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  1. #1
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    29er rear tire recommendation

    what would you recommend for an all-purpose, do everything rear tire. Within an hour from me in Philadelphia, the terrain varies from sandy loam, to hardpack, to damp clay, to slick rock. Trails range from smooth & flowy xc, to technical, rock and root infested all-mountain/trail sufferfests. I'm riding a specialized rockhopper and a surly pugsley with 29er wheels. I've settled on the WTB Bronson up front and I'd like a relatively fast, grippy and durable tire out back. In the past year, I've gone through a couple Specialized fast trak's which I liked ok and just wore out a Geax AKA, which was great in soft soil, but terrible in hardback and rock. Ideally, I'd like a tire that balances high speed/low rolling resistance with grip in climbing and is $50 or less.
    What are you running? What works for y'all?
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  2. #2
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    In that price range my all-time favorite XC/Trail based 29er rear tires:

    Maxxis Crossmark in dry to damp conditions, fast and smooth to roots and rock gardens. (definitely not for clay or very wet conditions though). The tire pressure needs to be dialed in to get the grip they are capable of out of them. They set up tubeless very well. I would say it rolls as well as the fast track but has better traction across a greater range of conditions and corners much better than the fast track although it isn't a tire for laying the bike over in loose berms etc.

    IRD Fire XC Pro is not quite as fast as the crossmark but still rolls pretty fast and provides great traction and breaking in pretty much every condition from mud to hardpack, wet roots, granite slabs etc. I can't speak to how it would perform in clay or flow trail type riding though.

    The Specialized Ground Control is probably worth consideration as well. I personally dont love it but I have a couple of friends who swear by it for fast XC trail riding.

  3. #3
    bigger than you.
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    anyone else?
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  4. #4
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    I'll second the Crossmark

    Also like the Racing Ralph.

    Have an Ikon on the shelf that I'll be trying out soon

    BTW...above recommendations are definitely based on running tubeless...

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  5. #5
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    I'm loving the WTB Nano TCS as a rear tire lately. It is not a high volume tire but it is fairly grippy, sets up tubeless easily, brakes well, and corners OK. IMO the characteristics don't change much between 28-35 psi, compared to many other tires. FWIW, Crossmarks are nice and Racing Ralphs (>$50 though) too. I really like Fast Traks. I've heard good things about the Panaracer Driver, Maxxis Ignitor, and Geax Saguaro.

  6. #6
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    The Forte Tsali at 25.00 works really well as a rear, a real bargain, good volume, light and fast. Ground control for a more open pattern and twice the money.

  7. #7
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    Oops ... like the Ignitor, too.

    Thanks for reminding me, Pfeifer.

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  8. #8
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    WTB Bronson TCS tires... front and rear! Flip it around in back and you have better grip for climbing... but I just run mine the normal way most of the time.

  9. #9
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    I live south of DC area so realtively similar conditions (varyng big time)

    For Lower tread fast rolling:
    -Geax Saguaros- very affordable but really need to be ran lower pressures tubeless
    - Maxxis Ikons - Great Fast tire with the EXO but I have had pbad luck mixxing iwth Stans
    - Racing Raplhs - Expensive Fast and Grippy
    - Rocket Rons - Expensice but worth the $s so I have the SS versions GREAT tire from limited use so far best I have used in realtion to traction and rolling resistance together but I dont run them if I am going to be touching too much pavement since I hear they wear qucik , set up tubeless easy
    - Crossmarks - I couldnt stand them for anything other than gravel and I ripped 2 sidewalls out in not so techy conidtions

    Knobby Tires:
    - Nobby Nic- Just the performance Line you can proabbly find uder 50 and seem to be wearing ok not super fast rolling but acceptable
    - Ignitors - Good all around tire nothing great, nothing bad though, not a huge fan for wet roots
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    what would you recommend for an all-purpose, do everything rear tire. Within an hour from me in Philadelphia, the terrain varies from sandy loam, to hardpack, to damp clay, to slick rock. Trails range from smooth & flowy xc, to technical, rock and root infested all-mountain/trail sufferfests. I'm riding a specialized rockhopper and a surly pugsley with 29er wheels. I've settled on the WTB Bronson up front and I'd like a relatively fast, grippy and durable tire out back. In the past year, I've gone through a couple Specialized fast trak's which I liked ok and just wore out a Geax AKA, which was great in soft soil, but terrible in hardback and rock. Ideally, I'd like a tire that balances high speed/low rolling resistance with grip in climbing and is $50 or less.
    What are you running? What works for y'all?
    in austin we have a lot of rock, not many roots. I had a 2.25 ardent on the back. after I tore a sidewall and wore the other out I decided I wanted to try something faster so I tried a 2.2 ikon (exo). It was very fast, I was running maybe 2-3 cogs higher. Unfortunately it didnt hook up well for me at all and I found that I was dreading going out to ride. I switched to a ground control (2.1). The ground control (2bliss) is so much better. I only have a couple of rides but it feels like it hooks up as well as the ardent did on technical stuff.

    The main thing is that it is much cheaper than the ardent. List price is about 50

    A friend is running a bontrager tire that has a similar small knob profile to the ikon and he clears stuff I cant (much better rider) so if you are a good enough rider you can ride these small knob tires on technical terrain.

    I run around 20-24 psi and weigh 165

  11. #11
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    One tire I would steer clear of is Schwalbe Nobby Nic. The treads wore down too quickly.

  12. #12
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    just got a michelin wild rac'r that i will be mounting up soon. The tread looks promising. Looks fast in the center with bigger nobs for bite while turning. Also, I have heard that the volume is excellent for the 2.25. I've got ikons on front and rear right now, and I can't decide if I want to put the wild rac'r on the front or back.
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  13. #13
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    I am running the wild racer 2.2 on the front of my Salsa El Mar and it works great, but I'm running a WTB Bronson 2.2 on my Highball and that tire performs really well on the front. It is a confidence builder for sure on roots and rocks and rolls decently.

    25 psi ft

    28 psi rear stans'ed.
    Last edited by Tone No Balone; 05-18-2013 at 08:14 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Spec Ground Controls are getting great reviews in their latest renditions... Can't go wrong. OR Schwalbe Nobby Nic is a kickass go to tire. Cost and longevity divide those two, but nobody can argue how good they are as trail tires. Not slow, and not fast, but good grinding thought the rock and roots and mud that shows up o your favourite loop...

  15. #15
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    My experience,
    Ignitor, Lightish, Decent Grip, Wore pretty good. I tore 2 sidewalls on 2 different tires.
    Racing Ralphs, Light, Good Volume, Horrible grip, Wore fast, and tore the sidewall.
    Nevegal, Good Volume, Good Grip, Heavy, Slowww and Wore Fast.
    Serfas Krest9, Cheap, Tough, Couldn't wear it out, Good Grip, Super Heavy and Not too fast.
    Now on Forte Pisgah, Lightish (660 Grams on my scale), Good Grip, Decent Volume (not a big 2.2), Cheap ($23 on sale), I have no idea on wear cause I only have 100 miles on them, Sidewalls are holding up to some good wear and tear, overall seem pretty good for a cheap tire.
    I feel guilty for not buying local but they were cheap and I needed a lighter rear tire than the Serfas.
    Those are my opinions.
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  16. #16
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    I would stay away from the RRons. It wears faster than the RRalphs and doesn't grip or roll that much better. I really do like the Ikon EXO as a rear and will likely dump my Hans Dampf (too much tire for my needs) for the 2.3 version once it becomes more readily available. I also have some Kenda Slant Six, but I'm smitten with the Ikons to switch over.

  17. #17
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    forgot to mention I recently put a continental race king "race" 2.2 on the rear of my highball and it performs very well too. Really like this tire.

    Can't go wrong with the IKON for the rear either. I have used that tire on a couple of my bikes with excellent performance all around.

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  18. #18
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    29er rear tire recommendation

    I am s fan of the Bronson. But I recently got some Bontrager XR2 Team Issues. I am running them tubeless and they are proving to be VERY versatile in nearly all conditions. And the roll fast too.


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  19. #19
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    Since you're on a budget, the Geax Saguaro, like Hemijax said is a great tire.
    I went on a ride today with a brand new one on the rear and a Specialized Ground Control S Works on the front. Ride was fast and flawless.
    I like turtles

  20. #20
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    I just put on a Tioga Psycho, have about close to 200 miles on it and am really impressed with its bite while climbing and its rolling resistance. Not sure yet on the wear yet, but seems to be holding up pretty good.

  21. #21
    Meat Clever
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    ignitor with exo protection
    2bliss specialized ground control
    as others have posted: nobby nic is good, but wears too fast
    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaEps View Post
    A little bit of pee just trickled out of my pipi when I saw that.

  22. #22
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    I'll chime in....

    i was running bronson in front and wolverine in back...thought the bronson was a bit chunky, switched to ikon exo in front and feel like it rolls faster....

  23. #23
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    Running a 2.1 racing ralph. Very good rolling resistance, but the braking grip (I know most of it comes from the front) isn't great, very easy to lock up. Will probably try something else in the future.
    i would keep in mind the compromise between grip and durability, which one are you more concerned with. No tyre is perfect, if there was a compound that would last for ages and still stick like a gecko, you would see it in races or motorsports.

  24. #24
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    the Bronson is my all-time favorite tire for the front, but on the back, I prefer a more rounded profile. I suspect it might corer a little squirrely on hard-pack with those side knobs both front and back.
    How does the Geax Saguaro wear? The AKA was great in loam, but the knobs are ripped off in the center from climbing rocks and sliding downhill and I've maybe got 300 miles on it. The knobs are also too soft on the sides and cornering on hardpack can get weird at times.
    the Conti X-King looks promising, as does the michelin Wild Racer and I've seen good pricing on both.
    Thanks for the tips, I'll report on what I end up getting!
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  25. #25
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    The Saguaro wears really well.
    I like turtles

  26. #26
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    I asked the LBS for a 29" tire that does well on rocky, root infested terrain. They recommended the Bontrager 29-4 Expert 2.3". This tire tears up loose rock, ledge, roots and grips well in dry or wet conditions. The guy at the shop suggested that I install the rear tire backwards and it would grip even better. I did not, and am extremely happy with the tire. I've ridden about 50 miles and they are wearing well.

  27. #27
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    Another vote for Ignitors EXO. I have been riding them since early fall and have been riding them hard in the Pisgah oer the winter. Great all around rear tire. A little narrow for my taste as a front tire but works great for wet, roots, rocks, leaves, snow, hard pack as a rear.

    Also like the crossmark, a bit faster but doesn't hook up quite as well as the Ignitor but still a great rear tire.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  28. #28
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    Stay away from the Slant Six unless the majority of the stuff you ride is hard. This thing slips all the time in loose. All the time.

  29. #29
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    Dltd
    Last edited by 1SPDBING; 03-15-2014 at 07:03 PM.

  30. #30
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    I've heard good things about the AKAs too. Right now I'm running a Race King in the rear and it's been working well. I had a Rocket Ron in the rear which worked well too but wore fast.

  31. #31
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    Yeah my Racing Ralph wore out in one season riding 3x a week in North Texas. Looking for a good replacement that handles the typical dry gravel/sand and climbs well. Off topic I remember reading that a slightly smaller up front improves handling on 29 inch wheels, but haven't tested personally. Own a Giant anthem X 29 for reference.

  32. #32
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    Do you get Vredestein's Black Panther Xtreme in US? ive been reading the reviews and it sounds like a really good all rounder......but it has to be the xtremes as the normal black panther isnt as good.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPDBING View Post
    Geax Saguaro's last forever and roll really well. I had a lot of paved trail time (600 miles)in between off road trail time last year. The rear was showing some wear but the front had basically just wore the mold knobby's off. Mud and loose chunky gravel are what these tires don't like. But what can you expect from a dry type, low profile tire.

    This season I'm trying out Geax AKA for the rear tire, kept the Saguaro's on my other wheel set. I will say the AKA grips like crazy and so far sticky mud seems to be its' only enemy. Can't say much about wear, but they seem to be holding up pretty well, even with pavement time.
    Another plus is that Geax tires are pretty affordable.
    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    I've heard good things about the AKAs too. Right now I'm running a Race King in the rear and it's been working well. I had a Rocket Ron in the rear which worked well too but wore fast.
    The AKA's are a great tire in damp, sandy/loamy soil. I'm not fond of them over hardpack, rocks or pavement. 50% of the knobs on the center of the tread have sheared off from climbing on rocks and braking on hardpack & pavement. the sides can get seriously squirrelly when cornering on hardpack, too and the tire sucks on the front. ymmv.
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  34. #34
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    I think the new Maxxis Ikon 2.35 would be an awesome rear tire. Still fast rolling but some knobbage to grab in loose stuff. EXO sidewall is pretty durable too.

  35. #35
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    Race King 2.2s are pretty light and fast but they get flats easily. The Panaracer Rampage 29 are also pretty good, a little beefier than the Kings at 2.35" but they give confidence on trails both sandy and hard packed. Also great for cornering. I guess I will suggest them for a front tire but also awesome as back tires. Wears well too, good value for money because they sell at less than $50 online (saw one on jensonusa for 47).
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  36. #36
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    Thanks for all the replies. I now have a good starting point for replacements. Really love the community here.

  37. #37
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    Re: 29er rear tire recommendation

    I'm kind of in the same boat. Looking to replace my sb8's in MD. They are good during dry rides, but they cake up too easy and wash out on small, slow turns with the smallest amount of moisture. A riding buddy of mine has the Pisgah and seems to like it. Looking for something new.

  38. #38
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    I'm searching for a low rolling-resistant and tubeless-ready rear tire for XC/Maraton racing. I'm thinking on Schwalbe Racing Ralph SnakeSkin but I had quite good experience with Geax Saguaro TNTs in the past. Maybe there are a bit "heavy" and these have too much grip in the muddy sections. (As I see you also mentioned Saguaros and AKAs in this topic.)
    But actually I'm thinking to try the Mezcal 2.1 TNT which would be also enough I guess. Any experience with Mezcals as rear tire?
    My other concern is, Geax used to work not well on ZTR rims and I have ZTR Arch EX 29er rims...
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  39. #39
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    The Racing Ralph Snakeskin works great as a rear tire. I've been running one for about 3 months now. However it is expensive and wears out fast. Mine already needs replacing. I think I'll try a Specialized Fast Trak on the rear next.

  40. #40
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    i just purchased the maxxis ikon exc exo 2.2 to replace my original tire off my 13 marlin. I am using them front and rear. They feel great. Very predictable tire and corners great!

  41. #41
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    Any experiences with slant six?

  42. #42
    turtles make me hot
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitworkz View Post
    Any experiences with slant six?
    I like the Slant Six for the most part. It doesn't work real well when wet and it wears fast but it is a pretty fast roller. Works best on dry hardpack. I think that was mentioned before.
    I like turtles

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