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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm getting back into riding after a fourteen year hiatus, and I'm thinking some new tires may be in order, as the old ones look crackly. Mostly trail riding in IE foothills - hardpack with occasional rock gardens and loose sand. Oh yeah, I'm still on 26", and I run tubeless.

Recommendations are much appreciated!
 

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Not a role model
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Maxxis Minion DHR2 EXO.

DC (dual compound) is longer lasting and cheaper, but 3C is grippier, esp in the wet.

2.3 is the min width I'd recommend. 2.4 WT is recommended if you have a wide rim, over 29 ID or 35 OD.

Can opt for DHF up front if you tend to lay off the front brake and like to carve/lean, but DHR2 is a good all-rounder for both front and rear. Aggressor is a worthy alternative for the rear, but I find that the DHR2 isn't any worse at the job. Just listing it, in case it's on sale.

Just don't go cheap with tires. 26" wheeled bikes especially need high quality tires (and suspension).

Alternatives:

Schwalbe Snakeskin casing too thin for hard rocky terrain, perhaps fine depending on the tire model (thick blocks in the pinch flat prone area may be fine, yes tubeless tires pinch). Apex and DD are recommended. SG probably overkill unless you go full Enduro, or ok for rear if you have super short chainstays. Don't bother with the older TrailStar versions--Addix EVO (Soft/Orange front, Speedgrip/Blue or Soft rear, *not* Performance) is the way to go. Magic Mary front, perhaps the new Hans Dampf for the rear.
Continental performs fine, but I honestly never wore one out due to various problems like casing tears, sealant weeping, just not holding air. I liked the Trail King 2.4 ProTection for the brief time I ran it (torn casing).

Dunno who else makes worthy 26 tires, but if you go 27.5 front (mixed wheel size is gaining popularity, and lots of nice 27.5 forks like the new Lyrik):

Specialized Eliminator GRID (2bliss Gripton) is a tire I've been wanting to try. Butcher is a fine choice, but seems to work better in moister conditions.
WTB has some good options like the Vigilante. Lots of options to choose from based on your style.
Kenda Hellcat has seriously impressed me, but you gotta be fit to run it, due to high rolling resistance.
Bontrager decent options options from the Team Issue line. Didn't really like the lower end line tires.
Vittoria decent options... nothing that stands out.

Eh, just go Minion. Really, should be that simple. They are the kings in SoCal. Should only be a choice between DHF or DHR2, width, and compound, according to your style.

P.S. weight weenism is going out of style.
 

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3 on the tree
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the detailed answer! I'm not so worried about weight, as I'm not racing, as I am durability. I ride a Yeti 575 with a Fox Float fork on Mavic 819 disc rims, so I'm pretty sure I can handle up to 2.4. Based on your advice and the online reviews I've seen, Minions look like a great choice.
 

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If your still on 26" wheels, I'd recommend WTB MutanoRaptor 2.4 race. I wish they made this tire in 27.5" and 29". Although it looks like it wouldn't be a great tire, small knobs, center strip, this tire just worked for every condition I could throw at it and was fast on the pavement also.
 

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Thanks for the detailed answer! I'm not so worried about weight, as I'm not racing, as I am durability. I ride a Yeti 575 with a Fox Float fork on Mavic 819 disc rims, so I'm pretty sure I can handle up to 2.4. Based on your advice and the online reviews I've seen, Minions look like a great choice.
That rim is probably pretty narrow for a 2.4. Might want to check with a shop or whatever. Are you going to be tubeless? On such a narrow rim you risk burping easier. You may be better off with a 2.2?
 

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I'm 6'5", 205 and ride mostly rocky and loose over hardback trails at La Costa and love the Schwalbe Magic Mary Snakeskin EVO front and Hans Dampf rear. I ride 24 PSI front 26 rear on 27.5 wheels and once I increased my PSI to those pressures I pretty much stopped flatting. When I rode 26" I loved the original High Roller LUST 2.35 tires for these trails but they've been out of production for a while.
 

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Robertson
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I'm 6'5", 205 and ride mostly rocky and loose over hardback trails at La Costa and love the Schwalbe Magic Mary Snakeskin EVO front and Hans Dampf rear. I ride 24 PSI front 26 rear on 27.5 wheels and once I increased my PSI to those pressures I pretty much stopped flatting. When I rode 26" I loved the original High Roller LUST 2.35 tires for these trails but they've been out of production for a while.
Funny, I regularly ride the same trails and have had awful experiences with both those tires. Flat city and poor sidewall support, then the knobs tore fairly early.

OP, I've had good luck with:

Front: Maxxis DHF, Maxxis HR2, Continental der Kaiser, Bontrager SE5 (new 2.6 size)
Rear: Maxxis Aggressor (DD), WTB breakout tough/fast, Bontrager SE4 (2.4)

Been on the Bontrager combo for a bit now and enjoying it quite a bit. I'm 205# geared up, 24psi front 28 rear, i30 rims, insert in the rear tire only
 

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Schwalbe's new Addix compounds improved durability. They still aren't the longest lasting tires but I wouldn't say they have a problem in that area. I switched to a Jeffsy 29er this week that came with TRS Race and Plus tires and for the first 23 miles I've put on them (all at La Costa) they seem slower on the climbs but even better on the downhills.
 

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M

Eh, just go Minion. Really, should be that simple. They are the kings in SoCal. Should only be a choice between DHF or DHR2, width, and compound, according to your style.

P.S. weight weenism is going out of style.
Yep. Minion DH EXO is a winner uop front. For the rear wheel I simply get a Ardent 2.4 EXO, and the two are fast and grippy together.
With these tires, I can no longer blame crappy tires for my crash-es.
 

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The popular combination is DHF front, and Aggressor rear.

What's the next combo down if you want to sacrifice traction for more rolling speed? Rekons front and rear? Something ideal for aggressive XC/downcountry...
 

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Got rocks?
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The popular combination is DHF front, and Aggressor rear.

What's the next combo down if you want to sacrifice traction for more rolling speed? Rekons front and rear? Something ideal for aggressive XC/downcountry...
I have been on the hunt for the same thing. I just put a Hans Dampf on the front and only ridden once but it seems pretty promising so far I was happy with it on my local very rocky hardpack trails. If I like it enough ill get another for the rear. I am also gonna try out a Nevegal 2 and see how it does front and rear while swapping it with the Hans dampf.
 

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The popular combination is DHF front, and Aggressor rear.

What's the next combo down if you want to sacrifice traction for more rolling speed? Rekons front and rear? Something ideal for aggressive XC/downcountry...
Ardent Race 2.35 Front
Ardent Race 2.2 Back

Great combination when it gets dry and loose for aggressive XC/trail. I'm getting by with Ardent Race 2.2 Front and Ikon 2.2 Back at the moment but will transition to the combo above once it's blown out.
 

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3 on the tree
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That rim is probably pretty narrow for a 2.4. Might want to check with a shop or whatever. Are you going to be tubeless? On such a narrow rim you risk burping easier. You may be better off with a 2.2?
Burping is probably of greater concern on the rear tire, correct?

I assume the Mavic 819 has a 19 mm width. Would 2.2 rear and 2.4 front be workable?
 
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