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  1. #1
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    Need help with tire upgrade

    Hi MTBr,

    I would like some advice/feedback on those who have a staggered tire setup on their hardtail XC bikes. Im currently running 27.5 X 2.2 Maxxis Ikons on both the front and rear but my tread is wearing pretty badly and I feel its time to replace at least one tire (the rear of course). Ideally I wanted to go wider all the way around but my frame cant handle anything larger than 2.2 so that is going to have to remain. So my plan is to swap out the front tire to the rear and replace the front tire however that is where I'm stuck. I can go really wide upfront if I want to. I was thinking of going with a 2.4 in the front and 2.2 in the rear as I've heard that it may help with the handling (not sure if that is true or not) so I wanted to hear from those that have actually done this and ride on the regular with a setup like that? I am not 100% sure how wide I can go in the front but I am pretty confident 2.4's heck maybe even 3.0 would fit. My goal is to improve handling, not necessarily speed.

    By the way I would say about 80% of my riding is on single tracks and fire roads with the remaining 20% on asphalt.

  2. #2
    RAKC Industries
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    2.4 isn't THAT wide. And 2.4 front, 2.2 rear is an extremely common mix.

    And yes it improves handling but its not just the width, but tread design as well. You want more traction in the front.

    Not sure what bike you have that couldnt fit a 2.4 tire in the rear though. Didnt think they even made frames with that little of rear clearance anymore. Your only talking 6mm of difference from a 2.2 to a 2.4. Can make a huge difference in traction and handling but chances are you can fit them.

    Depending on yoyr forks you could always go 2.6 up front and 2.4 in the rear.

    You have options, a lot of them, decide where you want to improve and why, then go from there.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    2.4 isn't THAT wide. And 2.4 front, 2.2 rear is an extremely common mix.

    And yes it improves handling but its not just the width, but tread design as well. You want more traction in the front.

    Not sure what bike you have that couldnt fit a 2.4 tire in the rear though. Didnt think they even made frames with that little of rear clearance anymore. Your only talking 6mm of difference from a 2.2 to a 2.4. Can make a huge difference in traction and handling but chances are you can fit them.

    Depending on yoyr forks you could always go 2.6 up front and 2.4 in the rear.

    You have options, a lot of them, decide where you want to improve and why, then go from there.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Thanks for that reply, that was great! I did not realize it was only a 6mm difference between 2.2 and 2.4. My frame is a Kent RCT (yes walmart bike) and from the look of it the 2.2 seemed snug as it was. I could not pass my pinkie finger through from the frame and tire. But you are probably right in that I could probably stick a 2.4 back there.

    I went out on a ride this past weekend (the Luge for you SoCal peeps) and my front washed out on a turn putting me on the ground real quick. I liked my Ikons for their speed but I am getting into more technical trails now and I feel I need to go with nobbier tires. So I intend to get tires with more grip and sacrafice the low rolling resistance. I'm thinking about specialized purgatory or Nobby Nics.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocdjg View Post
    I'm thinking about specialized purgatory or Nobby Nics.
    Both are good choices, still suitable for XC.


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  5. #5
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    Purgatory and NN are both good tires, but may be more tread than what you're looking for (especially Purgatory). NN rolls well, despite it's tread. Note that it comes in two different compound mixes, Pace Star and Trail Star. The Trail Star is a softer durometer for use as a front. NN is also comparatively expensive. Take a look at Maxxis Ardent. It's a good mix with Ikon rear. Check your fork manufacturer for the published tire clearance. You also want to make sure you have enough clearance at the frame and fork for the knobs and any trail debris that may get picked up. Also, remember that just because there's clearance with the tire unweighted doesn't mean there'll be clearance when you're riding it. When weighted, the tire will compress and spread wider.

    Washing out in corners has to do with rider technique as well as the shoulder knobs on the front tread. Wider front with more pronounced shoulder knobs will help, especially if set up tubeless. Look at tires with prominent shoulder knobs and ramped or cut down center knobs. That can give you more cornering traction while retaining much of the faster rolling. Technique, though, is a big factor in cornering.

    Many tires come in a range of options with different tpi, compounds and sidewalls. The $30 version will not ride like the $60-80 version (or whatever the price point differences are).

    Keep in mind that as you progress in skill and riding you're going to over-reach the Kent bike. You may not want to start spending money on replacement parts only to find out you've put money into a frame and setup that's still not right for you. Consider just riding it into the ground, then taking a trip to the LBS.

  6. #6
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    @shortnangry - Thank you for the really detailed response. That helped tremendously. I did not even consider the Ardents but that does look like a nice choice as well. This was my first season so I started out with a cheap bike to see if I even liked the sport. 60+ rides later I think its safe to say I'll be continuing this sport in the foreseeable future.

    As for the Kent bike, I've already replaced pretty much every component that came with it, lol. The only parts that are original are the brake calipers & the shifter and brake levers. Some things I upgraded right off the bat because they sucked like the original fork, others because I either broke them, they wore, or did not suit my needs like pedals, handlebars, saddle, ect. The frame overall is not bad, its aluminum and surprisingly not very heavy. I've also grown very used to the geometry of it. I'm going to continue riding this thing until I end up wanting a FS bike.

    Thanks to all that replied. I'll post again when I make my final decision.

  7. #7
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    Fwiw pace star and trail star models are out of date. Now it's all addix compounds and Nics only come in speedgrip. A 2.35 front And 2.25 rear is a great all around combo. Maybe a racing Ralph in the rear for a bit faster rolling and maybe more pavement friendly.

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    Last edited by BikePilot1; 01-04-2018 at 12:48 PM.

  8. #8
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    I would ask your local bike shop what they recommend. Trail conditions vary by location and they should know best.

  9. #9
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    Hi all,

    Again thanks to all the comments it really helped out. So to update you all I took a trip to my LBS and after talking to them I ended up getting a 2.35 Kenda Nevegal for my replacement tire. So my official setup will be the 2.2 Ikon in the rear and 2.35 Nevegal in the front. I will be putting this guy on soon and hit up my local trails hopefully later this week (if weather permits).

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