Strengths: This is a great, woodsy tire. Good bite, rolls pretty well and wear is moderate. Center knobs to me seem tall, almost modeled from the old Michelin Hot. Good on midwestern trails with dirt, loam, hard pack, and greasy mud here and there. Cleanout is average. Climbing on anything but sand is excellent.
Weaknesses: Sand. I am sure it is because of their tall, narrow profile. Navigating sand ruts is not easy, but doable. Front feels like it will roll under more than fatter tires I ride. On hard pack sand like in Northern Michigan trails, these really feel like you are pulling a boat anchor. Tire is marketed as a hard conditions, fast tire. The knobs are very tall in the center, not at all condusive to low rolling resistance. And you feel it.
Good for the a do it all tire. I find it hard to understand how they classify this as a hard pack tire.
a Weekend Warrior
from Rainier, OR
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2007
Strengths: Excellent grip, bargain price, roll fast, grip well for a 1.9" tire
Weaknesses: Not a 2.1" tire as labeled, could only measure out 1.9" at widest point. Low volume as well, so have to run them at higher PSI than I would prefer to protect the rims
I guess it is a pet peeve of mine, but I hate when tires are smaller than advertised (vs being pleasantly surprised when they're larger than advertised). These tires are nowhere near the 2.1 inches they are supposed to be. Because I am a larger rider, I like a larger volume tire (my Maxxis Larsen TT 2.0" tires for instance are a great high volume tire that actually measure out true to size). These are not only narrow, but they're very low volume (much like the Kenda Kharisma tires that I hated). That means they have to be run at a higher pressure to protect my rims. This made them a bit bouncy on my hardtail on the rough NW trails. However, for a 1.9" tire, they do grip quite well on the wet roots and corner pretty well. Because they were only $10 they get a 5 for value, but because they are nowhere near their advertised size, they get a 3 overall rating
Similar Products Used: Larsen TT, Michelin XLS, Kenda Kharisma (yuck!!!!)
Bike Setup: Steel hardtail with 100mm fork and disc brakes
Date Reviewed: October 17, 2005
Strengths: Fast rolling, very good climbing traction, suprisingly tough--stiff sidewalls.
Weaknesses: Don't like the black red scheme. OK in real muddy conditions--not great, but OK.
For a 2.1, I found these tires narrower than the other I have tried. But, They ride great. I raced these tires in the World Police/Fire Games in Quebec City this year, and in a few other Ontario Cup races--they handled the courses just fine. On hilly courses, I suggest spinning the tire around for traction. For firmer less hilly courses, use the fast rolling rotation. If these tires came in a 2.25, I would not use anything else. I found that tire pressure about 30-35lbs was the best for me. The tires are good for racers and warriors alike.
Bike Setup: Iron Horse warrior Frame. Manitou Skareb shock, XT drivetrain,shifters,brakes. Mavic 817 rims, Time Pedals, WTB headset and handlebar.
a Cross Country Rider
from Victoria, Australia
Date Reviewed: August 11, 2005
Strengths: Grippy, rolls well, corners well, light, seems to have fairly stiff sidewalls. CHEEEEEEEEAP!
Weaknesses: A 2.1? No way. These are a 1.9, no bigger.
When I mounted these I was surprised how skinny they were, even tho from other reviews I had heard they were narrow. I ran them with the tread pointing forward in the "rolling" direction. These are tiny 2.1's even by Panaracer standards. Barely as big as the Tioga Red Phoenix they replaced. Also, the edging knobs are not very prominent. Well, they roll well and the red tread seems to stick to rocks (even damp sandstone) fairly well, without seeming super soft. The sidewalls seem fairly stiff, running 30 front and 35 rear with tubes (78KG rider)and the rear only lightly bottoms occasionally. Running in gravelly, loose rocky or wet clay country didn't phase either end, the tyres happy to corner confidently, even with one foot unclipped and hanging it right over. Strange how such little edging knobs can do this. The front steers lightly compared to a lot of other tyres I've run at low pressure. On asphalt and hard dry dirt you can hear the rear tyre working and "sticking" as it rolls. If you want a super cheap set of light, predictable XC tyres and the width doesn't worry you, get some of these.
Similar Products Used: Onza Rip / Rail, Maxxis Helter, Panaracer Dart, Duster Pro, Specialized Control / Master, Syncros Rubber, Michelin WG, Tioga Red Phoenix, Etreme XC, Blue Dragon, IRC Notos, others
Bike Setup: 05 GT Avalanche 0.5 hardtail.
from Concord, Ca
Date Reviewed: July 18, 2005
Strengths: confidence inspiring handling; solid climbing performance on singlespeed; solid sidewalls (even @ 15 psi and chuncking rim on rock outcroppings); light; cool colors if they work w/the bike paint-scheme; all this in a narrow 2.1
Weaknesses: haven't found one yet -- tires are Not high volume; seem rather narrow for 2.1 (> like 1.95), but the handling does not seem to suffer . . . .hmmmm . . . .
I'm light, so I can ride what some consider ridiculously low psi. I just ran these tires @ 18 psi, f&r, @ about 6/8 race pace on my first ride with them. Put them on my Cannondale S.S. because I thought the color scheme would look cool with the custom painted flames coming form the bike's E.B.B., and the narrower tire would possibly help lap times and efficiency on the S.S., compared to the amazing, bomber Maxxis High Roller 2.35's that came OEM on the bike -- read review, these tires are fantastic! Mainly, looking for some flashy color and less rolling resistance; but they have to pass the confidence-in-handling test, or the High Rollers are back on! After a great 18 mile inaugoral ride, these tires performed well enough for me to come home and write a favorable review! I'm really a stickler when it comes to handling and performance and I don't just endorse or encourage a tire, but Maxxis seems to make a super-quality product! I run a Hutchinson Scorpion on the front of my Jekyll (cannondale) w/a WTB epicwolf in back and love that set-up for that bike. I'll stick with those on the jekyll, but for the S.S., Maxxis High Rollers and/or Hard Drive dual compound hook-up Superbly! this ride: sand (great), loose gravel over hardpack and/or sandy hard-pack (no problem), S.S. climbing up super steep, dry hills (fantastic), through redwood groves (amazingly adept), downhill loose, sketchy and with rock outcroppings (wish I were on the Jekyll, but did well enough). I really can't tell if the rolling resistance is >/< than the 2.35 High Rollers, since I did not ride the two tires back-to-back; I'm sure they must have less friction, plus, the Hard Drives are not the "Super Tacky" compound the High Rollers are; I'm guessing they roll faster, though the handling of the H.R's is so impressive, I can never down-talk them. Maxxis . . .either the High Roller or Hard Drive, buy 'em and try 'em; don't you'll be too sorry!
Favorite Trail: Tahoe; Santa Cruz mtns; Downieville
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Cambria e-bay
Similar Products Used: Maxxis High Roller (OEM) and many, many other tires on multiple other bikes.
Bike Setup: Cannondale 1FG Ultra w/egg beaters; rider: 115 lbs; podium spots at multiple races including 12 hour endurance
Date Reviewed: May 1, 2005
Strengths: Good cornering, fast rolling, light. Great all around tire.
Weaknesses: I don't like the red, but I got them cheap. I will probably get another set in all black.
I like to run my pressure low for added traction and smoother ride because I don't slow down for technical stuff. This is why I prefer a tire with tuff sidewalls so I don't pinch flat. This tire deliviers, and it's also got great performance on most surfaces. Hardpack, this tire flies. I've raced it twice now on muddy courses, and in the sloppy stuff it's ok, not great, but ok. If you use these in the mud it deffenetely helps to spin the rear into traction mode. It makes a big difference in the mud. On hardpack though, don't bother. Just keep it on the fast mode. If you're a rider that likes the technical stuff, but must have low rolling resistance this is a great choice.
Similar Products Used: Too many to list. I like Maxxis and specialized tires. Both companies make great tires.
Bike Setup: My xc race bike, full suspension, rider weight 185, rear tire 35psi front 30psi
a Cross Country Rider
from san diego ca.
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2004
Strengths: good sidewall. climbing ability, cornering for front. tread design replicates michelins older 2.1 hot s. light weight at 540grams per tire
Weaknesses: tread wear is short do to soft red compound, center lugs shread and tear easily on climbs. 1.85 is to small and wears faster than the 2.1.
good tire for hard pack conditions, looks great if red is your thing. will wear fast on back wheel. good front and rear tire combo if you don't mind replacing rear more often. great climber. decent cornering if not over inflated.