1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    This be a good tire choice?

    Im currently using Kenda small block 8's and i like them but they are wearing way to fast. I use my bike to go everywere around town plus trails on the weekends/ after work. (3or 4 trail heads are bout 5min from my house) Id prefer to stay with 2.3's and i run higher pressure as i weigh 245lbs.

    I was thinking of grabbing some Kenda krads. They are cheap and to me look like would fit the bill. Was unsure as some reviews Ive read on them they slip on loose dirt.
    Just seeing what you guys think.
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    Here is the trails I usually ride.

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  2. #2
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    For the loose over hard trail conditions, like shown in the second and third photo, that tire wont do very well. I would recommend going with something a bit knobbier for your trails. A harder rubber compound will have a higher number (somewhere around 60) and will last longer if you are riding on roads often.

    The new Kenda Honeybadger is supposed to be great for all conditions and will have a low rolling resistance for when you are pedaling around town.

    Or the Kenda Nevegal is always an awesome choice and is a bit friendlier on your wallet.

  3. #3
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    So knobby tires will be fine for on road if they are a harder compound?

  4. #4
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    Yes, but knobby tires corner terribly on pavement. You will be fine up until you are laying down.

  5. #5
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    Happy medium?

    I don't ride these but I have always like semi slicks with good side knobs for lose over hard (might be a personal thing). Or you can just let you tires get faster by wearing off the center knobs

  6. #6
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    Sounds like you are budget conscious and running tubes. Specialized ground control are in the $50 range and should last you 4-6 months on the front and 2-4 on the rear.

  7. #7
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    What you're looking for is a dual purpose tire, which has a smooth(ish) tread down the middle, but some knobs on the edges to grip corners on dirt. That Krad is a great tire for rough urban terrain, but will wash out instantly in the dirt from lack of edge grip.

    Dual purpose tires don't come in a big selection, unfortunately, but to add to the already mentioned Happy Medium, there is also the Kenda Kwick and Serfas Deputy.

    Dual purpose tires are a total compromise. They're not as good on pavement as a road tire, and not as good on dirt as a dirt tire.
    ~Always avoid alliteration.

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  8. #8
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    Re: This be a good tire choice?

    I'd get whatever is on sale and are similar

  9. #9
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhmeathead View Post
    So knobby tires will be fine for on road if they are a harder compound?
    Well even if they don't wear fast they might be slow. The Nevegal is slow as snot on pavement.

    Like others have said, something smooth down the center with some knobs on the sides. Also might want to consider something smoother / faster on the rear and gripper on the front.

    That tire you are showing does not look like it would be good for loose dirt.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  10. #10
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    Re: This be a good tire choice?

    There is no tire that will do both great. I totally respect the utility rider, and so this tires are a fine in between choice. I would recommend higher psi for your road riding and lowering it for your trail riding

  11. #11
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    You might like the Specialized Fast Trak or Renegade too.

  12. #12
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    Fast Trak would be good, i have one of those up front on my Urban bike and it has held up real well.

    Race Kings would be another good choice and if you look on ebay u might be able to score some take offs for a pretty good price as that's where I got mine (2 for 62 dolla shipped, but i'm talkin' 29er) and they have been working well for dual purpose.

    Wear happens the most in the rear and it looks like u r on 26" so I recommend getting the Specialized Hardrock'r as a rear tire:

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    It looks knobby but actually it rolls excellent on pavement AND has excellent puncture protection AND works well on the trail AND lasts a long time AND is cheap!! I have that tire on the rear of two bikes, one bike has nearly 2000 miles on that tire with most of it being urban/pavement and it's just now starting to wear through the outer compound. I have a Fast Trak up front on that bike and it's just been the ultimate dual purpose combination with the Hardrock'r in the rear. I've gone on 40-60 mile urban rides on that bike and it just rolls great.

    On my other bike I have about just about 1000 miles on it and has mostly seen just trail. It's worked pretty well there paired with a Captain Control up front.

    I don't recommend running the Hardrock'r up front though as it's scary. Run like a Race King or Fast Trak up front and u will have a really good dual purpose combo.

  13. #13
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    Depends how fast/aggressive you plan to go and the conditions on the trail. SB8s are pretty cheap.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  14. #14
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    I would recommend Specialized Fast Track Sport in 2.2" width as a good all 'rounder. You can get them straight from Specialized for $30 right now. They are 70a which are going to make them last longer but give you a bit less grip in the loose stuff off the pavement (your middle picture). A concession it sounds like you are willing to make. As mentioned, run the highest recommended pressure on road and a lower pressure (~40 psi?) on trails.
    Specialized Bicycle Components

    My wife and daughter have Specialized Fast Tracks on their bikes. They ride on some of the less technical single track with me and on pavement as well. My daughter has the 60a (softer) version where as my wife has the version I have recommended. My wife's tires wear noticeably slower.They should both still last 2+ years with their riding habits. I had them on my Rockhopper 29er as well but replaced them with Nobby Nics because they weren't the best on the wet technical stuff we have a lot of in the Northwest. I swap them back on for pavement rides to protect my NNs from that abuse. They were fine for the trails like in your pictures though would wash out on loose high speed corners when I pushed it.

    One added benefit of Specialized tires is that you can return or exchange them for other Specialized tires within 30 days if you are not satisfied.... after you have ridden them. This can be very convenient if you have a Specialized dealer in your neighborhood and they are willing to honor this in store (I have found that some do not).
    Specialized Bicycle Components : Shop With Confidence

    The best option, IMHO, would be to have a set of street tires and a set of trail tires to swap between. This would give you better performance in each discipline and reduce the wear on each set of tires. I swap my tires in 5-10 minutes and it gives me a second to look over the rest of the bike before a ride which is a good habit.

  15. #15
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    Re: This be a good tire choice?

    For myself , tire swapping is not even close to worth it when you are not racing, especially for a 245 lb rider
    Last edited by bob13bob; 06-01-2013 at 07:02 PM.

  16. #16
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    I really like the K-rads for a bike that spends most of its time on roads, bike paths, gravel and just occasionally hits some more technical trails. I run them on a couple of my bikes and they're a lot of fun. But they are a compromise, and the front will wash out on some stuff. I don't run them on my dedicated trail bikes. That 2nd trail pic of yours with the off-camber trail with loose stuff on it would make me nervous with a k-rad up front.
    You could optionally run a k-rad on the back and get something a little more aggressive up front. You could continue running the SB8 up front if you like them as it will not wear as fast, though I personally would like something a little more aggressive up front because it sucks riding trails when you don't trust your front tire.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  17. #17
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    What i would do is get a softer compound at the front for maximum grip and a semi hard tire at the back with good tread with little rolling resistance. And try and get a back tire that can go to the 70-80 psi range for road. ( I prefer Hutchinson scorpion for front and a kenda at the back )

  18. #18
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    Kenda Nevagal

    Personally, I prefer Racing Ralph for both terrains

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