Shinko 505 Hybrid Cheater Tire

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   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 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   :thumbsup:

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

Cons   :thumbsdn:

  • 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.


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