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SNAFU Tyres

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snafu promo picI ride recumbent bikes and trikes, and prefer 20" wheels. But decent tyres for 406 wheels are hard to find, since mostly they're found on children's bikes. There are a few common tyres around: Primo Comets, Haro have a few, Maxxis Hookworms. But the tyre I use is... the Snafu Rimjob . It's a 45-406 (20"x1.9") nominal tyre that seems to be the same size as most 2" tyres and it's now available in 2.1" width too!
They're are a BMX stunt tyre made by Snafu which I bought from Wooleys Wheels in Oxford St Sydney when I was looking for a high pressure tyre for the tandem recumbent trike I was building. They're the only tyre I found that was rated to over 100psi, so I bought a couple to try on my commuting trike. The tyres have a checkerboard tread pattern about 3mm on a side, and this covers the whole tyre (no sidewall area).
The commuter was running some slightly balding Primo Comets before this, and they're a great tyre in the dry. They stick really well while cornering. But the first hint of dampness turns the road into a skid pan. Racing slicks are like that. But the Snafus? They just stick. Not as well as the Comets in the dry, but they don't seem to lose traction much in the wet. Since I don't change tyres every time the weather changes, I'd rather not use Comets. And for touring they're pretty hopeless, they don't last long enough.
On the tandem they worked really well. In WA I could feel the difference in rolling resistance between 110psi and 140psi in the rear tyre, so I tended to pump it up to 140 or so one morning, then leave it a couple of days to drop to 110-ish before pumping it back up. Kind of justifies touring with a floor pump... The hassle with a tadpole tandem is that all the luggage goes on the rear wheel, so a decent tyre is kind of important. We punctured a Haro tyre rated at 70psi, and I'm not convinced that it wasn't a pinch flat. With 150-250kg sitting on the wheel you can pinch flat pretty easily.
The Snafu tyre lasted the full 3500km tour across WA, and only died when I got back to Sydney and hit a bit of glass on the motorway while bringing everything back from the truck depot. That put a gash about 10mm long across the tread right in the center, and I couldn't work out how to repair the tyre and not leave myself vulnerable to the same rapidly deflating puncture again, so I threw it away. I doubt any tyre can survive that sort of treatment. At the time it still had about 2mm of tread on the outside, but was worn noticeably flat (it started out pretty much toroidal).
I'm impressed by these tyres, to the point where I now replace all my tyres with them when they wear out.