Schwalbe Jonny Watts - New EMTB tyre

Bellefield

Active member
Aug 5, 2020
128
83
Isle of Man
Thinking of using my EMTB for this years lighthouse challenge, which is a 160km race with about 2km of climbing, mostly over 1 big steep and about 4 medium steeps, so I'll need to turn my battery off for most of the ride to keep it in reserve for those climbs, especially one towards the end of the race.

This is all road riding, so rolling resistance will help both the battery life and my legs. I've been looking at the Johnny Watts, so interested in any feedback folks have about rolling resistance, I've also been looking at the Marathon Almotion which are tubeless and more road specific, just not sure if the rolling resistance is any better?

Any other suggestions out there?
Actually, I'll take this outside this thread also to open it up to the wider community, so apologies in advance if you see this as a standalone thread.
 

Stanczech

Active member
Subscriber
Hi
As no one had give any real time reviews i actually bought a pair to try
There hardly expensive so i thought sod it
Size purchased 27.5 x 2.6"

Right first off they run great on the road , no self steer and very responsive
braking on muddy dirty lanes no problem at all even if you jam the brakes on
I have also tried them off road , fire road sort of conditions no problem
and grassy fields with plenty of visible mud no issues either even climbing steep hills in the fields
i grant you its been dry for a few days where i live and obviously they wont be great on proper mud but in general allround conditions i have no fault in grip

Fitment wise they go on nice and run perfectly true no wobbles or anything
Only fly in the ointment is non tubless but i put stans in the tubes instead , not ideal but ok for general use

All in all i fair allrounder at a reasonable price .
Hope this helps a little with people on the fence about trying them .
Thanks for sharing your first experience, paul20V, this really fits.
I have these tires ready to be tested, but my old basketball injury has been restored in my youth, so I'm grounded after shoulder surgery, and it will take some time.
Enjoy!
 

urastus

⚡The Whippet⚡
May 4, 2020
1,544
987
Tasmania
Thank you for your willingness to buy these and post a review; this was a factor in my decision to also buy them. Even though I would prefer to have the larger 2.8" tire tyre, I bought the same size you did - 27.5 x 2.6. The 2.8 size is rated for 25 km/h, while the 2.6 is rated for 50 km/h; I have a speed pedelec. The 2.8" version may have held up okay when I commute, and there are no details provided as to why these are rated for lower speeds, but I decided to make the safe choice. I do plan to change my tyres somewhat regularly (change for various types of rides), and decided to not discard and cleanup sealant on a monthly basis; so, no tubeless setup for my SUB. Instead, I bought what looks to be some fantastic British flat prevention tech - Tannus Armour. Does anyone have experience with these? The weight is much lower than I imagined, and I am also trying out Schwalbe's Aerothan tubes, which are far lighter than butyl tubes. Rotating mass has likely increased overall, but probably not tremendously. With motor assistance, I am not very concerned about a marginal increase. I anticipate that the flat protection will provide some peace of mind that is worth a marginal weight penalty. I will post an update after accumulating some distance on the Johnnys while commuting to work, as well as some light trail use. Thanks to all of you who have provided some very useful information. I hope that I can also contribute something of value.
Tannus are awesome - that seems to be the general concensus here: Search results for query: tannus

Like you, I only use one in the rear. I use a lightweight butyl tube - no issues for about 6 months / 1000km typical mtb riding (all tracks). I didn't have any trouble fitting it either - some have apparently. I've swapped tyres on the rear two times now. I deflate my tyre after each ride to just firm, and pump it back up again pre ride.
 

farhad

New Member
Apr 30, 2021
4
3
Baku
Thank you for your willingness to buy these and post a review; this was a factor in my decision to also buy them. Even though I would prefer to have the larger 2.8" tire tyre, I bought the same size you did - 27.5 x 2.6. The 2.8 size is rated for 25 km/h, while the 2.6 is rated for 50 km/h; I have a speed pedelec. The 2.8" version may have held up okay when I commute, and there are no details provided as to why these are rated for lower speeds, but I decided to make the safe choice. I do plan to change my tyres somewhat regularly (change for various types of rides), and decided to not discard and cleanup sealant on a monthly basis; so, no tubeless setup for my SUB. Instead, I bought what looks to be some fantastic British flat prevention tech - Tannus Armour. Does anyone have experience with these? The weight is much lower than I imagined, and I am also trying out Schwalbe's Aerothan tubes, which are far lighter than butyl tubes. Rotating mass has likely increased overall, but probably not tremendously. With motor assistance, I am not very concerned about a marginal increase. I anticipate that the flat protection will provide some peace of mind that is worth a marginal weight penalty. I will post an update after accumulating some distance on the Johnnys while commuting to work, as well as some light trail use. Thanks to all of you who have provided some very useful information. I hope that I can also contribute something of value.
Hello. I'm also looking at these tires. If I understand correctly, you have 27.5 X 2.6 tires . I very often come across the fact that schwalbe tires differ in a smaller direction from those declared by the manufacturer. Can you measure the tires by the body and the tire spikes and tell how wide your rim is? (inside) Thanks.
 

urastus

⚡The Whippet⚡
May 4, 2020
1,544
987
Tasmania
Er.. No Fanx Shwobble.
A DMR moto RT or twin rail that's actually fun on urban surfaces will do me fo dat sorta shizzle.

Designer comes up with something overweight and mediocre these days? No drama. Just stick an Ebike logo on = Pro££it ?
DMR only seem to do 26" which is a pity. My partner has a moto digger on the back of a 24" (dhf on the front) full suspension bike - it rolls well, has nice volume, and works great around here. It's also OK on the road. They (dmr) only seem to have one tyre now, which looks a great dual sport round profile and high volume - but only in 26". Twin rail (halo) have both 29 and 27.5 in 2.2 - they would be great if you're happy with that size - and can actually find them!

Maxxis holy rollers would be awesome too. We have 2.2's on 20" folders ?; great all rounders but can't get them in modern wheel sizes. And Schwalbe table top - my partner has these on a 24" hardtail that she has for urban duty. They're 2.25 I think, roll great, round profile high volume - great explorers. Geez, lots of awesome tyres but all for smaller wheels, and yes, they all look better than johnny watts.
 
Last edited:

Gary

Old Tartan Bollocks
Author
Subscriber
Mar 29, 2018
10,509
10,628
the internet
it was just an example bro.

There are tons of decent street/pump track/dirt jump tyres to choose from.
Which was my point.
 

DirtyPete

New Member
Apr 28, 2021
7
13
Finland
Thinking of using my EMTB for this years lighthouse challenge, which is a 160km race with about 2km of climbing, mostly over 1 big steep and about 4 medium steeps, so I'll need to turn my battery off for most of the ride to keep it in reserve for those climbs, especially one towards the end of the race.

This is all road riding, so rolling resistance will help both the battery life and my legs. I've been looking at the Johnny Watts, so interested in any feedback folks have about rolling resistance, I've also been looking at the Marathon Almotion which are tubeless and more road specific, just not sure if the rolling resistance is any better?

Any other suggestions out there?

Marathon Almotion are great for road and light off-road. Good grip, quite lightweight, very durable and low rolling resistance. I use 50-622 size on my commuter e-bike and i don't think i could find any better tires for the use.

Johnny Watts roll quite smooth on hard surface too but they are much heavier and i would only pick them for mixed use with lots of riding on hard surfaces.
 

BlackUrsus

New Member
May 12, 2021
1
1
Sweden
I have just got JW 29 2.6. They are really silent on roads and rolls easy. So far I have also tested them a little bit in terrain. In wet snow they shovel less than Eliminators and less steering grip than Butcher but on normal (not muddy - haven’t tested that yet) terrain they perform better than I expected! So far really happy with this compromise. They also look great! I ride with tubes.
 

urastus

⚡The Whippet⚡
May 4, 2020
1,544
987
Tasmania
I have just got JW 29 2.6. They are really silent on roads and rolls easy. So far I have also tested them a little bit in terrain. In wet snow they shovel less than Eliminators and less steering grip than Butcher but on normal (not muddy - haven’t tested that yet) terrain they perform better than I expected! So far really happy with this compromise. They also look great! I ride with tubes.
Yeah, I'd get 2.6 too :)
 

Planemo

E*POWAH Master
Subscriber
Mar 12, 2021
400
447
Essex UK
I just fitted a JW 27.5 x 2.8 to the rear, well impressed with the smoothness compared to the Maxxis DHR (same size). I have yet to throw much at it, but given I am doing a fair bit of road/hard trail work at the moment, the DHR was getting ripped up at a fairly scary rate, and I'd rather save it for the rough stuff. I am contemplating fitting a JW to the front too in order to save the DHF. My bike came with tubes so I just fitted that, not fussed about tubeless for my purposes, I have used them in the past and they were generally more agg than they were worth.
 

SUBcyclist

Active member
Subscriber
Apr 9, 2021
15
26
NoCar, USA
Hello. I'm also looking at these tires. If I understand correctly, you have 27.5 X 2.6 tires . I very often come across the fact that Schwalbe tires differ in a smaller direction from those declared by the manufacturer. Can you measure the tires by the body and the tire spikes and tell how wide your rim is? (inside) Thanks.


Hello, Farhad , and anyone else interested in this measurement. Please, excuse me for taking so long to reply; I received my bike 2 weeks after your post, and I have been busy riding, tweaking, and upgrading - I am only now back in the forum to read and contribute.

Width - At least 2.6; possibly ~2.7
Rim - Rodi Tryp: 35mm inner width (stock rims on the R&M Superdelite)

I measured the tires with my metal tape measure, so this is not extremely accurate, but the tires/tyres appear to be a little larger than Schwalbe states - roughly 2.7 or so. One contributing factor to this is that I am running the maximum pressure (~38 PSI; I may 'round up' a bit), and have been for the past 5 weeks that I have had my new eSUB. I primarily commute to work, so I want to have the lower rolling resistance that comes with higher pressures. I have ridden some trails a few times, which are dry, packed, and have very few rocks and roots (here in North Carolina - U.S.). I have not lowered the tire pressure for those rides, and the tires grip very well. I ride on roads to go to the trails, and do not want to change pressures for the trails, and then pump them back up for the trip home (roughly 8 miles/13km). I have hit some loose pack sections, and Herr Watts likes to grip on that type of surface, as well as a variety of conditions - road, hard pack dirt, grass, some loose sand/mulch-like dirt, and...very small rocks (Insert John Cleese accent here; she's a witch!)

Road grip is great, even with hard cornering at high speed with plenty of lean-over; the outer blocks hold well during this type of maneuver. And, when cornering on trails, the outer (wide-spaced) blocks must be gripping very well into any loose surface I have encountered, because I have not experienced front wheel wash out, or back wheel sliding. However, I am a novice trail rider, so my speeds are not too high, and the trails I ride are rated for beginner and intermediate riders. Still, I have been increasing my speed on those that I have ridden a few times, and the grip is impressive. The weight of my bike (31kg) and me (95kg) might just be driving the knobs into whatever loose surface we roll into.

I see these as being fantastic all-purpose tires. While I cannot logically say that these have prevented many flats, along with the Tannus Armor inserts, because there is no remaining evidence of puncture items that are deflected, I did find a piece of glass wedged between the center tread blocks a few days ago. It did not enter into the casing, so the blocks likely prevented that from occurring. There is a preliminary test of the first layer of flat protection - tread blocks. Even though I will likely keep these on my bike for approximately 75% of my riding, I did purchase a set of Marathon MTB tires for long distance bikepacking and touring, and also a set of Eddy Currents for when I build up my experience and confidence, to test my mettle on some tougher trails. I did, though, test these Johnny Watts on an OHV trail for a short distance, maybe just a mile or two; speed pedelecs (my bike is a class 3) are not allowed to be ridden on trails in our US national forest parks; although, it has been announced that this is under review for change). But, they are permitted on trails marked for Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV's). This was in the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina, and the tires gripped well in some gnarly, rocky areas. Yes, some ATV and dirt bike riders gave me some strange looks.

I hope that this has been some useful information for some of you. Selfishly, it was enjoyable to talk/type about it, but I would like to think that someone will see some useable information in this post; at least, I hope that you, Farhad, find the measurements useful now, even if this is a long time coming.
 

farhad

New Member
Apr 30, 2021
4
3
Baku
Hello, Farhad , and anyone else interested in this measurement. Please, excuse me for taking so long to reply; I received my bike 2 weeks after your post, and I have been busy riding, tweaking, and upgrading - I am only now back in the forum to read and contribute.

Width - At least 2.6; possibly ~2.7
Rim - Rodi Tryp: 35mm inner width (stock rims on the R&M Superdelite)

I measured the tires with my metal tape measure, so this is not extremely accurate, but the tires/tyres appear to be a little larger than Schwalbe states - roughly 2.7 or so. One contributing factor to this is that I am running the maximum pressure (~38 PSI; I may 'round up' a bit), and have been for the past 5 weeks that I have had my new eSUB. I primarily commute to work, so I want to have the lower rolling resistance that comes with higher pressures. I have ridden some trails a few times, which are dry, packed, and have very few rocks and roots (here in North Carolina - U.S.). I have not lowered the tire pressure for those rides, and the tires grip very well. I ride on roads to go to the trails, and do not want to change pressures for the trails, and then pump them back up for the trip home (roughly 8 miles/13km). I have hit some loose pack sections, and Herr Watts likes to grip on that type of surface, as well as a variety of conditions - road, hard pack dirt, grass, some loose sand/mulch-like dirt, and...very small rocks (Insert John Cleese accent here; she's a witch!)

Road grip is great, even with hard cornering at high speed with plenty of lean-over; the outer blocks hold well during this type of maneuver. And, when cornering on trails, the outer (wide-spaced) blocks must be gripping very well into any loose surface I have encountered, because I have not experienced front wheel wash out, or back wheel sliding. However, I am a novice trail rider, so my speeds are not too high, and the trails I ride are rated for beginner and intermediate riders. Still, I have been increasing my speed on those that I have ridden a few times, and the grip is impressive. The weight of my bike (31kg) and me (95kg) might just be driving the knobs into whatever loose surface we roll into.

I see these as being fantastic all-purpose tires. While I cannot logically say that these have prevented many flats, along with the Tannus Armor inserts, because there is no remaining evidence of puncture items that are deflected, I did find a piece of glass wedged between the center tread blocks a few days ago. It did not enter into the casing, so the blocks likely prevented that from occurring. There is a preliminary test of the first layer of flat protection - tread blocks. Even though I will likely keep these on my bike for approximately 75% of my riding, I did purchase a set of Marathon MTB tires for long distance bikepacking and touring, and also a set of Eddy Currents for when I build up my experience and confidence, to test my mettle on some tougher trails. I did, though, test these Johnny Watts on an OHV trail for a short distance, maybe just a mile or two; speed pedelecs (my bike is a class 3) are not allowed to be ridden on trails in our US national forest parks; although, it has been announced that this is under review for change). But, they are permitted on trails marked for Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV's). This was in the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina, and the tires gripped well in some gnarly, rocky areas. Yes, some ATV and dirt bike riders gave me some strange looks.

I hope that this has been some useful information for some of you. Selfishly, it was enjoyable to talk/type about it, but I would like to think that someone will see some useable information in this post; at least, I hope that you, Farhad, find the measurements useful now, even if this is a long time coming.

Thanks for the information. While I was waiting for an answer, I bought and installed them 27.5 X 2.6, on a rim with an internal diameter of 24 mm, the width at the edges is 61 MM, perhaps this information will be useful to someone.
 

urastus

⚡The Whippet⚡
May 4, 2020
1,544
987
Tasmania
I'd get these for urban duty if I was converting now. I plan to do that with my current ebike if and when I replace it. I did a search for reviews on youtube - there are a couple, but in German :rolleyes:. I found this site; these guys seem to be just the sort of riders these tires are aimed at and they all seem happy with the tires. There's also a link to a video of these rolling on sealed road to demonstrate how quiet they are.
 

Soupamoto

Member
Mar 3, 2020
19
23
Knoxville, Tennessee
BD705B3B-4766-45D9-A7F3-290212C0F7C3.jpeg

I've been running 29x2.35" Johnny Watts (JW) for over 6 months now on my '18 Specialized Levo ebike. They are awesome tires!

Yes, I am running them tubeless with Stan's. Right from the start they were easy to install tubeless and have had close to Zero leakage; I'm astonished. Most all my other tubeless-ready tires weep sealant and air to some degree, but the JW go weeks and don't leak down or even weep noticeably (I still always set my tire pressure before every ride).

I have two Levo ebikes, this one is my "Adventure" "Sport Utility" "Do-All" ebike. I use it mainly for riding on pavement like greenways and roads, gravel, and light trails. But, when conditions are dry enough, these tires allow me to ride anything that comes along, including the gnarliest of trails that I typically ride on my eMTB with 27.5x2.8" fatties. I typically avoid super wet off road conditions anyway.

These tires replaced a set of Surley ExtraTerrestrial tires in 29x2.5" that were just a little to big for my Levo frame; I needed a slightly skinnier tire, so chose the 2.35" JW front and rear. I really liked the ETs, but I like the JW's even better; they are more aggressive off road, but I find no downside to that on pavement or rolling resistance.

I highly recommend the Johnny Watts if you're looking for a do-anything tire and still want great pavement rolling attributes.
 

Monkey Dog

Member
Jun 4, 2020
143
99
Derbyshire
View attachment 80201
I've been running 29x2.35" Johnny Watts (JW) for over 6 months now on my '18 Specialized Levo ebike. They are awesome tires!

Yes, I am running them tubeless with Stan's. Right from the start they were easy to install tubeless and have had close to Zero leakage; I'm astonished. Most all my other tubeless-ready tires weep sealant and air to some degree, but the JW go weeks and don't leak down or even weep noticeably (I still always set my tire pressure before every ride).

I have two Levo ebikes, this one is my "Adventure" "Sport Utility" "Do-All" ebike. I use it mainly for riding on pavement like greenways and roads, gravel, and light trails. But, when conditions are dry enough, these tires allow me to ride anything that comes along, including the gnarliest of trails that I typically ride on my eMTB with 27.5x2.8" fatties. I typically avoid super wet off road conditions anyway.

These tires replaced a set of Surley ExtraTerrestrial tires in 29x2.5" that were just a little to big for my Levo frame; I needed a slightly skinnier tire, so chose the 2.35" JW front and rear. I really liked the ETs, but I like the JW's even better; they are more aggressive off road, but I find no downside to that on pavement or rolling resistance.

I highly recommend the Johnny Watts if you're looking for a do-anything tire and still want great pavement rolling attributes.
I've been running JW's in 29x2.6 with the reflector strip for my commute. They're whisper quiet on paved areas & also offer pretty good good grip on mud & snow (when we had some the other week). I like them so much I'm looking for some more in the same size for my other bike.
The rolling resistance is pretty minimal compared to the Rekons on my other bike.
I run tubes with Muc off tube sealant in them.
 

CJaMTB

Well-known member
May 9, 2020
342
313
Dartmoor
I've got 2.6" JWs on a commuting wheel set, for my E-Sommet 297, set up tubeless (using Muc-Off valves and sealant) and running 22psi front/24psi rear. My commute is a 65km round trip, all on tarmac surfaces. They have very low rolling resistance, making pedalling above the limiter quite enjoyable, are very quiet, and maintain the look of a modern mountain bike. I don't use them off road and won't be using them off road, as I doubt they have the grip I need for the way/places I ride, unless it's bone dry and like concrete. I will absolutely be buying some more of these when this pair wear through though, best eMTB commuting tyre I've ever ridden (in 4-5yrs of eMTB commuting).
 

SUBcyclist

Active member
Subscriber
Apr 9, 2021
15
26
NoCar, USA
I've got 2.6" JWs on a commuting wheel set, for my E-Sommet 297, set up tubeless (using Muc-Off valves and sealant) and running 22psi front/24psi rear. My commute is a 65km round trip, all on tarmac surfaces. They have very low rolling resistance, making pedalling above the limiter quite enjoyable, are very quiet, and maintain the look of a modern mountain bike. I don't use them off road and won't be using them off road, as I doubt they have the grip I need for the way/places I ride, unless it's bone dry and like concrete. I will absolutely be buying some more of these when this pair wear through though, best eMTB commuting tyre I've ever ridden (in 4-5yrs of eMTB commuting).


I am in full agreement with you and Monkey Dog, that these are very good tires for commuting. It is unfortunate that they will not work well for your trails, but that highlights the fact that there are many tires made for many different purposes and surfaces. One day, maybe, materials science will provide us with shape-shifting rubber, providing adaptable tread blocks which can be changed for the varying surfaces we encounter, even on a single ride; staring a ride with tightly packed blocks for commuting on roads and dry trails (like our current KW's), and then morph into larger, more loosely spaced blocks for mud or snow when we drop into tougher trails - the tire modes being selected like power modes for our motors. This would be the final piece of a sci-fi EMTB future, complimenting our dynamic/adaptable power modes (like Bosch's EMTB mode), and auto-tune suspension now offered by Rockshox and Fox. Current bike tech is impressive, and its future could be astonishing.
 

urastus

⚡The Whippet⚡
May 4, 2020
1,544
987
Tasmania
I am in full agreement with you and Monkey Dog, that these are very good tires for commuting. It is unfortunate that they will not work well for your trails, but that highlights the fact that there are many tires made for many different purposes and surfaces. One day, maybe, materials science will provide us with shape-shifting rubber, providing adaptable tread blocks which can be changed for the varying surfaces we encounter, even on a single ride; staring a ride with tightly packed blocks for commuting on roads and dry trails (like our current KW's), and then morph into larger, more loosely spaced blocks for mud or snow when we drop into tougher trails - the tire modes being selected like power modes for our motors. This would be the final piece of a sci-fi EMTB future, complimenting our dynamic/adaptable power modes (like Bosch's EMTB mode), and auto-tune suspension now offered by Rockshox and Fox. Current bike tech is impressive, and its future could be astonishing.
or just hover above it all
 
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