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I've been doing some research on tires the past few days and I'm at a loss...

I mostly ride Glacier Ridge and Stillwell, but would like to venture out and see what else the Island has to offer. With that being said, you guys know what the terrain is.

I just purchased a Santa Cruz Blur Tr Carbon with an XT build and it's coming with Maxxis Crossmark tires (on DT XR400 rims). It should be here later this week. I'm wanting to see how these compare to what else is out there...

My old ride is a 2005 Cannondale F1000 hard tail. Right now I'm running tubeless Kenda Small Block 8's in 26x2.1 on the stock Mavic UST wheels that came on the bike. I'm 5'10" and a muscular 200lbs. with normal summer riding gear on and I'm running about 28psi F & R. The 28psi feels good but I'm willing to change that if there's a significant improvement.

The SB8's have surprised me so far, but I could use a bit more traction when I really push these tires in the turns. Having a BMX and Downhill background I'm not one to keep a steady cadence and don't rely on gearing that much, I usually stay between the same 3 gears and don't feel the need to switch alot on these trails. I'm out of the saddle alot, coasting and pumping a bit (I contribute that to the SB8's great rolling resistance) and tend to throw the bike around under me quite a bit all while staying right on the tail of my fellow riders.

I love the rolling resistance of the SB8 as I feel it goes well with my riding style. My buddy runs Velociraptors on his newer Epic Elite and they sounded like freakin' sand paddles. While keeping a steady cadence he can not get away from me as I coast and pump behind him. But, I would lose a little confidence in the corners as now that I've really been pushing it I've had the SB8's wash out on me a few times.

I was thinking of switching to Nevegals but realize that there's probably been a ton of advancement since their inception. Research has brought me to look at the Conti X Kings, Schwalbe Rocket Ron, Nobby Nic and various others. Anyone have any concrete recommendations?
 

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On LI I like a Maxxis Ignitor up front and a Nobby Nick in the back. When Stillwell turns into a dustbowl in the summer it's nice to have some bite. Nothing wrong with Nevagals, just a bit heavy and slow, but they make up for it with grip.
 

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With your back ground i see you as a rider who has good technique, so, Generally for LI I use fast rolling tires. Most of the trails are fast and in terms of traction are very forgiving. With your technique I would recommend the same I would use for my self.

I went thru a variety of tires the last few years and always seem to find my way back toy Hutch Pythons.

I used
SB8s
Pythins
IRC Mythos
Kenda Karma
Nobby Nics
Racing Ralphs
Fire XC Pros

I tried the SB8s and they were great. They roll really good and traction is good as well. But the fly in the pudding is the fact that the side walls ripped real easy.

The Schwalbes Nobby Nics and Racing ralphs I noticed when I flicked my bike around I could feel the knobs on the side of the tires flex, which gave the bike a twitchy feel when attempting to rail a turn. They worked well up right, but had too much drag for my liking. Plus the vibration from the large knobs drove me nuts.

The Pythons roll great, Track incredible (when the knobs are fresh) and are very light.
The side walls are durable



.

The trails I mainly ride are GR, RP, ES, Calvy, Northwest woods, Hither hills, stilly and some times CP.
 

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turtles make me hot
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I've been riding on Long Island for about 25 years and have ridden Stillwell countless times. I LOVE Glacier but I live kinda far, so I get there when I can.
Anyway, I'm 6'5", 250 pounds... On my FS 29er, I've had Ardents, Slant Six, a couple of different Specialized tires, some crappy early Bontragers... Tried a lot.
The winner for me is Geax Saguaro in the speed direction on the rear and a Specialized Ground Control S Works on the front.
I've never been a fan of the Small Block 8.
My friend had Crossmarks and swears they worked like crap with tubes but were awesome tubeless. He's fast and light at about 180 pounds.
Stilly is a fatbike trail in my opinion. It's become so sandy, I ride fat there.

Edit: Forgot to mention, I like the Tioga Psycho Genius very much as well as a front tire.
One of my friends runs it front and rear on a hardtail and likes it.
 

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KNOBBY NIC (FRONT) 57-622 29 x 2.25 SnakeSkin, TL-Ready PaceStar 650 g
RACING RALPH (REAR) 54-622 29 x 2.10 SnakeSkin, TL-Ready PaceStar 585 g

Why use the same tire front and back? Be light and grippy.

Stilly is sandy. You'll want the Nic up front. Avoid their "Performance" line.

Off Road | Schwalbe North America
 

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RaRa's work awesome especially tubeless and seguaros are a very close second for me. 22-24lbs rear and 20-22lbs front on all of the Long Island trails that I've ridden on. The crossmarks to me were great on hardpack and pavement with tubes but that was about it. When I went tubeless they worked a lot better. They required a bit more finesse in the corners and loose stuff because they liked to drift and are a little unpredictable because of the round side knobs that would flex in a fast corner. The instant I went to RaRa's I felt glued to the ground. Especially with pressures just above 20. At about 25-26 you can feel that they were a little too hard and not enough give. I hope you plan on going tubeless because these tires give a huge benefit in traction and cornering and the obvious flat protection. I had nevegals on my 26 and they are a heavy tire compared to my other mentions. If you like to ride fast and on the edge in corners my vote is Ralph's or seguaros. They both roll great and have a light casing. Seguaros have more sidewall protection then the Ralph's unless you get the snakeskin version but they are also less expensive. Seguaros don't wear as fast but they aren't as grippy as the Ralph's. As far as Stilwell goes I find myself in sand more than other LI trails but IMO it's helped me gain some skill and build my legs. No reason to buy a dump truck tire if you only need it 1/4 or less during your ride. Oh and when I ran these it was always same tire front and rear. Crossmarks were 2.1's I think and the Ralph's and seguaros were 2.35's


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That's funny........... A truck tire. I also agree with the skill and endurance. I haves used 1.95 tires at Stilwell and have turned Lo 20 minute lap times at Stilwell (less loco). One thing I noticed at Stilwell is that soft compound tires get shredded and hard compound tires chunk early.
 

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My buddy runs Velociraptors on his newer Epic Elite and they sounded like freakin' sand paddles. While keeping a steady cadence he can not get away from me as I coast and pump behind him.
This is kind of funny. I just put Velociraptors on my Gary Fisher hardtail and while they're amazing on climbs and corning I was working my ass off on the flat sections of the trail.
 

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I was on a hardtail 29" last season (Jamis Dragon) with geax saguaro's f/r, tire did really well when there was some moisture down or just hardpack in general. Once things got really loose like at stillwell it loses some of that confidence. As a rear tire it really isn't suited for pedaling through sandy soil, the front would also tend do slide under me on hard cornering in dry conditions at times.

Made the switch to a fs 26" (Knolly endorphin) for this season and also coming from a bmx background I'm riding this bike similar to what you describe. Currently using Continental Trail king 2.4's f/r with the rear one turned backwards. Tire has tons of grip in most situations, clears mud and bites in the loose. It is a little slow rolling though, but I've been riding Cunningham more so I may switch it out for a faster rear tire.

Hope that helps
 
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