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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to buy a mtn bike that I would use for night riding on urban streets (too many pot holes to use my road bike) and for trail riding.

Is there a tire that will work reasonably well on both surfaces, or do I really need to swap tires to get the bike to perform on both?
 

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For a do it all tire the Hutchinson Python or the Geax Mezcal should work...also Performance has some tires that should fit your billing for a reasonable price.

I am in your boat too; I never know what I will be riding next, due to family and work schedule. So I have compromised with one set of tires for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"Bikinfoolferlife: Depends on your definition of perform..."


In case you were actually trying to be helpful, by perform I mean -- "keep up with my buddies, not compete in a race".
 

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I'd second the Hutchinson Pythons...

On my commuter bike (Hardtail MTN bike) which I take off road quite often has Hutchinson Pythons on it. These tires roll really fast no matter what surface you're on and they are 2 inchs wide and 2 inches tall. Some 2.0 tires might be 2" inches wide but not 2" tall. Which means the Pythons absorb the bumps in the road or trail really well.
You can't go wrong with these tires.
 

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walkman said:
"Bikinfoolferlife: Depends on your definition of perform..."

In case you were actually trying to be helpful, by perform I mean -- "keep up with my buddies, not compete in a race".
Just meant that a little more information as to the level of performance you want would have been helpful, like type of trail riding you do, target weight and size of tire you're looking for.
 

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AJ541 said:
On my commuter bike (Hardtail MTN bike) which I take off road quite often has Hutchinson Pythons on it. These tires roll really fast no matter what surface you're on and they are 2 inchs wide and 2 inches tall. Some 2.0 tires might be 2" inches wide but not 2" tall. Which means the Pythons absorb the bumps in the road or trail really well.
You can't go wrong with these tires.
Well those lightweight, fast rolling, minimal tread tires end up getting ripped to shreds on the rocks around here and you have no traction on the steep technical climbs so there isn't such thing as a "can't go wrong with these" tire. There are trails around here that they completely rock on but there are others you'd be likely to end up in a manzanita bush alongside the trail. It really depends on what types of trails he's riding.
 

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Burkeman said:
Well those lightweight, fast rolling, minimal tread tires end up getting ripped to shreds on the rocks around here and you have no traction on the steep technical climbs so there isn't such thing as a "can't go wrong with these" tire. There are trails around here that they completely rock on but there are others you'd be likely to end up in a manzanita bush alongside the trail. It really depends on what types of trails he's riding.
Do you have a tire suggestion then?
 

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walkman said:
"Bikinfoolferlife: Depends on your definition of perform..."

In case you were actually trying to be helpful, by perform I mean -- "keep up with my buddies, not compete in a race".
He was trying to be helpful. Your local conditions and terrain can make a huge difference.

The Pythons others have suggested can work well - in the right conditions. If your trail rides are wet, leaf-covered and/or you are not comfortable with tires that slide a bit they are not for you.

The 'best' solution is several sets of tires.
 

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3rd vote for the Python

When I read your original post I kind of took your meaning to be "I'm riding my MTB on the road and would still like to be able to ride in the dirt." Not "I need both extremes: asphalt and rocky rutted rooty wet muddy mess."

If you're going to take your hardtail onto some fireroads and some singletrack, and generally want to set out form home on your MTB without limiting where you can ride, the Python is the bomb. I've been running them for years on my hardtail, which I too use as a roadbike. They last a long time, roll really well, and are capable of rocky, rutted up- and downhills on a lightweight bike. They're excellent tires.

If you take that anything is a compromise, the Python is perhaps the widest compromise you could find.
 

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AJ541 said:
Do you have a tire suggestion then?
I don't have a suggestion without knowing what types of trails he rides. I was just pointing out that there is no such thing as a "can't go wrong with this tire" tire since tires are terrain and use specific. Those tires work well on only a few trails around here while the rocky loose ones tear them to shreds. I will say that on the trails that they are suited for around here, they do roll like nobody's business.
 

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My experience..

is a combination of road and trail.. reason is that I have 3 miles of hair-raising 2-lane highway riding to do in order to get to my favorite trail. So, by the time my nightly rides are over, I've got 6 miles on pavement and 2-3 times that on trails. I also do a couple long-distance road rides in the spring (100 and 150 miles on pavement) and I am too stubborn to get a road bike. My total milage averages around 2,500/year. I don't tend to ride in real muddy conditions so can't help you there.

Based on the above, I have stuck with IRC Serac XCs.. they roll pretty smooth on pavement and hardpack but still offer good grip on trails. They may not be the best mud tires but my perception is that most tires in that category are too knobby/slow for much pavement use.

BTW: one advantage to having an mtb w/ good tires when riding the roads is that you can get further away from cars & trucks. I ride the far edge of the right shoulder where most road tires can't comfortably go.
 

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How much would you limit a tire's life (percent) if you take a regular XC tire and rode it 50 percent on road and 50 percent or trails?
 

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mondaycurse said:
How much would you limit a tire's life (percent) if you take a regular XC tire and rode it 50 percent on road and 50 percent or trails?
There is no answer to your question. It depends on the tire and how important off road performance is to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry I disappeared from this thread without giving the requested information - I was out of town for a few days.

I'm looking to get my first mtn bike, so I'm still trying to figure things out -- many more choices that road biking.


I was looking for a tire that would give me a reasonable chance of keeping up with road bikers (not racers) on the road, but would still work for XC trail.


Since there doesn't seem to be a good solution I'll post a new question.
 

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Intense System 3 tire works for me.. But has soft compound so it wears fast. If one can't get traction with tread, go to compound for traction.
 

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I have to say the HUTCHINSON PYTHONs as well. I have a set and run at 40 PSI they roll great on the road (they can be run @60) they are a pretty good all around type trail tire, but not so great in wet conditions, but not too bad either once things aren't to techinical. Definately couldn't go wrong with the Scorpions.
 

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Specialized Crossroads

these are 1.95 ( but look wider), have solid central ridge and big knobs. If pressure is high (55+) and tyre is new, it rolls pretty fast on pavement, w/o (almost) knobs touching the road, set the pressure to 35 and the tyre has bigger footprint with knobs having reasonable grip.
Does not work in mud.
When worn, foorprint gets wider whatever is the pressure, and tyre rolls slower - but still OK for commuting and easy offroad. My LBS also mentioned Hemisphere as a replacement for Crossroads - but I haven't seen or used them
 
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