they claimed it would.
As soon as you start to lean, your weight sits on the inner row of the Edge 22’s knobs. Tioga claims the tire will provide great grip as you initiate a turn, and I found this held true. As you lean over further, both rows of knobs grab the trail surface. In the muddy berms, the Edge 22’s traction was noticeably great. While you don’t feel the knob-to-knob transitions as you lean, I could tell when both rows of knobs were in action simply due to the excellent traction. Pushing hard through the berms, I felt solidly planted and easily kept my front wheel on line despite the slippery conditions.
Two days later, I got another chance to ride in almost opposite conditions. My home town of Pemberton, B.C. was much drier, even dusty in spots, and the tire proved to grip all trail surfaces quite well.
Does it flow?
With the Edge 22’s cornering capabilities in mind, I hit the local flow trail. On this ride I was further convinced Tioga has cooked up something that really works. Like the previous ride, I really could feel solid initial bite and the benefit of having two rows grabbing the trail when the bike leans further… even on much firmer dirt than my first ride. Tioga definitely positioned the knobs correctly, as you sit right on both rows in just about any corner; you don’t have to drag your handlebars to enjoy the Edge 22’s awesome traction.
At this point I was sold on the Edge 22’s cornering performance on smoother dirt lines, so I took the tire to a rocky, rooty, high-speed trail immediately after it rained. This particular trail has a lot of off-camber roots that try to knock you off your line, and a bunch of rocky sections as well. Despite the wet conditions the Edge 22 did a fine job of glancing over the slippy roots and rocks (and that’s compared to the 3C Maxxis Minion DHF I was running prior to this test). I wanted to know if there were any sacrifices to consider in exchange for the tire’s excellent cornering, and I was happy to find there really aren’t.
Brakes hard, rolls fast
I made a point of locking up my front brake several times, and the Edge 22 bit the dirt hard. You might assume the bare mid-section of the tire would not allow for good braking power, but the inner knobs actually bite quite well. The backsides also angle inwards slightly, trapping dirt into the tire’s middle instead of filtering it out to the sides. The knobs’ shape combined with their firmer compound rubber made for solid, dependable braking despite the complete absence of center knobs.
With no center knobs, the Edge 22 also rolls along the trail eagerly. The tire’s firmer middle rubber helps reduce rolling resistance, and on straight sections of trail you’re riding on just the inner knobs. The knobs all have ramped front edges, and their slim but long shape provides all the traction you need with minimal surface area on their front sides to slow things down.
It didn’t take long to convince me that Tioga’s Edge 22 offers excellent cornering traction. While this tire’s main benefit is blatantly noticeable on good dirt, the icing on the cake was discovering there isn’t any notable sacrifice in the other key departments of tire performance – rolling resistance, braking power and traction on slippery roots and rocks. My test is over, but I’m not pulling the Edge 22 off my bike anytime soon! The front-specific Tioga Edge 22 MTB tire retails for $65.