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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been carefully looking and reading up for my next tyre selections....and being pretty greedy about my requirements-1)maximum traction with low rolling resistance 2)Tubeless friendly 3)excellent corning and stopping predictability 4) Light weight!

I ride in the PNW on a Pivot 429 with Nevegal,795g/SB8, 600g: for me, I love the nevegal consistency but would like to lower the rolling resistance and lighten the overall weight if possible?
SB8- great traction in the right environment..but its never completely at home where I ride and could use a bit more sidewall and be more tubeless friendly imo..

Conditions:
its sometimes loamy and loose with lots of rocks and roots wetness, or desert with loose sand talc or hardpack and chunk...so I get a wide variety conditions that I want good performance in, knowing that no tyre excels in all conditions...but would like the most balance across the board that provides very predictable control. Oh yeah...I'm 195lbs, 6'2" and believe it or not..former old school DH'er with lots of finese and above average Tech rider...who currently could be in better condition- spring can't come soon enough..or for that matter summer!

Here are some of my conclusions so far (ranked in order of interest, but without having used or tried any of these...only on what I have read or talked to guys using....any thoughts?

1) Specialized Captain S-works 2.2 665g(F) 2.0, 595g(R)......Like 2bliss and weight is ok with very well rounded profile
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=41810&menuItemId=9304&eid=5098

2) Captain 2.2-F and Fasttrak 2.0-R
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=41810&menuItemId=9304&eid=5098
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=42234&menuItemId=9304&eid=5098

3)Maxxis Ardent 2.25, 745g (ft) and Maxxis Aspen 2.1, 530g rear...Like solid set of
http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Mountain/Ardent.aspx
http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Mountain/Aspen.aspx

4) Maxxis Ardent F/R 2.25, 745g

5) Maxxis Aspen F/R 2.10, 530g
http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Mountain/Aspen.aspx

6) Schwalbe Racing Ralphs, snakeskins 630g 2.2 F/R
http://www.schwalbetires.com/racing_ralph

Ideally I would love to buy them all and just experiment....which I should just do anyway knowing myself...as I will always wonder if the next trye or combo with be the perfect ticket.....but my budget just isn't there. So what should I do(and I tried to cover all the basic questions, but feel free and inquire if I left anything out) thx
 

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Birthday Collector
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I'm riding a Captain 2.2 on the rear - tried it on the front and didn't like it here in NorCal. Intermediate knobs are sparse and the tire didn't corner predictably enough for me at partial lean angles on hardpack... If your style is different, or the ground is always soggy enough, that may not be an issue for you. On the rear, it does still drift a bit in the same conditions - faster sweepers, partial lean, but it hasn't let go - just drifts a bit more than I would prefer. I would think that it would work well with any somewhat larger, knobbier tire up front. IMO you can get away with a "slower" tire up front if the rear rolls well. WTB Wolverine looks interesting to me too..
 

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Expert Crasher
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If the SB8 isn't working for you, then I honestly don't think the Aspen would work either. They're both low knob, minimal tread. I like the Aspen but wouldn't probably choose that for PNW conditions.

Try the Ardent 2.25 out back and 2.4 up front. Both are tubeless friendly (but not TLR) and roll exceedingly well.
 

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Always Learning
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metelhead said:
I have been carefully looking and reading up for my next tyre selections....and being pretty greedy about my requirements-1)maximum traction with low rolling resistance 2)Tubeless friendly 3)excellent corning and stopping predictability 4) Light weight!

I ride in the PNW on a Pivot 429 with Nevegal,795g/SB8, 600g: for me, I love the nevegal consistency but would like to lower the rolling resistance and lighten the overall weight if possible?
SB8- great traction in the right environment..but its never completely at home where I ride and could use a bit more sidewall and be more tubeless friendly imo..

Conditions:
its sometimes loamy and loose with lots of rocks and roots wetness, or desert with loose sand talc or hardpack and chunk...so I get a wide variety conditions that I want good performance in, knowing that no tyre excels in all conditions...but would like the most balance across the board that provides very predictable control. Oh yeah...I'm 195lbs, 6'2" and believe it or not..former old school DH'er with lots of finese and above average Tech rider...who currently could be in better condition- spring can't come soon enough..or for that matter summer!

Here are some of my conclusions so far (ranked in order of interest, but without having used or tried any of these...only on what I have read or talked to guys using....any thoughts?

1) Specialized Captain S-works 2.2 665g(F) 2.0, 595g(R)......Like 2bliss and weight is ok with very well rounded profile
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=41810&menuItemId=9304&eid=5098

2) Captain 2.2-F and Fasttrak 2.0-R
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=41810&menuItemId=9304&eid=5098
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=42234&menuItemId=9304&eid=5098

3)Maxxis Ardent 2.25, 745g (ft) and Maxxis Aspen 2.1, 530g rear...Like solid set of
http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Mountain/Ardent.aspx
http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Mountain/Aspen.aspx

4) Maxxis Ardent F/R 2.25, 745g

5) Maxxis Aspen F/R 2.10, 530g
http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Mountain/Aspen.aspx

6) Schwalbe Racing Ralphs, snakeskins 630g 2.2 F/R
http://www.schwalbetires.com/racing_ralph

Ideally I would love to buy them all and just experiment....which I should just do anyway knowing myself...as I will always wonder if the next trye or combo with be the perfect ticket.....but my budget just isn't there. So what should I do(and I tried to cover all the basic questions, but feel free and inquire if I left anything out) thx
As I own both the Nevegals and Small Block 8's, I can understand what you mentioned. The Nevegal simply is slow and requires some extra watts to keep moving.

I can suggest other tires (only from ones I own) that I have found to work well on a full suspension bike (at least on my Sugar 293, RIP 9 and JET 9). Although your terrain and riding style is different than mine.

I'm sure you've found that the 29"er full suspension keeps tires glued to the ground and running them tubeless allows you to run air pressures much lower to get great grip, yet not lose any rolling resistance benefits of a minimal or lower tread tire. End result - faster and less wattage to get there. At your weight and on that bike, I would be running psi in the 20's tubeless for most of the tires I use.

Until one really tries a minimal tread tire at low air pressure, it's easy to say it's not enough tread for the rear. I can imagine with your background in DH, a minimal tread tire is nearly a joke in your mind. Heck, even Richard Cunningham at MBA was surprised and sarcastic about one of the most minimal tread tires out there (the Raven 2.2) until he rode them and wrote this review.

If you want to stick to a big volume front tire, I would dump the slower running Nevegal up front and replace with a 2.4 Ardent. Great traction, braking, cornering and much, much better rolling resistance over the Nevegal. How much time to get used to the Ardent tire up front? About 15 feet.:D It doesn't make your weight savings requirement, but the rolling resistance will make up for it. You could drop down to the 2.25 up front, but the 2.4 works like a dream up front. Racing Ralph is good as well, but not as good as the Ardent in terms of traction, durability and braking.

Small Block 8 is a good rear tire in the right conditions (dry hardpack), but I think you could keep your speed, rolling resistance and gain a bit of traction and braking by swapping to one of the following lower tread tires: Maxxis Aspen, WTB Nanoraptor, Racing Ralph 2.25 or for the burlier choice an Ardent 2.25. The Aspen, Ralph and Nano are standard XC racing tires, so they are lighter and not burly - but offer better traction and braking than the SB8 without sacrificing any speed. When run tubeless and at the right air pressure, I find they give plenty of traction and cornering (I run 'em front and rear). I've found all three to have tread that is more versatile in terms of conditions than the SB8. But that's just me. I've found the Aspen to be the hit tire of the year for my needs. Supple, fast, light, plenty of traction on the rear going up and down. Best way for me to look at the Aspen is that it is very similar to the Racing Ralph 2.25, but lighter and faster. So i think of it as a "Racing Ralph 2.1". ;-} I weigh around 180 and run it around 24-26 psi in the rear.

I haven't used any of the Specialized tires, but assume those are some legitimate choices as well.

You don't want to buy too many tires that are out of your budget, but you can always sell what you find does not work for you.

Dark Horse "Take a Risk" choice tire to have in your staple for the right conditions/trails: Raven 2.2:D :D :D

The Aspen and Raven 2.2 are pretty much in the same "class or category" - big volume, low tread, light weight race tires. As I mentioned above, they are just a bit lighter and faster than the Racing Ralph 2.25 which is more or less in the same class, but has more volume. The Aspen and Ralph perform in a similar manner. I'd certainly give the nod to the Aspen for traction and breaking over the Raven as the tread is taller and it grips better and has more volume. However, run tubeless at lower air pressures and they all knock the stuffing off all of the myths/thoughts that you have to have big tread on a 29"er tire to go fast and still get traction in the rear. I race and ride all three.

You could narrow it down to 3 or 4 tires. One Ardent 2.4. One Ardent 2.25. One Aspen. One Racing Ralph 2.25. Mix and match with the possibilities as well as the possibility to keep your Nevegal up front. Want one more? Throw in one Nanoraptor as well to increase the amount of possibilities. What you don't like for your needs, pawn off on eBay or the classifieds here.

Just my thoughts.

BB
 

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Since the OP doesn't sound like he is racing, BruceBrown's recommedations sound pretty good on the Ardent side of things. That looks like a great tire. I also rode a Crossmark last year on the back of a friend's bike in some damp, rooty, logs and rock conditions and was impressed with both grip and roll. Might be a good tire in the rear on a 29'er with the Ardent in either size!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ATBScott said:
Since the OP doesn't sound like he is racing, BruceBrown's recommedations sound pretty good on the Ardent side of things. That looks like a great tire. I also rode a Crossmark last year on the back of a friend's bike in some damp, rooty, logs and rock conditions and was impressed with both grip and roll. Might be a good tire in the rear on a 29'er with the Ardent in either size!
Correct...no racing.....but I still light light wheels rubber that works. Like all the suggestions..

BB thank you for the detail! excellent info! love the 'one of each' idea-thx

the ardent/crossmark sounds promising....with BB suggestion of buying one of each, which is a great idea(why didn't I think of that?!!) that will certainly open up the playground for dialing in what works best. thanks!
 

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Two words: Specialized Purgatory.

- S-Works version is 660-675, 2Bliss, and has pretty darn FULL knob's. Give it a go!
:thumbsup:
 

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ftajiri said:
schwalbe is light but have a thin skin.. a lot of risk to cut in the rocks...
Tell me about it. I just got a 2" sidewall slash on my Racing Ralphs 2.4" less than 1km into the trail. And it's only 4 rides old. I'm so hoping they making the 2.4s" in Snake Skin version.
 

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Bruce has summed it up fairly well- It seems for the most part running a mix of tires front and rear gives you the best results. I have been running an Ardent 2.25 out back and a 2.35 Rampage up front for the "winter" and had the Ardent 2.25 up front with a 2.1 Crossmark out back this past summer riding in the MD-PA area with success (the Aspen may replace the Crossmark). All are converted with Stans and running tubeless and able to mount them up with a floor pump. For a bit of reference I go ~200 lbs and run them on a fs rig.

Like you I like the reliability of the Nevegal but it can really be a drag-
I really liked it as 26" tire but found it too much for my 29er, if you like it's grip but not it's roll & weight take a close look at the Rampage- VERY similar tread pattern (a bit lower) and about 100g lighter- no multi-compound mumbo-jumbo but it works.

I just mounted up an Ardent 2.4 to run up front and it does have a bit more tread than the 2.25 and weighs ~100g more but per my measurements it was ~2.3 at it's widest. I will have to see how it feels on the trail-

Schwalbe std tires run tubeless for general riding will be costly- great tires but thin sidewalls-
 
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