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I mostly ride ride southern Ohio trails but I do mohican, Caesars creek, and hueston woods as well. I finally wore out the tires that came on my bike so I'm looking to upgrade I considered f+r specific due to some of the long climbs however the idea that I will be racing ombc has led me to Kenda small block eights. Any input or suggestions?
 

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I have always been a fan of the Bontrager Jones ACX. But I'll be switching over to Kenda's soon. I'm looking into the Nevegals and the Karma's. The thing with Ohio dirt is that it clumps when it gets wet, and even though we all ride only when the trails are dry, the tires are still bound to get gunked up. So I've always looked at a tire with a wide pattern. Hopefully, I'll see you out racing this season, I'm hoping to make it to most of the events, except maybe the west Virginia ones. It all depends if I can afford to request off an entire weekend at the time.
 

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Go with a Kenda Nevegal DTC front and rear. I like a 2.35 in the front and 2.1 for the rear. If your racing I'd probably go 2.1 front and 1.95 rear Kenda Blue Groove and then when it gets fast hardpack this summer throw the SB-8's on.
 

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I've found good mid-west tires (used 'em in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan) for me were ones with an arrow shaped tread pattern in the front and a paddle shaped rear.

I've used IRC Mthos, Blue Groove and Karma, Specialized and others. It keeps me pointed in the right direction (even when I come across sand or mud) and doesn't want to wash out as much as some other tread patterns.

I tried some Racing Ralphs by schwable and they were great for hardpack and were not even too bad in light mud, but sand was scary. (I ended up washing out in a corner on these and breaking a collar bone. It couldn't be rider error, could it ;) ).

JmZ
 

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+1 on the Nev DTC combo quoted above. I like the balance of the 2.35 in front and the 2.1 in the back. It works well on most of the southern ohio terrain (root, rock, hardpack, and loose over hardpack). The only downsides I have found with the Nevs are the high rolling resistance and the occacional pinch flat if you are heavier and running the low end of the recommended pressure. You might also checkout the Excavators, I plan to give them a try later this season.

I also like the Maxxis High Rollers (2.35 front and 2.1 rear). They roll faster than the Nevs and I have never had a pinch flat. Like the Nevs, they grip well in accel, braking, climbing and turning. The downside is that they feel a little sketchy in the transition from upright to leaned. They have a pretty open tread in the transition area.

Good luck.
 

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BTW, almost every tire will pack up with the southern Ohio clay if you ride in the mud. It's no fun cleaning the clay out of the rear triangle every 10 feet and it kills the trails, so it's best to just ride the road when the trails are wet down here, or get out early when the trails are frozen in the winter. Still, it beats riding the trainer. :)
 

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I've never tried any Kendas, so I can't say if they're better or worse, but I've always ridden Panaracer. I run a Dart up front and the Fire XC Pro in the back. They don't have super low rolling resistance, so for about a month in the summer, you might switch to something else, but for 95% of Ohio conditions, this combo had suited me extremely well.

One warning about the Fire XC Pro - they seem to be stick magnets. I've seen a ton of hangers ripped off due to people running them as rears. I'm willing to take the risk, I just watch for sticks, listen close, and stop immediately if I hear or feel anything that might do damage.
 
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