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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm signed up for the leadville stage race this july and the one-day race in 2020. Trying to decide on tires. Was debating between Ikon exo 2.2 or Aspen exo in 2.25. I've ridden the Ikon quite a bit, but not the Aspen since it sounds like they roll faster.

Last weekend I did a gravel race on my MTB and ran Maxxis Pace exo tires in 2.1 and they seemed noticeably faster compared to the Ikons and they held up well on a very chunky gravel course.

Would the Pace be a good tire choice for leadville with all the pavement and limited technical stuff? I don't want to blow out a tire at leadville by running too lightweight of a tire, but would the Pace be significantly less durable than the Ikon or Aspen since they all have exo sidewalls? If durability isn't a concern, would the limited traction really matter much on the leadville course?

I'll be running a full suspension XC bike and run the Pace 2.1's at ~25psi and I weigh about 165.
 

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Leadville is not a challenging course for tires. I have always run 'fast' tires (Panasonic DriverPro). Most of the downhills have very few turns. In my mind, it is a perfect course for a fast tire like the Pace. Miles and miles are fairly smooth gravel.
I would caution you on a few things...
Be-careful under steep downhill braking, tires like the Pace will break loose faster in a straight-line. Given the straight nature of the downhills, you can get rolling pretty fast, use special caution at the bottom of Powerlines.
The second issue is durability. Because you invest so much time, travel, $$ in a race like Leadville, you wouldn't want to end your day with a torn sidewall. Just make sure that the Pace sidewalls are not ridiculously thin. I wouldn't want gamble my Leadville on something stupid thin like the old S-Works tires.
Lastly, 25psi is plenty high if you are tubeless. I'm 160 and run 22psi without issue. The one area of the course where you might hit rocks at speed is coming down from Sugarloaf inbound.
 

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I love my aspens. worked great on gravel/mtb marathon races and is practically as fast as my big one slicks on the road.

I havent run the recon races yet, but I have seen them in person. I'm not sure how they could really be faster. It feels a lot like marketing hype.

The Aspen is lighter. mine always come in around 640 grams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. It sounds like the Aspen is a solid bet and maybe I should be looking at Recon race as well (maybe an aspen front and recon race rear). I've done a bunch of searching and I just can't fine much on anyone running the Pace and can't find anyone saying it's a good choice for leadville. If the Aspen or Recon race rolls just as fast, I'll probably go that route just to get a little more volume at about the same weight (Paces are only 2.1's).
 

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I’ve always run the Panaracer DriverPro at Leadville. Fast. 2.2 width, good traction for a race tire. Durable enough. And still under 600g.
 

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I have spent a lot of time on Paces. They are a surprisingly good tire that rolls quick on dirt. However, I do find them a little bit slow on pavement.

As a fast rolling tire with reasonable grip it is hard to beat the Aspen.
 

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You could also check out the Tread Lite from Maxxis. I ran an EXO version on the Grand Junction Off Road of all courses to go with that light a tire. We had gotten rains just a day or two before the race, and it was super tacky instead of deep dust. Cornered great because of the nice side knobs, definitely didn't have as much traction for straight line braking, but it rolled super fast and didn't flat. I went relatively low with air pressure so it would hook up, since there isn't much tread, like 22psi. I was pleasantly surprised with it.
 

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I have done leadville 3x and run Rocket Rons front and rear and tread lites front and back and aspens front and back ....I did not not have a flat with aspens or tread lites but definitely get them in the EXO version ....THis is an awesome tire for leadville had the fastest time to date with the tread lite!!!! Don’t need the tread but definitely EXO for the high speed descents with some chunk rock. THis year I am going with Recon race2.25 front and tread light EXO 2.1 rear ....hope this helps
 

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We're going with Aspen 2.25 Exo. It's hard to go wrong with those.

They are lighter than the Pace and Rekon Race, roll great, have good sidewalls, and still provide more than decent braking and cornering grips. Really nice all around tires.
 
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