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The headaches of choosing TYRES

Discussion in 'Cross Country, All Mountain & Trail Riding' started by rockwool, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. rockwool New Member

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    I've been looking at tyres for quite some time and deciding don't make it easier when I haven't ridden any for the last 3-4 years. On top of that I used to prefer ~1000gr trail tyres, but now want something much lighter.

    I have a set of 2.35" Swampthings in 42a (~830gr) but I'm looking to see what sprinting joy a lighter (and narrower?) tyre can bring. I ride agressively so I will probably go for better cornering grip up front with softer shoulder lugs, and maybe gamble with a faster rolling rear?

    The terrain they're to be used in:
    Summers are 20-25C, sometimes +30C, so it does get dry but springs and autumns are really wet. Great riding area around my town because trails vary alot, but are quite flat.

    Rims are 19mm. But since I'm soon getting set of 17mm wheels I wonder what max width you recommend with kept cornering capability?

    The problem:
    I study so money is an object. Therefore it would be great if you could categorize your suggestions in "best budget" and "best performance" respectively.


    Cheers!
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  2. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    I've been VERY happy with maxxis advantage tires. available in narrower widths, decent rolling resistance, side knobs aren't huge like on a minion or swamp thing, but what's there is effective. I use them as all around tires (both on my trail bike and xc bike) in year round conditions. hot summers, rain, snow, winter cold.
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  3. rockwool New Member

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    Nice, I've heard some good about Advantage before. So how light of a tyre do you get away with, 2.25" or 2.1"?


    Strange, I just checked Maxxis site and they don't even list the 70a in 2.1".

    http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Mountain/ADvantage.aspx
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  4. shiggy New Member

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    Maxxis has stopped listing the durometer numbers for the rubber. The single compound is likely 70a.
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  5. rockwool New Member

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    Right. I think they might be too slippery on the shoulders.

    The most interesting budget tyre I've found so far is Continental Trail King (Rubber Queen) in folding version and the BlackChili compound is tempting. Looks faster than the Mountain King but with better shoulders than the X-King.

    http://www.bike24.net/1.php?lang=2;...04;product=10223;mid=0;pgc=0;page=1;orderby=4


    Although the most interesting money no object tyre is the 2012 Michelin Wild Gripper Advanced (with a 3C compound):

    http://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;navigation=1;product=29710;page=1;menu=1000,2,103,104;mid=5
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  6. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    i can't remember offhand what the compound it, but its pretty firm and doesn't wear quickly, so its likely a high durometer.

    I've got both the 2.1" and the 2.4" (actually the folding version which they no longer list). I've only got time on the 2.1 tho. I use it as a rear tire on my trail bike and have started using it as a front tire on my xc hardtail. Now that my trail bike isn't pulling double duty as my pure xc bike, I'm gonna mount up the 2.4" on it to see how it is.
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  7. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    I initially thought the same thing, but I have yet to be disappointed.
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  8. norbar Active Member

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    I don't know about newer conti trail tires but in the old days their sidewalls were horrible. Constant flats and float.
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  9. JRogers talks too much

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    I had good luck with older Conti Mountain Kings. Didn't find the sidewalls (UST for me, though) to be a problem. Good luck too with Race Kings as a rear tire for hardpack (regular versions- still had no issue with sidewalls, but didn't use them for very technical and rocky stuff).

    I should have a set of the Michelins you mentioned tomorrow; bought them slightly used off the classifieds here. I have had very good experiences with other recent Michelin tires. Right now I am using the older version of those tires in 2.25 as a front and a Michelin Wild Race'r 2.25 in the rear. If the new version is as good or better than the old one, I will be very happy. I am using them UST and have had maybe 1 or 2 flats, which were easily fixed- certainly no worse than others I have used. The 2.25 size is big with good volume.
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  10. SuspectDevice New Member

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    The Panaracer Rampage has been blowing me away lately. It's rolls like a "normal" i.e. not-race tire and has a suprsingly great casing and compound. The tread is intelligently designed as well. Lots of working edges but with enough open side knob and transition so that it slides predictably both laterally and under breaking.

    I usually pair a 2.3" front to the Razr in the rear.

    Rampage;

    Razr;

    The Gracia series has some wicked cool tires too;


    Panaracer tires are still made in Japan and the quality shows.

    I'm super stoked to like their tires again since I was a hardcore Smoke and Dart user as a kid. The 650b tires that I ride are made by panaracer with treads based on the Rampage and Razr and I was blown away by how much I liked the treads, casing and compounding.
    Who knew?
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  11. dump Active Member

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    Yeah man, these were my go-to until they stopped making them. They reintroduced kevlar versions recently with an improved rubber compound (seems a little softer)... calling them Dart/Smoke Classic. I'm eager to see how they compare to modern tires - have a set waiting to go on the xc sov.

    In any case, I've been looking at these new tires from Panaracer as well - will have to try a set. I first saw the Rampage at Snowshoe NCS in 2003... was a prototype at that point I believe.
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  12. golgiaparatus Out of my element

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    Michelin's new wild Race'r is a very nice tire. 2.0, 2.1, and 2.3. Runs wide.
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  13. rockwool New Member

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    Nice info and I have hold my purchase cus I bought me a car yesterday. I wanted this one for 2,5 years now and I'm stoked!

    http://www.garaget.org/?car=135291



    I remember their rubber was sheit on their wired 2.3" Gravity (?), but I loved the pattern. SnakeSkin (or similar) sidewalls are way better I've heared, I had problems with my Shwalbe's before they got their equivalent.



    Old Mountain Kings look like they have the same pattern as the Gravity's I had, so I believe you on that. UST are to pricey for me.

    Nice to hear about the old Michelins (I loved my old Comp24) and 2.25 sounds big enough to use as front. Please tell me about the new ones or post a link to thread!



    Smoke and Dart, I wonder if those were the ones I used on my 1992 Cannondale M700? =)

    Glad to hear about the rampage because I looked at them but thought "too bad they're Panaracers" (not that I have a negative experience with them, just one of those ungrounded reasons..) but I will definately consider them.

    Both you and JRogers run faster tyres in the rear that have smaller shoulders. Anything you recommend?



    Good to know, might even go for 2.1 in the rear.
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  14. JRogers talks too much

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    Interesting stuff about the Panaracers. I used FireXCs a bunch of years ago and since then had kind of thought of them as a low end brand and didn't pay much attention...

    Yeah, might be a while before I get to try the Wild Grip'rs out for real, but I'll let you know. I mounted up the Wild Race'r 2.1s today (well one at least; couldn't get the other one seated with only a floor pump). They are quite a bit smaller than the 2.25s- at least they seem so to me. Still probably above average for a 2.1. Haven't used non-UST tires in a bit and the difference in the sidewall stiffness and thickness between those and the tubeless ready ones I have now is more than I expected. Weight difference is big too, I guess.

    If you are doing XC, 2.1 in Michelin is probably good. But I really haven't felt slow on the 2.25s I've been using either- and that's on an XC hardtail with lots of climbing and some road parts thrown in. For your conditions, the Race'r would probably be a poor choice. It will be fast in the summer, but there's not much tread on it. New it might be okay, but once the center strip wears down, I'd imagine it would have next to nothing in mud (the one I have been using is not too far from being bald, but since the conditions here are pavement-like "dirt" with some sand/small gravel and rock it's not an issue...).
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  15. rockwool New Member

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    Some really good info there, thanks! So, I'll probably won't go for fast XC tyres to keep good cornering ability, but 2.1" if I get the 17mm rims.



    I checked Panaracers lineup on CRC and the Gracia 4x looks like a really good complement to my Swampthings, while the Rampage is a good mixture of them. I'm also curious at the ComboCompound of the Gracia 4x. But at a whole they're priced right up there with the Michelin Wild Gripper and their 2012 BiCompound looks even more interesting.
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  16. Inclag New Member

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    I'm in love with the tire setup that came on my Stumpy Evo. 2.3" Butcher Control front tire (730g) and 2.2" Purgatory Control rear tire (670g). It feels as if I'm on a DH tire setup.
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  17. cecil Member

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    On my rocky mountain element 50 I have a maxxis aspen up front and a maxxis crossmark on the back both 2.25 I have no complaints
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  18. rockwool New Member

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    I just took another look at the Butcher Control and saw its ramped center nobs and it got even more interesting. Your whole setup is! The Purgatory looks like perfect as a rear.


    Light stuff! I run something similar but heavier right now; a 2.35 Maxxis Blingbling 60a front and a 2.35 Larsen TT rear. They work amazingly well right now in the damp dirt, but in the forrest with a lot of stuff covering the ground the skid on top of that.

    Although the Crossmark looks like a good crossover between the Blingbling and the Larsen!






    Cheers for the help so far!
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  19. spam16v New Member

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    Use to race XC on Continental tires, the Cross country and comp 2.1 or something to that effect. After going away, and coming back, I ran a ton of Specialized tires with good success, and great tread life. Lots of options and good price point going in that direction.
    #19