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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little background: Last year in July I bought a new C'dale trigger 29er. Love the bike. Love the tires that came on it....Schwalbe Hans Dampfs. However, they're stupid expensive. I live in PA so I've only actually been riding them for about 3 months. The front is awesome, has some wear, but I ride it pretty hard and I expect the wear I'm seeing. The rear, however is just about beat in a half season of riding. Knobs are undercutting, sidewalls are pin-hole producing nightmares and I have to air them up before every ride....running tubeless. I don't want to run tubes. Also I'm super clyde at 295 geared up...and I enjoy the technical stuff, lots of rocks and roots, logs. I ride aggressively and don't often pick the cleanest lines in favor of the rougher ones. Some of my riding buds think I'm nuts, but that's the stuff that makes mtbing what i really enjoy.

So I've been searching for a replacement for the rear. I settled on Conti's X-King and Mountain King to try out...both are the Protection models so I can run them tubeless without issue and have some sidewall protection. There's some 650b bikes in my local shop that have the MK's on them an they looked HUGE....and wide and soft so I bought some for my 29er. I'm thoroughly UNimpressed so far. I haven't ridden them other than on the street out front yet, but they're really narrow! I didn't take pics, but they measure LESS THAN 2.2" on my i23 rims(knobs AND casing). That's okay I suppose for a rear tire, but I had planned to put the MK up front and the XK in the back. I wanted to lessen the rolling resistance for trail riding and still have some grip. Well, the HD is back on the front as it's almost 2.6" at the knobs and 2.4" on the casing. I've just plain decided that I'll have to spend the money on the front....that HD hooks up really well, the rolling resistance isn't so much in the front and they're predictable.

I guess my question is simply: Are there any true 2.3" or 2.4" tires that hook up, aren't damn near $100 a piece and actually last a whole season that don't drag so much for the back end of my bike? I'm not asking for much, right? :rolleyes:

I can find them(HD) for around $70 if I look really hard, use email coupons, etc. But they still wear too much and have too much rolling resistance for my liking. they also get a little squirmy when I lean them over hard in tight corners....not a feeling I'm very keen on! I kind of like the Ardent from Maxxis, but I haven't personally seen anything else that close and I haven't run Ardent's for myself, though some of my bud's run them and like them for spring/fall/wet type conditions and swap them out in summer for stuff I won't run like Nano's or Rocket Rons. I've considered Nobby Nic's but I fear I'm going to be in the same boat. Is there anything else out there that's high volume, good traction, not too draggy in the rolling department and doesn't break the bank?
 

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What I've done with success is buy more, maybe 20+ tires of different Schwalbe models and a few additional Shimano components from H&S Bike Discount. This spreads the $30 shipping flat rate over a lot of stuff. The price per tire is $42 and I add $7 to each for shipping and sell all the extras on the local board. My shipping turns out free and everyone else gets a killer deal on the couple or so they want. You can use one of the other German onlines, but H&S price matches. Figure about two weeks.

Schwalbe Schwalbe Hans Dampf Evo Snake Skin TrailStar 29 x 2,35"
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Heck, for those prices I could get a few of my riding buddies to go in and we all get a better deal. Even with the shipping fee it's almost a 2-for-1 kind of deal!

I'm going to look into the Chunky Monkey as well, but I'm super pleased with the HD up front. The rear tire is my biggest concern at the moment.
 

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Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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For cheap replacements, try Duro Switch tires. $15 each from either Jenson or Price Point (can't remember)... Mine booked up tubeless just fine. Good tread, little thin on the sidewall, not sure about longevity... Just a cheap option to try out.
 

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I don't think I've ever paid more than $60 for a Schwalbe. Ebay always has NIB Schwalbes; I bought Nobby Nics (SnakeSkin, TLR) at 2 for $113, including shipping.
 

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Yeah, it's insane. I don't get how some bicycle tires cost as much as car tires!

Hell, I paid $82 mounted/balanced for each of my snow tires for my car last fall and those weren't even the cheapest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think I've ever paid more than $60 for a Schwalbe. Ebay always has NIB Schwalbes; I bought Nobby Nics (SnakeSkin, TLR) at 2 for $113, including shipping.
...but i wanna walk in the door with $50 and walk out with a damn tire! My LBS doesn't carry them and their nearest competitor is a Trek shop(ie EVERYTHING is Bontrager). I might even talk to them about the German link and get them selling Schwalble's. I'm fortunate to be personal friends with them, but they're still crazy expensive tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, it's insane. I don't get how some bicycle tires cost as much as car tires!

Hell, I paid $82 mounted/balanced for each of my snow tires for my car last fall and those weren't even the cheapest.
That's half my issue. I have a set of snow tires ON SEPARATE WHEELS in my shed for my wife's Subaru and they cost me just above $400 a few years ago....and they look damn near new. thqat rubber is soft and sticky too!
 

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I've been pleased with the specialized butcher. It's not the lightest or fastest rolling tire, but hooks up on everything and lasts longer than anything I've tried. They retail about $55. Guess the downside is they have to come from a specialized dealer.
 

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Another. Vote for the Gato. I just measured mine out of curiosity with my digital calipers and the casing is 2.3" wide and slightly larger at the knobs. For the back I would say go for the GEAX Goma. all GEAX seem to run true to size and I love them. Will be going Gato/Goma or Goma/Saguaro for my XC/Trail setup.
 

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Tioga Ventures if you can find them. Running the 2.4s, they wear like iron, and as things get loose and chunky here in NM in spring, they hook up incredibly well. Took all of 30 seconds to seat properly on tubeless rims. Hugely impressed thus far and they're about $60 a piece!
 
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