Which Crazy Light Race Tire Would You Ride?
So if you had to pick between a Maxxis Maxxlite tire, Schwalbe Furious Fred, or Bontrager 29-0 tire, which one do you think you'd choose?
I run a Bontrager 29-0 on my rear with a Rocket Ron up front, I love the combo for the hardpack single track we have up in Ontaro, no issues with grip unless its really wet - wouldn't touch it as a front thought, breaks away way too fast.
Have you tried any minimal tread XC tires before? Of those 3, it looks like the 29-0 has the most side knob support.
Originally Posted by Lance Armstrong
I've ridden the Maxxlites, Crows, and Ravens. All of which I consider have various levels of tread. The largest volume of the three being the Raven 2.2. One can get away with less tread on a 29"er, but handling may suffer depending on your skills. The Raven 2.2 has the advantage of being a larger volume tire and I will run it in the rear as well as up front for various races. It's a bit more predictable and confidence inspiring than the 2.0 version minimal tread tires (Maxxlite, Crow, Raven 2.0, etc...).
Raven 2.2's have some nice handling characteristics. I often pair one in the rear with an Ikon up front.
I used to race the Crow 2.0 front and rear, but found the front end a bit of a gamble. The rear was fine and I would often mate it with a 2.25 Bontrager XR up front.
Crow 2.0 rear, XR 2.25 up front...
The Maxxlites are light, a real handful up front, and turn a 29"er into a 28"er and change. Fast rear tire for sure, but don't expect excellent braking in the rear or great traction for out of saddle power climbs. It reminded me a lot of the Crow when running it up front (which I've raced before as well). Sure, it worked, but I felt I actually "lost" time out on the race course running it up front due to the handling issues slowing me down in corners and the braking traction not being very confident inspiring.
If the singletrack is hard as cement, sun baked type of stuff - it will fly and be a good choice. However, that's a rare condition situation usually taking place in the spring after the sun bakes the clay soil and before lots of tire traffic starts to loosen the soil. For me, in spite of being super fast in the straights with quick spin up, I had to say forget about it up front when things get loose. I would imagine the Fred and 29-0 are of a similar ilk.
Pictured below are the Maxxlites front and rear on my JET 9 (these were the prototypes I tested for Maxxis). Just not enough side knob and traction for my needs - even with the full suspension contributing to keeping the wheels glued down - to keep me going as fast as a tire with more traction provides for me. Durability wise, they have held up well (2 full years being run tubeless) and are on my wife's Air 9.
I did run them on on my Dos for a 70+ mile gravel race earlier this year and they were perfect for that.
The minimal tread tires might be just the ticket for you and your conditions, but for my own riding and racing I have found larger volume and more tread bite ends up with me turning overall faster laps. Racing Ralphs, Ikons, Raven 2.2's, Nobby Nics are all my typical fare. I'll gladly take the weight penalty because my times are faster with the larger volume, heavier tires than the minimal tread lower volume tires out on the XC race course dirt.
Last edited by BruceBrown; 11-23-2012 at 08:22 AM.
Rocket Rons frt/rear or Rocket Ron/Furious Fred. I have had several pairs of Rocket Rons and they all came in near claimed weight of 520 gms plus you can find them on Ebay for a pretty good price. If you really want to ligthen up, use a Rocket Ron in the front and Furious Fed in the rear. The Furious Fred I used was about 375gms and it has great traction on a Tallboy.
I also like Racing Ralphs and Stan's Ravens, but Rockets have just as much traction as both of those and they are as light or lighter than both of those. However if you are riding rocky terrian, going with a Ralph and Raven may add some durability comparatively.
C-DALE FLASH 29 Carbon 2 (19.6 lbs)
Lance! I knew you would be back racing! Remember, it not all about the tires
Originally Posted by Lance Armstrong