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  1. #1
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    Have we played the "what tire" game recently?

    What tires for northern Arizona trails? Right now, I'm running a Specialized Purgatory up front and a Geax Sturdy in the back. For the first few days I was back in AZ, they seemed to be doing fine, but I can see both of them dying a quick death. The Purgatory I'm mostly happy with as I've had it almost a year, never lost air, and it had a lot of hard miles from PHX, Sedona, and Flag on it. It's really getting the side knobs chewed up though. They're getting cut out and a few care coming off in chucks, so he's about at the end. The Sturdy? In under two weeks, I bet 1/3 of the tread is gone and the sides on it look beaver chewed as hell. Unacceptable, IMO.

    I heard that the Geax Saguaro is a good tire for Flagstaff/Sedona. True? Or something from Specialized? I'm just looking for something that can do XC/AM up north that won't die in two weeks.

  2. #2
    Ahhh the pain....
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    For general purpose, Purg or Rampage up front(easily should get 2k miles out of them on front), Saguaro, Conti x-king, Captain, in back is good in Flag (imho). I've yet to slice a sidewall up there (less sharp rocks), but there is a fair amount of abrasive stuff. If you get over 500-700 miles in a back tire, you're doing good.
    btw, bikebling has the folding, non-tnt version of the saguaro for 37.99 and you can find a code online for 10% off. Not a bad deal.
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  3. #3
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    I have Saguaros front and rear on my hard-tail and they work really well. I have ridden almost every trail in the valley, Sedona, and recently flag. I was worried about riding flag because the tread is not super aggressive, but the worked really well. It was even wet from the rain and had good grip. Was sliding down some of the steep stuff but that is more rider error than tire.

    The Saguaros are great tires for this neck of the wood. Extremely grippy and tough. My friend has ground controls on his bike and sliced a sidewall in flag. I road the exact stuff and my tires held up to the hardest stuff.

    Before anyone says anything i know you can ride the same trail(line) and have no problem but nest time has catastrophic failure. Just my two cents.

    p.s. i run the tnt version tubeless.

  4. #4
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    I use a ground control ust in the back. Not super grippy but it rolls good and so far it was bulletproof - whiskey, bct, sharp rock gallore etc. It's 830 gm which is not bad for thick sidewall UST. I got captain 2.2 up front and it works for me althoug I would like to try the purgatory up front.

  5. #5
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    How aggressive are the side knobs on a Saguaro? Does it grab well on sandy stuff like you'd see on Lower Moto? What about just general Elden/Fort Valley stuff? Does the Saguaro wear well in abrasive stuff like you see in Flag? Would you do dual Saguaros or get another Purgatory for up front?

  6. #6
    Ahhh the pain....
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    It's so difficult giving tire advice since we all have different riding styles and expectations. For sand or the flag moon dust, not sure any tire other than a fat bike tire is gonna do great. ATV guys love paddle tires but using the analogous tread (big, blocky lugs) on a rear tire would be so slow. I know guys that run dual rampages (can you say monster truck style?) only because they are bullet proof in the desert. I also know guys that love a Saguaro on front (personally, it gives me no confidence on front but I have not tried it). I think a bigger, beefier front tire on front like a purg or rampage gives you some nice, roll over sh*t abilities without a ton of rolling resistance.
    So, if it were me, (I ride about 1/2 the year in Flag), I'd rock a purg or rampage up front with a saguaro rear and call it done. Best part, is you can get a rampage for all of $41 and a saguaro for $36... A specy tire is gonna set you back a fair bit more unless you've got a good bro deal at a lbs.
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  7. #7
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    The side knobs aren't hyper aggressive but meaty enough for sand. I ride some sand washes in San Tan and they have no problem shoveling the sand. The only problem I can see with them is they tend to wear a little fast. They are soft sticky rubber so you do trade of with wear.

    I am a heavy rider (260 at the moment) not sure if that tends to wear the rears down faster. I have never run purgatory so don't know there.

    Like I said before, I rode Elden for the first time on Monday and the tires worked great. They will stick to the abrasive stuff but wear more than some of the harder rubber out there.

  8. #8
    Meatbomb
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    I don't ride flag but the purgatory up front and ground control on the rear work great for me in the McD's.

  9. #9
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    Have we played the "what tire" game recently?

    Round, a preferably with air.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  10. #10
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    Where's Mrwhir? MIA on a Flag tire thread. Not like him.
    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  11. #11
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    Ground Control up front, Farmer John on rear!

  12. #12
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    Business up front and party on the rear. Yep, Patrick Swayze like, Roadhouse style.

  13. #13
    bland
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    Minion in the front ardent in the back. 1ply. Dr. Bronner's tubeless setup.

  14. #14
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    Have we played the "what tire" game recently?

    I'm currently using a Hans dampf up front and a honey badger in the back. Setup tubeless with Stan's.

  15. #15
    Ride 'Til Your Knees Hurt
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    Maxxis Ardent 29x2.4 - Front
    Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evolution 29x2.25 - Rear

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    How aggressive are the side knobs on a Saguaro? Does it grab well on sandy stuff like you'd see on Lower Moto? What about just general Elden/Fort Valley stuff? Does the Saguaro wear well in abrasive stuff like you see in Flag? Would you do dual Saguaros or get another Purgatory for up front?
    Not much in the way of side knobs. The Saguaro doesn't grip anything exceptionally well. They do wear well. I've gotten 1000mi on a few.
    I still run them front and rear tubeless as an everyday training tire. I've done all my bikepacking trips on them without incident. I only run the cheap wirebead version ($27 at REI) and have had 1 sidewall issue in over 2 yrs. Anything I pay to race merits throwing on a different tire setup completely.
    Fair warning, I've heard plenty of stories about people slicing sidewalls on the folding versions.

  17. #17
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    What do you guys think of running the geax saguaro in the rear vs Nobby nic in front. I have been using nobby nics for a while, but in the rear they tend to wear down and start slipping on climbs after about 300-350 miles. My front seems to last for twice or triple that. I like NN as they have good grip and are fast enough to do the occasional race on them, but I would like to get more rear wear. Pretty much zero pavement miles.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", Fetish Fixation SS 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    What do you guys think of running the geax saguaro in the rear vs Nobby nic in front. I have been using nobby nics for a while, but in the rear they tend to wear down and start slipping on climbs after about 300-350 miles. My front seems to last for twice or triple that. I like NN as they have good grip and are fast enough to do the occasional race on them, but I would like to get more rear wear. Pretty much zero pavement miles.
    I think Purgatory up front.
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  19. #19
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    Up front, I'm running Ardent 2.25 on my 29er Squish and Ardent 2.4 on my Rigid SS 29er. I run Crossmarks 2.1 in back on both bikes. Tubeless & low(ish) PSI. I like the hook of the front tread (cause I have no technical skills) and the fast rolling / lower resistance in the rear.

    I Ride mostly West Side PMP and pretty happy with their performance.

  20. #20
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevland View Post
    Not much in the way of side knobs. The Saguaro doesn't grip anything exceptionally well.
    i noticed this about 5 minutes into my ride after replacing a rear captain with a folding saguaro.
    however i kept dropping the psi and it made a huge improvement. i just don't dare clunk down it on any sharp corners or it will go down to the rim.

  21. #21
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    If not already mentioned, I think seating/holding air on a tubeless setup is important too... I find anything specialized "2 bliss" on a stans (arch ex) rim holds air exceptionally well....

    I used to be a Maxxis Ignitor fan. But since my burp accident, its Specialized captain controls on stans rims... 2.2 front 2.0 back

  22. #22
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    2.4 Ardent up front, tubeless. Great traction and toughness. I'm still looking for a high volume rear to replace the WTB WW old style. I have ripped 2 Bonty 29-4 in the last three weeks, so stay away from them. I may try a Ardent out back but not sure of how that tread pattern will work.
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  23. #23
    livin' the dream......
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    I have about 1,200 miles on a Saguaro TNT front / Spec. Fast Trak UST rear set up. No issues, but it is time to replace the Fast Trak as is it is breaking loose on the short, steep stuff coming out of washes. I do have a decent amount of road miles on these tires too...

  24. #24
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    Don't believe the fast guys who tell you Maxxis Ikon up front is all you need .... says me. I need something beefier/knobbier.

    That's all I got....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by azjonboy View Post
    I have ripped 2 Bonty 29-4 in the last three weeks, so stay away from them.
    were you riding on 26er rocks?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    Don't believe the fast guys who tell you Maxxis Ikon up front is all you need .... says me. I need something beefier/knobbier.

    That's all I got....
    Can't beat this for the price

    Forté Pisgah 26x2.3 MTB Tire -- Folding - Mountain Bike Tires

  27. #27
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    Thinking about replacing my ground control 2.1 grids with geax saguaro tnt 2.2 as a rear tire.
    that would save 50 gm, give me a wider tire for more grip and hopefully provide the same amount of side wall protection - am I missing anything?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    Thinking about replacing my ground control 2.1 grids with geax saguaro tnt 2.2 as a rear tire.
    that would save 50 gm, give me a wider tire for more grip and hopefully provide the same amount of side wall protection - am I missing anything?
    Many people fawn over the Saguaro's, I say 'meh', don't do much for me. They do wear very well though, long tread life.

    My favorite go to has been the Purg 2.2" but it's now gone and mutated to a heavier 2.3" so I don't have that to offer. I have been running a Vredestein Black Panther XTREME 2.2" in front for many months, and I really like it. Not as high of volume tire as the Purg 2.2, but not bad, grips like crazy, and light at 650 grams. I think it's more like a 2.1" without doing any measuring. I've got a lot of miles on mine without no issues to date. I will say fwiw, Ray slashed one of these tires twice on the AZT300 this past year, mounted on the rear. I will likely buy another when this one is gone, works well for me.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    Thinking about replacing my ground control 2.1 grids with geax saguaro tnt 2.2 as a rear tire.
    that would save 50 gm, give me a wider tire for more grip and hopefully provide the same amount of side wall protection - am I missing anything?
    Other than being impossible to mount on certain wheels?

    I run the nonTNT version, and they are fine.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Many people fawn over the Saguaro's, I say 'meh', don't do much for me. They do wear very well though, long tread life.

    My favorite go to has been the Purg 2.2" but it's now gone and mutated to a heavier 2.3" so I don't have that to offer. I have been running a Vredestein Black Panther XTREME 2.2" in front for many months, and I really like it. Not as high of volume tire as the Purg 2.2, but not bad, grips like crazy, and light at 650 grams. I think it's more like a 2.1" without doing any measuring. I've got a lot of miles on mine without no issues to date. I will say fwiw, Ray slashed one of these tires twice on the AZT300 this past year, mounted on the rear. I will likely buy another when this one is gone, works well for me.
    Ray slashed, so did 2 other guys in the Canelos.

    Don't expect great grip from Saguaros. They'll grip alright, wear well, and cheap.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    Other than being impossible to mount on certain wheels?

    I run the nonTNT version, and they are fine.
    THe ground control grid is tough to mount as well. I have the shop do it.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevland View Post
    Ray slashed, so did 2 other guys in the Canelos.

    Don't expect great grip from Saguaros. They'll grip alright, wear well, and cheap.
    Did they slash the TNT version?
    I am not worry about grip for rear, in fact I don't mind when it breaks loose.
    GC doesn't have much grip either, saguaro at 2.2 looks more aggressive than my GC 2.1.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Many people fawn over the Saguaro's, I say 'meh', don't do much for me. They do wear very well though, long tread life.

    My favorite go to has been the Purg 2.2" but it's now gone and mutated to a heavier 2.3" so I don't have that to offer. I have been running a Vredestein Black Panther XTREME 2.2" in front for many months, and I really like it. Not as high of volume tire as the Purg 2.2, but not bad, grips like crazy, and light at 650 grams. I think it's more like a 2.1" without doing any measuring. I've got a lot of miles on mine without no issues to date. I will say fwiw, Ray slashed one of these tires twice on the AZT300 this past year, mounted on the rear. I will likely buy another when this one is gone, works well for me.
    I can't find that Black Panther for 29er in 2.2. Where did you get it from?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    I can't find that Black Panther for 29er in 2.2. Where did you get it from?
    Vredestein Black Panther Xtreme TLR Mountain Tire - Normal Shipping Ground

    or Amazon

    I don't know of any local shops that have them????

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    I can't find that Black Panther for 29er in 2.2. Where did you get it from?
    Bought mine from UniversalCycles.com, $61 currently, and if you order over $100 there is a 10% coupon, 15% for $300, free shipping at $150.

    Vredestein Black Panther XTREME TLR

    Universal Cycle discount codes:

    "additions10": Take 10% off orders over $100
    "additions15": Take 15% off orders over $300
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  36. #36
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    I am also running NN, buit I keep tearing sidewalls on the rear

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark194 View Post
    I am also running NN, buit I keep tearing sidewalls on the rear
    My bike had Nobbi Nics front and back previous owner slashed the back. I have lots of cactus holes in the front and looking to replace with Vredestein Black Panther or Purgatory

  38. #38
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    I picked up a Captain GRID for the rear and so far, it's working out pretty well.

  39. #39
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    If you're not worried about every gram look at On-One's offerings. At $30 their Chunkey Monkey 2.4 is comparable to the Ardent but with bigger lugs. They're a little less vague at the drifting/wash out point. Noisy on pavement though.
    I like the quality to cost ratio enough to order a thinner version, the 2.25 Smorgasborg, for a rear tire.
    I ride in the aforementioned Canelos, south of Patagonia on the AZTrail. The tire also did well up at the Tour of the White Mtns a few weeks ago.
    Cheers,
    M

  40. #40
    Ahhh the pain....
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    I really wish there was a more quantifiable way to measure slice resistance. I mean, every manufacturer has their version of sidewall protection (conti-> protection, specialized -> grid, maxxiss -> evo, etc) but the question is, just how much of a difference does it make over the non-fortified sidewalls?
    Someone will say, "I bought tire xyz" and I sliced it...it sucks!". But then I've ridden the exact tire model for years w/o a problem. I've come to the conclusion that generally, you need to be riding a tire that is at least 675 grams (in a 29r)...if it's much less, there's no way it's gonna be very tough.
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  41. #41
    How much further ???
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    Im a pretty big Ardent fan at the moment. My Slayer came with an Ardent 2.4 exo up front and a single ply Ardent 2.25 rear. All I can say is the rear Ardent was shredded in no time. Multiple sidewall tears and frays withinthe matter of a month. Id say at least 6 or more. No way it could of held air if I was running it tubeless. Very weak sidewall. Every Ardent I have run since, 2 years now, have been the 2.4 Exo front or back (run tubeless) and Ive never had an issue with sidewall damage what so ever. Id say the exo for the Ardent is a huge advantage. Cant speak to the others.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  42. #42
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    Big fan of the Ardent as well. For years my go to tire was the old style WTB WW 2.55. Tough and a solid performer. Went to the Ardent 2.4 up front on my rigid SS and really like it. Tough, good grip and easy to set up tubeless.

    I just ordered a Honey Badger to try as a rear tire. Been running a Bonty 29-4 Team Issue and have torn 2 in a 3 week span. Needless to say I'm looking for something a little more durable.

    I agree with Raybum about tire weight. If you're riding a 29er in our conditions, don't even look at something below 700 grams or you're just asking for trouble. I prefer durability to light weight. Don't want to be 15 miles from home on the rim and have a torn tire to deal with.
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  43. #43
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    From reading tons of reviews, it sounds like that most tires without some sidewall protection are prone to be tears here in Arizona.

    My experiences with Specialized was two torn side wall within 2-3 months, GRID side walls were rock solid until the I finally wore off the thread.

    I wouldn't go without some, even a gimmick of a side wall protection especially on the rear.
    Trying the x-kings 2.3 with protection and Ground control 2.3 2bliss grids on the new singlespeed.

    The specialized just came out the new line of 2bliss grids - much lighter than the UST GRIDS but supposed to have similar side wall protection !!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    From reading tons of reviews, it sounds like that most tires without some sidewall protection are prone to be tears here in Arizona.

    My experiences with Specialized was two torn side wall within 2-3 months, GRID side walls were rock solid until the I finally wore off the thread.

    I wouldn't go without some, even a gimmick of a side wall protection especially on the rear.
    Trying the x-kings 2.3 with protection and Ground control 2.3 2bliss grids on the new singlespeed.

    The specialized just came out the new line of 2bliss grids - much lighter than the UST GRIDS but supposed to have similar side wall protection !!
    Hi Bart,

    I'm trying all kinds of stuff right now. I learned something interesting yesterday. I had a guy at DNA call Spech. yesterday about a tire question. I am currently running Fast Track Control front, Grid rear. The Grid is a real turd. It makes my bike feel like I'm riding in peanut butter. Spech. must understand the problem of the Control carcass being susceptible to sidewall tears and the Grid being just to dang heavy and not complaint. They are releasing a "Grid Lite" I can't remember the name of it but it was like "Grid LD" or something. nearly 120 grams lighter than the Grid and only 80 Grams heavier than the Control. looks like we may have a "Tweener" They ordered me a couple.

    I've always gotten away with a Control carcass in front. Even in the rockier southern sections of the BCT. Never sliced a Control on the front, plenty on the rear, must be sloppy line choices.

    Also, the Fast Track "tread pattern" is their fastest roller. That was the nature of my original call to Spech. via DNA.

    As far as wear, it looks like getting 2700 miles from a set isn't in the cards. New rubber along the TD will be a necessity.

    Steve
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipolopolo View Post
    Hi Bart,

    I'm trying all kinds of stuff right now. I learned something interesting yesterday. I had a guy at DNA call Spech. yesterday about a tire question. I am currently running Fast Track Control front, Grid rear. The Grid is a real turd. It makes my bike feel like I'm riding in peanut butter. Spech. must understand the problem of the Control carcass being susceptible to sidewall tears and the Grid being just to dang heavy and not complaint. They are releasing a "Grid Lite" I can't remember the name of it but it was like "Grid LD" or something. nearly 120 grams lighter than the Grid and only 80 Grams heavier than the Control. looks like we may have a "Tweener" They ordered me a couple.

    I've always gotten away with a Control carcass in front. Even in the rockier southern sections of the BCT. Never sliced a Control on the front, plenty on the rear, must be sloppy line choices.

    Also, the Fast Track "tread pattern" is their fastest roller. That was the nature of my original call to Spech. via DNA.

    As far as wear, it looks like getting 2700 miles from a set isn't in the cards. New rubber along the TD will be a necessity.

    Steve
    I bet you the lighter GRID they are talking about is the 2bliss GRID, which is about 100gm lighter than UST GRID. The peanut butter feeling must be due to the side wall stiffness. I kind of got used to it.

    Changing tire mid TD is probably a good idea, you should ask Kurt what he did. He is gonna race the Pulverizer in November.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    I bet you the lighter GRID they are talking about is the 2bliss GRID, which is about 100gm lighter than UST GRID. The peanut butter feeling must be due to the side wall stiffness. I kind of got used to it.

    Changing tire mid TD is probably a good idea, you should ask Kurt what he did. He is gonna race the Pulverizer in November.
    Hi Bart,

    It could be the 2bliss Grid. It is on their website now and the UST is not.

    Steve
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipolopolo View Post
    Hi Bart,

    It could be the 2bliss Grid. It is on their website now and the UST is not.

    Steve
    Fast Track is a race tire so no UST, but look at ground control - it has both GRIDS
    Specialized Bicycle Components
    Specialized Bicycle Components

  48. #48
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    I think they have discontinued it. Here's a picture of one, it's on my bike now.

    Have we played the "what tire" game recently?-photo-26.jpg

    This tire makes no sense. A race tire that weighs over 800gr.
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

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    what? my ground control grid ust is 830gm

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    Even more than I thought.. Wow.

    Bike24 - Specialized Fast Trak GRID UST MTB Folding Tire 29"

    875???
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

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