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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm seeking for a good tire that might be a good replacement for the Race King 2.2 which I run at the rear. I like it and it works good for me in general. But it has got a cut in the sidewall and is getting worn overall, so it's time to think what to get next.
The easy way is to just order the same tire again, but it's not interesting, I'd rather like to try something new.

I have the Protection version, so no black chilli. I wish it was black chilli, but it's only available in the Supersonic version which I dislike due to its thin sidewalls.

So, here's what I like in the RK Protection:
- high volume, although i'd probably wish even more volume and a little wider casing
- low rolling resistance
- decent weight
- predictable and controllable washouts

What I dislike:
- lack of side knobs
- definitely not the best grip in the world
- no black chilli and reinforced sidewalls in the same tire
- I want to try something else :)

I would like:
- 600-650 g weight (less is good but see below)
- known to work well with ZTR rims (Flow), yellow tape and sealant (I'll give it a try in this setup anyway)
- not less volume and casing width than RK 2.2, but to be able to fit in the Trance X' rear triangle (in case someone knows for sure)
- better grip than RK 2.2
- performed good at low pressures
- reasonably higher rolling resistance than RK is ok
- looked good paired with Rubber Queen 2.2 in the front :)

I would probably get a Conti X King 2.4, but it's not available yet, and I'm afraid I may need a new tire before the X King is released.

Also, I might try RaRa or RoRo 2.25 or 2.4 but I dislike Schwalbes due to aesthetic reasons, so I'd prefer something else.

Any suggestions what to look at?
 

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Not knowing anything about your local terain I'd recomend a Weirwolf LT 2.55. It's high volume, good rolling, and has good side knobs.

Fat albert is good rolling high volume tire as well. Can get snake skin as well for cut resistant side walls.
 

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Once again don't know what your terrain is like but wild grip'r 2.25 is huge and fast at low pressure. Grip on wet roots etc is not as good as RK with black chill. But they're cheap so may be worth a try?

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=590171&highlight=michelin

Others have tried the Wildrace'r 2.15 and say it is fast. If same sizing as wild grip'r it will be a big tire.
A similar tire I have tried is a Geax Saguaro 2.2. Not as big a volume as RK but has a sweet ride.
I'd like to try a Hutchinson Cobra 2.25 as Hutchinson has a history of sweet riding tires and the Geax AKA 2.2 because of good experiences with previous Geax tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input. Wildrace'r looks interesting but a bit heavy. Geax Saguaro 2.2 seems to be an interesting choice as well. Hutchinsons aren't really an option, I think, since Notubes doesn't recommend them to use with their kit.

As for Weirwolfs, they look interesting, but I'd probably rather run them in the front, they're sort of more aggressive. If I were not against putting them in the rear, then I'd already put RQ 2.2 there which I already have lying around. Actually, I'll probably do this (+RQ 2.4 in the front) for autumn/spring riding when I ride slower and relaxed but I like as much grip and comfort as possible (even with higher rolling resistance), concerning more wet conditions. Or I'm wrong and they do roll well enough to be used at the rear? Either case, 2.55 is probably too big to fit in Trance X. I may try a smaller size though.

As for my terrain, it's pretty much everything, excluding rocks (there are some, but rare). I've found the RK 2.2 performing pretty good for me in my terrain so I'd like the new tire to perform similarly, but have a little more grip and it's ok if it had a little higher rolling resistance. Again, it's for the rear wheel, so I'm choosing differently comparing to the front wheel considerations. My front wheel is going to get RQ 2.2 soon (as soon as I receive the Hope Hoops Pro2/Flow wheelset). So probably something between XC and AM tires. Just like the possible Conti X King :). Or maybe Rocket Ron. But the latter is pretty lightweight so may be not suitable for Stan's tubeless conversion.

Also, to clarify, I'm not a racer, so seconds don't count that much. I'm just riding for fun, but I have more fun when my bike, including tires, performs perfectly and rolls good at the same time because I don't really like when I'm getting tired while other folks are staying fresh on their semi slicks when we ride on hardpack (this is OK with RK).

up: You know, I've just got to the WTB site and I do like their tires. Not exactly Weirwolf, but maybe something like ExiWolf or something else. They offer really many to choose from. I didn't look seriously at their tires before. Will search for reviews, opinions, etc. But I'm still open to suggestions!
 

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Saguaro's are a hard compound so no good in the wet. AKA is softer so may be OK ? Had good reviews that I have seen so far. I've also used Barro Mountain 2.3[smaller volume than Saguaro 2.2] and is a good fast all rounder with a nice comfy ride.

I know you don't like Schwalbe, but Racing Ralph 2.4 is my intermediate conditions tire of choice. Plenty of edge grip compared to a RK [same side knobs as 2.25 nobby nic]. Huge cushy tire and fits a Trance.
Weirwolf LT 2.55 is actually a 2.3" tire so will fit as well.
 

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Ok,

First, check out the sticky on the wheel and tire form that talks about the German magazine tire rolling resistance. They did tests of tires rolling over a drum, punchture test, and grip test. While not perfect, it will give you an idea on relative tire performance.

It sounds like you want a large volume fast tire in the rear with some side knobs, leaning more towards the fast side. Maxis Aspen or Ardent, weirwolf LT, Racing Ralph, high roller semi slick (this tire runs small in the 2.35 szie), the first three will be good in mixed conditions, the last great in dry conditions.

If you want a tire for a little bit of everything, you're going to need a fast all arounder, I like the specalized captin 2.2 for this, it's cheap, dual compound, tight middle nobs for fast rolling, good volume, good transition nobs. I just rode 30 miles this weekend with 2000 ft of climbing and 6000 ft of decending, they did well at both. Maxis Aspen looks good, as does the mountain king, the weirworlf LT, and nobby nick.

If you want a tire for hard pack riding, and loose over hard pack riding, with no rocks to rip knobs off, I like the Racing Ralph in 2.25 size for the rear. Braking traction isn't the best, but it's very fast and has side knobs. Could also use the Crossmark here, but you'll miss the side knobs, Maxis Aspen and Larsin TT would rock here as well. Kenda makes a few semi slicks as well.

If it's loose your going to need wide spaced nobs that are taller, few trasition knobs, and a side knob profile that creats a rail. Rubber queen, maxis ardent are tires that I like.

If it's wet, the captin plugs with mud quickly, ardent is good, mountain king is very good, rocket ron is very good.

I use the racing ralph and rocket ron in 2.25 UST for endurance racing for dry, hard pack, loose over hard. They are fast, but have the least grip off all the tires I've mentioned here. I'm sliding these in turns regulary, braking isn't good, and the knobs aren't dealing well with sharp rock encounters. There definatly are strait up xc race tires, not going to fall in the XC to AM area you mentioned. However, they are great if you don't have rocks to contend with. The RaRa will pack with wet soil (dryer than mud) quickly.

There's no magic formula for tires, if you want it faster, it will have lower knobs closer togeter, if you want more grip, it will have taller kobs farther apart. A few tires have softer compound to give greater grip with short knobs, Larson TT, Race King, small 8, i'm sure there are others.
 

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I'm sure there are many fine choices to go with, I'll just tell you what worked for me: Ardent 2.25

I was running a RK 2.2 SS in the rear. Great drive grip at low pressure and the wet traction was outstanding. Also loved the low rolling resistance. However, the side knobs are non-existent, and I found them to really lack in cornering traction on anything but clean surfaces. I wanted to replace it with something that rolled well, but could corner hard.

The Ardent 2.25 works great for me. It rolls very fast and corners great. It does not roll as fast as the RK, but still pretty fast. The wet traction is not there, though (compared to the black chili RK). However, since you are coming from a non-Black Chili tire, I don't think it will be any worse than what you have. I have run it with a Rubber Queen 2.4 and a Big Betty in the front, and find it a good match. Volume is about the same as the RK 2.2 SS. I believe it it around 650g.
 

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OP...disregard the weight of the true, 2.15 Michelin Wild Race'R. It rolls so quickly it feels like a 450g tire,except with much MORE GRIP off-camber and loads of puncture resistance:

http://www.michelinbicycletire.com/michelinbicycle/index.cfm?event=wildracer.view

I also ditched the Race King 2.2 for these tires and does not regret it one bit. This is the very same tire Julien Absalon won his 2008 Beijing Gold on too...
 

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Tried the Ardent and didn't rate it Barro mountain was faster and had more cornering grip especially in the transition area.

Captain had good edge grip but felt a bit slow.
None are anywhere the league of 2.4 Ra Ra as far as edge grip and volume[ bigger tread than 2.25]. Over a rough course , faster as well.
 

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gvs_nz said:
Tried the Ardent and didn't rate it Barro mountain was faster and had more cornering grip especially in the transition area.

Captain had good edge grip but felt a bit slow.
None are anywhere the league of 2.4 Ra Ra as far as edge grip and volume[ bigger tread than 2.25]. Over a rough course , faster as well.
I did not recommend the Racing Ralph because the OP was concerned about the sidewalls of the RK 2.2 SS, and the 2.4 Ralph is not much different in the sidewall dept.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone for all the input! After extensive googling, reading and comparing, and then looking what's actually available in stores with reasonable shipping costs, I decided to go for the Ardent 2.25 folding, which I have just ordered.
Was trying to find some Geax tires, but had no luck. Either out of stock or ridiculously high international shipping rates or both. So will try them some time later.
Yesterday's wet, sandy and somewhere muddy ride convinced me to choose the Ardent over the Aspen or other smoother, dry conditions XCish tires. Also, it looks like the Ardent in the rear should make a good match for the Rubber Queen 2.2, which I've already mounted in the front and like much so far. I was even thinking of getting another RQ 2.2 for the rear wheel, but decided to try different tires for now :).

So, will post a note here when (I hope) I receive it and ride it a bit. Gonna mount it tubeless with the Stan's goo.
 

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Only 1 answer really, there is only 1 tyre I prefer more on the rear than the RK2.2.

Nearly as fast rolling.
Better mud useability ( Just )
Slightly higher volume.
Wider.
Proper side knobs for when you lean over.
Similar weight.

Maxxix Aspen 2.25's Easy as, great tyre.

Infact I'm going to put this back on the rear of my bike as the rain is back here :(

Not liking the Ardent 29" 2.4 on the front at all sadly, going to save it for rear 29" use I guess.

Back to 26" RQ 2.4 on the front I fear.
 

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CDS123 said:
Sounds like a great combo. Don't be afraid to try the Ardent up front as well, it's a great cornering tire.
Ouch maybe a 2.4.The 2.25 is scary. Much rather use Race king in the front.
 

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gvs_nz said:
Ouch maybe a 2.4.The 2.25 is scary. Much rather use Race king in the front.
I cannot think of many things scarier than a RK in the front. I find the Ardent 2.25 to corner MUCH better.
 

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And I don't so we disagree like most people on tire choice.
My reasononing is I find the RK at least grippy and progressive. The ardent 2.25 has an edge and nothing in between. I used to like the Ardent on the back on tight single track because I could easily make it step out by weighting the outside pedal. I can't do that with race kings without a bit of brake induced skid as well.

I must admit I didn't own them both at the same time and have not done back to back testing. So I could suffer be a bit from selective memory loss like everybody else.
 

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gvs_nz said:
And I don't so we disagree like most people on tire choice.
My reasononing is I find the RK at least grippy and progressive. The ardent 2.25 has an edge and nothing in between. I used to like the Ardent on the back on tight single track because I could easily make it step out by weighting the outside pedal. I can't do that with race kings without a bit of brake induced skid as well.

I must admit I didn't own them both at the same time and have not done back to back testing. So I could suffer be a bit from selective memory loss like everybody else.
Yeah, I think tires are the single most subjective part of a bike.

Just to be clear, I am not crazy about an Ardent 2.25 in the front either. Works on the back for me, though. As did the Race King.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It came in today (2.25, folding)



Feels sticky. The compound is harder than in non-BC race king, but softer than in BC RQ 2.2.
Mounted with a tube on a Flow and inflated to 35 psi measures 55.1 mm in casing width, and the tread width is practically the same. Pretty much like the RK 2.2.
I fail to mount it tubeless. It just won't inflate with a floor pump. The trick with inflating with a tube, then unmounting one side and taking away the tube does not work. Once I let all the air out, the tire beads jump off the bead sockets to inside of the rim. Is it normal? Conti tires' beads locked perfectly in the Flows for me, it needed some effort to 'unplug' the beads even with zero pressure inside.
For now, I mounted it with a tube, inflated to 35 psi and will let it stay until tomorrow. Then will deflate maybe to 28-29 and give it a ride. I hope it will stretch/break in/become less stiff somehow so I'll be able to inflate it tubeless, or at least try with one of the beads pre-seated.
...and I've already found some air compressor to buy. I'm trying to convince myself that it's a useful thingy anyway so it won't be used to just inflate one tire and then lay around for years :)
 

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