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  1. #1
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    Another tire question...

    This is a very All Mountain/Enduro/Super D RACING specific question about tires...

    I currently ride Kenda Excavators in either 2.1 or 2.3 configuration, as well as having them converted to tubeless, using Stans. I like the tires, they have lots of grip and are great for training and all around messing around, but I find the sidewall pretty flexible and weak...
    Mostly when I jump or preload the bike or heavily carve a turn, the sidewall rolls...I hate that! It doesn't burp air because of the stans rims...but it really bugs me! Plus, I've torn the sidewalls on both the 2.3 and the 2.1 tires. Keep in mind these are Single Ply tires.

    I plan on racing Super D next season, and I would really like to try out some new rubber...
    I've heard excellent things about schwalbe, although they are kind of pricey...
    I've tried maxxis highrollers and liked them (on DH)...

    So, recommend me some ALL AROUND to Hardpack 2.3 tires with a STRONG sidewall...preferably folding.

    If the highrollers are the ticket...then what model work for you guys.

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
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    I've rode a pair of 2.35 Highrollers DH's for a long time with zero flats. Granted the side walls were immensely thick and heavy, but no pinch flats. If weight is not an issue High Rollers are a great option. I use WTB Mutano Raptors now and the sidewalls aren't nearly as thick.

    Another tire that workers well for me was the Maxxis Minions. They're a great compromise between a bomber DH tire that's not crazy heavy. Check those out too.
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  3. #3
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    Maxxis sidewalls seem to be some of the burliest around. The new EXO sidewall is excellent. I just started running a DHF up front and it is a great all-around tire. I do a lot of climbing around Tahoe. It's a bit on the heavy side, but a great tire. The High Roller is a decent tire, but I never thought it hooked up that well in mixed loose stuff (small rocks, sand and silt).

    If you want super-burly, go tubeless and run a Maxxis UST. I have never had a flat with a Maxxis UST tire, even pounding them on extremely sharp, jagged rocky trails. I won't go back to Kenda or Schwalbe, only because of how easily I blow out the sidewalls, though I like some of their rubber compounds and tread designs.

  4. #4
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    I've been riding Bontrager XR4 TLR in the front with a Specialized Purgatory Grid (UST casing) in the rear with great results in Colorado rocks. Both tubeless on Stan's style rims (Sun Ringle Charger Pro). No flats on either. No rolling. Both in 2.2, but are high volume and bigger than 2.35 High Rollers or Nevegals. I found I could get easily away with the tubeless ready tire up front, but preferred the stiffer more durable UST casing in the rear for the reasons you mentioned. Tires are a very personal thing, but the XR4 is my favorite front tire ever. Corners like a High Roller without the weird dead zone. The Purgatory has held up great as a rear tire with solid climbing/cornering traction and decent rolling resistance. This combo gets used for everything from mellow XC, to super technical rock rides, to light downhill on my Pivot Mach 5.7. Just my 2 cents.
    Gotta get up to get down.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1 View Post
    I've been riding Bontrager XR4 TLR in the front with a Specialized Purgatory Grid (UST casing) in the rear with great results in Colorado rocks. Both tubeless on Stan's style rims (Sun Ringle Charger Pro). No flats on either. No rolling. Both in 2.2, but are high volume and bigger than 2.35 High Rollers or Nevegals. I found I could get easily away with the tubeless ready tire up front, but preferred the stiffer more durable UST casing in the rear for the reasons you mentioned. Tires are a very personal thing, but the XR4 is my favorite front tire ever. Corners like a High Roller without the weird dead zone. The Purgatory has held up great as a rear tire with solid climbing/cornering traction and decent rolling resistance. This combo gets used for everything from mellow XC, to super technical rock rides, to light downhill on my Pivot Mach 5.7. Just my 2 cents.
    Nice, I'll have to check out the Bonty tires... the ones that came on my Trek were pretty good.

    I'd also reco. Specialized over Maxxis or Schwalbe. They just came out with a 2.3 Butcher Control casing tire, I have the dh version on my Session 88 and they are the best tire I've ever used, much better than the Minions I had on there IMO... they roll super fast, grip really well and transition from center to sideknobs seamlessly.

    I would go with the Purgatory 2.2 or Eskar2 2.3 for a rear tire with the Butcher up front. I'm currently using the Eskar, the 2.2 Purg was out of stock, but from a Spec. employee, the 2.3 Butcher/2.2 Purg is the preferred setup for "am" riding.

    Also, the Spec. tires are far more affordable than Maxxis/Schwalbe and seem to last longer too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    Nice, I'll have to check out the Bonty tires... the ones that came on my Trek were pretty good.

    I'd also reco. Specialized over Maxxis or Schwalbe. They just came out with a 2.3 Butcher Control casing tire, I have the dh version on my Session 88 and they are the best tire I've ever used, much better than the Minions I had on there IMO... they roll super fast, grip really well and transition from center to sideknobs seamlessly.

    I would go with the Purgatory 2.2 or Eskar2 2.3 for a rear tire with the Butcher up front. I'm currently using the Eskar, the 2.2 Purg was out of stock, but from a Spec. employee, the 2.3 Butcher/2.2 Purg is the preferred setup for "am" riding.

    Also, the Spec. tires are far more affordable than Maxxis/Schwalbe and seem to last longer too.
    Apparently they just redesigned the XR4. I'd like to try the new one, but don't think the shops have it yet.

    Light and fast rolling
    Designed to out-corner any other tire on the market
    Engineered for XC and Trail riders in loose and rocky conditions
    Covered by Bontrager's Unconditional Performance Guarantee

    New tread pattern looks promising. Knobs edge to edge with big square cornering blocks.


    Previous XR4:
    Gotta get up to get down.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1 View Post
    Apparently they just redesigned the XR4. I'd like to try the new one, but don't think the shops have it yet.

    Light and fast rolling
    Designed to out-corner any other tire on the market
    Engineered for XC and Trail riders in loose and rocky conditions
    Covered by Bontrager's Unconditional Performance Guarantee

    New tread pattern looks promising. Knobs edge to edge with big square cornering blocks.
    ]
    Interesting... lots of intermediate knobs, which aren't really in fashion these days But with the guarantee, might be worth trying...



    Also, my 2nd choice for a front is the Trail King 2.4... Huge volume and grip is a wide variety of conditions including wet/mud/snow. Been using them for the last 2 seasons and the Butcher is the only tire I've used that comes close.

    I'm sure the Maxxis 2.5 dhf exo or Schwalbe Hans Dampf would work well, but Maxxis and Schwalbe are overpriced and wear out quickly IMO.

  8. #8
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    +1 on the spec butcher sx or a minion with exo.

  9. #9
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    Between the Purgatory & the Eskar I would choose the Eskar, its predictable & hooks up under most conditions. I wasn't impressed with the Purgatory at all, especially on granite ledge & rocks, or in the wet-it would just let go especially at speed. I tried it as a front & back tire, and after 1 month ditched it for the Clutch. My buddy ditched the Purgatory after 3 months for the Clutch
    .
    My impression of the Clutch Control initially was it was a great front tire, especially after the Purgatory. After riding it for a few months I'm at odds with it. Running low pressure the side wall is flexy and not in a good way, ramp the pressure up & its bouncy, skips off of everything, and looses its traction, especially on the rear. If the conditions are dry its a good tire that rolls great for the aggressive tread, on the wet or greasy days it is not confidence inspiring at all.
    My buddy rides the Clutch SX & loves them, although he's not running tubeless & likes a bouncier setup in general. My guess is the sx has a thicker sidewall & softer rubber closer to the eskar i had been running on for 5 or so years.
    The Clutch I will say so far has taken a beating with in the last few months & the sidewall looks new still & the tread has worn well.
    I am riding harder & pushing my Firebird more than my last bike, so take my review with a grain of salt, because i'm thinking i just need a more aggressive tire in general & something slightly bigger.
    I to have been kicking around the idea of going Big Betty, Trail Queen, or Muddy Mary for the winter, but the $$$ is putting me off.
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  10. #10
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    Nobody has mentioned this so I will:
    You like the Excavator but converted it to tubeless and find the sidewalls too floppy, so why not try a UST Excavator?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mt.Biker E View Post
    I to have been kicking around the idea of going Big Betty, Trail Queen, or Muddy Mary for the winter, but the $$$ is putting me off.
    BB sucks in loose/wet/mud conditions... MM is a good tire but $ and fast wear....

    The Conti is Trail King or Rubber Queen depending on your country... US is TK because RQ offended some people, lol. It is the best trail tire (for the front) I have ever used. I think the Spec Butcher could give it a run for its money, and I'm sure in the right conditions it'll have more grip, but it's smaller volume and possibly not as versatile. Conti's black chili rubber is better than anyone else's compounds, by far, so there is that...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    BB sucks in loose/wet/mud conditions... MM is a good tire but $ and fast wear....

    The Conti is Trail King or Rubber Queen depending on your country... US is TK because RQ offended some people, lol. It is the best trail tire (for the front) I have ever used. I think the Spec Butcher could give it a run for its money, and I'm sure in the right conditions it'll have more grip, but it's smaller volume and possibly not as versatile. Conti's black chili rubber is better than anyone else's compounds, by far, so there is that...
    Does the Black Chili stuff wear fast? I prefer only changing my tires once per year if I can get away with it.
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  13. #13
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    ime it is long lasting

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1 View Post
    Does the Black Chili stuff wear fast? I prefer only changing my tires once per year if I can get away with it.
    It performs nearly as good as Maxxis Super Tacky and wears 3x as long as a 60a tire. Rolls a good bit faster than a 2.5 dhf exo too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    BB sucks in loose/wet/mud conditions... MM is a good tire but $ and fast wear....
    ..
    How is the BB on rock/granite slabs & roots? I ride in CT so we generally don't have loose mud, although the trails do get slick from the humidity. We have lots of rock, granite & roots, soil is mostly hardpack dirt, not loamy at all. Is the BB crappy in all wet weather or just the loose muddy conditions?
    Life in every breath

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mt.Biker E View Post
    How is the BB on rock/granite slabs & roots? I ride in CT so we generally don't have loose mud, although the trails do get slick from the humidity. We have lots of rock, granite & roots, soil is mostly hardpack dirt, not loamy at all. Is the BB crappy in all wet weather or just the loose muddy conditions?
    They are ok on rock and hardpack, on roots depends on compound, but the issue is they don't clear mud, and will pack up before many other tires. There is a dry/steep/loose area around here where they perform especially poorly as well. I tried the gooey glooey compound and the sideknobs started tearing off so they are not durable enough either. The Trail King is superior in every way, IMO.

    I rode a bike w/ Hans Dampfs and it was really good, a little better than my TKs for the conditions that day... I'd only use it as a front because it wears quick and isn't especially fast rolling though.

    Don't forget the new Butcher Control casing tires either... or sx casing if you are really hard on tires.

  17. #17
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    hey thanks all of you guys for your recommendations! Great to see people interested in helping others!

    fsrxc, I haven't tried the UST version, because I would like to try another tread pattern if possible...I would really like to try out the maxxis highrollers, as I ride mostly intermediate to hardpacked. Possibly the Minion up front too!

    I've seen Contis...but I don't know what model I should try...

    I really would not like to ride a true DH casing and wire bead...because of weight...but probably a stiffer casing. Does a UST tire really have tougher sidewalls? Like if I were to use the same kenda excavators...but with a UST casing...would it eliminate the problems I have?
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  18. #18
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    Another vote for the Conti Trail King. Been running the 2.4 front and back. Black Chili is amazing. Tons of grip but wears great. I still have the little rubber hairs on them that are on new tires after 6 weeks, riding 2-3 times a week. Even raced a Super D with them. Tons of volume, lots of grip and some sidewall protection too. Rolls pretty fast for a tire that large.

  19. #19
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    I have the Bonty XR4 tires posted above on my Remedy. They grip like hell, almost boring to ride at times, but they roll really really slow. Not something I'd really want in a pedally super-D or enduro where you have pedal from stage to stage. Of course I have the OEM 60tpi version, I'm sure the 120tpi team issue would be more supple and roll better.
    Ross Schnell ran the Bonty FR3's at Trestle Mountain Enduro, they might be worth a look if you can get a deal on Bonty tires:


    Pro Bike: Ross Schnell’s 2012 Trek Slash - BikeRadar

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by strader View Post
    I have the Bonty XR4 tires posted above on my Remedy. They grip like hell, almost boring to ride at times, but they roll really really slow. Not something I'd really want in a pedally super-D or enduro where you have pedal from stage to stage. Of course I have the OEM 60tpi version, I'm sure the 120tpi team issue would be more supple and roll better.
    Ross Schnell ran the Bonty FR3's at Trestle Mountain Enduro, they might be worth a look if you can get a deal on Bonty tires:

    Pro Bike: Ross Schnell’s 2012 Trek Slash - BikeRadar
    Interesting. I didn't find them to roll slow. Seemed about average, not great, but not bad either. There's always a trade off with traction vs rolling resistance. I found them much faster than a Nevegal for example. Then again I only use one in the front, with a Speshy Purgatory in the rear. I imagine it could be a slow tire in the rear, but I've never tried it.

    I'm not sure I'd want to run the FR3 in the rear for any place with technical climbing. I've found anything with a continuous center line to slip like crazy trying to climb anything loose or rocky. This is why tires are such a subjective thing. I also don't deal with much wet at all during the Colorado riding season, so I'm primarily dealing with rocky trails and loose over hardpack.
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  21. #21
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    Heads up on Conti TK/RQ:
    If you buy the folders in hopes of using goo to seal in tubelss application, it has REALLY porous sidwalls! It took me two tries w/ 2 scoops per try to stabilize the seal, and it also involved overnighting the wheels on buckets (got up to pee in the middle of the night and flipped them over at that time). The USTs are fantastic and easily seals w/ 1 scoop!

    Edit: I've also tried to tubless Der Kaisers...same situation w/ the sidwalls, but is doable.
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  22. #22
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    I just swapped from 2.1 Maxxis CrossMarks to 2.3 Forte Pisgahs...
    I was a little hesitant since they are Performance brand tires and slightly heavier than the competition... But haven't been let down!

    My terrain varies from hardpack to soft carpet and loose over hardpack to super rocky and rooty... And they work well in everything.

    They roll pretty fast and wear slow... Plus they are pretty inexpensive!

    Check em out...
    Forté Pisgah MTB Tire 26x2.3 - Mountain Bike Tires

    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    Heads up on Conti TK/RQ:
    If you buy the folders in hopes of using goo to seal in tubelss application, it has REALLY porous sidwalls! It took me two tries w/ 2 scoops per try to stabilize the seal, and it also involved overnighting the wheels on buckets (got up to pee in the middle of the night and flipped them over at that time). The USTs are fantastic and easily seals w/ 1 scoop!

    Edit: I've also tried to tubless Der Kaisers...same situation w/ the sidwalls, but is doable.
    same experience here, but once i did get them set up they have been rock solid.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    Heads up on Conti TK/RQ:
    If you buy the folders in hopes of using goo to seal in tubelss application, it has REALLY porous sidwalls! It took me two tries w/ 2 scoops per try to stabilize the seal, and it also involved overnighting the wheels on buckets (got up to pee in the middle of the night and flipped them over at that time). The USTs are fantastic and easily seals w/ 1 scoop!

    Edit: I've also tried to tubless Der Kaisers...same situation w/ the sidwalls, but is doable.
    Yeah, a friend of mine (Mustache Rider) tried to run them tubeless and there are little dots of green goo all over the sidewalls. He didn't have an issue getting them to work but you can see where all the goo oozed out...

    TKs are great tires, but I'm still amazed by the Butchers... don't have enough time on them to know for sure yet tho, and haven't got the control casing version for the trail bike yet either, but the dh casing tires are awesome so far.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eckstream1 View Post
    I just swapped from 2.1 Maxxis CrossMarks to 2.3 Forte Pisgahs...
    I was a little hesitant since they are Performance brand tires and slightly heavier than the competition... But haven't been let down!

    My terrain varies from hardpack to soft carpet and loose over hardpack to super rocky and rooty... And they work well in everything.

    They roll pretty fast and wear slow... Plus they are pretty inexpensive!

    Check em out...
    Forté Pisgah MTB Tire 26x2.3 - Mountain Bike Tires
    FYI - they are made by Cheng Shin...producer of CST tires and parent company of Maxxis.
    The nice thing is that you don't care if you shred a sidewall in the rocks when they can be had on sale for $19.99...

    Different story when it's $70+ Schwalbes.


    Did they set-up tubeless?

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