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Complete Guide to Downhill Rubber

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by zdubyadubya, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    You guys asked for it; so I figured I would take the time to build it. Submit ideas and reviews here--we will try to keep it simple and sweet. We can also modify it to incorporate things you guys think should or should not be here. There are a ton of tire discussions on this board so I tried to glean everything but if I missed something, let me know and I will add it. If you want to add material as opposed to a review and/or comments, please PM it to me and I will put it in one of the top posts.

    MAXXIS -- The Old Standard
    Maxxis tires usually have three different compounds: 3C, UST, or Supertacky. 3C is a triple compound with a harder long lasting base layer with two progressively softer top layer compounds to combine grip with stability. UST is their tubeless specific designation and supertacky is a super low rebound/high traction compound. A good baseline tire pressure for these tires is ~ 27 - 30 psi.

    Minion DHF, MSRP $93.00
    This tire up until just recently for most and still is for many the gold standard in traction and control.

    Minion DHR


    High Roller


    High Roller II


    Kidwoo Review

    Swampthing

    WetScream
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
    #1
  2. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    SCHWALBE -- The Challenger to the Throne

    Muddy Mary, MSRP $88.00
    All-Condition

    Big Betty, MSRP $90.00
    All Condition -> Dry

    Dirty Dan
    Mud

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
    #2
  3. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Specialized

    Butcher, MSRP $75.00


    Compound: Base 70a / Top 42a, Wire Bead, 60 TPI, ~1250g
    Applications: All you need to know is this is Sam Hill's tire. :-) Seriously though, best for intermediate to loose conditions.

    Clutch, MSRP $75.00


    Compound: Base 70a / Top 42a / Shoulder 40a, Wire Bead, 60 TPI, ~1250g
    Applications: Intermediate to loamy conditions, less support in a hard lean than a Butcher.

    Chunder, MSRP $70.00


    Compound: Base 70a / Top 42a / Shoulder 40a, Wire Bead, 60 TPI, ~1250g
    Applications: Excellent rear tire, very versatile; corners very well; also excellent in intermediate to loose conditions

    Hillbilly, MSRP $75.00


    Compound: Base 70a / Top 42a, Wire Bead, 60 TPI, ~1250g
    Applications: Dry/hardpack, cut spike; this tire needs to be ridden hard/fast to get benefits but at speed it just grabs off-camber stuff.

    Storm, MSRP $75.00


    Compound: Base 70a / Top 42a, Wire Bead, 60 TPI, ~1150g
    Applications: The tire to replace the WetScream. Super soft knobs that shed great and love wet roots and rocks. This tire is purpose built for the nasty of the nasty.

    Decline Magazine Guide to Cutting Specialized Tires Part 1
    Decline Magazine Guide to Cutting Specialized Tires Part 2
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
    #3
  4. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Michelin

    WildRock'R


    WildGrip'R


    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
    #4
  5. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Continental

    Their "Black Chili" compound is known as bubblegum by all who try it. Super sticky but wears pretty fast. The Conti tires are recommended to run higher pressures than other brands and are also about ~100g heavier.

    Continental Tire Review

    Der Kaiser, MSRP ~$90.00


    Der Baron a.k.a Rain King, MSRP ~$90.00


    Rubber Queen a.k.a Trail King, MSRP ~$90.00


    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
    #5
  6. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Kenda

    Excavator, MSRP $53.00

    EC's Kenda Excavator Cutting Technique

    Blue Groove, MSRP $53.00


    Nevegal, MSRP $53.00


    The tire everyone loves to hate and some hate to love. Very predictable. To the point that you are going to predict that it is going to dump you when you don't want it to, but still predictable. :-) Kenda's all-around everything tire. Comes in lots of sizes, compounds, and beads.

    Telonix, MSRP $53.00


    Large block, deep lugged tire. Good for moss/loam/mud/crappy conditions. From experience, once you get onto the side lugs, look out you are going down. Very squirmy.

    BBG, MSRP $53.00


    Low center knobs for a fast accelerating, climbing, and braking specific tire. Seems like a good rear tire in DH and a good all around trail-bike tire.

    El Moco, MSRP $53.00


    Ramped an rounded knobs for faster rolling tire with easy transition into large side lugs for good cornering grip. Lopes signature tire. Comes in both Stick-E and UST versions as well as folding and wire-bead.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
    #6
  7. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    GEAX

    GEAX Pro-Tip: pair a DHEA on the rear with a Neuron (dry) or Synapsis (wet) up front.

    GEAX has a few tire options. Their TNT is a tubeless ready bead, and they have a single casing double compound (~800g), a 2-ply double compound (~1135g), and a 2-ply triple compound (~1060g)

    Neuron, MSRP ~$45.00


    Hardpack terrain tire with firm center knobs and sticky lateral knobs. Double compound is ~1300g whereas triple compound is 1090g.

    DHEA, MSRP ~$45.00


    More aggressive all-condition tire optimized for higher lean angles.


    Synapsis, MSRP ~$45.00


    The Synapsis is a half-n-half tire. Ideal for slop-on-top. Similar to a cut-spike or dry-spike, the tire only comes in a sticky soft 2-Ply (~1150g).
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
    #7
  8. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Sleepers, Unknowns & Knockoffs

    Panaracer Cedric Gracia DH

    No real-world feedback yet, but interesting none-the-less.

    Duro Muckmeister

    Intense 909 (ITS by Toby Henderson)

    Intense Edge (ITS by Toby Henderson)

    Intense Intruder (ITS by Toby Henderson)

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
    #8
  9. Idahoo New Member

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    Thanks for putting the work in on this, it could turn out to be a great resource! If you could include each tire's use and MSRP that would be awesome! Hopefully this thread stays as a nice sticky for some great info in tire choices and not a pissing contest about who thinks what tire is better.

    By the way, if you need this post for adding material at the top, let me know and i'll put in whatever you need.
    #9
  10. Arkayne I come bearing GIFs

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    Michelin

    DH24
    #10
  11. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Is the DH24 even made anymore?
    #11
  12. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    my LBS has 2x comp32 USTs....

    still at retail, LOL
    #12
  13. rockofullr confused

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    No :(

    I've got one left with some tread on it though!

    But don't worry the new Rock'R tire should handle similarly to a 24 with the intermediate nobs cut out.





    Edit: Link to michy tire thread http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230298
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
    #13
  14. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    I would just like to put forth that A) this thread is awesome, great idea, and B) as it develops, I wonder if you should add a categorical criteria- IE dry tire, all conditions tires, mud tire, etc. Maybe another section for knock-offs or "catch-alls". As this thread develops, I expect to see a few people using creepy sh*t that flies under the radar, like arrow/duro or panaracer or IRC or something.

    Finally, Geax makes the Datura as their DH mud tire.
    #14
  15. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    this thread should be stickied.
    #15
  16. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Everyone has been talking about doing one. I had today off so figured I would put it together. Can you throw it in the FAQ's sandwich?

    Categories are coming... good idea.

    Does anyone know how to "insert" a post? Is there a way I can get a "knockoffs" section up top?
    #16
  17. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    you probably need moderator skillz
    #17
  18. Pslide New Member

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    I feel honored to be quoted in this epic endeavor... Cheers man, looking good so far!
    #18
  19. NoUseForAName New Member

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    Kenda Excavator.

    P.S Good work

    P.P.S Let's have tire reviews from people who aren't sponsored by that tire company.
    #19
  20. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Trying to only include tires that people actually use. Do you use the excavator? Do you have impressions? If so, PM your info to me and I will totally throw it into the Kenda section. Basically, I don't want to just paste the companies entire lineup in here; I want it to be more of a "this is what works for what conditions". If there is a tire out there that nobody uses, then there is really no point in it taking up space. Right? When I was putting this together, I tried to only post tires that I could find someone reporting having actually used extensively and liked for a certain purpose ya know...
    #20
  21. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    Hey, I finally got my Butchers in 2.5. They don't seem that much huger than the DHF 2.5 but I haven't compared them side by side. So far I think they're great, but I don't have quite the same confidence as I did with the DHF 3C/DHR3C combo. Hopefully that will change as I spend more time on them, but I know they're pretty new so I thought any advice will help.

    I don't have any time on them, but the hillbilly's throw roost like a moto and the team rider's on those were pretty giddy.
    #21
  22. time-bomb Member

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    + Rep to the OP. Thanks for putting this together :thumb:
    #22
  23. Pslide New Member

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    So what were the team riders on before? Did they prefer Hillbillys over the Butchers? (And on what surface...)

    I'm thinking the Hillbilly is pretty comprable to the Muddy Mary in overall character, but I haven't ridden them yet. Since I have MMs, it's hard to justify the purchase! And I need a tire that can hang on occassional summer hardpack...
    #23
  24. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    Heheheh... not many of my riding buddies want to ride behind me...I run tires by specialized and most of their lineup has this "trait". :D :D
    #24
  25. Arkayne I come bearing GIFs

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    I wish they were. It's one of my favorite rears despite the weight. Plus, it lasts forever!
    #25
  26. gemini2k Active Member

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    In the experience of myself and some pro-level riders, the conti der kaisers are not only sticker than the maxxis 3C equivalents, but also wear slower and last longer, significantly. Their main drawback is quality control and rolling resistance.
    #26
  27. zdubyadubya Active Member

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    bump for added info and some refinement.

    Can anyone think of anything I may have missed? Anything you would like to see thats not there? Still combing through for grammer and spelling fixes but looks good so far. Any suggestions are welcome!

    :thumb:

    p.s. if anybody knows how to "split" a post, that would be nice to know. I ran out of room for details on Maxxis tires because I didn't think ahead very well and put them with the intro.
    #27
  28. was? New Member

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    hmmm...
    some stuff on the intense tyre systems would be greatly appreciated.
    #28
  29. Tomasis New Member

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    fantastic thread!! :up:
    #29
  30. Uncle Cliffy Active Member

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    zdubyadubya, major props. This must have taken at least an hour to compile...
    #30
  31. drkenan anti-dentite

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    + Rep for the OP - awesome thread! :D

    Now (oh so shameless)...I've got some DH 24's around if anyone wants a set for cheap. :eek:
    #31
  32. BmxConvert New Member

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    Decline did an issue on cutting the Clutch and Chunder tires; is that something we can get added in here as well?

    If I remember correctly there is a how to on cutting the Excavators/Nevegals as well that may be worth posting is someone knows where to find either.
    #32
  33. 'size Active Member

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    cutting specialized
    moar

    cutting excavators
    #33
  34. Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    "Originally Posted by Jeremy R
    The only new Michelin tires that I have are the trail tires. The new 2.1 wildgrip'r tires that Brian posted a pic of the 2.4 version. I really like these tires. Fast rolling, and a good compound for trail riding. Its a little more of finesse tire on the front. It didn't like getting up on the front tire and pushing aggressively, but it carves sweeping turns really well on those side knobs.
    Also, size wise, my 2.1 tires are the same size as a 2.25 Maxxis advantage tire or a 2.2 Specialized Purgatory tire for reference. They run big and have good volume for their size. "


    Um yeah, I must have wrote that right when I first got those tires, because my opinion of them changed quickly. I would not recommend the wildgrip'r tire to any aggressive riders. They work ok for some light steering xc riding, but they tread pattern gets sketchy quick in cerrtain conditions.
    That said, the wildrock'r trail tires are my favorite trail tires of all time. I have the 2.25 version which is huge, and the 2.1 version which is grippy enough to make a great slalom tire. Right now, I have the 2.25 rock'r on the front and the 2.15 wildrace'r on the rear. Great traction on the front, and the rear rolls really fast and breaks loose gradually. Its a fun setup to slide around with the rear brake.
    I really want to try the wildrock'r tire in the DH casing.
    #34
  35. marshalolson Active Member

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    might be worth including some baseline tire pressures?

    -conti der kaiser/rain king/der baron 2.5 really need 32-34 psi
    -maxxis dhf/high roller 2.5 ~27-30 psi
    -schwalbe muddy mary/big better/wicked will ~22-25psi
    #35
  36. rpet Active Member

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    Pressure suggestions would be nice, but I think they need to be addressed subjectively and thoroughly include information like: tubeless or not, brand and thickness of tube, rim type, course, conditions, possibly even bike set-up (frame suspension design).

    I mean someone running 20psi using one of those 2001 motorcycle tubes is not much help to me; neither is some kid trail-riding a DHF Exo with 45psi.
    #36
  37. Acadian Born Again Newbie

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    When you compare Schwalbe and Maxxis compounds, what are the equivalents?

    Schwalbe vs Maxxis
    VertStar = ST/3C?
    TrailStar = 60a?
    PaceStar = Lust?

    I'm thinking of trying some Muddy Mary's for my trail bike but cannot figure out what compound to get.
    #37
  38. rpet Active Member

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    I propose a real world tire width measurement standard for us to agree upon.

    Something along the lines of:
    Brand new tire, mounted on same rim (Mavic 721 or something similarly common), with same tube (Maxxis Welter or w/e), pumped up to 30psi, left to sit overnight to account for some stretch, and then measured with digital calipers.

    Veering into weenie-ism here, but at the same time it would be nice to find out how far the newer or rarer tires vary from manufacturer's claimed sizing.

    Or maybe this standard already exists somewhere... I don't read MTBR much.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
    #38
  39. Udi Active Member

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    I'm not an expert, but went from Maxxis (40a / SR) to Schwalbe (VertStar), and the latter is similar or slightly softer (at the tips at least). I'd say it's definitely softer than 3C. They (muddy mary / dirty dan) work very well though, especially in muddier or loamier conditions.

    Also, 2.35 in Schwalbe is *slightly* bigger than 2.5 in Maxxis (at very least a match).

    buckoW would be the one to talk to for a better description.
    #39
  40. Rhubarb New Member

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    What are you looking for from members for this thread? I expect its not about turning it into a bash thread. I think it would be great to have user feedback on tires prefered.

    I have read many people bash Swampthings but they seem to work great for my style of riding and maybe its also due to my conditions. Would something like this work:

    Swampthing 2.5 super tacky front on 721. 26Psi with regular tubes.
    Swampthing 2.5 60A rear on 721. 28 Psi with regular tubes.
    Rider weight 185lbs on Knolly Delerium. Tires used for moderate to fast trails when conditions are wet. Local trail conditions are hardpack with clay resulting in slippery conditions, Swampthings seem to find grip when intermediate tires dont and Wetscreams are too much spike. These tires can still handle dry conditions if you dont want to change tires between rain days. I also run these tires in loamy wet trails where intermediate tires choke up. At Psi listed the ties are excellent through moderate sized rocks. I have not tried dropping the Psi below listed figures. I run 60A on the rear for durability.
    #40