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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for comparisons of the behavior of front tires when they start to loose traction in loose over hard, very dry conditions, with flat or shallow down slope corners and off camber shallow descents. Even if I have to trade off less grip at good lean angles, I will happily do it if the tire slides a little bit before a total washout, so I can react to it. I have had too many sudden washouts with my DHF 3C MaxTerra 27.5 x 2.6 (i30 rims) in these trail conditions, so I'm considering switching it for an XR4, or maybe a Hans Dampf Addix Soft (27.5 x 2.6 again), after reading reviews that indicate that these more rounded tires with intermediate knobs are more forgiving in this way.

While I have mainly been focusing on technique, weight distribution, tire pressure (20 psi front, 207 lbs rider + gear, not including bike, but I am going down to 18 psi next), shock setup, and have purchased a zero rise bar and negative rise stem, I want to do everything I can to avoid a sudden washout, and trip to the hospital with another broken finger.
 

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Hitching a ride
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There have been only two tires I've tried that have poor wash out characteristics in the dry, the Martello and Conti Trail King (the new one). As a rider who usually doesn't fear losing the front end for a bit, I need to be able to oversteer and scrub speed then get back on track. I don't know why you are hating on the DHF because I've found good washout characteristics from it. Maybe your rims are too narrow.
 

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I love the Bonti XR4 for so cal dry dusty unsupported turns. What I liked is they measured true to their stated with, have a nice round voluminous shape, and the intermediate knobs that all lead to predictability. Especially on my old bike that had "twitchier" geo. On the rear I find they brake really well, and the drift point is predictable. I consider them my training wheels for moving onto slightly more aggressive front tire (like XR5). But I still will always have an SE5 on the rear.
 

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I get it with DHF's as well. 2.5&2.6's Off camber braking on loose over hard. But I do love that tire, so I haven't given up on it.

Look at the Magic Mary or Assegai. Almost got a Assgai. decided I didn't nee that much grip.
 

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DHF should corner like a HR2, basically. Or similar enough. I found the HR2 to ride like ass in loose over hard, you HAVE to lean it or it washes. A huge lean angle doesnt always make sense.

The old HD was perfect for this. My favorite tire for not crazy lean angles. I'm still disappointed in my xr3.
 

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I've run both those tires in those conditions, but i'm not sure which one i'd prefer. They're pretty similar, imo.

I don't know why you are hating on the DHF because I've found good washout characteristics from it.
If you can't get the DHF leaned over far enough for whatever reason (super hard under the loose, or lack of skill possibly) then you end up in between the center and side knobs and it's sketchy. An intermediate knob helps there.

The other possibility is that at 18/20 psi the tire is folding over the knobs and washing out. More likely if OP is using single ply tires, of course.

...But i agree, i prefer the DHF over both those tires for loose over hard. The alternatives don't tend to 'save' you in a front end slide like a DHF will, they're just easier to lean over.
 

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OP's pressure does seem a bit low. I'm about OP's weight and in my front 2.5 DHF EXO+ I run 26 psi. Either the tire is squirming/folding like scottzg said or this is a technique issue. A fast rider over 200 lbs isn't likely to be able to run 20 psi or less in a grippy tire on i30 rims.

Either way, most people sketched out by the DHF are better off on something with intermediate knobs.
 

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MTB guide
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I have been using Hans Dampf for years, but tried the new Kenda Hellkat Pro ATC 2.4" in front now. Never had better grip, this tire has saved me from pretty many situations where I'd normally would washed out the front. As front tire it's perfect, but too slow for the rear. I got the Nevegal 2 Pro ATC 2.4" for the rear and it rolls better. A pretty good combo for tough trails and one of the lightest durable enduro tire setups available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the tips folks. I hadn't considered the folding knobs, or going higher pressure, as everyone has been telling me to go lower so far, and most of the washouts were likely with higher pressures. It's hard to say what the front pressure was exactly for most of the washouts, as I only started getting paranoid about my bike pump pressure gauge, and used my 1-160 accu gauge (I have a 1-30 psi gauge on order) before the last few rides. In the past, I was probably closer to the mid 20s hopefully, unless my gauge was total crap, and only my last wash, pushing a little too fast in a shallow turn in 2-3 in. Tahoe sand (atypical conditions for me, vs my usual dust over hardpack) was measured as probably 20 or 21 psi.

I wouldn't call myself a fast rider, and I think it is mainly a skill and confidence issue, while I work out appropriate lean angles for speed, slope, conditions, and develop a feel for when I am on the cornering knobs, and if the tire is squirming. I have slowed down a fair amount since I broke my finger, but my injury rate seems to have gone up, likely due to lack of confidence.

So, I will take the advice, and put the XR4 intermediate knob training wheels on for now, as I mainly want to ride consistently with fewer injuries. Maybe I will go SE4, if there is a concern that a 190 lbs rider + 17 lbs of gear/.water is too much for 120 tpi, but I don't know... I think my main problem is being too light on the front of a slack aggresive trail bike on shallow slopes (I measured 37% front / 63% rear weight distribution when the bike is flat and all my weight is on the pedals, and for most of my washouts, I was probably taking "heavy feet, light hands" too literally). I like the idea of the HD, but since it doesn't come in 2.6" Addix Soft, and I don't see a big difference in reviews/recommendations, it seems a wash... so I will go with the slightly cheaper Bonty tire. I like the idea of the Assegai, and find it interesting that the DHF on steroids has intermediate knobs, but it seems like overkill for my pedally rides.

Sticking with 2.6" for now, as I just put a new 2.6" Rekon on the back, but I think I understand the argument for 2.5" DHF on i30 for more support, and had been considering that as my next tire, until I washed out one too many times and landed on the same finger for the fourth time in less than a year.
 

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Check out Simon Lawton's and Skills with Phil's videos on YouTube. They hit some finer points that many cornering instructional videos miss.... Namely, driving the hips and outside knee forward, weighting outside grip, preturning, etc.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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My DHF/DHR2 combo ruled today on a 3.5 hour ride in mostly dry, loose over hard conditions. Tons and tons of high speed berms and off camber loose stuff. My bike felt like it was on rails. On the climbs, my rear wheel did not break loose once. And there were some short, steep, very loose pitches we had to negotiate.

That said, the fastest guy in the group (on the downs) was running VERY narrow Ardents on his XXL Hightower front and rear.

Skillz (my buddy with the Ardents, not me).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Check out Simon Lawton's and Skills with Phil's videos on YouTube. They hit some finer points that many cornering instructional videos miss.... Namely, driving the hips and outside knee forward, weighting outside grip, preturning, etc.
Yes, thanks for the reminder. I had watched Simon's videos months ago, and forgotten about the outside knee in front of the ankle tip, and the bit about how if you washout turning in toward your hand/leg dominant direction (me), it may be due to your non dominant leg not playing nice about getting the outside knee in front of the ankle. Good stuff... I imagine I have a whole range of bar pressure, hip movement issues that work out better on one side of the body than the other.

I'll give the Phil videos another try... the deal is, I have a lot of technique stuff to work on, but I am still going to try and make my setup as forgiving as I can, so that I won't break myself trying to get my body to do the things correctly.
 

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Yes, thanks for the reminder. I had watched Simon's videos months ago, and forgotten about the outside knee in front of the ankle tip, and the bit about how if you washout turning in toward your hand/leg dominant direction (me), it may be due to your non dominant leg not playing nice about getting the outside knee in front of the ankle. Good stuff... I imagine I have a whole range of bar pressure, hip movement issues that work out better on one side of the body than the other.

I'll give the Phil videos another try... the deal is, I have a lot of technique stuff to work on, but I am still going to try and make my setup as forgiving as I can, so that I won't break myself trying to get my body to do the things correctly.
I came to this thread for the tire reviews

I stayed for the cornering technique :thumbsup:

Have you considered and do the rest of you have any thoughts on the spealized butcher/eliminator/purgatory?
 

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My DHF/DHR2 combo ruled today on a 3.5 hour ride in mostly dry, loose over hard conditions. Tons and tons of high speed berms and off camber loose stuff. My bike felt like it was on rails. On the climbs, my rear wheel did not break loose once. And there were some short, steep, very loose pitches we had to negotiate.

That said, the fastest guy in the group (on the downs) was running VERY narrow Ardents on his XXL Hightower front and rear.

Skillz (my buddy with the Ardents, not me).
Was he also fastest on the climbs/ flats?

I'm running the fastest rolling tires I've ever ran, and I'm clearing more chunky gnar than even what I was just a few weeks ago on a different set up. That extra speed and energy afforded me by having such easier rolling tires gives me momentum and energy for the tough sections that I wouldn't otherwise have.

The DHF/ DHRII has mad traction, but that's at least in part to the fact that when I ride them, I hit every obstacle going slower due to the high rolling resistance.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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Was he also fastest on the climbs/ flats?

I'm running the fastest rolling tires I've ever ran, and I'm clearing more chunky gnar than even what I was just a few weeks ago on a different set up. That extra speed and energy afforded me by having such easier rolling tires gives me momentum and energy for the tough sections that I wouldn't otherwise have.

The DHF/ DHRII has mad traction, but that's at least in part to the fact that when I ride them, I hit every obstacle going slower due to the high rolling resistance.
Oddly, I was at the front climbing. I suspect it was more of a fitness thing than a tire thing. That said, that DHR2 hooks up on climbs like no other tire I have owned. Including in dry, loose, techy stuff.
 

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Was he also fastest on the climbs/ flats?

I'm running the fastest rolling tires I've ever ran, and I'm clearing more chunky gnar than even what I was just a few weeks ago on a different set up. That extra speed and energy afforded me by having such easier rolling tires gives me momentum and energy for the tough sections that I wouldn't otherwise have.

The DHF/ DHRII has mad traction, but that's at least in part to the fact that when I ride them, I hit every obstacle going slower due to the high rolling resistance.
What tires are you running?
 

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OP - here is my 2 cents, FWIW.

The Minions can wash out if you get into never never land with them, lean wise. Some bikes seem to be worse than others. My current bikes all awesome running Minions.

At speed, I ride mine straight up and lean the fkrs hard on turns. Nothing in between. Works like a damn for me.
 

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To the OP, and based on the totality of your comments, I would not be spending money on tires at this point. You already have arguably the best front tire on the market; anything else would be a lateral move.

Technique. And ride. A lot.
 
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