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  1. #1
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    Best "trail" 650b tire

    I just got a Santa Cruz solo trail bike. Love the bike but not a big fan of Maxiss High Roller tires. Mud sticks to them like a magnet and I don't really like the feel of them.
    I am gonna wear them out before I get a new set but I am wondering what would be a good "all around" tire for my style. I ride a mix of dirt single track and granite rock-covered trails.
    Would like something with a nice tread pattern, isn't too heavy and for a decent price. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    I've had good luck with anything from Schwable, especially the Rocket Rons with snakeskin. Not the cheapest but great tire. I use them for XC single track with a decent amount of technical rocky areas here in NEB and southern MO.

  3. #3
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    I have a Solo and use Pacenti (now Panaracer I believe) Neo Moto's 2.3. They grip as well as any tire I've had and aren't too bad with rolling resistance. I'm picky with tires and these are my favorite tire (of any size). Although the last set I have worn out quicker than normal (have the HRII on rear b/c of this and they have noticeably less grip).

    My experience is from midwest terrain -- dusty to rocky/rooty singletrack.

    In my experience, everyone has their favorite and mine may not be yours but if you are on the hunt for a new tire, the Neo Moto is worth a shot, IMO.
    2015 Trek Farley
    2013 Santa Cruz Superlight 650b
    2013 Santa Cruz Chameleon 650b SS
    2012 Giant Defy (Roadie)

  4. #4
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    I've enjoyed the Racing Ralph's, they were a great tire, EVO Pacestars, but the new Crossmark EXC's I am running right now are about the same weight with similar rolling characteristics but more grip, really digging them. If they ever start selling the Ikon here in the states I may buy one to try.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  5. #5
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    Maxxis is coming out with their 27.5" Minion DHF tires; get those. They shed mud quite well, and are an amazing all around tire. If you need something now, maybe look at Hans Dampf or Conti Trail King.

  6. #6
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    I find the Maxxis Ardent sheds mud quite well and rolls better than High Rollers. Only down side is the smaller intermediate knobs, which I don't mind as it makes you corner properly IMHO (forces you to lean the bike over to get the bigger knobs to bite).

  7. #7
    cowbell
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    I have to second the Ardent. I'm also a fan of the Conti Mountain King. Both good tires, but I'd give the nod to the Ardent.

    Also, I'd avoid, like the plague, Racing Ralphs on a trail bike. The RaRa is a good tire if you're racing on buff single track and want a light tire with decent grip, but every time I've gotten into rocks with a RaRa, it's been a disaster. Light weight tires need to be held back for racing, it's not going to be satisfactory on a trail bike.

  8. #8
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    I've used Neo Moto's 2.3 exclusively and they are perfect for the NorCal trails....rocky, mud, sand and roots

  9. #9
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    Continental Trail Kings - great all around trail tire. I've used them from AZ and UT to the PNW summer/winter where I live. They run wide so get the 2.2" width unless you like big rubber.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  10. #10
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    I can't say enough good things about my NeoMoto up front. It has lasted and lasted, with great grip, roll, and cornering. I would also consider NobNic, HansD up front, but I'll probably get another NeoMoto. From wet and slick, to dry and loose, it has never slipped out on me.

    NeoMoto, NobNic, RocRon, RaceRalph in back, depending on conditions, but I want something fast rolling in the back most of the time.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the $.02, guys.

  12. #12
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    You can get the trail kings from bike bling for $49. Jenson will match that and you get free shipping.

  13. #13
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    I like the 2.35 Nobby Nics with snakeskin. Great grip in all conditions, roll pretty well, not too heavy, and they have a very high-volume casing.

  14. #14
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    Ardent up front, Nobby Nic in the back for trail set up. For racing I run a big Ikon up front with either a Nobby Nic or Racing Ralph in the back depending on the conditions. The Racing Ralph though is an expensive tire with a short life.
    With Maxxis I get the EXO casing and Schwalbe I go with Snakeskin trailstar.
    I also like Conti Mountain Kings as rear tires for trail rides or X-Kings for going fast in more buff/race conditions (protection models).
    Tubeless, around 25 up front and 27 in back.

  15. #15
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    I was thinking about trying a Mountain King up front and an X-King in the rear, both 2.4" protection models. Anyone have experience with these?

  16. #16
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    Trail and Mountain Kings, Schwalbe Hans Damph and Nobby Nics. IMHO thee best tires I've ever had, with the edge going to the Contis. They don't wear as fast and give me a more confident feeling traction-wise. The NNs seems to wear faster than most other tires I've had too. But I like trying out new tires so the next set will be the Contis. I'll have to check the sites since they just came out for 27.5. Conti's for $49 is a great price.
    We Ride In God's Country!

  17. #17
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    +1 NN are the best as far as weight, grip, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    I like the 2.35 Nobby Nics with snakeskin. Great grip in all conditions, roll pretty well, not too heavy, and they have a very high-volume casing.

  18. #18
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    2.35 Nobby Nics great tire!..

  19. #19
    High Alpine Adventure
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    I ran Schwalbe for a long time on my 29'er and loved them, but the Racing Ralph 650b was a big disappointment!!!

    I've been riding "The B" now for almost 2 years so maybe it was an early example, but the compound was soft and wore out in no time. The side knobs seemed flimsier than the 29er and they got ripped up/off pretty bad in the "Desert Crushed Granite" we ride around NM.

    I went to the Pacenti Neo-moto's and won't look back. For our terrain and conditions these tires hook up, take a sidewall beating and last forever. I'm on my second set now on my Dale Rush B'er.... 2.3 up front and 2.1 in the back.

    I must say though, those Conti's look sweet!!!!
    Dug-Da-Goat

    Something changes at 12,000'
    ...so welcome to the Odyssey!

    Building your trails at FooMTB

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post


    Continental Trail Kings - great all around trail tire. I've used them from AZ and UT to the PNW summer/winter where I live. They run wide so get the 2.2" width unless you like big rubber.
    Are the Conti's running big a fairly new thing? I had a few sets of conti's about 6-7 years ago and they ran really small back then. I had a couple of 2.4 mountain kings and they looked like 2.2's. Just asking because I did like the compound and grip/tread pattern of them, but I've got an HDR now, so I can't go too big.

  21. #21
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    Honey Badger is a really nice trail tire. Its looks are deceiving, it has tons of grip as a rear tire on leaves covered trails here in Mass. It is nice to have real side knobs after the Hans Dampf disaster, too.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    the Hans Dampf disaster...
    Was that similar to the Hindenberg disaster?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    Are the Conti's running big a fairly new thing? I had a few sets of conti's about 6-7 years ago and they ran really small back then. I had a couple of 2.4 mountain kings and they looked like 2.2's. Just asking because I did like the compound and grip/tread pattern of them, but I've got an HDR now, so I can't go too big.
    They redesigned most or all of their tires in the last couple years and the new ones seem to be much more true to size. Fresh out of the box my new Mountain King 2.4 measured 60mm (2.36") wide for both tread and casing, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it grow at least another mm after it's been sitting at pressure and ridden a bit

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post


    Continental Trail Kings - great all around trail tire. I've used them from AZ and UT to the PNW summer/winter where I live. They run wide so get the 2.2" width unless you like big rubber.
    Can you post the measurements of your mounted TK 2.2? Looking for total height, casing width and knob width. Also, what rim you are using. Did you weigh them?
    Thanks

  25. #25
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    I was not aware there was so much of a variation in weight in these tires. The High Rollers are 875 grams. I imagine that extra weight means longer tread life though.

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