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Recovering Weight Weenie
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As some of you may have noted in Donkey's post below regarding WTB's new tire info...
I'll repost it here, along w/ some other, less pleasant news...

The WTB booth said that "within a month" there will be a 2.35" 29er tire on the market.
Sweet!

Here are some more manuf. that I spoke to and their paraphrased replies regarding 29er tire offerings...

Padre - "Hi, do you guys have any plans for a 29er tire?"
Panaracer - "No. There's no market for it."
Padre - "That's funny, then why am I asking you about one? Why is the 29er board on mtbr full of guys asking for one? Oh well, on another note, what about a better offerings for the 26" DH tire...like offering one w/ out the silly red stripe."
Panaracer - "No. There's no market for it."
Padre - "That's funny. I want one w/ no stripe. And if that is true that there is no market for different colors, why do you offer the Fire XC in 3 colors."
Panaracer - "We actually offer the XC in FOUR COLORS... but it's not in our interest to change anything about the DH."
Padre - "Uh, thanks?"

Padre - "Hi, do you guys have any plans for a 29er tire?"
Michelin - "At that point in time when the market would neccessitate our involvment into that 29" foray, we'll being to investigate the possibility of maybe doing something."
Padre - "Is that a no?"
Michelin - "Yes."
Padre - "Thanks"

Padre - "Hi, do you guys have any plans for a 29er tire that has a more aggressive tread?"
Schalbe - "Huh? Uh, let me see in the catelog here.... uhm....have you checked our website? Something could be on there..."
Padre - "Have a good day...."
 

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giddy up!
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Yeah...

....schwalbes response was great...I got referred to their 2.35 big apple slick, and some 30cc cross tires, but that was about it....pretty funny!

I can't wait to see those WTB's..

Oh, and congrats on your race!

Padre said:
As some of you may have noted in Donkey's post below regarding WTB's new tire info...
I'll repost it here, along w/ some other, less pleasant news...

The WTB booth said that "within a month" there will be a 2.35" 29er tire on the market.
Sweet!

Here are some more manuf. that I spoke to and their paraphrased replies regarding 29er tire offerings...

Padre - "Hi, do you guys have any plans for a 29er tire?"
Panaracer - "No. There's no market for it."
Padre - "That's funny, then why am I asking you about one? Why is the 29er board on mtbr full of guys asking for one? Oh well, on another note, what about a better offerings for the 26" DH tire...like offering one w/ out the silly red stripe."
Panaracer - "No. There's no market for it."
Padre - "That's funny. I want one w/ no stripe. And if that is true that there is no market for different colors, why do you offer the Fire XC in 3 colors."
Panaracer - "We actually offer the XC in FOUR COLORS... but it's not in our interest to change anything about the DH."
Padre - "Uh, thanks?"

Padre - "Hi, do you guys have any plans for a 29er tire?"
Michelin - "At that point in time when the market would neccessitate our involvment into that 29" foray, we'll being to investigate the possibility of maybe doing something."
Padre - "Is that a no?"
Michelin - "Yes."
Padre - "Thanks"

Padre - "Hi, do you guys have any plans for a 29er tire that has a more aggressive tread?"
Schalbe - "Huh? Uh, let me see in the catelog here.... uhm....have you checked out website? Something could be on there..."
Padre - "Have a good day...."
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! It was way more fun than I thought... It was like the Vision Quest...only seven and half hours quicker, 30 miles shorter, with about 11,250' less of climbing. Oh wait, it was nothing like that.
It was really weird to be able to push that hard for so long w/ out having to think about big climbs or long distance. Fun!
I hope to find a 33tooth ring. That would have helped me get some gear on the flats...

donkey said:
....schwalbes response was great...I got referred to their 2.35 big apple slick, and some 30cc cross tires, but that was about it....pretty funny!

I can't wait to see those WTB's..

Oh, and congrats on your race!
 

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giddy up!
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Yeah....

....that course was just like the VQ, only different.

I think warhawk does a 33 tooth ring, that's about all I can think of.

Padre said:
Thanks! It was way more fun than I thought... It was like the Vision Quest...only seven and half hours quicker, 30 miles shorter, with about 11,250' less of climbing. Oh wait, it was nothing like that.
It was really weird to be able to push that hard for so long w/ out having to think about big climbs or long distance. Fun!
I hope to find a 33tooth ring. That would have helped me get some gear on the flats...
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Hush, hush, but Schwalbe is not saying a hard "no" to me. Let me try my reason on them (one zillionth time), and make them offer a 29" Racing Ralph, which will not just help riders go faster in XC racing, but also allow 29" to reach an equal level in the competition with 26", offering racers a fair choice, not based on fast parts, but on what's the better concept.
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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Discussion Starter #6
It was cool to see one of the ladies in the pro-womens short track xc race riding a 29er!!!
(she was very near dead last....doh!)

Cloxxki said:
Hush, hush, but Schwalbe is not saying a hard "no" to me. Let me try my reason on them (one zillionth time), and make them offer a 29" Racing Ralph, which will not just help riders go faster in XC racing, but also allow 29" to reach an equal level in the competition with 26", offering racers a fair choice, not based on fast parts, but on what's the better concept.
 

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Cloxxki said:
not based on fast parts, but on what's the better concept.
Yeah, but will it come in a 2.4?

You will never convince me that there will be a significant enough difference between a "Racing Ralph" and a tire that has been available for the last 5 yrs, the "tire" itself, the Nanoraptor, to benefit the general mtn. biking populace. Unless of course your mental game is that much stronger than your physical one to begin with....it ain't the meat it's the motion and always will be.

So who cares if Schwalbe needs to be asked a million times about making a tire and they still don't care to produce one, but lets be all hush, hush about it anyway? Would I buy one? No F'ing way. Would I buy a WTB product? In a heartbeat. Full retail, no questions asked. They support us, we should support them.

Is it time to draw the line between Racing/Recreation? Pure racing is a beautiful thing for those that are into it, but the participants tend to be the folks that NPR and what's good for racers is not always a benefit to recreational riders. So while there are a lot of Racers out there, there are 3 times at least as many Recreational riders that are willing to step up to the counter and pay actual retail price for goods and services and that is what makes the industry stand up and take notice. A purebred racing tire just is not going to be what the general populace needs. A larger volume tire on the other hand will benefit many folks who just want to have a good time on their bike, like me for instance. :cool:

So seeing as how that is what Padre was reporting on, a larger volume tire soon to become available, I would like to thank him for the good news. But I hope that your dreams are realized also, don't get me wrong, and that you get your uber tyre. :D
 

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Recovering couch patato
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I know your take on which tire would benefit 29" most, and respect that. BUT, there are more ways. One big thing hindring 29" to become commonplace, is the lack of brands joining in with high-end parts. Racing has been part of the development and need for many a reolutionary part (I naively think). WTB is not represented much in Europe, it's near impossible to get as commonplace a 29" tire as the Nano over here. All mine came from air shipments from the USA. Even my Kendas and IRC's. Europe is the most divers 29" complete bike market, with the fewest tire options. Euro's like racing, brands like racing for the promotion it offers them, pro riders like to go fast, brands like to tell folks their products helped the idol win his big races. I believe that's a system that works, and a key tire could really trigger 29" acceptance to self-buying racers, and then recreational riders.
In the first year of their introduction here in Europe, both the Racing Ralph tire and SPV' dampening system have become the norm in newly purchased high-end bikes. I know, I've been selling them :)
The Nano is a great ire, just not the fastest. A stage was won on them, but I know that still a fast 26" tire wll out-roll 29" on pure rolling resistance, till we get the same high quality quality stuf.

If they existed, I WOULD probably have used the Racing Ralph 29x2.4's yesterday in that stage race final. No matter the weight, I needed speed, grip and comfort!

I'll be standing second in line after you to pick up a few pairs of those fat WTB's, can't wait to here more about them! Great that WTB again is taking he lead yet again, listening to rider's dreams and working on it to make them happen.
 

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Cloxxki said:
I know your take on which tire would benefit 29" most, and respect that. BUT, there are more ways. One big thing hindring 29" to become commonplace, is the lack of brands joining in with high-end parts. Racing has been part of the development and need for many a reolutionary part (I naively think). WTB is not represented much in Europe, it's near impossible to get as commonplace a 29" tire as the Nano over here. All mine came from air shipments from the USA. Even my Kendas and IRC's. Europe is the most divers 29" complete bike market, with the fewest tire options. Euro's like racing, brands like racing for the promotion it offers them, pro riders like to go fast, brands like to tell folks their products helped the idol win his big races. I believe that's a system that works, and a key tire could really trigger 29" acceptance to self-buying racers, and then recreational riders.
In the first year of their introduction here in Europe, both the Racing Ralph tire and SPV' dampening system have become the norm in newly purchased high-end bikes. I know, I've been selling them :)
The Nano is a great ire, just not the fastest. A stage was won on them, but I know that still a fast 26" tire wll out-roll 29" on pure rolling resistance, till we get the same high quality quality stuf.

If they existed, I WOULD probably have used the Racing Ralph 29x2.4's yesterday in that stage race final. No matter the weight, I needed speed, grip and comfort!

I'll be standing second in line after you to pick up a few pairs of those fat WTB's, can't wait to here more about them! Great that WTB again is taking he lead yet again, listening to rider's dreams and working on it to make them happen.
I agree with Clox. As a competitive racer i seriously thought of getting 29" but put it off because of tire choice. And uhhh *cough* sponsorship issue... I would seriously get a 29" and self support my races without sponsor when there is enough tire choices. ;)
 

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Timsco said:
I agree with Clox. As a competitive racer i seriously thought of getting 29" but put it off because of tire choice. And uhhh *cough* sponsorship issue... I would seriously get a 29" and self support my races without sponsor when there is enough tire choices. ;)
Tire choices, suspension choices, frame choices etc. I am glad that I didn't think about that years back when I got on a 29 and rode it up the block, as I would have missed out on argueably the best years of my life on a mtn. bike. ;)

There have been people racing 29" for 4 seasons now and the lack of tire choice is I guess what has been keeping them off the podium? Then why do they do it? If there are 26" tires that allow a 26" bike to be faster than a 29" bike, why has it become the favorite bike here with many still riding the original Nano? At some point you have to realize that it is the rider that makes the difference, not the equipment. Which is as it should be.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Pure racers look at bikes a bit as if it were a hindrance to reach the finish, so the fastest one is the one they want. They're very open to new things, especially if the competition seems to be liking it, and finding an edge with them. However, they're conservative, want gear they can trust and know is fast whatever happens. They're not looking for a change for change's sake. On not-too-bumpy, flat mickey-mouse courses for instance, 29" has little to offer a racer. 26" has been extremely developped, and offers newer faster tires every year, so with the Nanoraptor as the fastest 29" choice, the step to go 29" is a huge one, even for the racer looking to try everything. As said, sponsors and cashflow are already great hurdles to take even before the first race on the new gear.
For 29" to be interesting to big brands, it must sell, big numbers. If demand had come just from offering something new, 29" would have happened at least a decade sooner, and if development of larger diameter tires were as easy as wider bars, 26" would probably never even have happened for adult off-road use. One thing leads to another. Willits makes 28" bikes that rais eyebrows, and when some industry icons support his ideas, the first tire happens, a daring investment by WTB which opened the door to world-wide 29" acceptance, well, actually just unlocked it. Early innovators soon ordered Willit's bikes with 29" tires, and Nishiki and Gary Fisher came with production models. The first tres being steel beaded, the weight disadvantage of 29" was out of proportion, making it uninteresting to most xc racers, at least for now. Kevlar tires came, 29" grows up, and come closer to the level of 26". Great thing is White Brothers' involvement, so we at least get a high-end fork option, next to the so-so Marzocchi's that only joined when Fisher placed an order for a few thousand units.
What now limits complete 29" bike sales are the limited brands and limited coverage in magazines. Once all racers adopt 29", magazines won't bother with 26" much anymore. And racers, as above, state that they want to have equal material to truly dare make the leap to a different bike concept, with the investment that comes with it.
We're talking about a maybe $xx,xxx investment to make the ultimate 29" race tire, and have racers put it to use and win races on. That, I'm convinced, will trigger a $xx.xxx.xxx market within 2 years.
It was impossible to expect from WTB to do an all-out 29" race tire as the first try, but it sure would have been a different world today, if they had launched a 500g 2.2" race-specific tire the first time out. Perhaps the impact would have been too big, and even bad for the 29" concept. Which journalist would have made a big iddue about weight when the first Nishiki and Fisher test bikes had been 400g lichter, and produced another 10% less rolling resistance? That's all just me dreaming away, but the bottom line is that I'm convinced that a XC race tire will win more souls in a year's time, than a bigger epic-specific one, that will be bought mostly by the early adapters looking for an even more fun tire, and add even more comfort, or use it as a reason to go rigid again.

Had I had a spare million in the bank, I had already made at least 3 dream tires happen, two race tires and one 2.5"-ish for 30" purposes. I know there are 29" enhousiasts out there, that won't mind buying an extra sportscar just for fun, if just one of those fourtunate riders......

It will all come, WTB's Nanoraptor set all things in motion, that sub-500g race tire will be on my bike in the next 2-3 years, I'm sure. I can't wait till the announced 2.35" WTB is here, I'll finally be able to test a 4-cross bike with a 29" front with some serious volume. If that tire offers some serious grip, it'll make a dedicated 30" frame much more tempting. My KM will stay rigid forever, my epics will be done on 2.35" rubber for sure. Still, with a really fast race tire, the impact on the now 26"-riding folks will be multifold. I want them both, now WTB will offer a big tire soon, so the next focus for sure hould be a race tire. When the Nishiki racers can switch from a slow-looking (to outsiders) Nano to a 29" Flyweight or Larsen TT, the biking wold will change, top-down.

/rant mode off
 

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This recreational rider grudgingly accepts Cloxxki's argument that we need racing visibility to promote the 29" concept. I know the 29" market is relatively small and it's further divided between recreational riders like bigwheel and myself, and racers like cloxxki and many others.

When the promised W-I-D-E 29"er comes out, I'm buying it as long as it has even a hair more tread than a Big Apple. But I'll still be bummed if what they decide to sell is just another race tire. I don't care about weight much at all, and for most of my rides rolling resistance is about #4 on the list of things I care about in a tire. Give me something with some cush and some freaking claws to it already!

Actually, I'd love to have both a fast fattie AND a grippy fattie in my quiver. Dare to dream!
 

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Recovering couch patato
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I don't think what WTB now offers are really race tires. I rather say, various shades of allround. The Nano is a superb allround rear tire, the Moto a great rocky trail tire. I expect their Epic Wolf to be just a bit more towards fun, away from allround and speed. That also seems to be what WTB is best at, their tires appear to be very popular amongst demanding recreation riders, but I hardly ever spot a racer on them. Then again, last weekend I rode only WTB's in a 3-day stage race, and a Nishiki on Nano's even won the second stage, on a flat, sandy course.

After the 2.35" fun tire and 2.1" race tire, it'll be time for a mega-volume 30x2.6" Snow/DH race tire, and the not-too-heavy 40mm rim to match. You lurking along here, dear Mr. WTB?
 

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Cloxxki said:
That also seems to be what WTB is best at, their tires appear to be very popular amongst demanding recreation riders, but I hardly ever spot a racer on them.
Part of the reason may be that WTB does not sponsor pro mountain bike racers which then translates into exposure to non-sponsored amateurs who possibly make their race tire choices on what they see pros racing. Personally, I consider the Nano an excellent choice for a race tire on either 26 or 29 bikes and have used them both favourably for races. But this is the dry, rocky southwest where they excel.
 

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Witty McWitterson
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I also use the Nano as a race tire, and in dry conditions here, nothing is faster for my needs. 'Cept maybe a 42c cross tire, but then we're getting into another discussion. I happen to think that the Nano is an excellent race tire, as well as being a good, fast recreational tire. The Moto's are too slow, and pack with mud. The IRC's are a good wet tire and shed mud ok. I haven't had the pleasure of the Kendas yet, but reprts are good on them. The BEST mud tire I've got is the Smoke 45c, but as is often said here, they're not a TRUE 29" tire. But I still ride them with joy. They do work well.
 

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what about bonti's

~martini~ said:
I also use the Nano as a race tire, and in dry conditions here, nothing is faster for my needs. 'Cept maybe a 42c cross tire, but then we're getting into another discussion. I happen to think that the Nano is an excellent race tire, as well as being a good, fast recreational tire. The Moto's are too slow, and pack with mud. The IRC's are a good wet tire and shed mud ok. I haven't had the pleasure of the Kendas yet, but reprts are good on them. The BEST mud tire I've got is the Smoke 45c, but as is often said here, they're not a TRUE 29" tire. But I still ride them with joy. They do work well.
how come no one mentions the bonti's anymore in tire discussions... i love my pair... seem to do pretty well in all conditions so far... they're pretty light too
 

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Hmmm....

Bigwheel said:
You will never convince me that there will be a significant enough difference between a "Racing Ralph" and a tire that has been available for the last 5 yrs, the "tire" itself, the Nanoraptor, to benefit the general mtn. biking populace. Unless of course your mental game is that much stronger than your physical one to begin with....it ain't the meat it's the motion and always will be.
:D
I agree with Bob in that the Nanoraptor has been available for 5 years -is an awesome tire -and races won't be lost with it due to "the tire" itself. This tread design has won the "Pedros fest Mud Bog" several times so don't tell me it handles poorly in the mud. Anyone remember the Onza "Racing Porc" tire? Pro still won races on that P.O.S....

Now that I own pretty much every current 29"er tire available...guess which pair is still on my bike?
 

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Nano Sidewall Question

Speaking of Bontragers and Nanos, my ACX require higher pressure to keep the tire from pinchflatting/bottoming than my IRC did. I'd like to try the Kevlar Nanos, but I remember some talk about them and the Bontragers sharing the same bead, and am wondering if they also share the flimsy sidewall. I know others have reported having to run higher pressure with the ACX as well; anyone able to compare the ACX and (kevlar) Nano in this regard?

BTW, this is probably more a commentary on 29" wheels in general and perhaps Massachusetts roads than the tires, but I was very impressed with my bike's performance running Bontragers on the road this weekend. I passed some roadies (they weren't exactly hammering, but then I was still warming up), and my time for the loop was only ~10% slower on the 29er than on my road bike. I might have to start taking the 29er on road rides more often; I enjoy the speed of a road bike, but the 29er doesn't seem to give as much of that up as I thought it would. Plus it would let me explore potential new trails I come across...
 

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Always Learning
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Padre said:
As some of you may have noted in Donkey's post below regarding WTB's new tire info...
I'll repost it here, along w/ some other, less pleasant news...

The WTB booth said that "within a month" there will be a 2.35" 29er tire on the market.
Sweet!
It's been 4 weeks since you made that post. I guess that qualifies as "within a month" according to the calendar I use.

Any news on the new WTB tire?

BB
 
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