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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a pair of 26" Trailcraft Maxwell's on order for my twin 9 year old girls. We will be using them as dual purpose trail and XC bikes, so I've got Mikesee building some race wheels up. This brings me to my dilemma, tires. I'm looking for something lightweight and tubeless, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of options any more. I see the Specialized Ground Control at 660g, the Racing Ralph 26x2.1 Liteskin at 495g, and the Racing Ralph 26x2.25 Snakeskin TL Easy at 560g. Anything else I should be looking at? Can the 26" Racing Ralph be set up tubeless?

For reference the girls and bikes combined will be right at 100# or a little under so any weight I can save is good. Being so light I don't think I'll have trouble running super light casings if I can find them. TIA!

Scott
 

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There's still quite few options for 26". Sure all new models are 29 and in best case also 27.5 only with no 26" option, but there's still few "old" ones. Conti Race King, Schwalbe Racing Ralph/Racing Ray, Maxxis Ikon, and all of them can be set tubeless just as easy as anything else in 29" size.
 

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Kenda Booster Pro comes in non reinforced 26x2.4 should be pretty light and fast rolling.

Too bad the old Sworks renegade 1.95's aren't around, that would be the ticket.
 

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Looks like Kenda has some legacy tires in 26 still available, Something like the Kozmik light would be a sub 500g option, poke around their webstore to see.
 

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I've done three 26" bikes this year. With some different combinations.
Race King Protection 2.2 R and Cross King Shieldwall 2.3 F-> both seemed awesome. The Race king slightly more so. I loved that Race King, it is a fast MFer. This was a summer setup. (tubeless)
Cross King Shieldwall 2.3 R and Mountain King Shieldwall 2.3 F -> Summer set up. In practice it's backwards (MK not a great front tire). Was Ok. (tubed)
Mountain King Shieldwall 2.3 R and Cross King Shieldwall 2.3 F -> Winter set up. Working much bettter than the summer setup with these reversed. (tubed)
Mountain King Shieldwall 2.3 R (with the lowest knobs trimmed for clearance) and Minion DHF 2.35 F -> Winter set up. The DHF holds mud more than the Mountain king. No complaints yet, only have a few miles on this. (MK tubeless, DHF tube for now)
Late 90s Specialized GC Team / Master (one looks like a cross king, the other like a rear tire with braking bars). They were premium tires back in the day and seem fine now. They're really narrow (1.9 and 1.8?). Was the baseline, but I had to reinstall them on bike #3. I put them on with the Master in Front and Team in back (reversed), as it's a more modern setup that way. (Tubes)

If you need knobs, the DHR II front back is really well reviewed, as it DHF/DHR. If you want fast, that Race King is money.
 

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What riding conditions will the XC wheels be used in? If it is dry conditions only, a Rocket Ron in the front with a Racing Ralph in the rear is a common XC combination if you are going Schwalbe. The downside is that they aren't that great in wet conditions. They also wear fast, but maybe won't wear so fast for kids under 100 pounds?

They will work tubeless, but they can be a pain to seal completely. Especially the Rocket Ron's. They can sometimes actually weep out the sidewalls until they seal up because the sidewalls are so thin. The upside of the thin sidewalls is that it makes the tires more compliant for lighter weight riders.

Every other light weight 26 inch tire that I have experience with are all discontinued, otherwise I'd have some better suggestions. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a set of Maxxis Ikon's on my 26er. Good fast tires but the sidewalls damage easily.

I really need an IRC mythos xc front to go with my brand new rear I have saved.
So I'm looking at the Maxxis site, in a 26x2,2 I see 20 different Ikon tires. How the hell do you know which one is which?

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sent an email to Schwalbe, they said the Racing Ralph I was looking at at 495g was not tubeless ready, the tubeless version is a 26x2.25 that weights 610g and costs $95. At that point I'd just get the Spesh Ground Control at 660g for $60.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've done three 26" bikes this year. With some different combinations.
Race King Protection 2.2 R and Cross King Shieldwall 2.3 F-> both seemed awesome. The Race king slightly more so. I loved that Race King, it is a fast MFer. This was a summer setup. (tubeless)
This may end up being the winner. Never run a Conti before but the 26x2.2 Race King Protection is only 545g. The Race Sport is lighter but it seems like a lot of people have trouble getting the sidewalls to stop seeping.

As small as they are the girls aren't power riders, much more momentum and spinning up hills instead of powering over. The tread pattern looks like it would be fine for them, and I like the $60 price point since I'm buying two sets. If the weather looks bad I can always throw their (heavier) trail wheels on, those will have Kenda Regolith's.
 

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Here’s the data on the race kings and other potential fast rollers. It’s not a huge db, but enough to draw conclusions regarding untested tires based on tread pattern and casing. It’s what put me on the race kings to begin with.
I love the race kings and will be buying two more next summer for the other two bikes to put on the rear.

i wasn’t in a huge hurry and got international fulfillment for around $45 shipped. Took about two weeks to get in, and obviously limits return options
 

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So I'm looking at the Maxxis site, in a 26x2,2 I see 20 different Ikon tires. How the hell do you know which one is which?

Lol good question! I think I have the exo sidewall and it's paper thin. Even sticks tear it up.
 

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Anyone use the cross kings or the mountain kings from Conti? I do some xc racing so I don't want too slow and chunky of a tire
I haven't raced them, but I would rate the cross kings F/R over the mountain king (which is really only rear only, I tried an MK front and really didn't like it). Cross kings a medium fast roller and have a lot of knob and pretty progressive on the corners.

If it's a fast track, the race king has plenty of knob for that and is a real roller. It hardly rains here in the summer (dry/dusty/hard) and it was a great tire for these conditions.

I have tried the Mk and CK in the Pure Grip / Shieldwall and the Race king in the Protection Black Chili, but I htink the RK in any rubber will be a speedster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Which sidewall do I want so I have a set of tires last longer than a few months?
From what I've read the Protection is a little sturdier than the RaceSports. Online reviews talk about how much the RaceSports seep sealant through the sidewall because they are so thin. Think it's only like a 50g difference so I'm leaning toward the Protection.
 

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From what I've read the Protection is a little sturdier than the RaceSports. Online reviews talk about how much the RaceSports seep sealant through the sidewall because they are so thin. Think it's only like a 50g difference so I'm leaning toward the Protection.
I haven't tried yet, but my Race King RaceSports look like they would seal up nicely (date code 2721, 27th week of 2021, I think). I had a pinch flat a few weeks back that was a decent sized hole (air came out as fast as I was pumping when I took the tube out to look for the hole), but was only a slow leak on the bike. I rode on it for 10 minutes before it got too soft. That was with non-tubeless plastic rim strip and a tube on an old school rim, suggesting it was pretty airtight without even trying.

Maybe the reviews you saw were old? I found one review on amazon that said they seep, but that was from 2017, and they revamped the tires in 2019. The difference in weight is 70g by the specs, which is the weight of 2-3 oz of sealant, or almost the weight of a Supersonic tube (97g). I'm easy on tires, so the RaceSports were an easy choice over the Protections.
 
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