Stan's The Raven Tire (Kevlar Bead): Features short, diamond shaped center knobs with a taller side knobs for better traction in all riding conditions. Low rolling resistance design with dual compound rubber. Non-directional tread pattern...
These are by far the worst MTB tires in the market, unless you are into gravel grinders or road riding. I suppose they would be decent on Slickrock-type riding, but then the lightness would be a problem with the sharp rocks in the area. The minimal knobs offer virtually no traction, even when running tubeless down to 25 psi (I weigh about 185 lbs). It is downright scary as a front tire. Bought two of them because they were light. That was a lesson learned. Split the rear tread surface after about 25 miles on a smooth singletrack trail. Walked along the trail after the flat and never did find what put a 1/4 split through the tread. Took it off the front after crashing a couple of time after washing it out on hardpack! Do not waste your money on these tires!
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2012
Strengths: Super light and great traction on hard packed trail. Not slippery on rocks at all.
Weaknesses: Sidewalls are thin so not good with sharp rocks. Both brand new tires had a couple of pin size holes but the Stans sealant took care of that.
These tubeless Raven tires are super light and offer great traction on dry to damp hard packed trail (need to run in the low 20s). They handle rock garden very well. Prior to these tires, I were using the Maxiss Crossmarks with good results but the Ravens are way better. The Crossmarks have strong sidewalls but are heavier and traction is not as good as the Ravens. I am a bit worried about the thin sidewalls of the Ravens but they held up great so far after I hit them with some sharp rocks. Very highly recommended!!!
Weaknesses: 2 out of 2 isn't a confidence inspiring experience for any customer. Expensive too.
I bought a Raven 29er a few months back to reduce the overall weight of my bike. Tubeless installation was not as easy as my previous tires considering that these are Stans' developed but overall they installed without too much problems. They were left at 40psi overnight and the next morning, they were holding air very well and I brought it out for a ride. I was quite happy with how it rolled around but it felt strange somehow. My buddy who was behind me noted that the tire was wobbly (I should have checked) and after using a hand spin, this was confirmed. I wrote to Stan's and they arranged for a 1-1 exchange with my country's distributor. Great service!
After getting my replacement tire, I did not use it till last week cos I was so happy with my previous tires and waited for them to wear off. This time I checked the tire after installing. No wobbles. Great, I thought! I was cycling on the smooth pavement from my apartment's lift lobby to where my car is parked. Less than 50 metres of ride and I got a puncture! By the way, I retraced back my steps, there was no nails, pins or anything sharp. It wouldn't seal right away and I had to bring the bike back home, pumped in more air, holding my thumb over the puncture for 10 minutes before the "Psssssh" sound stopped. Again I pumped it to 40psi, left it overnight and hoped for the best.
Next morning, it was flat. One last try. Pumped in some air, hold my thumb over the puncture for 15 minutes and hope that this time it seals properly. I will only know tomorrow if there is any life left in this tire. USD60+ for a tire to be unusable within 30 seconds is probably the worst feeling any biker can get.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 11, 2011
Weaknesses: Soft sidewalls
Maybe they are not the right tire for my conditions, but they don't inspire a lot of confidence in the corners. I feel like the 2.2s are going to cave on me even at 35+ psi. They climb great and I love them on hard pack dirt. Descending on loose rock or mud can be downright scary. They are a expensive for a set of tires and I don't think I would buy another set when it comes time.
Strengths: Weight, can ride @ low PSI, easy setup, roots, hard pack, rocky terrain
Weaknesses: mud (anything more than 4 inches of wet mud) causes havoc, too low PSI and the tires caves. I was riding at 20 PSI and I began burping the tires while cornering. I think a few pounds more would have made the tire operate fine.
Good tire. When it starts getting really muddy, need to switch to a more aggressive tread (same trail with a nevegal was fine) and take the weight penalty.
Similar Products Used: Nevgal UST & Nevagal non-UST with Stan's kit
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2011
Strengths: Super light, TRACTION, fast rolling, TRACTION, climbs well, TRACTION, Unidirectional, TRACTION
Weaknesses: Pain in the A.. to seat the bead going tubeless
I'm running a set and are absolutely "Just Right" for my riding conditions. I raced them last week for Xterra Guam 2011 where the trails are a varied mix of asphalt, Rock Gardens, technical climbs, technical steep descents and climbs, small drops, knee high grass, loose over hard pack, clay, and thick mud and tropical rain all in the same course. These tires handled everything perfectly. I beat them up for about 100mi now training on the same course.
I agree with the other users that this is the best kept secret. The thread pattern and low pressures are the new way to go for MTB tires. I get so much traction in the dry loose over hard, super traction when climbing steeps, confidence in cornering on and off cambers, and most impressive, controlled slides and very good wet weather traction.
They are so light that I am still scared encountering our Rock gardens due to a sidewall gash. But so far no signs of tire damage. I should just relax and keep "light" on my feet.
Even in the thick Guam red clay dirt/mud the tires seem to float over the mud. And when it feels like sliding, the break away is not sudden but gradual and linear so it is very easy to predict and compensate for. Mud clears away pretty quickly because there are no deep grooves to hide mud away.
My Maxxis ADvantage Training tires would break away suddenly and then "hook up" again when deep into a corner. It took a lot to get used to, and I never liked that. The Ravens were never "sudden". Just break, slide, control and keep going.
I'm running them tubeless on 2010 Reynolds Canyon wheelset with Stan's standard strips and sealant and a size 2.2 in the front and 2.0 in the rear with about 28-30PSI. Getting the bead to sit with a compressor was a major Pain in the A.. but once seated I've been enjoying the grippiest tires I've ever ridden.
At first my buddies were scared for me because my pressure was so low it looked like my tires were flat. Also, they looked at the tires and though I was crazy for riding "semi-slicks" in such horrid terrain. But when I was still climbing in the saddle while they had to hike up the steeps because they lost traction with their heavy nevagals and small block 8's... they suddenly became interested.
28PSI (2.2) front and 30PSI (2.0) rear seem to work well for me (175lbs loaded).
The wheels say "Reynolds" somewhere under the mud. :D
Similar Products Used: Maxxis Advantage UST (Tank tires)
Bike Setup: 2004 NRS with new parts.
a Cross Country Rider
from Elkhorn, WI, USA
Date Reviewed: March 20, 2011
Strengths: This is simply one of the best kept secrets in biking - period. I have used the Crow and Raven in both the 29er and 26" format and they all impressed me on the highest of levels! These tires are very light and traction is unbelievable for such a minimalistic and fast tire. I have used these tires in dry and in wet and raining conditions and they simply never loose traction - it is the best of both worlds. I do not understand why more people don't use them?
If you want a fast tire with great traction - then buy them! Simply an awesome product! Great way to drop massive weight off of your bike with no impact on performance.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 23, 2011
Strengths: Light, Amazing traction.
Weaknesses: A little pricey.
Skeptical when I bought these, but on every ride I am amazed at how well these climb; stunning traction. Still some reluctance to push them on high speed turns, but then they haven't lost traction. It's just from appearance they don't look like they will hold on the corners but they do. Designated as 2.2", at 20 to 23 pounds inflation they measure between 2.1 and 2.2" (but then they weigh under 500 grams). I like 'em. Haven't used them much in mud yet.
Strengths: Very light for tubeless 2.2 size 510g, Very good grip on varios terrain
Weaknesses: none yet
I usually use tires for atleast 4-5 months to see how they wear, and how they grip over various terrain and weather. So far, these tires have been teriffic so far.
Originally when I orded the tires from Notubes.com, one came with a gash in the sidewall, and was having problems sealing with the Stan's sealant. I called their tech support, and they asked for an email with pictures which I provided. The next day a new tire was sent through UPS to me, and a tracking number provided. I really felt than in this sport, customer service has to be top notch, there is too much passing word of mouth, and especially a website like this, it becomes very public fast. I thought their customer service was exceptional, and it tells me they stand behind their product. I feel that is important when making a purchasing decision.
So far, i can say that i feel very confident on these tires. Ofcourse they slide out a little bit on loose over hardpack and hairpin turns of gravel or coral rock..nearly everything gets a little loose. They have been rock solid and grip great. They clean mud and clay really well, and they are fast.
If you are one of those guys riding XC and rocking the trusty Nevegals..or any other tubeless that is rediculously weighing over 800g per tire..you could be dropping a pound off your bike and riding faster with these.
Similar Products Used: I have used Maxxis and Conti tires for years and really like Crossmarks, Ignitors, Race Kings, VerticalPros, Trail Kings.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon Med. Orange w/ RP23
Stan's ZTR hoops w/ American Classic and DT SuperComp, Stan's The Raven 2.2 F/R
RockShox Reba Team
Truvativ Noir crank 3.3 Team
SRAM X-9 Shifters/ R/D
SRAM PC-991 crossstep chain
Shimano Ultegra 12T-27T Road cassette
Shimano XTR F/D
Hayes Stroker Gram brakes
Bontrager XXX lite Carbon Stem
Truvativ Noir WSC Low-Rise bars
Easton EA90 zero stack CNT
Fizik Aliante XM saddle
Chris King NoThread Headset
Shimano SPD-540 (they just wont die)
a Cross Country Rider
from Olney, MD
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2009
Strengths: Fast, relatively light, incredible traction for a tire with small knobs
Weaknesses: Weighs more than advertised, expensive
I am giving a review for the 26 x 2.2. I am running my rims with only Stans tape and a Caffe Latex valve. I set my pressure at a hair under 30lbs (I weigh 190). These tires are amazing. They are super fast. They have amazing cornering traction and climbing traction for essentially a semi-slick, I suppose due to the low pressure you can run. It reminds me a lot of a Kenda Karma (I heard these tires are made by kenda so no surprise there) except the knobs in the center are not as tall as a Karma. I am running it in the rear, it might be a little scary in the front. It seems to hold its own in mud, but because the knobs are so short it doesn't take much mud on the tires to fill in all the space between the lugs, and it doesn't shed the mud, because it is such a small layer of mud that the only way to get it off is to use water. But these are hardpack tires, so they really aren't meant to be in mud anyways. For value I give it a 4, just because these tend to be expensive, it was hard to find them for under $50. Overall they are a 5 since they really deliver all that is promised. This is now my favorite rear tire, I like to run a nevegal up front for better cornering.
Similar Products Used: Kenda Karma, Kenda Klimax Lite
a Cross Country Rider
from Garland, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2009
Strengths: Likes low pressure. Light weight. Rolls fast. Using for rear only and it drifts in the loose stuff perfectly. At 28psi this tire does a great job absorbing and torquing up technical climbs. Side knobs do their job very well even on off camber transitions.
Weaknesses: Some of the side knobs are starting to flake slightly after about 100 miles. This is minor so far.
I purchased this tire out of desperation. I had a sidewall rip in a 2.4 Racing Ralph and had to get something quick for that weekends race. I was not expecting much from this tire but it grew on me quickly. I have used from 25-30psi and this puppy just keeps on impressing me. I almost broke my tire levers installing it and only needed a hand pump to air it up (ghetto setup). I am running a rocket ron up front and this combo pairs nicely for my application. The rear will wash out before the front wheel, And after realizing how they work together I am able to set up better in loose turns. Most all of the races I completed with this tire was rocky, sand, roots and one with rain (no technical climbs on this race).