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Shinko 505 Hybrid Cheater Tire Reviews

Read and compare owner reviews & ratings of Shinko 505 Hybrid Cheater Tire. Product specs, photos & video, pricing, and more!
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  • Retail Price ~$89.95 Shop Now
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   8 of 8 members found this review helpful 8 / 8 members

If you've ever sat down and watched a hard enduro event such as Romaniacs or the Erzberg Rodeo, you've probably seen people like Graham Jarvis getting ridiculous amounts of traction to clear obstacles. How do they do this? Awesome talent aside, they all use a "sticky" tire. While many of the competition's sticky versions are up to 2X the price of a typical knobby, by comparison, the Shinko 505 Hybrid Cheater rear tire is fairly inexpensive and promises the same benefits. As someone who rides in slippery conditions and goes through a lot of tires, this got my attention. Does the 505 Hybrid Cheater provide the hook of a trials tire on slick obstacles with the corning feel and stability of a traditional knobby tire, all at an affordable price? Let's find out...


My first impression of the Shinko 505 Hybrid Cheater rear tire is that it looks HUGE! Despite it being the same 120/100-18 size that I've been running, its sidewalls are noticeably taller. Grab a handful of knobs and they feel very soft and pliable, but its 4-ply carcass is still firm and not too thin. It felt a little heavier than the typical knobby, so I tossed it on the scale and it came in at just under 16lbs. The tread pattern looks traditional, but being directional, there is no reversing the tire to extend its useful life. In terms of installation, I've mounted a ton of tires in my time and the Shinko 505 was on the easy side. The carcass isn't overly stiff and since I run the Tubliss system, no tubes to mess with. Western Power Sports (Shinko US distributor) suggested that I pair the 505 rear with a Shinko 520 Intermediate-Hard Terrain front (80/100/21) based on positive feedback from riders.


To really test the Shinko 505 Hybrid Cheater rear tire, I needed to put it through some nasty single track conditions, something that we have in spades riding Northwest Washington. I chose the worst line up everything; loose & wet rocky sections, muddy root ladders, deep ruts, and relentless hill climbs & descents. To sum this tire's performance up: confidence inspiring! In some of the harder trail sections, I actually laughed at how much easier they were all of a sudden. While I may not be the best rider in the world, I sure felt like it! Graham Jarvis, you're on notice!   😉



Shinko didn't give a pressure setting recommendation, so I started at 15psi front & 12 rear. However, after dropping to 11 front & 6 rear, I was handsomely rewarded while riding the worst possible trails. I was even able to stop in the middle of a slick, steep hill climb and get moving again relatively easy. When I did encounter muddy sections, both tires cleaned out quickly. In technical single track riding, the tire worked everywhere.


I also did some squid riding on the wide quad trails & gravel roads to see how the tire handled higher speeds and cornering. I'd say that it feels pretty close to your typical knobby in terms of stability and feel. As the speed goes up, it's slightly more squishy feeling, but nowhere near that of a trials tire and it definitely less wandering. At least for me, any compromises in handling and stability in these conditions is far outweighed by the benefits provided while riding single track.


In terms of wear, after 3 punishing rides, the Shinko 505 Hybrid Cheater shows just a small amount on the leading edge. Since the tire is constantly getting grip, not spinning up, I expect wear to be pretty good.




Pros   👍

  • Confidence inspiring.
  • Traction for days.
  • Easy installation.
  • Affordably priced.
  • Acceptable handing for a trials compound.
  • Durability (if used for conditions designed).

Cons   👎

  • None

Russ's Bottom-line   :prof: 

As a single track woods rider, this pairing of tires is one of the best I've experienced, definitely living up to Shinko's claims. The 505 Hybrid Cheater rear tire is a real confidence booster when the conditions get tough and it's refreshingly priced with the average wallet in mind.


More @ http://www.shinkotireusa.com



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   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

I have 5 rides on mine - 250xcw. I mostly run a trials tire. This is the fist knobby I actually like. It could well be the ultimate trials-knobby hybrid for a light trail bike. Sure there are conditions were a true trials tire ( not a MT43) would have better traction.. not too many .. I have found NO conditions I would prefer a traditional MX-51 type knobby over the Shinko for trail riding.


Love the way the knob edges are not rounding off like on a harder rubber tire..


I have the Mountain Hybrid on my 690. It is a trials like tread pattern with hard rubber. Sort of a big MT43.. The Shinko is a knobby tread pattern with sticky trials rubber.. 2 completely different tires.

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   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

When choosing a tire for the woods there is always the struggle of finding a tire that works good in all conditions. That however is hard because knobby tires typically work great in about everything but the rocks and gnarly stuff, and trials tires which are good in rocks do not work as good is conditions that knobby tires excel in like soft dirt, high speed, and braking. In the past I would pick a trials tire for going out to the woods with friends where I didn't care about race speed, but when it was time for a race I'd slap a knobby on. This always worked out for me, but it just meant a lot of tire switching. This year when our annual Colorado trip came around I decided to give the 505 cheater a try.

Before I start for anyone wondering the 505 Hybrid is like a normal knobby tire but the rubber compound is much softer and more pliable.


Mounting was pretty easy with the rubber compound used in the tire, but one minor complaint I have is that the 110-90-19 size seems slightly smaller than a typical tire of that size. I have noticed the same issue with Shinko's trials tire so it might be a common issue. The bead popped right into position though and mounting was a breeze.

How It Handled

I chose this tire because I wanted something that would work in all conditions for my Colorado trip. Terrain ranges from sandy trails to black slick mud, loose rocks, big rocks, steep climbs, slicks tree roots, and steep downhills, so pretty much any terrain you can imagine. I ran Extra HD tubes at 12psi just to be safe from pinch flats. In the sandy trails the tire really hooked up good, I think it helped that it recently rained to pack the sand down, but it still did better than I expected with such a soft rubber. I can't say it handled great in the slick mud, but can you really expect any tire to and still handle everything else well if it was designed for mud? It did however shed the mud well and didn't pack up terribly. In the rocks the tire performed phenomenally, I never got stuck on a rock wet or dry and I had no problem keeping momentum through rock gardens. I'd almost say it handled as good as a trials tire in the rocks, the only difference is that is did not track a straight. On climbs I did not have a problem keeping my speed up, and if I had to stop I could start back without spinning much. With the tree roots I just let off the gas and did what I could to keep the bike straight, there really isn't much else you can do no matter what your tire is. Braking with the tire didn't seem any worse than your average knobby with a couple rides on it.


All in all I put about 300 miles on the tire during the 3 day trip and I really did not notice a difference in the tire's handling between the start and finish. The front edges of the knobbies are certainly rounded, but it still handles well and I'll probably run it through the end of the year. With the tire compound being super soft the tire does not chunk as easily and it just wears down, although you traction will slowly be getting worse it won't be as bad as a chunked tire.


In the end I am really glad I decided to give this tire a shot, it may not have that perfect grip that a fresh knobby has in the dirt, or the exact same grip a trials tire has in the rocks, but the tire does fill the gap very well as being a tire which does most terrain very well, and lasts a long time for someone who doesn't have the money for a new tire every month.

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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

great review, and we felt the same way about the 505 cheater. a few of us did try the motoz hybrid last year but overall just found it was a bit too trials-like even though we are mainly into hard technical riding. the shinko cheater is much closer to the mark so far. 🙂


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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

the Shinko 505 cheater is an amazing tire! i live in southern California, and ride mostly desert and woods, so the rocks, and single track are easily conquered by this, remarkably affordable tire! there are a few river crossings we do up in the San Bernadino forest, so think slippery rocks.... no problem. log hopping? no problem. granite waterfalls? no problem. i too run the Shinko 520 up front, as for tire pressure, i run 14 front and 11 rear. the only place i had ANY issues with this tire was in DEEP sand.... and not really an issue, as much as an adjustment in my riding. over all, its an epic tire! highly recommended. follow here: @blktom and @wlf  

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