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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've scoured everywhere for tire recommendations for the trails around Bend - most recent and well-discussed I could find was from a <a href="http://forums.mtbr.com/oregon/what-tires-you-guys-running-these-days-816274.html">few years back</a>. My search is also a bit narrower as I'm interested specifically in 29" tubeless.

I've been running Kenda Small Block Eights w/tubes for the last year, and they were an improvement over the Continental X-Kings that came with the bike, especially cornering on loose over hard. But those two tires are the entirety of my experience, and I'm upgrading my wheelset to Stan's Arch EX rims with DT Swiss 240s hubs, planning tubeless.

Most of my riding is at Phil's or Horse Butte. Definitely fall into the beginner to intermediate experience category.
 

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I run Ground Control 2.3 up front and Fast Trak 2.2 in the back, both in the Control casing. The Ground Control up front works well as the dirt loosens over toward mid-summer in Bend. Both are Specialized tires. I ride a SS and a geared HT, both 29ers.
 

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^^^ Good choice, and doubly so for the Control casing over the S-Works. Bend has just enough rocks, and they are just sharp enough, that I like a bit stouter casing (and save money, to boot).

Another choice, if you want to spend more money, is the Schwalbe Rocket Ron up front and Racing Ralph in back, both in the Snakeskin casing, which is another half-notch tougher than the Specialized Controls.
 

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So I've scoured everywhere for tire recommendations for the trails around Bend - most recent and well-discussed I could find was from a <a href="http://forums.mtbr.com/oregon/what-tires-you-guys-running-these-days-816274.html">few years back</a>. My search is also a bit narrower as I'm interested specifically in 29" tubeless.

I've been running Kenda Small Block Eights w/tubes for the last year, and they were an improvement over the Continental X-Kings that came with the bike, especially cornering on loose over hard. But those two tires are the entirety of my experience, and I'm upgrading my wheelset to Stan's Arch EX rims with DT Swiss 240s hubs, planning tubeless.

Most of my riding is at Phil's or Horse Butte. Definitely fall into the beginner to intermediate experience category.
I'm happy with schwalbe knobby nics. I run 2.25s at 23psi in the front and 28.5psi in the back. I have the 28 hole Stans arch laced to dt350 straight pull hubs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Another choice, if you want to spend more money, is the Schwalbe Rocket Ron up front and Racing Ralph in back, both in the Snakeskin casing, which is another half-notch tougher than the Specialized Controls.
Thanks; I've heard that the Schwalbes are harder to seat tubeless (even requiring an air compressor), any truth to that in your experience?
 

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Thanks; I've heard that the Schwalbes are harder to seat tubeless (even requiring an air compressor), any truth to that in your experience?
Not in my experience. I have seated Nobby Nics, Hans Dampf, Fast Trak, Ground Control, The Captain, and probably some others I have forgotten on Mavic, Stans, and Roval Carbon rims by hand with a floor pump. The key is to keep the wheel/tire vertical while pumping, either on the bike upside down or in a stand or having someone hold it. In a pinch, I lean it against the wall or put it into a plastic garbage bin to hold it. I have also fixed a couple of burped out tires on the bike in the field with my hand pump, with help while they massaged the tire a bit to seat the bead.

YMMV of course.
 

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Interesting. So, have you had any burps on the trail? If so, do you just carry a tube or is a CO2 cart enough to seat it?
I've had burps, but they have never let out all the air or unseated the tire and a hand pump brought the pressure back up. I would never bother with CO2.....I can't count how many people I've seen blow their one shot.
 

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AKA Geax 2.2" Not the heavier tubeless (TNT) version, but the standard version (650g) . Three bikes with carbon UST wheels. 2 oz sealant 26 psi. 4 seasons without trouble. Good in everything except deep mud.
 

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I've had great luck with spesh and bontrager tires. I've been leaning more towards bontrager lately as their fast rolling tires have a slightly bit better bite. My experience has been with stans rims.
 

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I've had great luck with spesh and bontrager tires. I've been leaning more towards bontrager lately as their fast rolling tires have a slightly bit better bite. My experience has been with stans rims.
The Bonty tires are another good choice, held back IMO by being considered Trek house-brand tires (which they are) and a bit higher price than the Specialized tires in general.

I run an XR4 up front and an XR3 in back on my big squishy bike, but this would be overkill for the OP's usual riding environment (though the XR3 would be a good choice up front).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Bontraegers, ashamed to admit I hadn't considered them because they are stock on Trek. Are you referring to Comp, Expert, or Team?
 

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I've tried so many tires over the last few years. The money the money haha!

Conclusions.....

1) I'm DONE with the crappy rubber on the Schwalbes and Conti's. Not worth the money, and I don't think they really have such a huge advantage over the competition, rolling wise, any more. Example..... Just got back from Moab. Buddies brand new Nobby Nick is 75% done after 6 days of riding there. My 4 month old Ikon still looks new, even after Moab.

2) I like Specialized tires but for some reason I always end up slicing a sidewall. Just too thin.

3) I'm back on Maxxis. They finally started bumping up their volume's like the German tires, cheaper, last, and the new designs roll really well.

On my 29er Enduro am running the Ardent in the front, and larger new 2.35 Ikon in the rear. Perfect Bend tires, and they can take a beating at the same time. Blasted Porcupine rim in Moab without a hiccup.

I wouldn't hesitate to run the Ikon front and rear, if rolling speed and weight were, a major concern. I have actually run that, and it was fine, but I hesitate to use my brakes a lot, and I need the better front tire bite.
 

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On my 29er Enduro am running the Ardent in the front, and larger new 2.35 Ikon in the rear. Perfect Bend tires, and they can take a beating at the same time. Blasted Porcupine rim in Moab without a hiccup.
Yep. This is an awesome combo and my first choice. 2.4 Ardent EXO front paired with either a 2.25 EXO Ardent or an Ikon 2.35 rear. Also, Maxxis should have the new Ardent Race in stores soon, which is between the Ardent and Ikon.

Schwalbe's racing ralphs are really an awesome tire, but they are not durable unfortunately.

Conti makes some great tires, but X-Kings are not one of them in my book.
 

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I've tried so many tires over the last few years. The money the money haha!

Conclusions.....

1) I'm DONE with the crappy rubber on the Schwalbes and Conti's. Not worth the money, and I don't think they really have such a huge advantage over the competition, rolling wise, any more. Example..... Just got back from Moab. Buddies brand new Nobby Nick is 75% done after 6 days of riding there. My 4 month old Ikon still looks new, even after Moab.

2) I like Specialized tires but for some reason I always end up slicing a sidewall. Just too thin.

3) I'm back on Maxxis. They finally started bumping up their volume's like the German tires, cheaper, last, and the new designs roll really well.

On my 29er Enduro am running the Ardent in the front, and larger new 2.35 Ikon in the rear. Perfect Bend tires, and they can take a beating at the same time. Blasted Porcupine rim in Moab without a hiccup.

I wouldn't hesitate to run the Ikon front and rear, if rolling speed and weight were, a major concern. I have actually run that, and it was fine, but I hesitate to use my brakes a lot, and I need the better front tire bite.
LOL

You are not the typical rider. Your bike looks like a freaking motorcycle.

That said - if you want to own the downhills - do what Thuren does ;)
 

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LOL

You are not the typical rider. Your bike looks like a freaking motorcycle.

That said - if you want to own the downhills - do what Thuren does ;)
Hey Joe I took the, "Tractor tires" off before Moab haha!

EDIT: "Tractor tires", as my riding buddies call them, are the Maxxis Minion 29er 2.5's. They are massive. Not a "Bend" tire in any way haha.
 

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For Bend and Sisters trails, I'll +1 Geax AKA 2.2s. Fast rolling, supple small-block style tire. Seem perfect for the riding out there. I've got the TNT versions, and they seem light to me, with a decent amount of sidewall protection. They came on the bike and I have no idea how much they actually weigh. Seem like good tires if you don't need big nobbies where you're riding.
 

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If you are talking about an XC bike, I am running racing ralph's on my epic. They seem to be holding up okay for Schwalbe. They are a bit more meaty than the renegades. Renegares/fasttraks are very fast rolling. I've also had good luck with ground controls.

If you are looking for something bigger, check out the vigilante. I just put it on my 275 and really like it.
 
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