Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious of what are the top 5 softest compound tires avail? Anyone do tread 'softness' tests in any of the mags?

I know one thing, my IRC Trailbears are not one of them, lol....but they still work well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48,238 Posts
Rubber durometer (hardness/softness) can not be accurately measured on a finished tire. Only on a sample block of rubber.

Soft is not always a good thing. Lots of other factors in a well performing rubber compound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
shiggy said:
Rubber durometer (hardness/softness) can not be accurately measured on a finished tire.

.
Really, why would that be? Motorcycle and car racers use durometers all the time? Just not enough mass there (too thin?) that causes the tool to not work properly?

Also just throwing the question out there for discussion.... in order of importance, wouldn't rubber compound grip be more of a factor than knobby positions? I'm refering to difficult traction situations like climbing a steep, moist rock face or up a very heavily rooted path in a damp woods.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48,238 Posts
Destroy said:
Really, why would that be? Motorcycle and car racers use durometers all the time? Just not enough mass there (too thin?) that causes the tool to not work properly?

Also just throwing the question out there for discussion.... in order of importance, wouldn't rubber compound grip be more of a factor than knobby positions? I'm refering to difficult traction situations like climbing a steep, moist rock face or up a very heavily rooted path in a damp woods.
It can not be accurately measured on a car or moto tire either. You might be able to measure a difference between tires of the same basic design but not the actual durometer.

MTB tires have way too little rubber to measure.

If you are not measuring a just a sample block of rubber the results are also being affected by the casing construction and the shape/size of the tread. If you try measuring a mounted and inflated tire all bets are off.

This is the smallest "approved" durometer tool

It has a 1/2" base. Bigger than nearly all mtb tire tread blocks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,837 Posts
Destroy said:
Really, why would that be? Motorcycle and car racers use durometers all the time? Just not enough mass there (too thin?) that causes the tool to not work properly?

Also just throwing the question out there for discussion.... in order of importance, wouldn't rubber compound grip be more of a factor than knobby positions? I'm refering to difficult traction situations like climbing a steep, moist rock face or up a very heavily rooted path in a damp woods.
I go for a combination of tread pattern and rubber compound.

For those conditions a Blue Groove or Nevegal ( "sticky" in 2.35 or 2.5) will work pretty well. The large flat blocks of the BG will grip on rock faces.

I haven't used them, but Gazza G's are also a soft tire that seems to have a tread pattern that would work.
 

·
"El Whatever"
Joined
·
18,889 Posts
See more here....

Hardness is not all in a rubber compound. It doesn't even means it'll have more grip (chances are, but it's not like going from 60 to 50 the tyre will be necessarily better).

At least on F1 tyres, teams do not really care for rubber hardness. It matters when the tyre is made, but once made, they read temperatures and wearing rates. Actually, for each GP, teams are allowed a "hard" and a "soft" spec of rubber for each team. But that's as far as hardness matters. Once the tyre gets handed to the teams, they don't measure it back again.

As Shiggy said, million things affect tyre grip and hardness of the material is only one of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,083 Posts
As FSRXC said the Nevegals are really a great tyre and really shine in those conditions. Never tried the BG, but heard it's really good especially in combo w/ the Nevegal. Only prob with the Stick-E and even the DTC is that it wears very fast, especially if you have some pavement in between trails.

fsrxc said:
I go for a combination of tread pattern and rubber compound.

For those conditions a Blue Groove or Nevegal ( "sticky" in 2.35 or 2.5) will work pretty well. The large flat blocks of the BG will grip on rock faces.

I haven't used them, but Gazza G's are also a soft tire that seems to have a tread pattern that would work.
 

·
www.derbyrims.com
Joined
·
6,766 Posts
DH tires

Destroy said:
Just curious of what are the top 5 softest compound tires avail? Anyone do tread 'softness' tests in any of the mags?

I know one thing, my IRC Trailbears are not one of them, lol....but they still work well.
Downhill rubber tends to be the softest with the biggest tread blocks. Intense Cycles and Toby Henderson pretty much lead the market in the soft tire revolution a few years ago. Look at Intense DH tires for the softest tires.

Soft rubber is much heavier and high friction. Good for momentum, handling grip, but bad for rolling resistance, acceleration, climbing. Good for downhill, bad for flat and uphill.

I like duel compounds for trail riding. Low rolling resistence, and grippy cornering.

:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
42a

MAXXIS with the 42a is the "softest" I found.. Kenda DH tires are only average at 50d but the MAXXIS are "faster"

"soft" rubber is not the only thing that makes tires "roll-hard"
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top