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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    Hi! I was wondering what would be a good tire for my Gary Fisher Tass

    Hello from PA! I'm honored to be a member here. I have a pretty simple question and would like some advice on what to buy. I recently acquired a 2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara that's in awesome shape and since I'm as green as they come have been riding paved roads and light gravel mountain access roads to build up my stamina and confidence. My tires soon need replaced, what would be the best thing to put on it so I can continue what I'm doing efficiently and would still be ok for some easy single track? I guess I'm looking for an in-between tire right now. I don't want to spend a ton of money, but would be ok dropping 30 to 40 per tire. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Oh man, elite tires are going to be more than $40?

  3. #3
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    Bontrager xr2s or Kenda Small Block 8s, I have good results with both, the XR2s on a Mamba 29er and the SB8s on a single speeded Trek 800. Just get the basic tires too, no team issue stuff and it should fall in your price range.

  4. #4
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    Agree on the Bontragers. Probably look up what comes on the entry level trek/giant/specialized hybrids/mountain bikes and get something similar. I have some Kenda Happy Mediums that work good for gravel and smooth dirt. Not enough traction for technical trails.

    I like the Bontragers because they have a pretty solid centerline tread with almost no rolling resistance when you put the tires at 45-55 psi. You can then lower down to 30-35 psi for trails and have decent grip.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I think high volume/low tread makes a good compromise. For example, 2.25" or larger Schwalbe Rocket Rons. They come in a few different pricepoints. I was a bit shocked when I found out what retail is for mine - their name is on the back of my jersey somewhere - but one of the intermediate pricepoints might hit your budget.

    IME, a big, chunky tread isn't a problem on gravel service roads. It's really only on pavement where I'll be bothered by a proper mountain bike tire. If pavement is part of your long-term plan, consider a road bike. A '94 would be new enough, and you can get a perfectly good road bike for $300 if you look at bikes from that period.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Re: Hi! I was wondering what would be a good tire for my Gary Fisher Tass

    why do your tires need replacing?

  7. #7
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    Another option is to run an aggressive tire on front, and a smoother rolling tire on the rear! Rolling resistance is much less on your front wheel than on your rear wheel, and traction is more important there. I.E. Throw on one of these as a rear tire ( BlueSkyCycling.com - WTB Nano Comp Tire They were my go-to rear tire for XC racing for both seasons I raced. Cheap, roll real fast, decent volume, surprisingly grippy for a semi slick, and last a good while) and something like this as a front tire (BlueSkyCycling.com - Kenda Tomac Nevegal Folding Tire The always-popular nevegal, good in plenty of situations, 2.1 dtc would be perfect)

    Good luck in your tire hunt and in your future biking!

    Or if you'd rather not deal with that and just have a pair of similar tires, low weight, decent tread but not a ton, and inexpensive, I've heard some good things about the GEAX sugaro tire (BlueSkyCycling.com - Geax Saguaro Tire **Buy 1 Get 1 Free**) on sale 2-for-1 as well, which would certainly help your budget!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spykr View Post
    I.E. Throw on one of these as a rear tire ( BlueSkyCycling.com - WTB Nano Comp Tire They were my go-to rear tire for XC racing for both seasons I raced. Cheap, roll real fast, decent volume, surprisingly grippy for a semi slick, and last a good while)
    I say go with Nano Raptors all around. They are good on the road and more than suitable for light trail use. I think they would be perfect. I have had a pair on various bikes for the past 3-4 years, so they are durable.

  9. #9
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    Have some WTB nanoraptors (29ers) on one of my bikes too. Used it on road/asphalt and handled great. Took it off road to rocks/roots, handled great too.

    since you have a 26" tire, there's tons of inexpensive tires out there you can use. I'd sign up for e-mails from some of the online sites (Jenson, Nashbar, Performancebike, Pricepoint) and wait for their "free shipping" notice. With black friday coming up, it shouldn't take too long.

    Here's two I looked up that would be OK from Performance Bike's website. One has a pretty solid center tread, the other has a mostly solid center tread. Tires like this would be good for both road & some trail use.

    Forté Greenway Mountain Tire - City Bike Tires
    Forté Tsali 26x2.2 Wire Mountain Tire - Mountain Bike Tires

    Here's one I probably wouldn't recommend because the center tread is larger and more spaced out. I have one, great on trails, but doesn't handle asphalt as well.

    Forté Pisgah 26x2.1 Wire Mountain Tire - Mountain Bike Tires

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    why do your tires need replacing?
    They're dried out and cracked. The tread isn't too bad on either of them, they're IRC Mythos XC's. I've seen new ones on ebay for around $40. I'm just wondering if there's a better tire suited for my purpose. The tread is pretty aggressive on what I have (Or was at one time anyway).

  11. #11
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    Thanks a lot guys! There is a lot of research to do, I wasn't even aware of some of these companies. I'm liking the aggressive front smoother rear like Spykr suggests. The high volume/low tread Andrew mentioned is interesting too.

    Bontragers XR2's are right around what I would expect to pay for a decent tire, definitely going to check those out too.

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys, when I got home tonight and opened this thread I was a bit overwhelmed!

    Man, I'm ready for spring already.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Have some WTB nanoraptors (29ers) on one of my bikes too. Used it on road/asphalt and handled great. Took it off road to rocks/roots, handled great too.

    since you have a 26" tire, there's tons of inexpensive tires out there you can use. I'd sign up for e-mails from some of the online sites (Jenson, Nashbar, Performancebike, Pricepoint) and wait for their "free shipping" notice. With black friday coming up, it shouldn't take too long.

    Here's two I looked up that would be OK from Performance Bike's website. One has a pretty solid center tread, the other has a mostly solid center tread. Tires like this would be good for both road & some trail use.

    Forté Greenway Mountain Tire - City Bike Tires
    Forté Tsali 26x2.2 Wire Mountain Tire - Mountain Bike Tires

    Here's one I probably wouldn't recommend because the center tread is larger and more spaced out. I have one, great on trails, but doesn't handle asphalt as well.

    Forté Pisgah 26x2.1 Wire Mountain Tire - Mountain Bike Tires
    Thanks for taking the time for this reply, I'm going to sign up like you said.

    The Forte's tread pattern is kind of like I had pictured I my head for some reason. Smooth, tight, and enough traction to get a greenhorn down a dirt trail without breaking his neck. I'm liking the price too. Thanks again!

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