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  1. #1
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    Good tire for rocky/rooty riding

    Ah, alas, im asking a question probably hundreds have asked before me... anyways, I find the continental MK 2.2 to be lacking in the grip department for the terrain i ride... mainly large rocky/rooty trails, that can get rather technical. I need something with a little more grip than the MK, without adding TOOOO much weight. So, which direction should i steer my tire shopping (pun?)? I was considering the Conti. Rubber queen, might be grippier.

    HELP MTBR!!

    TL;DR- need good tires for rocky/rooty trails.

  2. #2
    BLAH BLAH
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    I just switched to a WTB Bronson for my rear tire. I have ridden Nevegals, Minion DHF and a Schwalbe Fat Albert as a rear and it is by far my favorite. It is fast but grips extremely well, its mud shedding is also amazing. I have it set up tubeless on Stans Flow rims.
    Whats this line for?

  3. #3
    greedy
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    I had been running a Rubber Queen 2.4 front and MK 2.4 rear, both UST tires for a year or so. I really liked the Rubber Queen (mine was labled Trail King), but I agree the MK was lacking. The 2.4 RQ is just too heavy for me. Recently I went to an Ardent 2.4 EXO front and Aspen 2.25 rear (lbs had one in stock). I am as happy with the Ardent as I was with the RQ/TK so far. The Aspen is fast, but if things get a little wet, it spins. I just ordered a Highroller to replace it on the rear. I've also heard great things about the Nobby Nic. My trails are nothing but rocks and roots. It seems like everybody here are running Ardents.
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  4. #4
    Dirt Deviant
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    I'll toss in a vote for the 2.2 Trail King.
    Great tire.
    The trail king runs on the large side, and I have a set of 2.4's that I use for lift assisted riding. The things are frigging gigantic!!!!!!!
    I run the 2.2 for most of the year, but run the Mountain King while it is wet around here, in a 2.4.
    The TK 2.2 and the MK 2.4 are about the same size.
    On a side note, I just switched over to the SLant Six in a 2.1, as everything here is dried up hard like concrete!!!!!!!
    Mostly as a test. Fast tire, no traction compared to the others I mentioned.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  5. #5
    usually cranky
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    2.2 tk bc

  6. #6
    DynoDon
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    Rocket Ron, does it all good!!
    Four wheels transport the body,

    Two wheels transport the soul !!!!

  7. #7
    wuss
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    Trail Kings in BC compound are better then Mountain Kings, but I moved to Schwalbe and especially the Trailstar compound is great. The tires seem to have better grip, and handle low pressures better then the Conti's. I do only have good memories of Rubber Queens (same as Trail King) in 2.4".

  8. #8
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    so, trail kings 2.2 front and rear? or anyone have a better rear tire idea? Im just sick of losing traction on the techy stuff.

  9. #9
    DynoDon
    Reputation: manabiker's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Rocket Ron's great in mud/roots/rocks, a super tire for Michigans tree/rock, wet trails. too soft to last long on the roads, and they're pretty light too.. I've been using 2.25 x 26 for over 700 miles this year. Oh they are FAST too!!!
    Four wheels transport the body,

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko G View Post
    so, trail kings 2.2 front and rear? or anyone have a better rear tire idea? Im just sick of losing traction on the techy stuff.
    Yes, they are great F&R. Just make sure you follow the arrows on the sidewall for F&R direction. It is installed reverse for the rear.
    I didn't mention in my earlier post that you really want the black chili. The black chili is amazing stuff. Wears well, and grips wet roots and rocks like suction cups.
    Never once did I have a problem losing traction with my TK's, which are black chili.
    It takes a little getting used to the cornering tread........as the side knobs drop of sharply.....but it makes for some seriously controlled 2 wheel drifts.
    I love the TK, so much so that I bought about 4 years worth.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by manabiker View Post
    Schwalbe Rocket Ron's great in mud/roots/rocks, a super tire for Michigans tree/rock, wet trails. too soft to last long on the roads, and they're pretty light too.. I've been using 2.25 x 26 for over 700 miles this year. Oh they are FAST too!!!
    these look nice, but I road ride about 1km to get to my trails... thoughts?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann View Post
    Yes, they are great F&R. Just make sure you follow the arrows on the sidewall for F&R direction. It is installed reverse for the rear.
    I didn't mention in my earlier post that you really want the black chili. The black chili is amazing stuff. Wears well, and grips wet roots and rocks like suction cups.
    Never once did I have a problem losing traction with my TK's, which are black chili.
    It takes a little getting used to the cornering tread........as the side knobs drop of sharply.....but it makes for some seriously controlled 2 wheel drifts.
    I love the TK, so much so that I bought about 4 years worth.
    you mentioned the 2.2 tk are as wide as the 2.4 mk?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko G View Post
    these look nice, but I road ride about 1km to get to my trails... thoughts?
    I woudn't worry about 1km on the road (if you ride gently), tire wear shouldn't increase hardly at all.

  14. #14
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    I use a Big Betty 2.4 up front for those conditions (usually dry). great tire
    9 out of 10 doctors surveyed said, "Who is this, and why are you calling so late!?"

  15. #15
    T.W.O
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    I second the rocket ron for the Michigan rooty/wet terrain. Fast rolling and locks up on those wet roots that make your back end slide.

    There really isn't that much of a dedication you can do though to ensure traction on wet roots all the time. Tire pressure and proper weighting are more important on that tech stuff than what tire your rocking. Doesn't matter if you run a 2.5 in the back, if your unweighting it, its sliding.
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  16. #16
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    I just mounted a WTB Bronson TCS on the front of my Ibis HD. One stoke of my foot pump and WTB held air? Wow I must say I have never experienced such an easy install. After having only taken one 10 mile ride in wet roots and rock I went back to my LBS and bought another one for the rear. This is by far the best tire I have found for wet roots and wood features?

  17. #17
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko G View Post
    Ah, alas, im asking a question probably hundreds have asked before me... anyways, I find the continental MK 2.2 to be lacking in the grip department for the terrain i ride... mainly large rocky/rooty trails, that can get rather technical. I need something with a little more grip than the MK, without adding TOOOO much weight. So, which direction should i steer my tire shopping (pun?)? I was considering the Conti. Rubber queen, might be grippier.

    HELP MTBR!!

    TL;DR- need good tires for rocky/rooty trails.
    Do you have the older or newer version of the MK? Not sure about the new one, but the old 2.2's were pretty puny. I think that just about any larger volume tire is going to help you out. I would also second the advice about whatever you get from Conti that it be a black chili version.

    As far as a rear tire, I found the older version on the MK Protection (26x2.4, black chili) to have outstanding grip, but slow rolling. I also have a 29x2.2 (non-black chili) that I tried on the back of my 29er, and I was not impressed at all. Good in the snow and mud, but that's about it.

    I have used the 2.4 Rubber Queen (now trail king) as a front tire and it was super grippy and cush, but weighed in at ~960g (way over advertised weight). I may try a 2.2 on the front some day. It is probably a little slower than I want on the rear.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNBN View Post
    I just mounted a WTB Bronson TCS on the front of my Ibis HD. One stoke of my foot pump and WTB held air? Wow I must say I have never experienced such an easy install. After having only taken one 10 mile ride in wet roots and rock I went back to my LBS and bought another one for the rear. This is by far the best tire I have found for wet roots and wood features?
    I'm also digging my Bronson TCSs. Decent rolling resistance, grippy on the rocks and so far the sidewalls are holding up great. My previous tires were Specialized Captain and Purgatory which lasted 1 and 2 rides respectively before tearing sidewalls.

    Next, I plan on trying the Conti Trail King UST with Black Chili compound.

  19. #19
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    Another +1 for RQ/TKs.
    I'm running 2.2 UST on some Reynolds for a BLTc, and some 2.4 folding as UST on DT XRC330 for a Nomad. I also have a set of King/DT D4.1s w/ 2.4 UST mounted up as spare/backup wheelset for both bikes.
    I'm 100% sold on the BC compound. FYI, I'm in the CO-Front Range for a clue on my ride terrain.
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  20. #20
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    This is the setup I'm running on my Pivot Mach 5.7 (on the CO-Front Range like Pau11y)

    Highly recommended:
    I put a Bontrager XR4 Expert TLR 2.2 on the front (which is damn big for a 2.2). By far my favorite front tire I've ever tried. Super grip, high volume, and great cornering at almost any lean angle. It corners better than my High Roller ever did yet seems to roll faster. Plus there's no weird transition from center to side knobs where you feel like you don't have any grip. It even clears mud pretty well despite not being designed for it. The Bontrager TLR tires are amazing tubeless. They hold air so well and I barely ever have to put air in.

    Time will tell:
    I just put a Specialized Purgatory Grid UST 2.2 on the back. This is another big 2.2. I haven't had a ride on it yet, but it looks promising. A bunch of my friends love it for technical terrain, and they're very skilled riders so I respect their opinion. I'm told it has great climbing traction. I'm not sure I'd run it up front because the XR4 has much higher and grippier side knobs. I had enough of weak rear tires so I got the Grid version with its beefy sidewalls despite it being pretty damn heavy. The shop where I bought it from mounted it for me, and it was flat when I got home. After filling it back up, it seems to be holding air very well now.

    Not recommended:
    I actually had a WTB Bronson TCS on the back, and it was a good rear tire, but it didn't stand up to Heil Ranch and Picture Rock this past weekend (minefields of small to mid-sized continuous rock in parts). It ended up flatting even tubeless (there was no puncture), pumped it back up, flatted again, then I finally put in a tube and it later flatted on a jagged rock even at what felt like 45-50 PSI. This tire also did not want to hold air tubeless for long at all, even with sealant. This tire needed constant attention and I had to fill it up before every ride, even if I rode the day before. It was a sharp contrast to the Bontrager TLR tires which seem to never lose air. The tire also wore REALLY fast, so much so that it seems like a waste of money. A few months and the center tread is almost gone. I liked it while it lasted. I thought I finally found my go to rear tire, but now I think I'd only use this tire if I was riding buff singletrack all the time. It just doesn't seem to stand up to rocky terrain and I need more reliable tubeless. On top of that, I've found I prefer high volume tires and the Bronson was definitely lacking in that regard.
    Last edited by BaeckerX1; 07-19-2011 at 08:03 AM.
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  21. #21
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    I don't think the amount of flats have any bearing on whether a tire should be recommended or not?

    I had a three year run without a flat and then this year I have had 5 flats and ripped the sidewall out of the tire. I believe this to be the luck of the draw and not a tire issue. If it was a tire issue all the other guy's that are running the same tires would have flatted at the same location on the trail as me?

    My WTB Bronson aired up immediately and has not dropped any pressure since the initial fill. I do agree that the dual compound tire will wear faster than harder compound tires but it is this feature that most likely is one of the reasons it makes for a good wet weather tire? Tread design also must be taken into account as I have run double and triple compound tires that aren't as confident as this one.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNBN View Post
    I don't think the amount of flats have any bearing on whether a tire should be recommended or not?

    I had a three year run without a flat and then this year I have had 5 flats and ripped the sidewall out of the tire. I believe this to be the luck of the draw and not a tire issue. If it was a tire issue all the other guy's that are running the same tires would have flatted at the same location on the trail as me?

    My WTB Bronson aired up immediately and has not dropped any pressure since the initial fill. I do agree that the dual compound tire will wear faster than harder compound tires but it is this feature that most likely is one of the reasons it makes for a good wet weather tire? Tread design also must be taken into account as I have run double and triple compound tires that aren't as confident as this one.
    When it constantly leaks air when other tires on the same rim do not, I can (mounted multiple times as well). When I have to run higher pressures so I feel like I won't ding my rim, then yes. Sidewall strength and volume are also factors. I've just used better tires that shrugged off rocks better and rolled over them better. I really wanted to like this tire (and I did on some terrain), but I did not like it on really rocky terrain and didn't feel it held up well at all. Plus the super fast wear turned me off. I think that's reasonable for me state that. If you like them that's great, you're also entitled to your opinion. That's the beauty of a discussion forum.
    Last edited by BaeckerX1; 07-19-2011 at 11:24 PM.
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