Many, if not all mountain bike tire manufacturers offer an "all-around" tread pattern aimed at the rider who wants a tire that performs in all conditions and terrains. This is not a new concept - think all-season tires for your car or truck. Problem is, most tire makers do not deliver on their promise. These tire designs tend to work in some conditions, but not all and in most cases work poor in all conditions. This is where the Schwalbe's Nobby Nic differs.
The Nic is a true all-rounder and performs to spec in all of the conditions we have ridden them in. The open tread pattern sheds mud, but also provides enough rubber to grip rocks and hold firm in wet terrain. The corner knobs are squared off, but not too square to provide excellent manners when rolled over. The rubber itself has three different durameters - grippy where you need it and fast down the center. As with all Schwalbe tires, the construction and attention to detail is near perfect. You pay a bit extra for the quality however, in this case - pay more, get more. Tires are not directional and work for front and rear applications.