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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can you really tell a big difference in different brand/style of tires? I mean...when you are out in the mud...is one knobby tire better than the other?

I have Bontrager tires...not sure of the exact model...but was wondering if it would be worth it for a newbie like myself to have a few different tires to ride and compare.

I see in a lot of the mag's a lot of the professionals ride "Kenda" or "Maxxis"

Thoughts?
 

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tread design and tire size can make a big differance in your riding. you dont really just want to slap any tire on your bike and hit the trails you have to pick a tire that suits the terrain that you'll be riding.

You have a GF Marlin, dont you? So you probably have Bontrager Jones XR tires, they are probably a decent all-round tire but might not excel in any one area. If your riding in a lot of mud try a tire that has larger tread blocks that are spaced out more, a narrower rear tire helps when riding in deep mud.
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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yes tyres make a really big difference from thread design to compound and weight and what not... I'm using Maxxis Minions DHF/Maxxis Highroller... works really nice. Also going to go back to my old setup soon Minion DHF/DHR... really loved that one... Grip is good... :)
 

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If you ride roads for a good bit of your riding, knobby tires will suffer a premature death.. not to mention they generate more rolling resistance. I picked up some cheaper, harder semi-slicks for rolling on the roads and keep them at a higher pressure. For trails, I just picked up some WTB Moto Raptors. They're hailed as kind of good all-condition tires and have pretty good review ratings here. I got them at blueskycycling.com for about $22 for the kevlar bead ones. I think the two of those together weigh less than one of my steel bead tires.
 

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I'm riding on a Panaracer Cinder in the rear and a Kenda Nevegal up front. Had Kenda's front and rear - I think the Cinders climb a bit better and have worn a little better. About the same for rolling resistance (no scientific measurements - just seat of the pants feel). The Cinder is almost worn and I took a BIG wood screw thru the treads the other day, and I plan to try a Bonterager Jones ACX as a replacement.

Just my $0.02
 

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Tires make a HUGE difference depending on what kind of riding you do.

You want hard rubber, narrower, and lower rolling resistance if you'r riding pavement.

Sticky rubber, fat nobs, and wider treads if you're doing a lot of climbing and riding lose, muddy terrain.

Medium treads, medium to short knobs, and semi hard rubber for faster hard packed XC riding.

Also tire pressure makes a difference too.
etc...
 

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I have ridden many different tires. Nevegals, Mythos, Bontrager Jones, Exiwolfs, etc. I used to hear a lot of people rave about the Panaracer fire xc's. It took me a while before I tried them but once I did I was sold on em. They are a great all around tire that don't weigh as much as alot of other tires on the market for trail riding, grip extremely well, and don't have too much rolling resistance. I use the 127 tpi version not the cheap taiwanese ones. They usually run me about 25 a tire.
 

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My bike came with the WTB Exiwolf tires. I liked them, but when they wore out (last weekend), I was eager to try something new. Based on some reading I did where members local to my area talked about their tire choices, and because they guy at my LBS would make love to these tires if they had a proper sized hole, I went with the WTB Mutano Race tires 26x2.24.

We'll see ;)
 

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My bike (Blur xc) came w/ 1.9 Kenda Karma's. My newfound, more-experienced mtb friends immediately began harping on my "skinny" tires. They insisted that certain tires work best in SoCal conditions (mostly dry, rocky, loose, occasional sticky mud). They were right-- Karma's weren't giving me traction and they became 40lb Frankentires in mud. They also wore out fast. I took my friend's advice: Panaracer Fire xc Pro 2.1's yielded greatly improved grip on loose hills. My friends weren't done-- eventually they convinced me to run a Panaracer Fire FR 2.4 up front. This was the best change yet. The bigger tire really helped my confidence. It feels like another inch of suspension! I've learned to adjust my tire pressures for terrain & that helps, too. I used to hate sand, now I sail thru it. So far I've ridden the Panaracers in Mammoth, Sedona, & the Redwoods-- awesome. My BF (met thru the sport) tells me I'm going to be using different tires when we go to Moab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have Bontrager Jones aXC tires (I think that is the name) 26 x 2.2

Is the 2.2 the width I would assume? How fat can I go on my GF Marlin frame?
 

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For the mud in the Northwest, my LBS recommended the WTB Velociraptor. I tried a set on my Fuel EX 8 and promptly bought another set for my wifes Marlin. This is a soft, aggressive tread that is not a lot of fun on pavement, but we don't do a ton of road riding unless we have to. The difference on the trail is night and day though. These things have a tenacious grip in our soupy/sticky mud.
 

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Freeriding Feline
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Firm believer in Maxxis or Kenda for FR/DH/AM stuff.
I run Maxxis Highrollers on my VP Free (2.5), Kenda Bluegroove on my SC V10 (2.5) and Kendas on my 6.6 as well, with a 2.5 rear and a 2.35 front.
 

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dirty trail dog
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PanicFan77 said:
I have Bontrager Jones aXC tires (I think that is the name) 26 x 2.2

Is the 2.2 the width I would assume? How fat can I go on my GF Marlin frame?
I've found that for the trails around where you live, Kenda Nevagals are the bext tires. I've tried several, and the Nevagals are the best for trails like Blankets, Bear, and Big Creek. I used Panaracer Fire XC Pros for a while, and tried the Panaracer Smoke/Dart set up, WTB, Maxxis, and various Specialized tires, and the Nevagals stick better to this type of dirt than anything.
 

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If I had a tire specifically.....

for every trail or weather condition that I ever rode in, I'd have a closet stacked from floor to ceiling with different tires!!! Well maybe not quite, but I'd have ALLOT of tires sitting around waiting for the right conditions!

I've used quite a few different tires over the years, WTB, Kenda, Specialized, Panaracer, Continental, Michelin, IRC, etc. Of them all, the three best all condition tires that I have used are Kenda Nevegal 2.1's, Panaracer Fire XC Pro 2.1's, and Continental Vertical Pro 2.3's. Each of these tires perfroms well in 95% of the trail conditions that I've encountered. All are of a reasonable weight, all roll reasonably fast, and produce good traction climbing, braking, and connering. The only down side to each is none of them work well in sticky mud. They do fine when the mud is soupy or slopy, but I have yet to find a tire that will shed good old midwest farm country, stick to anything when wet, concrete when it dries mud! Even tires that are designed specifically for mud don't do as well as the manufacturers would like you to think they will in this stuff.

Anyway, if you don't race and aren't a weight weenie, your best bet is to find out what folks use in your area. There are usually two or three brands and models that most serious riders in a given area use because they work. Find out what they are and try them. In most cases you'll find one of the "popular brands" for your area that will suit you. Just keep in mind your riding style, what all the racers in your area use may not be what you are looking for if you tend to ride All Mountain. The bottom line is that just randomly trying tires is usually an expensive way to find out what works in your area and what you like. And unless you have some very specific conditions that you ride in most of the time, (like the Pacific North West is usually wet 80% of the time) it's better to go with a tire that is known as an "all condition" tire. Certainly an AC tire is not a master of any one trail condition, but it will give you much better versitility, and it'll keep the tire clutter in your closet or garage to a minimum! :D

Good Dirt
 

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don't move for trees
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maxxis minion 2.7s roll like molasis, but man do they hook up good.
i really liked my kenda blue groves
 
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