Review: Onza Canis 29 x 2.25 Tyres

Though a little before my mountain biking time, Onza (or OnZa) was one of the big brands in mountain bike tyres and other components in the late nineties. While the brand faded away in the early 2000’s more recently a swiss-based company relaunched the Onza brand and range of tyres.

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Meet the Onza Canis which I’ve been testing out over a good few rides. The Canis is somewhat of a crossover tyre, classed by Onza as “Cross country / All mountain” it is said to give a combination of low rolling resistance and good grip.

 


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Specifications


I tested the Onza Canis 29 x 2.25 C3 RC2 Tubeless Ready. And yes those numbers all mean something. C3 is Onza’s Cross Country Casing with 60TPI - sturdier, thicker sidewalls for a little more puncture resistance vs. the thinner and lighter 120TPI. RC2 denotes the dual compound rubber materials used in the tyre makeup: harder 65a in the center for durability and good rolling and softer 55a on the outsides for grip.

 

  • Weight750g
  • Size29 x 2.25
  • TPI60
  • BeadKevlar / foldable
  • Compounds65a/55a
  • PriceRRP R 650.00

 

At 750g per tyre they're on par with other similarly specced all rounders. Price wise they are also competitive considering the price tags on some top end tubeless tyres are in the neighbourhood of R 700-800.00

 

Fitment


The tyres were first fitted to a set of Easton EA70 XCTs and later to a pair of ZTR Crests and both were no trouble at all. Although I opted for some assistance from a tyre lever for that last little bit, getting the tyre onto the rim was possible completely by hand on either wheel. I ran them tubeless and when it came to inflation (which can be a pain without a compressor) a standard floor pump did the trick for both wheels.

 


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On the trails


My first few outings on these tyres were to a very wet and muddy Tokai. I was impressed by the grip even in the soggy conditions which Onza don't really class these tyres for. Thanks to the open tread pattern on the outer edges mud and dirt cleared well and they held on impressively well. In the really sticky clay-like stuff though, traction was limited as they struggled to dislodge the gunk.

 

In drier conditions I was quickly impressed with the rolling performance. What was first just a feeling of “woah, these are fast” was reinforced on the extended gravel roads of the Baviaans Kloof. On the open dirt roads they were fast rolling with good acceleration and none of the sluggishness slightly grippier tyres can add.

 

Through windy singletrack I found myself increasingly pushing the traction limits and confidently so. On a mixture of hard packed soil, slippery pine needles and roots, loose and sharp rocky sections they performed well and predictably. Only in very loose sand and very wet conditions did I find they began to lose contact.

 

For general trail and singletrack riding I found I got the best traction performance running them at lower pressures: usually 1.6-1.8 bar front and back depending on the terrain. Any higher and they tended to get overly slippery over rocks and roots (for reference I weigh in at around 73kg).

 

Durability


Having ridden close on 600km with these tyres over varied terrain so far they've held up well, but they have still got a lot of life in them. In terms of puncture resistance I’ve not had a single issue to date. So far I am very happy with the durability, but I’ll report back after a few thousand kilometers.

 


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In the end


In a short space of time I’ve become a big fan of these tyres. They are well suited to my riding habits delivering on the combination of grip and low rolling resistance Onza speak of. Those looking for more grip might opt for the beefier Ibex up front, but for my riding the Canis front and rear does the job well. Given the more wallet-friendly price and the impressive performance the Onza Canis delivers excellent value in an all-rounder tyre.

 

I won't be taking these off until they need replacing!

 






87 Comments

WIPEOUT 1000, Sep 04 2014 09:39

I started the Epic with 2 new ones on my LBS's advise. I had a sidewall cut on the back tire on day 1, changed back to Geax Saguaro.

NicoBoshoff, Sep 04 2014 09:47

I don't always hastily judge a tyre's quality. But when I do, it's because of a sidewall cut...

Jakkals., Sep 04 2014 10:00

I've been running this tyre on the rear with no issues, did however change to a renegade for baviaans, I needed to be a tad faster.

Carmichael, Sep 04 2014 10:28

2 epics 2 attakwaste 2 w2w not one punture.. I like this tyre

hboli4, Sep 04 2014 10:32

I have a 2.25 Canis on the front of my rigid SS. Nice and grippy and no issues so far.

Headshot, Sep 04 2014 12:04

Punctures - rock resistance, any burping off the rim, ideal pressure?

Admin, Sep 04 2014 12:08

Punctures - rock resistance, any burping off the rim, ideal pressure?


All covered in the review. Although no specific mention of burping, but I had no issues there with either rim tested.

Jakkals., Sep 04 2014 01:31

Good traction for me even in wet conditions.

Headshot, Sep 04 2014 05:36

All covered in the review. Although no specific mention of burping, but I had no issues there with either rim tested.

Showee, sorry. must learn to read a bit better...

jiggs, Sep 04 2014 06:07

Same sidewall cut in first race.

Adamc, Sep 04 2014 10:25

Useless tyre. Had a puncture (mainly sidewall) just about every ride until I got fed up and put tubes in. Since then, no issues. I cannot recommend these tyres sorry

Patensie, Sep 04 2014 10:49

Been running Ibex front, Canis rear for more than a year: no problems. Awesome tyres. In fact: Only tyres that, when the current set is finished, I would replace with the same mix since started cycling in 2000. (haven't had ANY puncture issues at all)

D Vader, Sep 05 2014 07:42

They are almost 150 grams heavier than their competition and only the 60 tpi reasoning for better sidewall explanation, which does not seem to work anyway. So, not a great prospect.

Admin, Sep 05 2014 07:48

Useless tyre. Had a puncture (mainly sidewall) just about every ride until I got fed up and put tubes in. Since then, no issues. I cannot recommend these tyres sorry


Same sidewall cut in first race.


I started the Epic with 2 new ones on my LBS's advise. I had a sidewall cut on the back tire on day 1, changed back to Geax Saguaro.


Out of interest - were you guys running the 120tpi or 60tpi version?

#MTBFTW, Sep 05 2014 09:12

Useless tyre. Had a puncture (mainly sidewall) just about every ride until I got fed up and put tubes in. Since then, no issues. I cannot recommend these tyres sorry

Were you running the 120TPI or the 60TPI's? 60's are more robust and I've had zero issues!

Adamc, Sep 05 2014 06:47

120TPI version.

Matchstix, Sep 05 2014 07:43

We swopped a teams from Europe over to the onza's on this year's epic, they were so impressed that they are looking to get them as a sponsor for tyres for next year.

TALUS, Sep 06 2014 12:18

I shipped my bike down to the Cape 10 days before W2W last year. When it became clear that we would be riding in heavy rain and mud I asked the LBS to suggest and fit a tyre. The new Onza Canis had 2 punctures and a sidewall cut on day 1. Never used it again. Geax or Schwalbe only now.

Dots, Sep 06 2014 12:35

Changed Geax back Schwalbe front to both Canis 2.25. Best decision ever. So much more traction and no problems so far after doing 2 multi stage races (RE:CEM 200 and Greyton MTB Tour) as well as Knysna 80km. Lots of mud and was happy with how it dealt with the mud. I am 102kg and running 2bar pressure.

Reading the above comments I think people may be running too low pressures resulting in sidewall cuts

Pipsqueak, Sep 09 2014 09:50

So if I cut the sidewall of a Maxxis High Roller does that make it a bad tyre? No. These knock the socks off Racing Ralphs for sure, just choose the right spec. If you ride a 120tpi tyre down a rockfall you're asking for trouble. I've used these for years. 120 on the front, 60 on the back.

Surv0MTB, Sep 09 2014 03:38

Ive been riding a Racing Ralph at the back and a Canis in front and Ive come to love it.. replaced with Racing ralph with a Geax Sanguaro and the combination is really good, grippy and good rolling resistance.

Balkan_Rider, Oct 09 2014 05:16

Been using canis on back and racing Ralph in front. Both had the same amount of distance on. Onza, is way more durable than racing Ralphs. Just replaced front with new canis. Grip and rolling resistance is awesome. Wouldn't use anything else.

RobStar69, May 11 2015 08:11

Needed to make a decision to stay with the racing Raphl that has never let me down or try something new

So I purchased the canis 120 I likd the narley stuff but still enjoy the climbs less than 200km and a side wall pinch which looks wired and a Pierced tread

I love this tyre ,grips well ,climbs well but I sm hesitant in buying s new one

Just bad luck or go back to the old faithful ....

Admin, May 11 2015 08:35

Needed to make a decision to stay with the racing Raphl that has never let me down or try something new

So I purchased the canis 120 I likd the narley stuff but still enjoy the climbs less than 200km and a side wall pinch which looks wired and a Pierced tread

I love this tyre ,grips well ,climbs well but I sm hesitant in buying s new one

Just bad luck or go back to the old faithful ....

Likely a bit of bad luck, although I have heard from others using the 120tpi that with the thinner sidewalls they're susceptible to cuts. 

The thicker 60tpi I reviewed here only came off the bike in Feb this year. They held up impressively well in some seriously rocky terrain in Lesotho Sky 2014 and a bucket load of Epic training thereafter. 

I'd recommend opting for 60tpi if you'll be riding rockier trails.

RocknRolla, May 06 2016 11:58

The rear tire on the missus's bike has been losing pressure of late, without any signs of puncture.

 

Last night after washing the bike, I found the "rabies" foam of leaky sidewalls.. so much that I could hear the air escape...

 

Tires are a couple of months old. Planning to take it back to the LBS in order to get some kind of resolve (new rear tire)

 

 


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