Decided to mount up some new tires on the his and hers Motolites and test em out in our Starr Pass backyard. Maybe an unusual combo, but it worked very well.
2.4 Panaracer Fire FR front, with 2.1 Velociraptor rear.
Set up "ghetto tubeless" with 26psi front, 28psi rear for me, 25psi front, 27psi rear for her. We have been running Panaracer Rampages "ghetto tubeless with 28psi for me fr/rr, and 26psi for her fr/rr, and also the Maxxis Minion DHR/DHF tires with similar pressures. They are slightly smaller than 2.35 Rampages even though they are labeled the same size. All of these mounted up tubeless easily, and endured rocky trails well. The DHR's wore fast on the rear though.
The 2.4 Fire is big!! 2.5 actually. Noticeably bigger than the 2.35 Rampage. Rolls surprisingly well. We went through the south wash by Cat Mtn, and it just ate up the sandy section. Incredible float, I felt like I could carry 2 gears more through washes. Felt like it rolled over rocks with ease. Almost gave the front end a 29er type of feeling with the way it seemed to go up and over rocks. It does feel a little round in profile, resulting in fairly quick turn in at slower speeds, but with a little speed it is very stable. I may go down a couple more pounds to flatten the profile just a touch, and see if that slows the steering a touch. With the volume, I am not too worried about hitting the rim.
The 2.1 Velociraptor did very well also. It looks small compared to the Fire FR, but it has nice, deep paddles, and at 28psi it hooked up well. I ran it so it scoops on the climbs. It also brakes very well, because it does not have any stupid ramps. Just my opinion, but I don't believe in ramps on a rear tire that has to brake, and climb. On the front it makes sense, but the front only has to brake. I hate choosing between braking or climbing bite. You don't have to with this tire. I did not feel like it rolled or accelerated slowly, like I had heard, but Minion DHF/DHR's are not super light either, so I am used to a little tire weight, and don't have to have a roadie slick. The rocks at Starr Pass are not merciful on going "ghetto tubeless" with light tires. I tore 2 Adrenalines in no time out there.
As a combo, they paired up nicely, and riding them dispelled my initial fears after seeing the size difference on the bike. The front seemed to roll fast, float wonderfully, and hold a line well, as well as cush right over rocky chop. The rear accelerated well, cornered good, and uphill and braking traction were excellent, almost zero wheelspin or skidding.
Around 900grams front, 750grams rear puts them on par with the other tires we ran on overall weight. They also converted "ghetto tubeless" effortlessly. I did all 4 tires last night without any problems at all.
Lastly comes price. Got the Fire FR for $27 and the Velociraptor for $17.50. If this combo keeps working well I am going to like not spending $35 every time I wear down a rear tire, and Starr Pass kills em fast if you like to go on the rocky side trails. I think I may have found my desert combo
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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