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  1. #1
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    Help selecting some larger tires

    I ride in western Washington, and it can range from a mudfest to very dry. Lots of roots that turn nasty when wet. There are not too many rocks around, but some of the downhills can be rocky. I ride XC trails, moderate DH, and some stunts/drops. I am currently running 2.3 Timberwolves front and rear. I have not been very impressed with the Timberwolf on the front, but the rear grips well. This is my first season riding in Washington, so I don't have experience with any other tires in these conditions.

    I traded bikes with my buddy when doing some dirt jumps today. He has a 2.5 High Roller in back and a 2.7 in the front (not sure what model). His bike was a ton more stable, and I would like to get some new tires to increase my stability and I need something with more grip than the front Timberwolf. However, I don't want to have the weight that he does - his tires are both 2-ply.

    I am looking for options in the 2.4-2.5 range that have a kevlar bead, are single-ply (or some magically light 2-ply), and I use a tube. I'll be switching to 1.5mm downhill tubes when I move up in tire size. Traction and control are more important than rolling resistance, but I don't want to end up a slug either.

    Am I correct in thinking the stability is mostly a function of the front tire? Do heavier tires feel more stable or is it just the larger tires? Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    forest lurker
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    Don't give up on the Timberwolf just yet. The 2.5 version takes you way beyond the 2.3 in terms of cornering grip and ability to run a low pressure safely. It's many riders' favorite in front.

  3. #3
    trail fairy
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    Save the TW for dry conditions.
    Try Wierwolf 2.5 / 2.3 for wet slippery conditions its awesome in anything wet
    I like the 2.5 myself.
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  4. #4
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    Hutchinson Scorpion Elite Gold 2.3s (they're a high volume casing, and the tread width is as typical for Hutchinson, wider than claimed, at 2.4") are about 650-700g each and quite suited to the terrain you're describing.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by taqueso
    Am I correct in thinking the stability is mostly a function of the front tire? Do heavier tires feel more stable or is it just the larger tires? Thanks for the input.
    Wheel base and head angle are also a big part of stability. The extra weight of a heavy tire adds extra gyroscopic stability, but I don't really know how much effect it has on perceived stability. The thing with 2 ply tires is that they have very stiff sidewalls and work very well at low pressures, so they feel like a real tire, not some over glorified balloon . IMHO low pressures + stiff sidewalls are key to ride quality and traction. I think of my tires as the first 1" of my suspension travel.

    Sorry I can't recommend anything specific as my conditions are different….FWIW Big Betties are getting a lot of +’ve reviews and they are large volume, have lotsa grip with a stiff sidewall. I haven't tired them myself.
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  6. #6
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    I find the opposite

    Quote Originally Posted by trailadvent
    Save the TW for dry conditions.
    Try Wierwolf 2.5 / 2.3 for wet slippery conditions its awesome in anything wet
    I like the 2.5 myself.
    Sorry to appear rude and disagree but I find the exact opposite. I find the Weirwolf next to useless in the wet because it packs with mud so much.

    I am running the softer compound version of the Timberwolf on the front with resonable results but it has worn very quickly and I've torn a number of the side treads off so if you're on the heavier side of things, it may not be that great.

  7. #7
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailadvent
    Save the TW for dry conditions.
    Try Wierwolf 2.5 / 2.3 for wet slippery conditions its awesome in anything wet
    I like the 2.5 myself.
    If anything I would reverse that advice. The Twolf is a good all-rounder and an above average mudder.

    The Wwolf is a dry soft condition tire that packs up easily in mud and is squirrelly on hardpack.
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  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Unless you and your buddy have exactly the same bike the tires are just a small part of the stability difference.
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  9. #9
    forest lurker
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    Another thing about the Timberwolf as a front tire: whether you commit to it or not has a major effect on how much you'll like it. Especially true in the 2.5 version... if you just sit back assuming that this big, badass-looking tire will do all the front-end work for you, you're out of luck and it drifts and over or understeers (depending on your frame, fork, etc.). But as soon as you get on it like you mean business, put some weight into the front end and trust it, you're swooping through corners and stuck like glue. Furthermore if you don't take 'em down to 30 pounds or less (this of course depends on rider weight and style) you'll be missing most of the sweetest work that the T-Wolf can do. At 35 pounds and up, it loses its magic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Unless you and your buddy have exactly the same bike the tires are just a small part of the stability difference.
    Actually, we do have almost the same bike. I forgot to mention in the OP that we both have Nomads in size large. I have a DHX coil and Z-150 sport, he has a ROCO and 66 RCX2(or something like that - the white one). His is definately heavier and seems to have a lower center of gravity. Is the fork the real reason for his stable feel?
    Last edited by taqueso; 07-14-2006 at 09:11 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg Fu
    Furthermore if you don't take 'em down to 30 pounds or less (this of course depends on rider weight and style) you'll be missing most of the sweetest work that the T-Wolf can do. At 35 pounds and up, it loses its magic.
    Edit - I'm a moron and just figured out that pounds = PSI. I have been trying to run the t-wolves at 30-ish, but when I aired up the other day they were around 20.
    Last edited by taqueso; 07-14-2006 at 09:43 AM.

  12. #12
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by taqueso
    Actually, we do have almost the same bike. I forgot to mention in the OP that we both have Nomads in size large. I have a DHX coil and Z-150 sport, he has a ROCO and 66 RCX2(or something like that - the white one). His is definately heavier and seems to have a lower center of gravity. Is the fork the real reason for his stable feel?
    ...or the shock, or the way they are tuned or the bars, stem, wheels...
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    ...or the shock, or the way they are tuned or the bars, stem, wheels...
    Okay, I understand what you are saying. Lets pretend I didn't mention his bike and instead asked "What can I do to make my bike feel more stable? Is it possible to increase stability by moving to a larger tire?"

  14. #14
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by taqueso
    Okay, I understand what you are saying. Lets pretend I didn't mention his bike and instead asked "What can I do to make my bike feel more stable? Is it possible to increase stability by moving to a larger tire?"
    Yes but it really depends on the tire and conditions
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  15. #15
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    Did you try the Kenda Nevegal 2.35 stick-e? It's a very wide 2.35 (has a treadtwidth of 2.39 according to Shiggy's site). The stick-e should be great for both very wet and very dry terrain.
    It added a ton of stability and confidence to my ride as compared to a Nevegal 2.1 (really 2.2 tread width) tire.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailadvent
    Save the TW for dry conditions.
    Try Wierwolf 2.5 / 2.3 for wet slippery conditions its awesome in anything wet
    I like the 2.5 myself.
    I find the same. I ride in/live in NH and the trial around here are some of the nastiest you can find. I run 2.5 Werwolf's and I find they work great, excellent grip, excellent cornering, excellent stability. They can tend to be a little squirrelly in the mud though, but you have to make compromises somewhere.
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