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Aspen or Rekon Race? for overall grip.

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I changed my frame and I might change my tires too. It's still an XC bike which is what I use for races, but I think I need new tires. I also got new 28mm internal width rims that are tubeless ready. I am gonna be running tubeless now in a week or two. Which is also why I'm getting ready for an XC race. It's just a tune-up race but I'm still trying to get better on the trail like I used too. I run an Ardent 2.25 EXO/TR (Front) and a Ardent Race 2.2 (Rear). I'm changing my front tire for a Forekaster 2.35, and I'm still tryna pick a fast, semi-slick tire (which is great for mud). No, my tires right now aren't worn out yet or not for me, I need loose/wet tires for the race. I tried my setup on a soft, slightly wet trail and my AR 2.2 slips sometimes. But I've heard that Aspen or RR's are great for mud? I don't know yet. Speed is optional, but what I need is Grip. Which has better grip and which is more versatile? Let me know. BTW any size will do. From 2.25 to 2.4WT (Both Aspen and RR).
 

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Forekaster > AR > Aspen > RR in muddy/ loose conditions.

Semi slicks do not do well in the mud traction wise, and Maxxis tires don't have grip when wet. I've lost too many races because I was too worried about having a fast rear tire when the conditions called for something more aggressive.

That said, IME Aspen does better in loose terrain and sheds mud better than the RR. The RR does good when it's dry and hard pack.

In the spring I used a Fast Trak, and that was better than all of Maxxis XC tires combined. Worked better in mud and still rolled fast. It handled loose terrain really well too. Right now I'm on a RR and I hate it. It even feels slower on the road.
 

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Definition of muddy is subjective - is the course 100% wet, 100% mud, mix of dry and mud/wet?
If its 100% wet or 100% muddy suggest not running Aspens but Forekaster or Ardent Race.
If the course is a mix of dry with spots of mud and wet, suggest the Aspens over the Rekon Race. Might even give the Ikon edge over the Aspen if mixed conditions.

My next XC race is 30% wet, 70% dry so im running 2.6 Forekaster front, 2.4 Aspen rear
 

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As others have mentions, it depends on the terrain.

If the course is wet and greasy with lots of turns, forkaster F/R. Wet roots and limestone slab. Possibly an Aspen rear and just enjoy the slide.

If the course is just an active flood but not no real slick spots that will kill you, I’ll do RR FR and rear. Same with a flash flood on a sand course.


aspens shed very well, forekasters don’t. If I was to do Palo duro marathon nationals over again, I would have run Aspen Front and rear, and white knuckled it through the mud because the payoff would have been better for all of the dry hard pack. My forekasters clogged and the wheel couldn’t even spin within the frame. They are not mud tires! For real mud, try a dedicated mud tire and you will have fun and conserve lots of energy.

If the course is going to have hard braking for turns., I’m going to want that forekaster on the front.


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