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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Tire recommendation for a girly

I am building my first mountain bike and so far everything's been fairly straightforward, but now I'm wanting to get some tires and I'm having a hard time.

I've read a million postings on the reviews, but here's my problem - I'm female and weigh in at 110lbs. Without knowing the weights of the guys writing these reviews, I'm no wiser when I've read them.

I currently ride with Specialized Team Control Armadillos (not out of choice, but I was halfway though a bike clinic at a LBS and my old Panracers were pretty trashed, so obviously the LBS sold me the "best tire around", which just so happened to be the only tire around). Since I've had them, I've had three major wipeouts. It could be me, but I never used to do that. I put it down to the ridiculous amount of tread on them. I've lost confidence in my riding, and cornering - well don't even get me started!

I don't know if it makes much difference, but I'm building a Juliana SL and trying to make it light (not for poser value, but because I'm trying to reduce my rider/bike weight ratio).

Can anyone give me any recommendations?

Sam W
 

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mtbkers said:
I am building my first mountain bike and so far everything's been fairly straightforward, but now I'm wanting to get some tires and I'm having a hard time.

I've read a million postings on the reviews, but here's my problem - I'm female and weigh in at 110lbs. Without knowing the weights of the guys writing these reviews, I'm no wiser when I've read them.

I currently ride with Specialized Team Control Armadillos (not out of choice, but I was halfway though a bike clinic at a LBS and my old Panracers were pretty trashed, so obviously the LBS sold me the "best tire around", which just so happened to be the only tire around). Since I've had them, I've had three major wipeouts. It could be me, but I never used to do that. I put it down to the ridiculous amount of tread on them. I've lost confidence in my riding, and cornering - well don't even get me started!

I don't know if it makes much difference, but I'm building a Juliana SL and trying to make it light (not for poser value, but because I'm trying to reduce my rider/bike weight ratio).

Can anyone give me any recommendations?

Sam W
Dear Sam W
It's hard to answer your question wothout some more info. Do you ride in desert conditions with alot of thorns. Do you ride in mud, or loose gravely stuff, or hit big rocks, or ride on hard pack? Turtle
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mmm, riding conditions would help!

I ride mostly dry Nor Cal. singletrack. Nothing too extreme. Bit of dust, a few tree routes and some well placed rocks. The water divets are a pain. I don't get flats (is that my lack of weight, or the Armadillos?) and I don't tend to ride when it's extremely wet/claylike, so an all weather tire is not essential.
 

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Seracs might be a good choice

I am not a heavyweight by most people's standards (6ft. 170lb)... have had the same concern as you about big, clunky/chunky tires. You might want to try IRC Serac XCs... they are lightweight and have good grip. I have been riding on them over the past couple of years in mostly dry conditions and found that they perform well in sand, loose gravel and hard-pack. Another thing that I really like about them is low rolling resistance on pavement when you're on the road to/from a trail. With these, you need to like rustwalls because it looks as though they have phased out the blackwall option.

Good luck!
 

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Python Air Lights

I'm 185 lbs and use these on my race HT and sometimes on my FS. I have had no problems with flats and, for the dry conditions you described, they work well, are light and fast. I have also had good luck with the Michelin Comp S. Neither of these tires would be the best for rocky and wet conditions but, even there, I have had no major problems. Its not like the bike automatically slips out from under you.
 

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mtbkers said:
I ride mostly dry Nor Cal. singletrack. Nothing too extreme. Bit of dust, a few tree routes and some well placed rocks. The water divets are a pain. I don't get flats (is that my lack of weight, or the Armadillos?) and I don't tend to ride when it's extremely wet/claylike, so an all weather tire is not essential.
Take a look at the Kenda Blue Groove Lite DTC 2.0. It has a dual tread compound, with harder, faster rolling tread in the center and the extremely grippy Stick-e rubber on the edges. Fairly light at 450g. IMO...these would be awesome tires for you.

Good prices on these tires HERE
 

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mward said:
Try the Conti Explorer Pro. Fairly lightweight, not the fastest rolling tire, but not the slowest either, and they have pretty much awesome grip in all conditions.
I'm also recommending the Explorers as well, IMO they're the best overall all-rounder trail riding tyre. Sure they don't roll like Maxxis Wormdrive's or hook up like Nokian Gazzaloddi's, but as an all-rounder tyre, it's tops.
For me Continental has the best product range even if it's not as cheaper as the Taiwan-based tyre companies. Haven't tried Continental's Gravity Arc tread design tyres yet though.
IMO this is my top tyre ladder:
- Continental
- Nokian
- Maxxis
- Michelin

Also try to get your hot hands on some Stan's No Tubes, and go as crazy as you can on the line of least resistance.

You can give Kenda a go if you what, but I killed my Kenda Kinetics in less than a year, and I'm a lazy (I ride 2 hours per month during school terms) flyweight (50-60kg)aggressive XC rider. I guess I can blame the road miles between the trails I ride, I delaminated the tyres.
 

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mtbkers said:
I am building my first mountain bike and so far everything's been fairly straightforward, but now I'm wanting to get some tires and I'm having a hard time.

I've read a million postings on the reviews, but here's my problem - I'm female and weigh in at 110lbs. Without knowing the weights of the guys writing these reviews, I'm no wiser when I've read them.

I currently ride with Specialized Team Control Armadillos (not out of choice, but I was halfway though a bike clinic at a LBS and my old Panracers were pretty trashed, so obviously the LBS sold me the "best tire around", which just so happened to be the only tire around). Since I've had them, I've had three major wipeouts. It could be me, but I never used to do that. I put it down to the ridiculous amount of tread on them. I've lost confidence in my riding, and cornering - well don't even get me started!

I don't know if it makes much difference, but I'm building a Juliana SL and trying to make it light (not for poser value, but because I'm trying to reduce my rider/bike weight ratio).

Can anyone give me any recommendations?

Sam W
The Team Control Armadillos are not a good choice for you. The tread is probably OK but the casing is thick, inflexible and heavy. You should be looking at fairly light tires with supple casings and not too wide that let the tire work with your weight.
Look at these:
  • [email protected] Blue Groove Lite 2.00
  • [email protected] Blue Groove 2.10
  • Nokian NBX Light 2.00
  • Pana racer Cinder 1.95
  • Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.0
  • Schwalbe Little Albert 2.1
  • Hutch¡nson Python Air Light 2.00
  • Hutch¡nson Scorpion Air Light 2.00
  • Conti Explorer Pro 2.1
  • Conti Vapor Pro 2.1
 

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My wife who is your size recommends that you make a note of what the other riders in your area are riding, then go and get the race version of those tires (eg: python lites or WTB race) and/or a smaller casing (eg: 2.1 vs 2.4 Panaracer FireXC). She suggest that if you are riding by yourself then you must try to hook up with a group, check out their tires and ride with 'em. They will be full of tips on tires, setup, rides, and trail advice.

This is the most logical suggestion, instead of just telling you X-brand tire might work for you. Glean the info from the local riders, apply it to your situation and learn from it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info

Your wife's suggestion about looking at what others are riding was a good one. Unfortunately, I belong to a huge club (Velogirls.com) and I've asked around and unfortunately, women I ride with tend to just have "the ones that came with the bike". So that's every brand under the sun getting a "yes, they seem ok" vote.

I'm going to try the Hutch Python Air Lights first and see where that takes me and work down my list of runners up.

Thanks again.
 

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I think you made the best choice for you conditions.
 
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