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  1. #1
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    Good rear tire for pavement *and* hardpack?

    So as part of my usual training route, I'm planning to ride more often *to* the trail and also *on* the trail. There's about 10 miles of pavement to the trail head. Then once I get there (i.e. the Marin headlands), the trail is mostly fire road.

    I currently have Nobby Nics fitted to my 29er hard tail, but don't expect the rear center knobs to last very long if I ride on-road with them too much. What's a good alternative rear tire? I've been thinking that Kenda's Small Block 8 may work back there, but am open to all suggestions. Thanks!
    It's not dirt in my apartment --it's Earth.

  2. #2
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    I use the nano raptor for gravel ginders. Not great in the front on fast corners but other wise a good tire for fire roads pavement
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  3. #3
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    i have a set of sm block 8's that came with my bike and i hate them for everything, except for what you want them for. they work awesome on hardpack as long as there's no loose substrate on top. i was able to really lay the bike down in corners.

  4. #4
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    I like the Maxxis Crossmark's for all around duty. They perform well on pavement, gravel and dirt. They work better offroad than I had hoped. Really liking this tire right now.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    i have a set of sm block 8's that came with my bike and i hate them for everything, except for what you want them for. they work awesome on hardpack as long as there's no loose substrate on top. i was able to really lay the bike down in corners.
    Same here

    My first set of tires were SB8 and they did just fine until I got Racing Ralph's instead, much more grip and faster tire even on paved roads

  6. #6
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    I've run the SB8 in the rear on bay area trails; it's super fast and if you keep the pressure low, you'll even have a little traction. Just don't try it on the front or you'll be killed ...

    I did change recently to the Geax AKA and it's a lot more grippy and nearly as fast but 100 grams heavier.

  7. #7
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    Pavement and gravel we use Spec Borough X-C 45 width
    If the path ahead looks dangerous ------- it probably is!

  8. #8
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    Lol on getting killed with the SB8 in the front. I heard that from somewhere else also. I'm tempted to keep the NN up front, since the front wears a lot more slowly than the rear. In addition, I like on the front a lot of side knobs, which the NN does have.

    Thanks also for the WTB tire ideas. I like their lineup, though I admittedly have stuck primarily to the Schwalbe line for the last several years.

    Racing Ralph -I have one for the rear of my race bike; wouldn't it wear pretty fast on pavement?

    As for the Geax AKA, I did a brief search and dig the tread. By 100 grams more, I assume you mean 750 grams?

    Perhaps another parameter to consider is which of the above (or additonal) tires seal up well with Stans. The "tubeless ready" Schwalbe tires have been absolutely fantastic to run tubeless. Though of good quality, they indeed are pricey compared to their peers.


    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I've run the SB8 in the rear on bay area trails; it's super fast and if you keep the pressure low, you'll even have a little traction. Just don't try it on the front or you'll be killed ...

    I did change recently to the Geax AKA and it's a lot more grippy and nearly as fast but 100 grams heavier.
    It's not dirt in my apartment --it's Earth.

  9. #9
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    Another vote for the Crossmark. Seals up easily. Put 35 PSI in them for the pavement and they can be crazy fast. Air down once you get to the dirt. About 600 grams. Affordable in price. The sidewalls generally wear out before the tread.

    Not a good front tire. I never could gain full confidence with them on the front. The ignitor is a nice front tire.

    Had good luck with an older design Bontrager XDX/Dry X on the rear as well. Braking could be a little stiddish, predectable though.See them going on auction for less than $25 bucks if you watch for them. It's also a healthy 2.1 tire. Nice and cushy on the rear.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Troll View Post
    Another vote for the Crossmark. Seals up easily. Put 35 PSI in them for the pavement and they can be crazy fast. Air down once you get to the dirt. About 600 grams. Affordable in price. The sidewalls generally wear out before the tread.

    Not a good front tire. I never could gain full confidence with them on the front. The ignitor is a nice front tire.

    Had good luck with an older design Bontrager XDX/Dry X on the rear as well. Braking could be a little stiddish, predectable though.See them going on auction for less than $25 bucks if you watch for them. It's also a healthy 2.1 tire. Nice and cushy on the rear.
    crossmark!
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  11. #11
    Rod
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    I've had really good experience with the Race King. I usually it all year on a 5 mile total commute to and from the trail.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  12. #12
    You down with entropy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I've had really good experience with the Race King. I usually it all year on a 5 mile total commute to and from the trail.
    x2 for the race king
    great rear tire

  13. #13
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    Specialized Renegades roll pretty well on the road. Surprisingly, I like them pretty well for a front tire too. Its maximum limits are easily reached, but its one of the only front tires where I could push it too hard, lose the front, and get it back. It also rolls really really fast. If all I rode was hardpack, all I'd use would be the renegades.

  14. #14
    'Tis but a scratch
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    i have a set of sm block 8's that came with my bike and i hate them for everything, except for what you want them for. they work awesome on hardpack as long as there's no loose substrate on top.
    Another vote for the kenda small block 8s...or against them, depending on your perspective. I took them off my bike because I rarely ride the conditions you describe. To me they were a tire to help sell mountain bikes to people who wouldn't take the mountain bike in the mountains. They are a fast roller and as long as its hard packed, you'll probably be satisfied...also fairly cheap.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by t0pcat View Post
    crossmark!
    - if you want more traction, try Maxxis Ardent, which rolls quite well on tarmac.

  16. #16
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    Specialized Renegades roll pretty well on the road. Surprisingly, I like them pretty well for a front tire too. Its maximum limits are easily reached, but its one of the only front tires where I could push it too hard, lose the front, and get it back. It also rolls really really fast. If all I rode was hardpack, all I'd use would be the renegades.
    I own renegades too and while they are super light and very fast they would work great for trails near cities that have a lot of use and are highly groomed. In a National Forest with very little maintenance, where I live, I need a tire with more traction for the front. For pavement and hardpack, like the OP needs this would fit the bill, but I'm not sure how long it would last on pavement. My race king lasted all year with no problems.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  17. #17
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    Nano or Crossmark, either will work fine for what you describe, Nano will last longer with the road miles, but not grip quite as good as the Crossmark and vice versa.
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  18. #18
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    Crossmark

  19. #19
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    Crossmark
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  20. #20
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    Race King has been good on pavement and good rear tire for hard pack - fast and high volume. I recommend the ProTection model for better side walls.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by awai04 View Post
    So as part of my usual training route, I'm planning to ride more often *to* the trail and also *on* the trail. There's about 10 miles of pavement to the trail head. Then once I get there (i.e. the Marin headlands), the trail is mostly fire road.

    I currently have Nobby Nics fitted to my 29er hard tail, but don't expect the rear center knobs to last very long if I ride on-road with them too much. What's a good alternative rear tire? I've been thinking that Kenda's Small Block 8 may work back there, but am open to all suggestions. Thanks!
    New helmet - $100 - new shorts - $100 - new teeth -?????. Just run what you have confidence in for a rear tire and replace often. A Ralph rolls well; there's also a school of thought that says run the same front and rear, which allows you to rotate and run off your fronts on the back. Cost is the last consideration; safety first, fun second.

    I've also found that the first, squirmy, part of a rear wears off fast on pavement, so running a used front on the back may be more sensible than buying a new low knob tire. And you only have to stock one tire.

  22. #22
    KLF
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    Crossmark is hard to beat.
    Most of this past summer I was very happy with a Conti XKing front with a Race King rear - that included a lot of pavement riding for trail access.

  23. #23
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    WTB Nanoraptor for sure on the rear but not a very good tire on the front in most situations.

    I really like the Mutanoraptor front and rear also on my Trance X2 but WTB doesn't make it in 29" are you listening WTB???

    Specialized Captain on the rear and a Purgatory on the front is also a good choice for a mix of pavement and dust over crust.....Came standard on my Stumpy EVO and has worked well for me.

    I have tried the Small Block 8 as a rear tire and didn't like it, ran out of traction quickly on short step climbs was squiurly while braking.

  24. #24
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    +1 for Ignitor/Crossmark combo. Personally, I never trusted the Nano when I tried it. The Crossmark as a rear tire has a much more predictable breakaway. Plus, if you really pump it up, that center ridge flies on pavement.

    I ride in Austin; terrain is mostly loose over hardpack and limestone ledges.

  25. #25
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    Wish the Nano Raptor came in a larger size...2.1 just doesn't cut it for me at least not on the 29er.
    I ran on 26 and it was fine ( Front and rear).. Just my opinon...

    I'm also look for similar tires low roll resistance yet decent in the dry trails..

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