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Token Hillbilly
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Hi all,

A few days ago, I bumped into a guy at the LBS (didn't work there) and we were talking about tires. He made several interesting suggestions that I hadn't heard before, but seemed to make sense to me.

His first suggestion was to put a meatier lugged tire in the front (think Nevegal) to handle washing in the front.

The second suggestion was to basically take a slightly slimmer, directional, and less meaty tire (like my current Bontrager Jones XR) and reverse the direction on it to basically create a paddle-like effect for the rear.

These seem to be good ideas for situations like now where the trails are covered in leaves, or just generally soft due to rain. I'm not sure what effect it would have in a hardpack situation.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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No good in rock gardens..
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4,456 Posts
Bigger and more agressive on the front is an old trick (and some makers do it off the showroom floor) - the front handles the steering while the less agressive tyre on the back won't weigh you down or feel slow - your weight is mostly on the back tyre too, to hold it down and give it traction.

Some tyres will corner different too - you might find the back will skitter out a little on corners to let you get around, with a less aggressive tread on the back.
 

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~Disc~Golf~
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16,496 Posts
J. Fragera said:
...

The second suggestion was to basically take a slightly slimmer, directional, and less meaty tire (like my current Bontrager Jones XR) and reverse the direction on it to basically create a paddle-like effect for the rear.
I pretty much agree with every thing except for reversing the direction. Installed correctly ( tread 'chevrons' pointing foreward when viewed from the top) directional tires do make a 'paddle'.

I tested this out about a month ago in a patch of somewhat firm mud ( so i could see what's going on with the treads). When you roll your tires forward through the mud, you'll notice the 'chevron' track point backwards. While this pattern may not be the best for forward torque in mud or loose soil since it 'points' in the direction of the applied force - effectively splitting the soil live a wedge; It does however, seem ideal for braking since the treads act like 'cups' - corralling the soil within the tread.
I wanted to know how directionals fared when it came to corners and lateral force.

While leaning the bike over to a 60-45 degree angle and bearing my weight down on the saddle with my chest, I rolled the bike forward while simultaneously trying to push the rear tire sideways (attempting to mimic g-load) mentally noting the ease/difficulty of lateral movement at the contact patch. I repeated a few times in different spots.
I then did the same thing again, except this time in reverse. Ideally, the tire should've been remounted backwards to be more 'scientific'...but hey, who needs science when there's anecdotes :)

What I noticed, was that it was easier to slip the tire laterally going backwards than forwards. On top of that, my feelings were confirmed when I compared the tracks. The forward tracks left a print that looked like mini bulldozers had piled up soil in parallel 45-degree lines perpendicular to the lateral slip. While the rearward tracks carved 45-degree parallel grooves in the same direction as the lateral slip.
Give it a try :thumbsup:
wow...sorry this is so long...
 

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Agree on larger/meatier front, smaller rear tire.

But, for directional tires, especially ramped knobs, I've tried them in both directions, and the small gain in climbing traction doesn't really make up for the loss of braking. It's not a big deal though to try the rear tire mounted in both directions and see what works best for your riding.

My thinking about ramped rears tire is - in the forward direction, when climbing you have more weight on the rear tire, which can compensate for the ramps losing a bit of grip, especially if the pressure is low enough to plant the full tread. In the reverse direction, downhill braking really suffers because there is less weight on the rear tire so the knobs don't get planted much at all, so it just skids. If you are doing lots of steep climbs and mild descents, then it might be an ok compromise.
 
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