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justwright03 said:
Any preliminary reports on the Hutchinson Bulldog tires that are coming stock on a lot of the 2005 Jamis bikes?
Do a search of Bulldog in the Wheel and Tire forum. You see a few there. These are still pretty new so there is not a lot of info out there as far as feedback. I for one really like mine so far. Keep in mind that the sizing runs small. I understand this is a tendancy of Hutchinson tires in general. The claimed 2.1 is actually a 1.95.
 

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Saw them yesterday

justwright03 said:
Any preliminary reports on the Hutchinson Bulldog tires that are coming stock on a lot of the 2005 Jamis bikes?
Stopped by the LBS to drop off some rims for repair and saw the bulldogs. They remind me of the new Panaracer Cinders. They have a staggered square block tread, with the center of some treads dug out. They are not deep lugged, but look like they will perform great in varying conditions. They do run skinnier than stated on the tire. It looks like a 1.95 rather than a 2.1. They should clear mud OK and the dug out treads will assist with roots and rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll admit that this assessment comes after only one brief ride, but I'm not sold on the Bulldogs. I can't say that they let me down badly, they just aren't all that confidence-inspiring. The rolling resistance is pretty good, but the tires don't transmit much "trail feel" to the rider...which kinda bugs me. And when they do let go, it's a little unpredictable. Basically the same complaints I remember hearing about the old Mosquitos in this area, which has lots of roots and rocks buried in soil that alternates between soft/damp and hardpack/dusty (often in the same ride).

I will eventually end up taking these off of my Dakar and replacing them with one of my old favorites, either Hutchinson Spiders or Maxxis Mobsters. Both are very grippy on multiple surfaces, relatively light, have good sized contact patches and deliver a lot of (good) feedback to the rider.

Bear in mind, I'm not saying the Bulldogs are terrible...just not the best choice for me and the trails I ride most often.
 

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Updated.....

Well, the Bulldogs do well on damp or wet soil. So far, I do not feel confidence enspiring handling when on dry hardpack (with a loose soil cover), sandy or gravel sections. I am not running the front at the recommended competition psi of 29, so that may have something to do with it. Also, I am still playing with fork pressure and bump sensitivity. I have a 100mm stem with a 680mm handlebar (which is way too long), so that may have a bearing on handling feel. I do know that the front tire has almost washed on me several times, but I felt it and was able to recover. It just seems that I can't lean as much as with my Panaracer Fire XC Pro and still carve a corner. Other handling issues may be coupled with the whole bike. It's not my Ferarri hardtail that I'm used to. I may opt to throw a set of Cinders on, or buy another set of the Fire XC's.
Overall, the Bulldogs are a large volume tire, so they may appear to be 1.95 in tread width, but have bulky sidewalls that give them the ability to be run at 29 psi without pinch flats. I may try to air down a bit and see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Eric - Give the Hutchinson Spiders a try. They have the same high-volume feel that's kinda nice about the Bulldogs, but the overall traction and cornering grip are vastly better. The weight isn't bad and the contact patch is pretty wide for a 2.1" tire. The sidewalls are nice and supple for a near-tubeless "floaty" feel on the singletrack and the tires offer a terrific amount of useful feedback.

I put them on my hardtail about at year ago at the recommendation of a NORBA pro I know. She felt that the confidence and comfort gained more than made up for any minor losses in rolling resistance (...and I emphasize "minor"). They remain one of my top-2 favorite tires of all time (Maxxis Mobsters are my other favorites). I'll be putting Spiders on my Dakar very soon.

By the way, I noticed the front-tire wash sensation on my Dakar too. Yes, a lot of this is the tire choice. But some of it is related to bike design and rider position. If I just remember to weight the front tire a little more than I'd normally do on my hardtail, I can prevent a lot of that front-tire washout feeling. My LBS tells me this is a common experience for riders switching from hardtails to full-suspension, as most full-suspension XC bikes are designed to be ridden more from the middle of the bike versus the "weight-back" method of riding fast on a hardtail. Bear in mind, too, that the Dakar design is considered a quick handler, so it's easy to over-steer sometimes on fast, sweeping corners. The upside, though, is great responsiveness in the tight, technical stuff.
 

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OK, got it...aired down

HPilot said:
Well, the Bulldogs do well on damp or wet soil. So far, I do not feel confidence enspiring handling when on dry hardpack (with a loose soil cover), sandy or gravel sections. I am not running the front at the recommended competition psi of 29, so that may have something to do with it. Also, I am still playing with fork pressure and bump sensitivity. I have a 100mm stem with a 680mm handlebar (which is way too long), so that may have a bearing on handling feel. I do know that the front tire has almost washed on me several times, but I felt it and was able to recover. It just seems that I can't lean as much as with my Panaracer Fire XC Pro and still carve a corner. Other handling issues may be coupled with the whole bike. It's not my Ferarri hardtail that I'm used to. I may opt to throw a set of Cinders on, or buy another set of the Fire XC's.
Overall, the Bulldogs are a large volume tire, so they may appear to be 1.95 in tread width, but have bulky sidewalls that give them the ability to be run at 29 psi without pinch flats. I may try to air down a bit and see how it goes.
I ran the tires at 32 front and 35 rear air pressure Friday on a hardpack trail that was damp to dry, but not dusty dry- if you know what I mean. Even through the damper areas the tires never got squirrely on me. I beginning to like the tires. Low pressure is the best bet with these!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm having a similar experience. Put in about 10 miles yesterday on fast, twisty trail that was damp but not soupy. Now that I have my suspension settings a little more dialed and my tire pressure a little lower, I'm having pretty good results. Even on really fast, off-camber stuff, they performed well. At speed especially, they seem to be a decent match for the Dakar handling characteristics. Add in the low weight and fast-rolling tread, and I too am starting to like these tires. My previous negative assessment was probably premature.

Wonder how they'd do with a Stan's conversion?
 
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