March 20, 2023

Review: Delium Rugged tires cut costs, not performance – Pinkbike

As with the light truck tire market, you can easily spend a premium on quality off-road tires, but there are products out there that sell for much less and are still well above their price point. The Delium Rugged Reinforced tire draws similar comparisons in the automotive world, undercutting premium priced Maxxis and Schwalbe tires by up to 45%.

One way Delium lowers the price tag is by offering tires through its website in a direct-to-consumer business model. Founded in 1956, the Indonesian company has been manufacturing bicycle tires and inner tubes for over 50 years. In the past, they have created products on a larger OEM scale until recently, focusing their efforts on the high performance side of mountain bike tires.

Delium durable reinforced details
• Very soft triple 42/50/65a
• Triple Zone case
• 62 TPI + rim impact protection
• Foldable aramid bead
• Sizes: 29 x 2.5″ or 27.5 x 2.5″
• Weight: 1235g – 29 x 2.5″ / 1150g – 27.5 x 2.5″ (declared weights)
• MSRP: $58 USD

The Rugged Reinforced tire is designed for the most technical terrain with an open tread, a triple rubber compound and a gravity shell that protects three areas with different layers.

Delium makes understanding the tire selection simple and also streamlines the possible combinations to the most common choices. For example, the low-profile tread of the “Fast” model, which is intended for off-road driving, is not available on the heavier, reinforced chassis. Similarly, the beefy Rugged model is only available in multi-purpose or reinforced cases for trail and gravity applications. Delium only offers tires in one width per tire model, but two diameters; 27.5″ and 29″.

Like the Maxxis DH case, the Delium’s reinforced case features a double layer, 62 TPI case, rim protection, all in a folding aramid hem. TPI stands for threads per inch, as explained by Mike Levy in this tire tech video. Like the thread counts of sheets, the lower the number, the thicker the threads. Above the bead is a strap to prevent flats, when the rim might bite through the tire frame, and a second layer continues up the sidewall to soften rock impacts.

Another three-layer strategy is found in rubber, where three durometers form square blocks. The bottom supports the knobs with solid 65a rubber, with 50a covering the middle and softer 42a durometer on the shoulders.

As you can imagine, when using these gravity-oriented tires, you can expect to hear the “looks like an Assega” comment quite often. Without a doubt, they are close in appearance to the alternating two-three-two center knobs and are another example of the popular Maxxis tire. When installed and compared to a 30mm rim, the Rugged has a flatter profile at the top of the tread, measuring exactly 2.5″ at its widest point.


Each driver has his own tire safety requirements based on the discipline and the terrain. The reinforced case weighs 1,259 grams for 29″ x 2.5″, 24 more than claimed. It’s closer to the Maxxis Double Down frame size, which is about 100 grams lighter than their DH frame tire.

However, are tires the best place to save money? Remember, our bikes cost thousands of dollars. What’s a few hundred more for maximum grip? Maybe you could spend less on carbon parts or shiny suspension and get more black magic rubber. That’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Delium Rugged tires are an exceptional value at $58. Also remember that Maxxis and Schwalbe prices do not vary between soft and softest rubbers.


Delium offers a warranty to original owners in the North American market for up to one year from the date of purchase or 50% of the original tread depth. Of course, this does not include punctures, just manufacturing defects such as knobs that may come loose from the case or warped cases. All the fine print is clearly listed in the warranty section of their website, and warranty return instructions are handled by the warranty team.

Only tires in new condition also have a 30-day right of return. This means you have 30 days from receiving the tires still in their packaging to start the return process. Tires installed with or without packaging are not eligible for refund.

Customers are responsible for shipping costs associated with returning tires and authorization must be obtained first. This process is handled by contacting their sales team through the Delium website.


Ring in hand, you can feel the protective layers throughout the case. The folding tire is for front and rear use, so I doubled up on the Ruggeds. Dropping a tire onto the rim of either rim was no problem, and no compressor or charge pump was needed. They clicked right into place with no sign of wobble.

The tires never wept sealant, but they dropped significantly more pressure over a few days compared to the Maxxis. Nor was the 10 psi loss due to a faulty rim tape, which is the usual suspicion when a stored tire drops pressure. This is not a breach of contract, but a reminder to always check the tire pressure before leaving.


Considering the Rugged tires are almost half the price of Maxxis and Schwalbe premium tires, does that mean the performance is also halved? Mostly no.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the rubber isn’t as soft or slower as the Maxxis MaxxGrip, but it’s very close to the MaxxTerra formula. If you’ve spent time on both Maxxis compounds, you know that even the same tread pattern makes a noticeable difference in grip. Compared to the Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity Soft compound, the Rugged grips wet rocks and roots more consistently. It looks like the Delium faucet has extra surface area, which makes controlling slippery stone tiles more manageable. Dropping the pressure helps here, as the sidewall is quite sturdy for a mid-weight gravity tire – knock on wood, I haven’t hit the Deliums yet.

My pressures would hover around 21 psi in the front and 24 out the rear on the wettest days in Squamish and the North Shore. I also got to experience the Rugged’s capabilities on a dry, loose, blindingly fast trail in Kamloops, BC, where I cranked up the pressures to 23 and 27 psi. Tire roll was manageable, and neither set of wheels showed any major wallows, even when hitting those face-melting corners found in the arid landscapes of the interior of the province. I started to notice more bounce in the tires than I initially noticed at lower pressures at slower speeds. Here, the flexibility of the upper replaces the harder rubber and is an example of the trade-offs one must make for one’s riding needs.

However, on harder pack routes and rock slabs, there is a limit of 50a durometer to the top rubber layer in the middle. Finding a balance between sidewall support and grip means a narrower window to hone in on optimal pressure—something has to give, and sometimes that meant sliding in an early turn or feeling the front tire fold. While the square profile sinks into a perfect seam around the PNW, the harder compound and closer shoulder cap didn’t allow for the same lean angles as the MaxxGrip Assegai. However, they are predictable across the tread, and removing the rear tire doesn’t result in jumping or sudden loss of grip. “Consistent” is the best way to describe the grip the Rugged tires provide.

After weeks of use in all possible conditions, the Deliums still look very fresh, even the rear tire. There are no signs of the knobs cracking and they don’t bend as easily as some supersoft compound tires. It’s all a balancing act: rolling speed to straight braking, frame support to flexibility, quality to price, durability to weight. However you want to condense it, the Delium Rugged Reinforced hits the mark on meeting all the requirements very well in a gravity tire that doesn’t lose much performance to reach a lower price point.


+ Excellent value
+ Predictable braking and cornering characteristics
+ A solid mid-weight gravity focused tire for all conditions
+ Durable casing with a long tread


The case could use more damping
A stickier option would allow for more grip without sacrificing support

Pinkbike’s Take

If you’re looking for a more affordable tire option for your enduro bike with predictable, all-weather tread and adequate protection without stepping on hot tar, the Delium Rugged Enforced tires are a good candidate.

They don’t outdo the Maxxis Assegai in the grippier MaxxGrip compound, but they allow the MaxxTerra to spend a lot less money.

Matt Beer

#Review #Delium #Rugged #tires #cut #costs #performance #Pinkbike

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