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formerly Giantxc
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2(BFQ)'s x 1gear said:
specifically a SS hardtail 2.3 or larger
Doesn't meet your 2.3 requirement, but I've been very happy with the Panaracer Smoke Classic 2.1 on the rear of my SS. Great traction in all local conditions and in both directions (making it very flip-flop hub friendly).
 

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Wrecker V2 / Nimble9
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I know that you asked for lrgr tires, but I really do not think you "need" to go so big.
Or you should go fat in front and more narrow in the rear, especially with all the mud
we have because of all the rain we are getting. Narrow tires cut through mud better.

I have been using Pana XC Pro 2.1's with great success!
I run them about 33-35psi.

I recently changed to IRC BearTrackers also, they are 2.25" and track really well, but a tad heavy at 700-770gr. (depending on who weighs them)

Most of the area that I ride in is super tight, short steep climbs, and tons of rocks & roots.
Mud is also an issue and the XC Pro's do so-so at best there.

Admin. for CyclingCentralVa.org
 

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Narrow tire in rear

Agree with the approach, especially for the mud. I am a big fan of the Fire XC pros for all around conditions but you are right, they kind of stink in the mud. This year, in the mud of the Snowshoe 24hr race, I used a Panaracer Mud XC pro 1.8 in the rear. I'm a big guy so a 1.8 is not the natural choice but this tire hooked-up great. While others were having to stop as their wheels wouldn't turn as the mud was so sticky, my rear wheel was fine. Check this tire out if you need a skinny mud tire.
 

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I am the owl
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Got to chime in, the man is looking for 2.3 or bigger. The Fire XC 2.1 didn't even measure 2.0 on the one I had. Tread was good but way too skinny for my riding style. They do make a 2.4 version that is honking big. Rolls noticable slower than any of the other big tires I've ridden. Too slow for my taste when I ran it in the rear. Moved it to the front and stuck a Nevegal 2.35 in the back. Combo works pretty good but still has a lot more rolling resistance than the Moto/Moto combo.
 

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Tonight we ride.
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2(BFQ)'s x 1gear said:
specifically a SS hardtail 2.3 or larger
I've been running Schwalbe Big Jims (2.25) for a while, and am now running a King Jim (2.35) front and Big Jim rear. It's the best all-around tire I've ever used. Absolutely blows the Fire XC pro away, which was my favorite all-arounder for many years. Especially in cornering, and it doesn't pack up in mud as much as the Fire.

The downside is that the King Jims aren't cheap, but if you want a light 2.35 tire that doesn't have a lot of rolling resistance and hooks up in all conditions, that would be my top recommendation.

I've been switching to a Kenda Blue Groove/Nevagal combo for some trails when it's wet. The 2.5s are huge, much bigger than any other claimed 2.5 I have used. They're too big in fact, I should have gone with the 2.35s. Those tires grip anything, but roll incredibly slow. I really notice the rolling resistance, which is one reason I don't run them often; that and the fact that they wear fast. But that's the tradeoff for their traction. They're overkill for most of my riding, and usually only get used on road trips.

I don't like the Moto 2.4s. I only had good luck with them in dry conditions, terrible in mud and soft dirt. Very unpredictable. The 2.24 moto race or 2.24 mutano race are both much better tires from WTB, although not the size you want. Don't go strictly on claimed size either. Continental 2.3s, for example, are smaller than 2.1s from most other brands. My Vert Pros are downright tiny.
 
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