The XC A/T cross country tire starts with the same world class all terrain tread pattern that helped Julien Absalon win both a gold medal in Athens and 2004 cross-country world championships. It’ s molded from a long lasting carbon black compound then added to a tough 6OTPI casing. The result is awesome traction and performance combined with beefed-up durability.
Strengths: Rolls fast, great in dry and not too technical terrain
Weaknesses: Dreadful in the wet, zero cornering traction, poor loose-over-hard traction
These tires came on my 29er, and at first I liked them, but looking back, the only time I had really ridden them was in the late summer at the kingdom trails in vermont. There, they were great, mostly. They grip well in light loam and hardpack, and they aren't bad on dry roots.
They get ugly when it gets wet though. Took them out recently for some new england trails, and in a light drizzle they slipped on everything. Rocks, roots, corners, leaves. They were absolutely miserable and I couldn't remotely keep up with my friends, regardless of the trail section. They were running much more aggressive treads though, and I have to imagine that helped. Maybe I could have lowered pressure a little bit, but I typically only run about 35psi.
These are a decent summer tire, and if I'm riding in mostly grass paths or rail-trail style terrain, I'd keep them on, but I'll be replacing them with more aggressive tires for general riding.
Strengths: Awesome Mud tire for a 2-9er! Great traction all around too.
Weaknesses: A bit slow on the dry and flats.
If you need a good mud tire or a tire for all conditions, and aren't worried about how fast you are in the dry, buy this. I use a set of kenda SB8s for the dry and fast and these bad boys for everything else.
Strengths: Cheap, decent traction, fast rolling, good braking. great in mud!
Weaknesses: there is a learning curve corning high speed with these tires.
if you can find this for cheap get them. they are designed to ride at a little lower pressure. i roll mine at 35psi and have been pretty happy with the traction and speed. dialing the right tire pressure and choosing right tire combo for the terrain you ride is the more important thing for any tire. these are working for me in rocky lose on hard pack, muddy and wet sand. i have no issues with tread breaking up.
Strengths: Very well rounded tire. Rolls well for a knobby at 35psi. Clears mud & sticks to rocks. I've raced in all conditions over two years & have yet to take them off for a course. Heck, I've got em on three bikes!
Weaknesses: They aren't free
If you like to ride your bike & not change tires these are a good pick.
Weaknesses: beads are not as pronounced as other brands
These tires rock.
I bought a pair off ebay for less than 30 bucks shipped and I am not disappointed at all. For a 2.0" tire the traction is great. It measures a true 2.0". My tires weighed in at 610gr and 615gr, just over the advertised 600gr each. In the mud they are very good, shedding anything you run through. On loose loamy trails they grip very good. on harder trails covered with pine needles and leaves they will not disappoint either, providing just as much traction as any other tire could. Cornering is predictable and they don't seem to want to break away. As it is early spring I haven't had much of a chance to do the dry hardpack but I believe they will fair well. Grip on wet rocks is pretty decent as well and technical trails dont hinder these either. Sandy sections are not much of an issue either as they pedal nicely through. I haven't had the opertunity to corner hard in any sandy sections so I can't report on that. This is a great tire if you live in the northeast.
I have only spun this tire out once on a pile of rotten wet tree bark going up a very steep climb(/). The only other issue has been in a uphill rock garden with baseball sized, loose, wet rocks. Running them at 40 psi seemed to make them want to deflect. I found running them between 33-36psi really helped alliviate that issue though.
Over all These tires are a top performing tire on the Northeast trails. The only thing I could ask for would be this tire in a 2.3" size for a bit more cush.
a Cross Country Rider
from Melbourne, Australia
Date Reviewed: July 1, 2007
Strengths: grips, sheds mud, cornering, dry grip, wears well
Weaknesses: none thus far
racing in mud on a single speed you need a tire that can grip when pushing that back wheel round a little harder than you would on a geared bike. Compared to the last tire I had on, this exhibited minimal sliding, gripped on log rolls and ran fast on the dry and rocky sections. Good for someone who wants an all round tire that they can use in a variety of situations.
Bike Setup: Kona modified Pahoehoe (singlespeed), white industries hubs, xtr v brakes, DT rims
a Cross Country Rider
from El Cerrito, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: June 14, 2007
Strengths: Light weight with very light rolling resistance. I purchased the 127 TPI, UST (tubeless) version for my Mavic Cross Max SL wheels. The light grey tread and black sidewall looks very cool.
Weaknesses: Tread rubber compound. The tread blocks began to tear and crumble off on the first ride. I've worn out a lot of tires over the years, but I've never torn off tread blocks!
Unfortunately, the tread disintigration got so bad that I returned these tires after three months of use as defective. I've replaced them with Panaracer Fire XC Pro tubeless. Michelin is taking their time with a decision about refunding my $100.00 purchase price...
Similar Products Used: Fire XC, Spec Adrenaline/Resolution, IRC Mibro
Bike Setup: Spec FSR Expert 07
a Cross Country Rider
from Waterloo, Iowa
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2007
Strengths: This review is for the 29"er version of this tire. It has great traction for climbing and braking. It's widely spaced knobs are great at hooking up, but surprisingly they don't exhibit any squirming, high rolling resistance or excessive wear traits. My #1 favorite thing about this tire is that it sheds mud better than any tire I have ever used, which is saying alot since Iowa black dirt is pretty sticky stuff.
Weaknesses: Again, this is a 29"er tire, so that's where this criticism comes from. I only wish that it was also available in a wider casing like a 2.25-2.4" width. I could see this tire as being one of the dominant all mountain type 29"er tires if it were wider. As it is, it's excellent for any XC trail and most all conditions, barring loose over hardpack, especially if the base terrain is rock or super hard dirt. Rocky terrain is okay.
If you have muddy, soft, loamy, wet, rooty, rocky terrain, this tire will be stellar. Even drier courses can be run to great benefit with this tire. It has minimal rolling resistance for a wider spaced, fully knobbed tire. It's wear characteristics are good, very minimal wear in three months of riding, including paved commutes. This tire would be great for those looking for a high traction tire on their 29"er that has minimal tire clearance. (Fisher Rig owners, take notice!) Anybody into an "old skool" set up with a narrower rear tire and a wider front should consider this as your rear tire.