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  1. #1
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    New rear tire advice wanted

    Hello, I am in need of a new rear tire & am looking for advice / insight from fellow MTBR’s.

    I currently run a specialized ground control 2.1” Rear tire. I ride in san diego, so I encounter a lot of loose over hard conditions.

    The downhill braking confidence is really impressive for me.

    What tires rolls faster & lighter, with no loss in downhill braking performance, while being lighter?

    I am 5’9” @ 170 on a 29” specialized camber, running tubeless, rear @ ~30psi

    For reference, my bike came with a specialized Captain 2.0”… it was so-so, went to the GC & that felt better everywhere.

    I tried a Panaracer Soar 2.0”, that tire felt equally fast as the GC, good going up hills, but it gave up so much downhill braking, it made me nervous. After a few rides, off she came & the GC went back on.

    Looking for something that rolls faster & lighter, with no loss in downhill braking performance when compared to the specialized GC 2.1”.

    Thanks for your insight

  2. #2
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    Schwable Racing Ralph is an awesome tire but won't last nearly as long as a Ground Control. The Vittoria Mescal or Saguaro can be found for about $40 and will last and last and last.
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  3. #3
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    I'm always impressed with the driving and braking traction of the Schwalbe Nobby Nic on the rear, while still rolling damn near as fast as a race tire. They have recently changed to their "Addix" compound which is probably better than the old compounds. If you find old stock, be sure to get it with the SnakeSkin Sidewall and the PaceStar compound for durability.

  4. #4
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    For the last 2 seasons I've been exclusively running Bontrager XR3 Team Issue tires on the rear.

    Rolls fast, grips well and is very predictable for traction. Wider at 2.35 but can go down to mid 20's psi when tubeless.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Schwable Racing Ralph is an awesome tire but won't last nearly as long as a Ground Control. The Vittoria Mescal or Saguaro can be found for about $40 and will last and last and last.
    A second for the Mezcal, fastest rolling rear tire I've ever used and works well on our terrain here in SD

  6. #6
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    The new Mezcals are pretty impressive.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input guys/gals.

    hmm'n & haw'n between the mezcals & rocket ron's...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpearce1475 View Post
    A second for the Mezcal, fastest rolling rear tire I've ever used and works well on our terrain here in SD
    How is the downhill braking performance of the Mezcal?

    I have read that a # of people feel the mezcal gives up a lot in this area. It looks similar to a spesh fast trak, which gave up braking performance for 2 people i know who ride similar trails.

    ride in penasquitos canyon & la costa / san elijo area.

    i narrowed it down to the rocket ron (scared of side wall) vs spesh GC (slightly heavier)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob View Post
    For the last 2 seasons I've been exclusively running Bontrager XR3 Team Issue tires on the rear.

    Rolls fast, grips well and is very predictable for traction. Wider at 2.35 but can go down to mid 20's psi when tubeless.
    SE3 is even better. Friends should only let friends get the SE versions - tougher, more sticky, little weight penalty.

    Regardless, that tread is really good when it comes to having traction, a zippy feeling tire, and not as prone to mud pack as some.
    ƃuoɹʍ llɐ ʇno əɯɐɔ ʇɐɥʇ

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger View Post
    SE3 is even better. Friends should only let friends get the SE versions - tougher, more sticky, little weight penalty.

    Regardless, that tread is really good when it comes to having traction, a zippy feeling tire, and not as prone to mud pack as some.
    SE3 is an awesome tire that I've run with great success, but at 815g it may be a little to heavy for OP who seems to be looking for a more XC tire

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpearce1475 View Post
    SE3 is an awesome tire that I've run with great success, but at 815g it may be a little to heavy for OP who seems to be looking for a more XC tire
    With identical DT Swiss wheels in very similar bikes I can't ever notice the less than 100 gram difference or one version not feeling as zippy or quick.

    With one having 50 vs 60 hardness on the outside I could and can feel the difference at very important moments such as greasy roots and rocks or leaned over and pushing it hard on my home trails I know well. The downside is you do see wear a little faster but it's nice to have the traction.

    We've (family) worn out or trashed 5 "3" treads across 3 bikes now. There's a well worn each of XR and SE in the garage at the moment. The XR has an easy 5-6 sealant leak spots with the SE having 1. I've never cut the SE tires like I've cut XRs.

    I fully understand different riding styles, locations and requirements but 2015 through now have had different combos of XR3+4 and SE3+4 cross 3 different bikes. The improved reliability and performance are so obvious that I'm happy to put up with the weight difference.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem1 View Post
    The new Mezcals are pretty impressive.
    I do not care about weight, being new i know i like my continental 2.2 Mountain King ProTection for the grip and no puncture.
    What about flat resistance with Mezcal?
    Without a car i ride to the trails and back on my xc so good rolling is a plus for me.
    Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aby N View Post
    Thanks for the input guys/gals.

    hmm'n & haw'n between the mezcals & rocket ron's...
    RoRo's will roll better and brake better. Nobby Nics will brake better and probably roll as well as the Mezcals. Schwalbe's tend to roll really fast. They also wear fast and cost a lot. Worth it for me.

  14. #14
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    Go with an sworks ground control 2.3 super light, wider with better traction and lasts. 2.1's are a bit too narrow for me.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    It doesn't grip as much on the braking as lets say a Rocket Ron, but it was very controllable. Fast for sure ! Vittoria tires look like they are made tough as well, for flats. Heavier than a RoRo but you'll get more volume (like an extra size !) and maybe/probably better flat protection.

    I have a Continental RaceKing on my rear, kind of surprised at the grip. The 2.2 has good volume as well.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for keeping this thread alive with your valuable input & insight.

    fwiw, i went with a RaRa in the rear.....eeh, i wont get another for my terrain / environment. I did buy a 2.1", maybe i would have a slightly better impression if i went with the 2.2"

    I feel that the RaRa; Running RoRo up front, rolls free'r than my old spech GC, but the downhill loose braking is dicier to my old/used GC, i have to run a little less air pressure to match my uphill traction as well.

    I would have tried a conti chili compound'd racesport race kings, but i read they were a nightmare holding stans sauce / tubeless. Well i learned that's not true, as my buddy just went tubeless without issue using the conti chili compound'd racesport race kings. btw, the conti weighed in @ 538g & 539g, weighing both tires - 29" x 2.2. However the conti flavor mentioned above definately wears out / knobs tearing off @ a faster rate than my RaRa on the rear.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aby N View Post
    Thanks for keeping this thread alive with your valuable input & insight.

    fwiw, i went with a RaRa in the rear.....eeh, i wont get another for my terrain / environment. I did buy a 2.1", maybe i would have a slightly better impression if i went with the 2.2"

    I feel that the RaRa; Running RoRo up front, rolls free'r than my old spech GC, but the downhill loose braking is dicier to my old/used GC, i have to run a little less air pressure to match my uphill traction as well.

    I would have tried a conti chili compound'd racesport race kings, but i read they were a nightmare holding stans sauce / tubeless. Well i learned that's not true, as my buddy just went tubeless without issue using the conti chili compound'd racesport race kings. btw, the conti weighed in @ 538g & 539g, weighing both tires - 29" x 2.2. However the conti flavor mentioned above definately wears out / knobs tearing off @ a faster rate than my RaRa on the rear.
    Go wider/more volume, most people gain speed with better rolling resistance, only the people riding straight up xc or super smooth single track are riding 2.1 or 2.0

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aby N View Post
    Thanks for keeping this thread alive with your valuable input & insight.

    fwiw, i went with a RaRa in the rear.....eeh, i wont get another for my terrain / environment. I did buy a 2.1", maybe i would have a slightly better impression if i went with the 2.2"

    I feel that the RaRa; Running RoRo up front, rolls free'r than my old spech GC, but the downhill loose braking is dicier to my old/used GC, i have to run a little less air pressure to match my uphill traction as well.

    I would have tried a conti chili compound'd racesport race kings, but i read they were a nightmare holding stans sauce / tubeless. Well i learned that's not true, as my buddy just went tubeless without issue using the conti chili compound'd racesport race kings. btw, the conti weighed in @ 538g & 539g, weighing both tires - 29" x 2.2. However the conti flavor mentioned above definately wears out / knobs tearing off @ a faster rate than my RaRa on the rear.
    Interesting. I didn't think they were even on your radar for riding in San Diego. A wider tire will always wear better than a narrow tire.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aby N View Post
    Hello, I am in need of a new rear tire & am looking for advice / insight from fellow MTBR’s.

    I currently run a specialized ground control 2.1” Rear tire. I ride in san diego, so I encounter a lot of loose over hard conditions.

    The downhill braking confidence is really impressive for me.

    What tires rolls faster & lighter, with no loss in downhill braking performance, while being lighter?

    I am 5’9” @ 170 on a 29” specialized camber, running tubeless, rear @ ~30psi

    For reference, my bike came with a specialized Captain 2.0”… it was so-so, went to the GC & that felt better everywhere.

    I tried a Panaracer Soar 2.0”, that tire felt equally fast as the GC, good going up hills, but it gave up so much downhill braking, it made me nervous. After a few rides, off she came & the GC went back on.

    Looking for something that rolls faster & lighter, with no loss in downhill braking performance when compared to the specialized GC 2.1”.

    Thanks for your insight
    I like the ground control as it is cheap. I mostly ride a2.3 maxxis ikon which worked as well for me. A little less grip but much faster. The grip is predictable

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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