Review: Exiwolf vs. Ignitor, rear wheel on snow
Kinda quiet in here lately...
This winter I've been riding my new Karate Monkey 29er with skinny velocity rims and 2.1 in Ignitor tires. Last week I swapped the rear tire out for an Exiwolf, installed backwards.
I do most of my riding on deep, packed trails. At least 5-6 inches of packed snow and if you get off the trail you're going in over hub deep. Some trails are wider (snow machines, multi-use trails and the like) while others are skinny foot-wide singletrack that is only packed by people walking single file. Mostly flat. I also ride some roads, some of them well-plowed and others less so.
Exiwolf gives me a lot more traction in the rear. I ride 30 psi or so, due to my weight, and don't slide around as much as I did with the Ignitor. The rear wheel digs in really nice when I have to climb. I feel more comfortable standing and climbing than I did on the Ignitor.
I think it helps keep me on top of the snow as well -- on softer trail, I felt like the Ignitor was losing traction and digging in a lot. The Exi seems to bite better, keeping me moving and therefore on top of the trail.
The specs on Shiggy's site show that the Exiwolf is a few mm wider, and this seems about right. It still fits fine into the Karate Monkey, running no front derailleur and v-brakes.
I'm a real hoss and without a true snowbike I'm not going to be floating on anything, so I can't really say there is a big difference. I can't leave a well-packed trail with either tire.
As I discussed above the Exiwolf is better at keeping rear traction, which helps keep me moving in the softer stuff. Where it really helps is powering through drifts.
The bike just feels a lot better with the Exiwolf on the back. It's a heavier tire and doesn't seem to be as squirmy. I do like the Ignitors on dirt, but in snow I'm sticking with the Exi. A Panaracer Rampage is en route that will probably find its way to the front tire, we'll see how that combo works.
I don't really have any Exiwolf / snow riding experience or 29er/ Exi time for that matter. But I will say the Exi / Epicwolf is one of the best all around conditions offroad tires I've ever been on.
It's All About We!
Thanks for bringing up the ExiWoof tire subject. I started last year riding one on the front of my Rivendell Atlantis w/ SnowCat rims. This year I've hand-trimmed all the knobbies off the sides of two tires (tedious work), so now I have a teensy more clearence on the front and I can finally put one on the back, replacing the Nanoraptor. My question: why do you run the tire backwards on your bike?
BTW, I run 'em at 15-20psi.
It's one of those things I just read on the boards here, that you would get better rear traction (at the expense of rolling resistance) if you run directional tires backwards. If you look at the treads they are kind of like wedge-shaped, so when the tire is mounted backwards the vertical side of the wedge bites into the snow as you ride.
Originally Posted by Tarnac
Based on that it makes sense. I haven't run it the normal way to compare, but right now that thing is kicking butt in the snow. Once the snow is gone I will likely flip it back around, as most trails I ride up here are pretty hard packed.
Exiwolf rear / Rampage front 29er combo
I'll add to this thread that I got the Panaracer Rampage this week. Running it on the front and the Exiwolf backwards on the rear seems like a pretty skookum combo. I don't think the Ignitors are very good tires for snow riding.
Obviously it's not like riding Large Marges, but in my two years of experience riding on snow up here -- last year on a 26er -- it's the best combo so far. I need to stay on packed trails but these tires power me through drifts and soft areas a lot better, and I notice better front-end handling with the Rampage over the Ignitor. Plus, the Rampage is just a nice-looking, fat, knobby tire.
BTW, this week I also learned that you CAN ride in Size 13 bunny boots. I had always kind of thought that I'd have trouble rubbing the cranks, or maybe hitting the stays or even front wheel, but with nice big platforms on I had no probs. Seriously massive
tread factor though, it would get tiring to ride that way for long periods of time. Either that or I'd develop some weird muscles.