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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up a 2017 mukluk carbon last year with 26x70 wheels - ended up riding it mostly with studded 26x4.6 wrath children. I felt like i could use more float and the ability to run lower pressures before the tire wallowed. Was thinking of going to either 26x 90 or 100 (if they would fit) and Johnny 5 studded. I guess i could do some 27.5 by 90 or so with gnarwhal 27.5 x 4.5 studded but it sounds like maybe they would float less?. Anything i'm missing here in the realm of versatility, speed etc?
I don't need absolutely the most float but i have some sections that only i ride that could definitely use more especially if we get a more normal year.
Tons of snow and it will probably be skiing.

Thanks
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I'd suggest some of that is due to your real skinny rims. Wrathchild is a decently large casing, but 70mm really handicaps it and it affects the sidewall support/tread profile quite a bit. I notice a fairly significant loss of turning performance running those types of tires on that size rim. On fatter rims I can lower more and not sacrifice the handling. 90mm is a good 2nd wheelset that can still work all-around in the winter and those tires definitely aren't too wide for them. I really don't recommend over about 4" for a rim as skinny as 70. Sure, you can do it, it's just that the returns are diminished compared to if you were using a wider rim. Bike companies do this IMO because it's cheaper and they are always in wars to have the lightest bike/wheelset. So it's rare for them to put something wider on there stock, either wider rims or wider tires or both. It's also because they are trying to appease people who aren't buying the bike for winter riding as well.

I would make sure you think hard about going to J5. It's not bad per see, but it's so much float that it allows you to get out on some days and ride where it's so much work to ride that it is really on the negative side of payoff. There were a few days where I felt like I should have just waited a day to ride instead of going out with the J5s, they wore me out so bad just riding a few miles and then I was so badly torn up the next day that it was even less fun. Cakeeater 27.5x4.5 is similar.

If you found a real wide rim for those 27.5 cakeeaters...they might float as well? I don't know anyone doing that, but I did see some options available for wider 27.5 rims. In general, 26" float on the wider combos is better than anything commonly used with 27.5.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks,
Just the kind of feedback i was looking for. I had been thinking of some 4in JJ to play around on the existing wheels. They aren't bad wheels just not real wide. Sounds like you think i'm better off at 90 than 100?
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Thanks,
Just the kind of feedback i was looking for. I had been thinking of some 4in JJ to play around on the existing wheels. They aren't bad wheels just not real wide. Sounds like you think i'm better off at 90 than 100?
100 means narrower 4.2-4.4 tires will not fit well, they will look like lo-pro car tires and the rims will be sticking out in terrain. You lose a lot of versatility going to either extreme. If you were doing snow expedition stuff I’d say sure, but for all around riding including powder and soft stuff, 90 is a better all around width. I think 80 and 90 are probably the two best widths, 80 if you are going to be running “4” tires most of the time and 90 if you’ll be doing more than 4” most the time. You can go narrower and wider, but IME your versatility starts taking a much bigger hit.
 
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Going to the 27.5 x 4.5" Gnarwhals would be a wash relative to what you have now, even with a wider rim. They're good, but they don't have enough air volume to out-float a 26 x 4.6" tire.

If you want float, get wider rims first, and if that's not enough then add in wider tires.
 

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Jayem and Mikesee make good points. And yes the J5 can really wear you down. I like them just fine, but if we have another winter of busy pandemic-packed trails I might run more modest tires. If you’re not hunting for more float then I’d suggest a less gigantic tire. If you do go for a J5 then be prepared to adjust your chainline a bit. Not sure what cranks you have, but on my 2018 carbon mukluk I needed a chainring with more clearance on the drive side so that it wouldn’t rub in granny gear. Side note: Lou didn’t rub. I guess my J5 tubeless was just a smidge wider.

Edit: I’ve done back to back testing with a J5 vs Wrathchild. As trails get looser/softer/deeper I spend relatively less energy on the bigger J5. On more packed trails the Wrathchild (or D5) is lighter and rolls faster. But…if conditions are softer I have to run lower psi and still dig in more than the J5. So that makes me tired too. I guess there is no free lunch.

On ice the J5 is really good for such a big piece of rubber. But the XL studded Wrathchild is simply exceptional on hard glare ice
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Circling back,
Have some new wheels coming soon, looking for recommendations for the optimum tire for the 70's i already have
we now have some groomed trails in the area so i guess my thought was a faster rolling tire circa 4 inch- Dillinger 4, cake eater? JJ? studs? Seems like if I stud i might get more use late season.
 

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Circling back,
Have some new wheels coming soon, looking for recommendations for the optimum tire for the 70's i already have
we now have some groomed trails in the area so i guess my thought was a faster rolling tire circa 4 inch- Dillinger 4, cake eater? JJ? studs? Seems like if I stud i might get more use late season.
I think you just answered your own question. If trails are groomed and studs are useful in your area then get a fast rolling 4" with studs. Ride fast, have fun.

I have a pair of 4.0 JJ for summer hard pack, double track, and rolling around town. Personally I have no interest in riding them in the winter, in fact the front tire scares the %$%$% outta me sometimes in the summer...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, any thoughts on studded tire dillinger vs cake eater vs? I have a fake hip, partly due to a biking crash on ice so i am heavily leaning towards studs
 

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Ouch! Crashing on ice scares me. I haven’t ridden a Cake Eater so I have no thoughts on that topic. Whatever tire you put on the front, you might want to consider replacing the outer row of studs with something more aggressive like 45nrth XL or Grip Studs. Just for more ice traction when leaning over in the corners.

If front wheel washouts are a worry then you could also consider narrow aggressive tires like the 3.8 Gnarwhal or the Wrathlorde (not sure how the Wrathlorde profile looks on a 70mm). Either as a front tire, or as a front/rear combo.

Personally I prefer the bigger treads and studs to maximize my traction. But I’m funny like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I hear you on the knobs and studs, I have set of studded wrathchildren so I am hoping to find a goldilocks tire that still grips pretty well but rolls better
 

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I hear you on the knobs and studs, I have set of studded wrathchildren so I am hoping to find a goldilocks tire that still grips pretty well but rolls better
The 4.5 cake eater does not roll well IME. the Dillingers do IME, all sizes.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for that info. I assume maybe the 4 would be preferred on the 70's? For use on more packed trails
 

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Discussion Starter #16
just to kinda close this out
i ended up with 95mm rims Thinking that i would use these for 4.6 and up. Yesterday provided a great example of the benefits. I started riding a bit too late and the surface was going to be looser and soft and i knew that that sweet spot was going to be getting narrow. I aired down- later measuring at 1.25 front 2.25 rear or so. I was able to grip where i thought I probably would not and many times when i assumed i might cut through I did not. Even at those pressures on daily firm at times the bike rode well and did not feel overly draggy. I also felt like the wider rims controlled the tires as well as or better than the 70mm rims had at say 3f and 4r.

All in all pleased
 
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