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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live and ride in the southeast. Lots of roots and trails with varying surfaces (loose, packed, red clay, gravel). What model and tire size would you recomend. I am a beginner so I don't have alot to compare, but many have said that the stock tires are crappy and I tend to agree.

Thanks
 

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The stock tyres (tires) are terrible, not found a single person with a good thing to say about them. (poor match :confused: for an otherwise superb bike). Well.... apart from one guy who said they seem to climb on dry rock kinda ok, well they must be made of rubber then :rolleyes: I was personally amazed at how little tread depth there was and the sparseness of pattern.

My VT didn't even leave the store with the stock tyres on, I had them changed for free to WT..B's, best they had in stock at the time in a 2.1 tyre. Far better than stock but not great, IMO.

Everyone will have an opinion on what to go for, but I would recommend the Panarace..r Fire XC 2.1. I have these on my other bike and they are awesome, grip like crazy offroad, but roll well on and over hardpack. I'll definitely be sourcing a set for my VT, if you're running the stock tyres at the moment, these will truly transform the handling of the whole bike to a new level.

Have a look in the 'component / tire' review section on this site and order by 'no. of reviews' . The tyre is right at the top of the list with a big margin, that speaks volumes to me. OK its not 5/5, but if people are being fair and objective I doubt any tyre would be, no tyre is a perfect choice for every condition, but some like the Fire are damm close.

One note about the Fire, it is available in a number of funky tyre wall colours (colors). If you don't want it to clash with the paint job of your VT (heaven forbid ;) ) make sure you get the black walled tyre, I'd also go with the 2.1 size, nicer tread and more grip than the 1.9.

Av.
 

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Here's another vote for the Panaracer Fire XC Pro's. I also had them put on before I left the shop. They are great tires. They hook up on just about anything. I ride in the Southeast (Tampa, FL) with many of the conditions you mentioned and the Fire's have been very good to me.
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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I've tried several combinations and the one that's working best for me is the Hutchinson Spider 2.3f/2.1r. If you don't want to go with tires this big try the same combination in 2.1/1.9. Also like the Scorpions for dry hardpack, the problem with them is tire wear (wear quickly). Kenda Karma's are good but hard to fix if punctured (as every Kenda UST tire) and the KlimaxLite are pretty fast and grippy on hardpack.

The VT rear triangle doesn't allow for a tire bigger than 2.1 or at least the ones that I've tried don't fit. Tried the WTB Mutanoraptor 2.4 and it's just too big.
 

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Maxxis High Roller

I run Maxxis Highroller 2.35 on both the front and rear of my VT1 with great results. They seem to grip any surface great. They do seem to pick up a lot of mud though, but overall they are a great tire.
 

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I'll second the Hutchnson Spiders. I have 2.3 front and rear, and have no clearance issues, even with mud (which was a worry on the rear). I had Fire XCs before, but I wanted a little more width, and the Fire USTs were tough to reseal once punctured.
 

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Kendas here

I just came off a GT XCR that I owned since 2000. I did many upgrades to the bike and recently got a VT1 frame from a LBS for a killer deal, so I changed everything over. I was running Panaracer Fire XC Pro's and had a new set of Kenda Blue Groove and Nevegals from a previous Bike Show that I was going to use on a new wheelset but when I got the VT decided to run em' instead since their 2.1's are wider than the Panaracers. Anyways, I like how well they handle and grip on loose terrain. I hit a few small uphill switchbacks that were a bit loose and so far they seem to really do the job. On fast twisty singletrack, they also do great job on keeping the bike feeling attached to the trail. I would really consider this set-up since I've tried it first hand. And oh yeah, the new VT frame really doesn't compare to my old GT which also help make my rides even more enjoyable. The Panaracer is a great tire but the wider Kendas really make it happen when going faster and rocky terrain comes your way... hope this helps. Cheers.
 

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Does Kenda make a UST tire? I am running a VT 1 with Cross Max SL's. What is the best UST tire for this bike? I am running the Pythons, but they really only work well in narrow conditions (dry, dust conditions are great, mud blows)
 

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Kenda does make UST tires but they're very hard to fix if punctured. I've tried the Kharisma, KlimaxLite and Karma, liked the Karma's the best but all suffered the same fate; premature to trip the trash can.

Now I use the Hutchinson Spider for dry all around conditions, the Scorpion for hard pack rocky terrain and the Mosquito's for wet. It may sounds like I'm a Hutchinson fan but I'm not. One advantage the Hutchinson's have over the others is the ease of the installation/removal of the tire.

Also use non UST Ritchey SpeedMax, WTB Mutanoraptors and Michellin Hot S's on my singlespeed.

My .02
 
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