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Apologies if we get some repeat info here but I think this is a specific enough question to warrant a new thread.

I'm racing the Downieville XC for the first time, and want to know what people thought would be the fastest tire for the XC race only, if my goals are actually only to place as high as I can? A lot of the recommendations here are for people racing the AM, or for people more interested in having fun and not flatting (a totally legitimate and arguably more sane choice). I'm curious what people think is the fastest choice for people who are like me: trying to get my fastest time, weight weenie, yada yah etc.

More info about me: I am an average to moderately skilled descender for an XC racer (probably mid pack sport) and I weigh 127 on a good day. I don't know if I've ever flatted on my mtb.

For someone like me, would the fastest tire over the course be a standard (reinforced) XC tire like Ikons or Mezcals? Or would a larger/heavier/treaded-er tire like a 2.35 Ardent Race or Nobby Nic be faster?
 

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no idea, but saw alottta people fixing flats on Maxxis XC tires last year. probably the largest segment, but still.

i've been happy with durability of mezcals for what it's worth. i don't have any other data points for XC tires, but i don't think you'd go wrong with them.
 

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I second the Mezcals. I was forced (unplanned) to ride the XC course last weekend at the last minute on a new Blur w Mezcals. I brought extra tubes assuming I would have atleast 2-3 flats but low and behold they survived the entire thing. I was impressed.
 

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I recently ran the 2.35 Ardent Race and Rekon Race setup with Exo sidewalls at the old cabin classic and didn't really feel hindered by the extra weight in them. I think that's the setup I would take to Downieville if I needed a tougher option.
 

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My Mezcal / Barzo has served me well so far. I have the slightly older version and it got me through 8 hours of Wente + Mother lode epic.

A lot of people were flatting on one of the Rocky stages of Mother lode, but I got through fine (190 geared up on a hardtail and don't often take the smoothest lines)

Rekon Race in EXO should also be a good fast choice.

If you don't normally flat I don't think you need to worry about running a heavier trail tire.
 

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Mezcal! Graphene 2.0 rubber, 4 compounds, XC Trail casing. 2.25 or 2.35 size https://reviews.mtbr.com/vittoria-mezcal-review-2

It is sooo grippy, so fast and pretty big and sturdy. Really impressive.

The latest Specialized Fastrak rear and Ground Control front is good too.


Downieville this year seems gnarly. I just came back from there and the rocks are as sharp and exposed as ever.
 

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I have ridden my Maxxis ardents numerous times there in the past and they are still my tire of choice. I typically run ardent rear / Minion DHF front (2.3) and feel they are plenty light and durable. The one time I raced Dville XC with lighter specialized Captain tires, I flatted 3x. It may be a coincidence but I vowed not to opt for lighter tires there ever again.
 

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I race the XC every year and I hammer around on this every year too. I think it really depends on what you do well and what sort of bike you ride. I am def not the worlds best climber but I climb better than I descend compared to that field. Some of those dudes fly going down that hill. I have learned the hard way that for me a bit more rubber makes sense.

I also race on a straight up cross country bike (Blur with a dropper last year) so a bit more rubber helps when racing folks with a bit more travel on the way down.

Last year I ran a Minion SS on the rear and a High Roller on the front. Pretty heavy but it was a good year for me and had more confidence in the rear.

This year I think I'm going to run a Rekon 2.4 on the rear and a 2.4 DHF on the front.

I used to run Ardents front and rear but done with Ardents. I think they are pretty heavy compared to the other stuff out there.

I would die if I ran a Rekon Race up there! Yikes.
 

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Finally rode Downieville trails this past weekend. Trusty Maxxis Minion tires (OK, so the 4.8" versions) worked great everywhere. I had set out to do the XC course, but with my bad planning I’d instead done the DH course (which was a freakin’ blast!!!) on Saturday; set out with some friends on Sunday and rode the XC course, wherein the Maxxis Minions just did the job without any hassle.
 

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Finally rode Downieville trails this past weekend. Trusty Maxxis Minion tires (OK, so the 4.8" versions) worked great everywhere. I had set out to do the XC course, but with my bad planning I'd instead done the DH course (which was a freakin' blast!!!) on Saturday; set out with some friends on Sunday and rode the XC course, wherein the Maxxis Minions just did the job without any hassle.
Did you ride a fat bike from Sierra City to Packer Saddle?!
 

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I have ridden my Maxxis ardents numerous times there in the past and they are still my tire of choice. I typically run ardent rear / Minion DHF front (2.3) and feel they are plenty light and durable. The one time I raced Dville XC with lighter specialized Captain tires, I flatted 3x. It may be a coincidence but I vowed not to opt for lighter tires there ever again.
It sound like the Minion is your tire of choice. It's really about the front tire.
 

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I'll be running a 2.6 Bonty XR 4 in front, with the new 2.4 XR 3 in the back. Rode both courses this past weekend, super happy with the setup. God, the new section of the XC course is fun...combine that with babyheads and Pauley and it's maybe my favorite descent ever.
 

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I'll be running a 2.6 Bonty XR 4 in front, with the new 2.4 XR 3 in the back. Rode both courses this past weekend, super happy with the setup. God, the new section of the XC course is fun...combine that with babyheads and Pauley and it's maybe my favorite descent ever.
You have a photo of those?

Those are my racey tires on my bike right now. Soooooo light and big. I just don't know how they'll do in Downieville. They're the 2019 ones right?

fc
 

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Mezcal! Graphene 2.0 rubber, 4 compounds, XC Trail casing. 2.25 or 2.35 size https://reviews.mtbr.com/vittoria-mezcal-review-2

It is sooo grippy, so fast and pretty big and sturdy. Really impressive.

The latest Specialized Fastrak rear and Ground Control front is good too.


Downieville this year seems gnarly. I just came back from there and the rocks are as sharp and exposed as ever.
Agree on conditions..thought it was just me?

I know they have fallen out of favor but I ran 2.8 plus wheels on my Hightower OG this weekend. Plus tires, if you have ability to run are awesome up there!

2.8 rekons would work good, or perhaps a knobby nic 2.8.

I ran a 2.8 magic mary front and 2.8 DHF rear.. probably not the xc choice though!

Extra cush through rocky sections is gold.
 

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