Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok as the title says I would like recommendations for a good grippy but not too slow rolling tire combo for east coast roots, rocks, more root thatch, rock gardens etc. In my case this is in Eastern PA.

Some more background on my ride and restrictions: I have a 2005 Cannondale Prophet frame that I've built up to a high end spec and those frames can be converted to 27.5. I am just short some good quality tires. Tire clearance in the back is limited to maybe 2.3 or so depending on the tire. The fork is a Fox Factory 34 150mm 27.5 so no issues there.

I have a 27.5 WTB vigilante/trail boss combo but for the life of me and a local shop we could not get those seated and the one we did, the vigilante, was so tight I'd be completely screwed if I flatted out on the trail. I am planning to run tubes at least for now.

The wheelset is a NOS Sun Ringle Black Flag Expert set with a narrow inner rim and it's got the Stan's setup so I could use the tubeless kit that came with them. Why those? Good price and one of the few with a 27.5 rim and a 135mm spacing. It also came with a few cap sets for converting to other axle sizes. I don't have much cash for this bike or else I would've got a custom built set.

I am thinking of trying out Maxxis tires this time. I am running Continental Trail Kings in 2.2 with my 26" wheels. I like them but I want to branch out and try to find more grippy tires without sacrificing too much rolling speed if possible. I'm not too worried about that though.

I mainly ride trails or xc stuff for now. I plan to hit more aggro stuff nearby as I skill up.

Why bother building up a relic like an old ass Prophet? Why not? I like the project and I like how it rides too. Besides I can't afford a new modern bike.

Sorry this post is so verbose. I'm an amateur (somewhat lazy) writer and it makes up for my less then loquacious nature in person. Thanks guys!
 

·
Keep on Rockin...
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
Maxxis for XCish trail riding:


Forkaster 3c 2.35 up front

Forkaster dual compound 2.35 out back or an Ikon


If you want more tire go with a DHF 3c up front, 2.3 and an Aggressor 2.3 out back.

Somewhere in the middle ground would be a DHF/Forkaster mix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,921 Posts
DHR2/Rekon front and rear. This combo gives fantastic front traction while still rolling fairly well due to the Rekon on the rear. The Rekon is ok in the wet but late fall and winter when the trails are softer and covered with leaves the Forekaster would probably be a better option. I recommend the DHR2 over the DHF due to the smaller transition void between the center and cornering knobs, which helps on tight trails where you can't always lean the bike aggressively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,921 Posts
XR4 is also good. It doesn't have any vague transition zone and is predictable. I have one on my hardtail now but I actually miss that feeling of knowing when you're on the cornering knobs like on the Minions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I happen to really like Bontrager XR4.

Not too far from Reading here....
I used to live in MT Penn. I liked riding there and also across up Neversink Mtn. I saw Neko Mulally tear up the Duryea Downhill local race in 2007.

I live in Bucks co now not far from Lake Nokamixon.

Lots of good tire ideas here guys thanks. I just need to do some research and find ones narrow enough to fit in the back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts
I'm in central NJ and find Minions to be my favorite; like your area lots of roots and lately very wet. Right now I have DHF front and DHR rear, I've had DHF Front and rear and that worked well too. The DHR clears mud better than DHF as other stated above. On my fatty I have FBR (fat DHR) front and rear and really like that combo. Minions grip very well for me in my riding areas. I've tried old WTB and Schwalbe and neither did the job for my local; the newest may be better bit I'm sticking to what I've found works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,754 Posts
I've been using XR4s too, after XR3s and some others. I was thinking of going back to XR3s as I feel the 4's didn't have significantly improved traction in the northeast woods (slimy rocks, roots, sandy gravely dirt) but did have noticeably more rolling resistance. But, the new XR3s are different so now IDK...maybe 4 front and new 3 in the rear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,427 Posts
I've been using XR4s too, after XR3s and some others. I was thinking of going back to XR3s as I feel the 4's didn't have significantly improved traction in the northeast woods (slimy rocks, roots, sandy gravely dirt) but did have noticeably more rolling resistance. But, the new XR3s are different so now IDK...maybe 4 front and new 3 in the rear.
I have not ridden an XR3 since the new XR4 design came out a few years ago.
I had a noticeable traction difference between front and rear when I ran an XR4 front, XR3 rear. If it's dry, sure. Wet at all, the 3 was far less.

NOTHING seems to grip these smooth green covered rocks though.

Two years ago I was riding with a group from Shenandoah bicycle company. it was raining on us and they told me to be extremely careful because the rocks are slippery.
Well crap, I've never felt rocks with so much traction when they were wet. I was right behind the lead guy, wondering when the slick stuff would start!
 

·
Dream it, Do it.
Joined
·
1,781 Posts
I'm not surprised that you had trouble seating the WTB tires on the Sun Ringle rims. WTB tires have a tighter bead diameter than ideal for the Sun Ringle Black Flag Expert which are based on the Stans Bead Socket Technology design with a slightly oversize rim diameter. Hutchinson and Michelin tires also have a smaller bead diameter. Maxxis, Schwalbe, Continental, Specialized have a larger bead diameter. Panaracer did as well, though I'm not sure about their current line. I'm not certain about Vittoria and Kenda.

I also like the DH-F up front. A really fast rolling rear tire is the Nobby Nic, which rolls faster than the Aggressor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info. I should have done more research. At this point I think I'm going to get a DHF for the front and an Aggressor for the back. I need a narrower tire for the back as the Prophet doesn't have a lot of tire clearance with a 27.5 set up. Does the Aggressor run big or true to size? 2.3 is about the biggest I can run I think. Thanks.
 

·
Keep on Rockin...
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
For XC/trail riding I'd advice against the Aggressor. So much so, I've got a barely used 275 x 2.5" I'd sell you for cheap.

Its a heavy duty tire that for XC style does not roll that quickly and its traction is only OK. I think it works well for very aggressive, fast riding, on dry, hard pack terrain where durability is needed, and the traction of a DHR is not needed.

PM me if interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I hear you on the Aggressor being too much for trail stuff. So what do you all think would be a good combo for lighter trail duty across rocks, and roots? East coast stuff?

Thanks for the offer, Miker J, but 2.5 is too wide for my 27.5 converted Prophet. That's one of the drawbacks to that conversion. The other is a higher bb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,094 Posts
I used to live in MT Penn. I liked riding there and also across up Neversink Mtn. I saw Neko Mulally tear up the Duryea Downhill local race in 2007.

I live in Bucks co now not far from Lake Nokamixon.

Lots of good tire ideas here guys thanks. I just need to do some research and find ones narrow enough to fit in the back.
I used to live in that area and would struggle to find good tires that would work well in a place like Nox which is just smooth and fast and a place like high rocks or Salisbury that would rip tires apart. In the end of the day, like most, I settled on a 2.4 Maxxis Advantage on the front with a old Continental Mountain king protector 2.4 on the rear. It all depends on where you ride. If it is just Nox and the like, go light and fast - like X-Kings, but if it includes more rocky places (and not talking about the Wiss!) you have to go bigger and heavier.

Personally, I also would say either go to a 29er for that area or keep the 26" wheels and use bigger tires. For the PA trails in that area, 27.5 in narrow sizes is just heavier and gets little of the benefit of the 29ers in rolling or in 26ers in light weight. 27.5 X 2.8 is another story.

I have moved on from that area and miss Salisbury more than I can say...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am currently running Continental trail kings with the protection casing on my 26" wheelset. They work well enough but they need replacing.

I'm going to stick with 27.5. Especially since I already have the wheelset, but I'll keep in mind what you said about narrow 27.5 tires vs wide ones.

I work just outside of Doylestown and live in Quakertown so I drive by the Nox trailhead every day. I take the Prophet to work with me as often as I can and I'll do a lap or 2 on my way home.

Salisbury is amazing. Kicks my ass hard though.

Raystown Lake... loved it there. Went there for Dirtfest 2014.
 

·
Keep on Rockin...
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
I hear you on the Aggressor being too much for trail stuff. So what do you all think would be a good combo for lighter trail duty across rocks, and roots? East coast stuff?

Thanks for the offer, Miker J, but 2.5 is too wide for my 27.5 converted Prophet. That's one of the drawbacks to that conversion. The other is a higher bb.
Forkaster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
Lots of good tire choices here, and it sounds like you're sorted OP. I'm just tossing this out there to anyone else looking for an "East Coast" tire. I ride all the trail systems previously mentioned on a regular basis. I've been quite happy on a set of Onza Ibex 2.4 tires.

Here's an old review from PB:

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/onza-ibex-tire-review-2014.html

I agree with everything Mike K. noted in the review, including the fussy tubeless setup, but I've been pretty impressed overall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
I really like the WTB beads better than the maxxis beads, probably rim specific but I've had this experience on ibis 742, I9 grades and various cheaper wtb rims. Almost all these wheels had maxxis on them at some point and anytime I had to take a used tire off to fix a nipple or add sealant or switch to a different bike the damn maxxis beads are so loose that it takes me 20 minutes of wrestling with an air compressor to seat them again. But all my WTB beads are much tighter and no issues at all seating. I'm running vigilante front and breakout rear for NC rocks and bike park stuff they discontinued the breakout but is a good option for something between the trail boss and vigilante of you can find them on closeout

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Lots of good tire choices here, and it sounds like you're sorted OP. I'm just tossing this out there to anyone else looking for an "East Coast" tire. I ride all the trail systems previously mentioned on a regular basis. I've been quite happy on a set of Onza Ibex 2.4 tires.

Here's an old review from PB:

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/onza-ibex-tire-review-2014.html

I agree with everything Mike K. noted in the review, including the fussy tubeless setup, but I've been pretty impressed overall.
I'll second these. I have been testing them out this year with good luck. Good in snow, mud, dry rocks and roots. The only place I don't like them 100% is on wet rocks and roots. I have to be a little more careful of slipping. It's not terrible but can be slippery if you're not expecting it. I really liked the Maxxis HR2's last year but they were so soft that the lugs tore easily when riding the rocky trails here and didn't last long. That's why I went with the Ibex, which has similar tread but harder compound. It is definitely more durable in the sharp rocks. They seem to blow up a little bigger than the Maxxis in the same size too, and I am able to run them at a lower pressure than the Maxxis with out rim strikes.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top