Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am in the middle of a tire buying dillema... There was once a time, during the dark ages of geared bikes, when I'd simply look over a few tread patterns and say "yeah I like the profile on that one" and be done with it. Since the dawn of the one-geared era things have gotten more simple, and more complicated, at the same time. I waver between thinking, "taller knobs equals better traction" and "more volume equals more cush, and traction be damned!" I can't decide if I need more momentum... or more grip. Am I a spin and mangle singlespeeder in need of a big, smooth treadless pillow? Or a pick and play Dab-a-phobe, looking for uber-technical dominance even if it means low speeds? Thank Gawd I have two singlespeeds, so I can continue to sit on this philosophical fence. Right now I have one foot in the church of Maxxis holy roller and the other in the Temple of Continental Mountain King... Some day I'll have to choose one over the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Kindred Spirit

Yes, al415, I feel your pain!:thumbsup:

As a long-time singlespeeder/all-mountain rider AND complete tire wonk, I've wrestled with this philosophical and moral dilemma for hours (my wife teases me).

I've read the reviews. I've scoured the forums. I've closely monitored the riding styles, strengths and proclivities of every rider I encounter to glean what wisdom their tire choices reveal. I've experimented and demoed and purchased and discarded tons of rubber. So, what have I concluded????

First, let me say that I ride in the Rocky Mountains, where there is lots of granite, gravel (locals call scree), dry conditions and pine forests. None of my wisdom will help you if you are an east-coaster, roots and loam type. That said...

1) Fat is first. Fat, high volume has so many benefits I won't even list them here, especially in the front. Sacrifice everything else before you go with some skinny, squirrel-d*ck tire (as one my buddies refers to them).

2) Pay attention to shoulders. Particularly in the front, which sets up all your turns, you need aggressive shoulder knobs. I like the sharp, angled ones you see on lots of tires these days (check out Schwalbe's newest offerings, lots of WTB's including Mutano's, etc. etc.). I've switched tires from rear after the center knobs are worn to the front with fine results as long as the shoulder knobs are sound.

3) Tubeless rocks! I've been riding tubeless longer than almost anyone I know in this area. Being able to ride with lower pressure is the most important benefit, but not worrying about that iddy-biddy cactus is nice too. Oh, I mostly use standard tires, but a few people make tubeless specific ones that won't kill you with tons of weight.

4) Don't fear diversity. I like running different front and back tires because I believe the function is different for each. My goals in the front are fat (looking down at a big, fat tire inspires confidence, at least in me), sharp shoulders and a supple sidewall. In the back, I like more aggressive knobs - all your power's coming from here.

My wife's teasing me again, so I better wrap this up. Here's some ideas for you...

- Schwalbe's are great but pricey. If money is no object, the fastest guys I know ride these.
- WTB's are more of a workingman's tire, but nice tread patterns and fairly light. Not as supple but the trade-off is a little more toughness in the sidewalls. Also, nice that they design front/rear specific patterns.
- Panaracer's new Rampage answers most of my criteria above, and at a good price. This is one that I would run both in front and back.
(-my little secret is IRC Trail Bears. One of the real singlespeed gods around here turned me onto these. Nothing glamorous, but they work, you go fast, you buy more when they wear out - enough said. My current choice is these in the back and the Rampage in the front:thumbsup:)

Obviously, some folks will disagree, but I offer these opinions humbly and in the spirit of helping a fellow questioning-soul. Oh, I've pretty much stopped agonizing over this stuff now, since I've found something that works. Good luck,

E
 

·
Is that Bill rated?
Joined
·
440 Posts
Have your cake and eat it too.

I say go with the nice, fast rolling 'treadless pillow' in the back and the 'uber-technical dominator' in the front. It's the best of both worlds! I like a Python for a rear tire and a Michelin DH in front, but your conditions may necessitate something else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
theycallmeE said:
my little secret is IRC Trail Bears. One of the real singlespeed gods around here turned me onto these. Nothing glamorous, but they work, you go fast, you buy more when they wear out - enough said.

E
second the trail bears. i rean these for a little bit and the were a little slower rolling but they gripped like CRAZY!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
3) Tubeless rocks! I've been riding tubeless longer than almost anyone I know in this area. Being able to ride with lower pressure is the most important benefit said:
Great post!

I'm curious to know what rims you are running with your standard tires?

Thanks!
 

·
blet drive
Joined
·
2,178 Posts
Nevegals wear mad fast if it is hard pack dry like cement like Boise is. a big fatty up front is the ticket
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,652 Posts
JUNGLEKID5 said:
Nevegals wear mad fast if it is hard pack dry like cement like Boise is. a big fatty up front is the ticket
Anyone else have this problem? I heard wear was an issue when I got mine but I've been 6 months of very rooty/rocky trails with mostly dry hardpack in between rocks and have virtually no wear on my nevegal. I only run it on the front and I've had some wear issues with nobby rears but never on the front. Never ride pavement though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,667 Posts
I like fast rolling high volume tires. Your conditions will determine how much tread you need. I like the XDX for my area. Low tread works just fine here. I also ride a 29er so I have more traction and momentum then the same tire on a 26.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
theycallmeE said:
Yes, al415, I feel your pain!:thumbsup,
E
Your response was great! I had a set of those IRC's a couple of years ago. Not glamorous but they gripped like very grippy things indeed. I had forgotten all about them. Tonight I snuck out of the house while the wife was alphabetizing the remainder of my weekend chores. I bought a set of conti' mountain kings. 2.4 up front and 2.2 in the back. I thought about squeezing another 2.4 in the back for winter fun, but it made my poor bike look like the fat kid trying to wear skinny jeans in brooklyn. Tomorrow is their maiden voyage, so I must endeavor to remain sober tonight. At least mostly sober. Thanks all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
TheUglyTruth said:
Great post!

I'm curious to know what rims you are running with your standard tires?

Thanks!
Hey TUT,

On the squish bike DT Swiss - 4.1's in the front, 5.1's in back, with a Stans setup.

On the oney, old school Mavic Tubeless rims, you know, the ones with the pesky countersunk things the spoke nipples go in. Never really had problems running standard tires with these setups. Periodically you rip a sidewall or cut a tire, so you throw a tube in until you get home.

Specialized did some nice things with tubeless tires awhile ago, but their tread pattern's suck now, IMHO.

Schwalbe, I think, has tons of neat combinations of sidewall options, tubeless specific, etc. but I've stopped spending more on tires for my bike than on tires for my car ;) .

Cheers,

E
 

·
aka baycat
Joined
·
8,480 Posts
Been addicted to the Continetnal MK 2.4s. Good price point with aggressive tread, and widely spaced knobs.

Hook up great on the loamy stuff and great wet weather/mud tire so far. Exiwolfs were constantly slipping out on climbs, and have not had any problems with MKs.

Thanks for the tip on the IRC Trail Bears, need some new tires. And will look at those and the Rampages.
 

·
Keep on Rockin...
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
Depends on terrain...

Depending on where I've lived I've ridden everything from semi-slicks to all out knobbies. Also, it depends on the bike's purpose. Is it a SS racer? Or, is it more of a foul weather alternate to the gearie?

Right now I've got the biggest, grippeist 29er meats I could find, WTB Stouts, set up tubeless. These tires suit the trails I have available. Other times I've raced on Kenda Karmas with the center tread carved down out back for speed.
 

·
horizontally compliant
Joined
·
360 Posts
Fatties have a bigger contact patch so you don't necessarily need big knobs.

Plus they're more likely to put out on a first date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
I have 2 sets of tire it really depends were I am riding for fast and hard packed I will run small block 8s and for every thing else I have been pretty happy with my maxxis ignitor.
I would like to try the navagals but it will have to wait till it's time for new tires.
 

·
i call it a kaiser blade
Joined
·
744 Posts
i love a good shoulder on a tire.

fatter is better, because that gives more traction with lower PSI--and just the increased volume of it all.

different brands front and back are good (i'm running a maxxis advantage up front and a panaracer fire mountain pro in the back on my soft tail geared bike).

WTB? i've run 100 dollar tires and 20 dollar tires.

right now i'm running bargain basement 2.1 weirwolfs on my singlespeed.

incredible tires. cheap as hell. and you can even run them on pavement without shredding them.

i have no idea. some of the higher end tires seem snake oil to me.
 

·
V-Shaped Rut
Joined
·
3,178 Posts
7daysaweek said:
Anyone else have this problem? I heard wear was an issue when I got mine but I've been 6 months of very rooty/rocky trails with mostly dry hardpack in between rocks and have virtually no wear on my nevegal. I only run it on the front and I've had some wear issues with nobby rears but never on the front. Never ride pavement though.
Yeah, its rocky as hell out here in the desert. We basically ride in either sand, gravel, rock gardens and hardpacked sandy dirt at the best. I love the nevegals for grip but they are wearing QUICK.

Others here swear by the small block 8.
 

·
Duckin' Fonuts.
Joined
·
297 Posts
Big tires rock. I run all of my suspension there. I like the Trail Bears a lot. Running 2.5's now. Found them for $24 a pair. I'm cheap too when it comes to the mtb makes me feel smart when I beat the tar out of something. I just swithced to a pair of 2.5 WTB Timberwolfs, er wolves. It has been raining bunch and I think these will work nice in the muck. These were $24 for the pair too, maybe that is my number one criteria, the tires must first cost $12 each, then be 2.5's, then whatever tread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Spent a couple of hours on the Contis yesterday...

...and I like them. I ended up with a 2.4 Mountain King and a 2.2 in the rear. Their maiden voyage was a group ride through the local trails. That 2.4 front offers as much confidence inspring cushion as any first generation suspension fork! There are a couple mini-rock gardens that I'd been dismounting for on the 1.8 michelins because I just couldn't control the deflection enough to hold a line. Yesterday all that went out the window, that big tire just floated through these sections like they were not even there. Keep in mind my bike is a 1985 hard tail with a slack (by today's standards) head angle and a curved steel fork. These trails spend the Summer months as fast flowing hardpack, with the odd steep twisty climb and step up. In the Winter they get a bit more loamy and absorbent, some mud here and there. I think the Mountain Kings might be a bit "too grippy" for Summer, at least for my tastes. When the ground starts to harden up I'm going to look for some something just as volumous (is that a word?) but with less tread...
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top