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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife needs some new tires to use for endurance racing (12 hours) and fun trail riding. Her field is not competitive enough that every gram/watt counts (typically she has only 1-3 competitors) so she is not as concerned with tires that are the lightest or fastest rolling as much as she wants the traction and control to inspire confidence.

We will be installing Maxxis tubeless rim strips in her Velocity AreoHead rims to make them UST compatible. Because she is worried about air leaking from punctures we are leaning towards using Tubeless Ready / Tube no Tube tires with some sealant in the hopes that it will be a low hassle and bombproof set-up.

There seems to be a growing field of these tires but with each manufacturer labeling these types of tires differently it gets a bit confusing. Can anyone recommend tires for the above mentioned usage? Right now I am looking at Geax Barro and Arrojo TnT tires, Specialized The Captain 2Bliss and Bontrager tires, though I'm not sure what model to focus on.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
bump

anyone, anything? I know a lot of people out there are using these tires. What's the 411?
 

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Surly OG
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TR 2bliss etc.... are for the technically adept the hot set up for trail biking / Enduro racing. Hell, I use them for Aggro All Mountian riding. Only when I let the psi seep down do I run into burping problems. I haven't had an on the trail flat in over 2 yrs. UST beads is where it's at. Lose the tubes, carry an ultra lite emergency spare tube, and 2 c02's. You'll have to check the tube on yearly, since you likely won't have to use it, but it might get a hole in it from bouncing around in th seat bag / pack.

Go for it - Pinch flats disappear, Thorns are a non issue.
 

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I have been running the Barro Mountain TNT 2.25 mounted to Mavic UST rims it is an average tyre but not great in any respect. I think proper lighweight UST tyres like the Maxxis LUST tyres (Crossmark/Ignitor) or Schwalbe Evo Tubeless (Nobby Nic/Racing Ralph) are much better they weigh about the same as the tubeless ready stuff and much tougher in terms of tyre construction and sidewalls strength which is important for Enduro riding where reliability is critical. I would not risk a critical tyre failure 3hrs into a 6hr or longer race unless you are planning to carry a spare tyre with you. BTW I do run regular tyres on Stans ZTR Olympic rims for shorter rides and races < 2hrs but I do still get the occasional burp, puncture or sidewall tear (as well as one tyre that blew completely off the rim) so for me it is not reliable enough for long distance/Enduro riding.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Based on Bingobong's suggestion I'm also looking at Schwalbe Nobby Nic and Maxxis Ignitor and High Roller. I'm not seeing any pattern as to a tire or tires that a lot of people really like as all-rounders. Anyone else have any input?
 

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beautiful noise...
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Input? Maybe...

I've been pounding on a set of Specialized Eskar "Control" series in 2.3 2Bliss tires for close to a year now and haven't had a single issue other then during initial set-up (use Stans, not Specialized or other brand). This tire has been pretty good at almost everything, really good at some things, and for some strange reason hasn't been bad at anything :D I would recommend it as a solid "all-a-rounder" tire that does well in a variety of conditions.

I've been on them since the end of last summer and am just now noticing some sidewall wear on the rear. I ride fairly hard, not often shying away from the rough stuff, but do tend to exercise a little caution from time to time. Lugs are in good shape and I'm pleased with tread wear for the miles and terrain they've endured. I've ridden everything from sand, mud, loose over hard, hard-pack, loamy, rocky, rooty, wet, dry, snow, etc... The tires have done incredibly well in most everything but the extremes.

Only "issues" I've had with handling performance were initial and preference/prior experience oriented. There's a bit of a gap in the transition from the center lugs to the side lugs. This initially made me think the tire was a little "squirmy" in slower corners under certain (loose sand over hard) conditions. I found that the right air pressure was critical in front and a slight change in steering "style" solved the "issue". IOW, the tire likes to be thrown hard into corners. (Honestly, I think most of it was in my head)

All in all I've been really happy with 'em :thumbsup: Don't know if they'll work for your wife but I'm glad I took a chance on 'em and I'll be picking up another soon to replace the wearing rear. Hope this helps a little. I've been pretty general in my descriptions so if you have more specific questions please feel free to ask and I'll answer in more detail if I can.
 

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Expert Crasher
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I've run a Bontrager Dry X (now called xDx) 29x2.1 out back for a while on a Stans Flow. The tubeless ready/abrasion resistant casing is very nice, it suffers punishment and continues to do me justice when I'm rough on it.

I saw a 26" version in the LBS a couple of days ago, it was 630ish grams so not as heavy as a true UST - but plenty durable. Combine with a TnT Geax Saguaro up front and it'll be a great combination IMO.

I'm currently running a Maxxis Ardent up front - it's not tubeless ready but converted really well. If you wanted to venture that direction, the Ardent rolls really well and has good grip in the corners.
 

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lightweight tires are nice ...

I think that even if your wife doesn't need lightweight tires to win her race, she will find the race a lot more fun if her tires are light. I'm in her situation - I weigh 125-130 lbs and there are never very many women in my age group/category. This year I got a new set of very lightweight wheels and I'm running lightweight tires - the difference is incredible - riding is so much more fun.

Many of the comments made on these forums really don't apply to small, lightweight riders. In the past 3 years of racing (2-3 times a month), I have flatted once. That was on a course built on an old landfill and I put a piece of glass through a tire.

I like to "trust" my tires - both to perform well and to hold up during a race. But, I see no need for a UST tire to get performance and reliability. The two things I consider when selecting tires for a race are - what's the best performing tire for the terrain - I want the lightest tire that I think will do the job. Second, if I'm starting out running tubeless, I want a tire that I can quickly put a tube into if I should flat - I don't want to get 45 miles into a 50 mile ride and DNF because I can't get a flat tire off my rim to get a tube in. This is a real issue for tubeless tires in endurance races. I liked the DryX tires, but I can't get them on/off my Stan's 355 rims - literally it took me an hour and I scratched up the rim - they go on/off my Bontrager rims easily.

Tires I like: Racing Ralph, Stan's Crow, Maxxis Crossmark, Jones XR, DryX (but only on some rims). I'm riding a 29'r, so that limits my choices. I also ride a cyclocross rear tire (700x42) when courses have a lot of double track/fireroad. When I was riding a 26'r, I really liked the Maxxis Medusa for mud, and the Larsen TT for hardpack.

Hope this helps.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
dajoseph, you make some good points. I thing weight is an issue, and in fact I have built up a very light wheelset for her (king hubs, revolution spokes, alloy nipples, velocity areohead rims). But I really can't convince her that weight and rolling resistance are anywhere near as important as traction is to her. Add to that the fact that we are looking for larger volume tires to help smooth the ride and improve traction for our hardtails while riding endurance events, and we end up looking at some pretty heavy tires. I feel like a large volume, but fast rolling tire like the Mutanoraptor (not available in tubeless (and doesn't work well Stan's style either), or the Crossmark you mentioned or even the 2.3 Python NG would work just fine for her, but she takes a look at those tread patterns and turns her nose up. She can be pretty stubborn about going with what she knows works so its hard to change her mind on these issues.

Also your point about ease of removal is critical. Since I am hoping to convert her using the maxxis rim strips, the extra rubber there makes mounting and un-mounting more difficult. Specialized tires' inner diameter is large but unless they come out with a 2.3 version of The Captain, I don't think they have something for her. Continental has a small diameter, and now it sounds like Bontrager does too.

Overall ease of use is critical for her, she hates fiddling with things. This is why I think tubeless would work great for her, as long as we can find something that's solid to begin with. For that reason I think we really need to stick with UST/tubeless ready tires.

Its kind of silly how difficult this is. Where do people see the tubeless trend going? A couple years ago I was sure that every manufacturer would start making at least their beads UST compatible so that any standard tire had the added selling point of being able to be converted to tubeless. But this change hasn't materialized yet.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
direction

OK, I think I have some direction with this. Two tires I think might meet all the criteria at least fairly well are the Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25 and the Spcialized Fast Trak LK 2.2

Any thoughts people?

Both are UST compatible (but I think they are "tubeless ready" thus requiring sealant) and have a claimed weight of 650 grams and 545 g respectively. Neither is as agressive as her current set up but with the larger volume, tubeless ability and thus lower pressure I think she would end up with as much or more traction anyway while reducing rolling resistance and increased cush factor for those long long 12 hour races.

My only question relates to the actual size of these tires. It appears Shiggy's site is down so I have no good reference to look at. Looks like the Racing Ralph would be just a bit larger then her current front tire (Specialized Resolution) which would be acceptable. The Fast Trak, I figure it must be bigger then my original S-works Fast Trak 2.0 2Bliss, and the casings of Specialized tires tend to run large overall, but there is a lot of variability so its tough to pin down what the real tire size would be without measurements.
 

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RR and Fast Trak

I've got the Racing Ralph on the front of my 29'r (Dos Niner) and I've ridden the Fast Traks on my 26'r.

I like the RR but with a few reservations. A couple weeks ago I rode a course that had some wet roots and boggy stuff but was mainly sandy rocky climbs and descents. Overall I was happy with the RR front tire, but it I was not happy when going over the wet roots and greasy bog. That stretch was short and the tire was great on the rest of the course. I used a little caution in the slick stuff and the tire got me through the course faster than a stickier tire would have. (I was riding a Crossmark on the rear.)

I tried the Fast Traks a year ago. They were okay, but I never fell in love with them. I could never get the front tire to really hold well in corners when there was dry loose stuff over hardpack. Sometimes I think its harder for a lightweight rider to weight the tire in the corners; maybe someone who was heavier and a little more aggressive could have "stuck" the corners better.

My impression is that the RR's and the Fast Trak's are faster tires than the Crossmarks.

Hope this helps.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmmm.... that course description sounds familiar... looking at your profile you're from WI so you must be talking about the Levis Trow 100. That first section was nasty! Not only the slick mud and roots but also just the bumpiness of the roots and stuff for the first couple of miles ruined my back after 4-5 laps!

Anyway, saying a tire isn't any good on wet, muddy roots is a bit like saying its not any good on wet ice. Nothing works well in those conditions, save maybe a sticky compound mud tire.

For comparison, I Found my Fast Trak S-Works 2.0 worked really well on that course. Enough traction for the sand and rocks and held on as well as any tire could be expected for the sloppy bits. Might be cause I'm used to them, might be cause of the softer rubber of the S-works version. Also, I let a little air out after the first lap, that helps.

Perhaps we'll see you at Blue Mounds this weekend? My wife is the one with the purple Coconino... can't miss it.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, this is really frustrating. I picked up the Fast Trak 2.2's today thinking I had THE tire for my wife. Aired one up, and it turns out its NARROWER then my 2 year old Fast Trak 2.0!!!?! WTF! It measured at 1.9", and its definitely too small for endurance racing. Very disappointing! When did Specialized shrink their tires?

I'm really thinking of just letting her ride with the tubed WeirWolf LT 2.55 up front and Mutanoraptor 2.4 in back. I know there are higher performance tires out there, but she seems happy since she hasn't tasted the sweet, sweet fruit of tubeless yet.

Perhaps next year I can pick up the Maxxis Crossmark and Schwable Racing Ralph both in the UST 2.25 size and we can each pick our weapons of choice then.
 

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I ran a Nobby Nic on the front at Levis and was really happy with that choice (somewhat less excited by the worn SB8 on the back). Both Stans converted. A friend rode the Racing Ralphs and loved them at Levis. The 2.1 RR have good volume, more than the NN. I would go at least 2.25 on the NN.
 

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FishMan473 said:
Wow, this is really frustrating. I picked up the Fast Trak 2.2's today thinking I had THE tire for my wife. Aired one up, and it turns out its NARROWER then my 2 year old Fast Trak 2.0!!!?! WTF! It measured at 1.9", and its definitely too small for endurance racing. Very disappointing! When did Specialized shrink their tires?

I'm really thinking of just letting her ride with the tubed WeirWolf LT 2.55 up front and Mutanoraptor 2.4 in back. I know there are higher performance tires out there, but she seems happy since she hasn't tasted the sweet, sweet fruit of tubeless yet.

Perhaps next year I can pick up the Maxxis Crossmark and Schwable Racing Ralph both in the UST 2.25 size and we can each pick our weapons of choice then.
Interesting I have found all the Spec 2Bliss tires I have bought in the past 10 months (thats when I went tubeless) to be true to size. I have a fast trak 2.0, Eskar 2.3, Captain 2.0, and Storm 2.0
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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ziscwg said:
Interesting I have found all the Spec 2Bliss tires I have bought in the past 10 months (thats when I went tubeless) to be true to size. I have a... Storm 2.0
What do you think of the Storm? I am looking for a light, tubeless, mud tire.
 
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