An updated version of a classic, the Onza Porcupine fails to offer anything exceptional and is adequate, at best. Construction and materials are decent enough, showing some performance areas, but lacks cornering bite and reliable grip when needed.
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Onza Porcupine 29 x 2.4 Skinwall tyre - technical details
With a 60a black colour compound and tan walls, this version of the Porcupine is an on-trend tyre visually, built over a 60tpi single-ply casing, with nylon sidewall protection. It strikes a reasonable balance between low weight and puncture protection. The Porcupine is tubeless-ready and has been inflated using a track pump on several different rims with minimal air leaks.
Using a medium to small tread size in a four and five across offset pattern, the Porcupine has rows of two and three closer-together blocks centrally, with slightly larger offset blocks on the outer edges. The knobs aren't exceptionally tall or shaped, and there isn't any compound mix. The beads are Kevlar, and foldable, and were simple to mount on different rim widths.
Onza Porcupine 29 x 2.4 Skinwall tyre - How it rides
Onza claims their tread pattern provides lower rolling resistance as well as good cornering grip. However, despite feeling tough enough and fast-rolling, the Porcupine wasn't at all confidence-inspiring on looser dirt or rock, where it felt skittish and unpredictable. The tyre felt quite deflective on more significant rock garden sections, and the 2.4" size felt smaller. Although the inflated carcass gives some impact and comfort, the block pattern isn't spaced out enough to find grip in loose terrain. On rougher, rockier trails, when pressure is higher to prevent punctures, they feel uncertain and vague in holding lines.
The tyre did okay on trail centre surfaces and berms, and the point that the tyre felt like it'd wash out or slip wasn't sudden - there'd be a bit of warning. On downhill and more natural trails, with loose rock, it lacked real bite and confidence, and I would ride with more caution than on my usual tyres.
Uphill, the Porcupine would be happy enough on smaller-sized stone-based surfaces, but on muddier or loose trails, it just doesn't have the traction. Dropping the pressure didn't work as it made the tyre wallow as the sidewalls lack the strength to support the wheel at these pressures – not to mention let rock strikes damage the rim. Their lower weight might make them feel fast, but it compromises the sidewall strength.
It was on the front where they lacked confidence most, and holding lines in rougher terrain, on roots or through rock gardens, they felt hesitant at best and downright sketchy at worst. In the wet, things were amplified - less grip and more sliding – so these are definitely not for winter.
also noticed early signs of wear on the outer blocks, and some on the central, with a few rips and scuffs forming quite early into the testing time. My usual riding is predominately rocky, but they have worn quicker than other tyres I've ridden for similar periods.
Onza Porcupine 29 x 2.4 Skinwall Tyre - Verdict
The Onza Porcupine 29 x 2.4 Skinwall tyre is adequate at best: if you want a fast-rolling, on-trend tyre, then it'll work for dry, hard trails. When compared to similar tyres such as the Schwalbe Rock Razor 29 x 2.35 at £65, the Onza Porcupine does come up more affordable at £55. However, there are many more impressive, grippier and reliable tyres on the market than these. If there was a little more bite or a more reassuring cornering feel, then it would go a long way. Despite the decent construction and on-trend walls, there isn't much to recommend here.
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