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Thread: Tire advice

  1. #1
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    Tire advice

    Hi, I just bought a 2013 Fuji Nevada 1.9 mountain bike. my local bike shop was clearing out the inventory to make room for 2014 models and I think I got a great deal, $310.

    2013 Fuji Nevada 29 1.9 - BikePedia

    I love the bike, its my first 29" mountain bike with disc brakes so I'm still getting used to the height difference. I took it out on some local trails that I always hit before with other bikes and immediately I noticed that the tires it comes with (
    Vera Eos 29x2.1) are horrible whenever I hit a bit of sand or loose dirt. Its actually dangerous because the bike just loses all traction. Luckily I didn't take a spill but I did have some close moments.

    So my question initially is, do I need different tires or maybe the tire PSI set too high? what PSI should I be running on trails for this type of tire? If its a matter of changing to a different tire, what do you guys suggest? I want to keep the 29" and ideally I want to keep the wheels so I'm really looking for a good 29x2.1 tire that would handle well in sand and loose dirt.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
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    How much do you weigh? In my experience, riding with lots of newer riders, they tend to have the tire pressure WAY too high. If you weigh between 180 and 200 lbs (taking a wild-ass guess here), I'd run those tires at between 30 and 35 psi. If you weigh less than 180, I'd experiment with pressures as low as 25 psi. You may get a pinch flat if you go too low; if you do, there's your clue that you've gone too low on the pressure, so go back up a few pounds.

  3. #3
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    PS, congratulations on the new bike!

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_bloe View Post
    PS, congratulations on the new bike!
    Thanks for the response Joe. I'm a bit bigger than 200. I'm actually in the 230's and 6' tall. I'm not sure what PSI the tires are set at now but the ride seems hard, or harder than on my last bike which was an older Trek 4900 running
    26 x 2.20" Bontrager ACX tires. That bike ran great on the same trails I'm going on now. It just lacked the clearance that these 29" are now giving me. Again, I love the bike overall except for this small issue which I'm sure I can figure out.

  5. #5
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    OK, well first things first, get a good tire gauge. I like this one - it works for both presta and schrader.

    Then start experimenting. At 230, I'd guess 35 psi would still be a safe pressure, plus or minus a few psi. Start lowering the pressure, and see how the ride improves. You just want to be sure you never feel the rim strike the ground on a hard bump or root.

  6. #6
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    It's important that you include as little information as possible. Where you bike, what kind of trails, weight, experience, etc., ...all that information should be dragged out of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    It's important that you include as little information as possible. Where you bike, what kind of trails, weight, experience, etc., ...all that information should be dragged out of you.
    Thanks for the sarcasm, I thought I was being upfront with the info.
    Type of bike: check
    Type of tires: check
    Type of trail: check
    Rider profile: overlooked
    Current PSI: unknown

    What else do you need to know to give me some good advice on tires?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_bloe View Post
    OK, well first things first, get a good tire gauge. I like this one - it works for both presta and schrader.

    Then start experimenting. At 230, I'd guess 35 psi would still be a safe pressure, plus or minus a few psi. Start lowering the pressure, and see how the ride improves. You just want to be sure you never feel the rim strike the ground on a hard bump or root.
    Joe, I appreciate your help buddy. I'll take a look at the PSI when I get home. In your opinion do you feel that tire set up should be able to handle sand and loose dirt? or would I be better off with a different tire?

  9. #9
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    I think tire pressure could help, but those are some cheap (very cheap) tires that are on the low end, and you will find their limit offroad very quickly. They are mainly designed for bike paths, or road. Upgrading to a better set of tires will make a world of difference.

    High end tires can be very expensive if bought retail, but I have had excellent luck on ebay buying from crosslake bike sales and others. I got some Continental race kings 29x2.2 with tubes for like $45 shipped. Brand new take offs. Those tires have great grip in everything but mud, and roll very fast. They are high volume which gives a little more cushion and some grip.

  10. #10
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    Tires are important but the psi you run them at is even more critical. Different tires may well be a worthwhile upgrade but without knowing where you are at with the ones you have its pointless.

    I don't know of any tire that doesn't wash out in sand so that could be more of a technique issue rather than a tire one.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FujiMatador View Post
    Thanks for the sarcasm, I thought I was being upfront with the info.
    Type of bike: check
    Type of tires: check
    Type of trail: check
    Rider profile: overlooked
    Current PSI: unknown

    What else do you need to know to give me some good advice on tires?
    Experience: not checked
    Weight: not checked
    Location: not checked
    Type of trail: some sand and loose dirt? Wow, a trail with dirt and sand. call that not checked
    Where you bike: not checked

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    Got it. Makes total sense. could the wheel width also have something to do with the problem? assuming that the 29X2.1 number of the tire spec is the width and the fact that its 2.1 instead of 2.2 means its a narrower tire. Again, I'm in the learning phase so I appreciate everyone's help and advice.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Experience: not checked
    Weight: not checked
    Location: not checked
    Type of trail: some sand and loose dirt? Wow, a trail with dirt and sand. call that not checked
    Where you bike: not checked
    lets not get all sarcy and douchey now eh. Man prob just needs a bit of guidance.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Experience: not checked
    Weight: not checked
    Location: not checked
    Type of trail: some sand and loose dirt? Wow, a trail with dirt and sand. call that not checked
    Where you bike: not checked
    Experience: Posting in the beginners-corner. He must be a pro....
    Weight: 230+lbs as stated
    Location: Not that important for a question about getting squirrely in sections of loose dirt sand. perhaps an analysis for the type of sand and dirt may help?
    Type of trail: the rest of the the trail appears to be fine EXCEPT FOR THE SECTION WITH SAND.
    Where you bike: Same as location right?
    Hobbies and interests: not checked
    Favorite color: not checked
    Favorite food: not checked
    stool sample: not checked


    FujiMatador,
    welcome to the forum! Are you centering your weight over the rear tire more when you hit loose stuff? if I'm to far forward through loose gravel or dirt I tend to get a little loose, regardless of the tire or PSI.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brockwan View Post
    lets not get all sarcy and douchey now eh. Man prob just needs a bit of guidance.
    That's why I'm here. Guidance given. What can I say, I'm a dick!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    That's why I'm here. Guidance given. What can I say, I'm a dick!
    at least you are honest

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    Quote Originally Posted by citiznkain View Post
    FujiMatador,
    welcome to the forum! Are you centering your weight over the rear tire more when you hit loose stuff? if I'm to far forward through loose gravel or dirt I tend to get a little loose, regardless of the tire or PSI.
    Thanks for the welcome. I'm leaning back, more on the rear tire as I'm going downhill and it will slide if I hit a pocket of sand towards the bottom of the trail. But it really becomes more of an issue as I'm trying to pedal uphill. I'll hit a patch of sand and the tires just sink in and spin, no traction. during uphill pedaling I'll either be somewhat centered or when it gets really hard I'll be standing up and leaning a bit more on the front.

    These trails are a mix of mountain biking and horse back riding trails. So I'm assuming that the sand patches are for the horses than anything else. I might be wrong. The bike rides great on asphalt or even hard-packed dirt trails. It just loses momentum and traction as soon as the trail gets loose with sand or soggy foliage.

    Also, I'm on Long Island, NY so there really is no way to avoid sand, its pretty much everywhere haha.

  18. #18
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    Rocky trails will limit the degree to which you can lower the pressure on your tires due to the increased chances of pinch flats, especially if you are in an area prone to square edged "steps". Also, depending on terrain, if you go too low on pressure, the tire will tend to fold under in hard turns. Too high, if the trails tend toward the technical, and your tires will bounce around off of obstacles and make control difficult. Check the width of your bike in where the tires are to see if you can go bigger and by how much. Given that you are on a hardtail if the terrain is uneven, a bigger tire, such as a 2.35 Ikon, will help with smoothing out the terrain, if it fits. The same tire should fit on the fork and the volume helps if in deep sand (but the small tread is not good for thin sand over hardpack). If you are in an area that has steep up and downgrades, a beefier tread design could be advantageous. Given your weight, the weight of the tire is of no real consequence. You have the strength to compensate. There are very good manufacturers, such as Schwalbe and Continental that make excellent high end tires and have economical versions that often have similar rubber compounds and the exact same tread, so they are a good value. Depending on where you live, the sand could be deep (like Moab) or thin over hard pack (like Michigan) regardless, there are designs, such as the Maxxis Ardent, that are better than others. Again, if you are in rocky terrain, a tire with tread that extends slightly beyond the carcass, will help protect that carcass from damage and wear. Check with your LBS, they may have tire choices figured out in your area.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FujiMatador View Post
    Also, I'm on Long Island, NY so there really is no way to avoid sand, its pretty much everywhere haha.
    I'm from LI too. Where have you been riding? I mostly ride Bethpage. The sand, as you've said, is pretty unavoidable. I hate it, as it gets into everything. With sand, I find that I just have to power through it. I do my best to build some speed before I come to a sandy uphill climb (not that there are that many on LI), and try to keep my rear wheel spinning while adjusting my position to slightly lighten the back end of the bike (I'm on a hard tail). If you've ever watched a 4x4 ride through sand or even mud, you'll notice that the driver will always try to go full throttle to keep the wheels spinning. I also learned this while riding ATVs on sand dunes in Mexico.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Rocky trails will limit the degree to which you can lower the pressure on your tires due to the increased chances of pinch flats, especially if you are in an area prone to square edged "steps". Also, depending on terrain, if you go too low on pressure, the tire will tend to fold under in hard turns. Too high, if the trails tend toward the technical, and your tires will bounce around off of obstacles and make control difficult. Check the width of your bike in where the tires are to see if you can go bigger and by how much. Given that you are on a hardtail if the terrain is uneven, a bigger tire, such as a 2.35 Ikon, will help with smoothing out the terrain, if it fits. The same tire should fit on the fork and the volume helps if in deep sand (but the small tread is not good for thin sand over hardpack). If you are in an area that has steep up and downgrades, a beefier tread design could be advantageous. Given your weight, the weight of the tire is of no real consequence. You have the strength to compensate. There are very good manufacturers, such as Schwalbe and Continental that make excellent high end tires and have economical versions that often have similar rubber compounds and the exact same tread, so they are a good value. Depending on where you live, the sand could be deep (like Moab) or thin over hard pack (like Michigan) regardless, there are designs, such as the Maxxis Ardent, that are better than others. Again, if you are in rocky terrain, a tire with tread that extends slightly beyond the carcass, will help protect that carcass from damage and wear. Check with your LBS, they may have tire choices figured out in your area.


    Awesome response, thanks buddy.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharel1705 View Post
    I'm from LI too. Where have you been riding? I mostly ride Bethpage. The sand, as you've said, is pretty unavoidable. I hate it, as it gets into everything. With sand, I find that I just have to power through it. I do my best to build some speed before I come to a sandy uphill climb (not that there are that many on LI), and try to keep my rear wheel spinning while adjusting my position to slightly lighten the back end of the bike (I'm on a hard tail). If you've ever watched a 4x4 ride through sand or even mud, you'll notice that the driver will always try to go full throttle to keep the wheels spinning. I also learned this while riding ATVs on sand dunes in Mexico.
    That's EXACTLY where I ride. I park in the parking lot and hit the trails from there. I tend to go in the evenings after work (around 5:30) on Tue, Wed and in the morning on the weekends. If you go during that time I would love to meet up and possibly hit some trails and get some advice from a local.

    I have a Jeep so I also tend to do quite a bit of offroading, so I'm familiar with the principles of airing down and speeding up for momentum. The problem I have with the bike is retaining traction, but I'm going to check the tire PSI when I get home, set it to 35 and also check width clearance to see if I can fit a wider tire down the road.

    I have another probably silly question, but I'll ask it anyway, can I put a wider tire on the same wheel I have now? or will have to get a wider wheel also?

  22. #22
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    You shouldn't need a bigger rim (wider wheel).

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    That's awesome. I'll get some measurements when I get home along with the PSI. Hopefully its just a matter of dialing in the pressure but if not I don't mind buying a set of good tires if it will help the situation.

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    So I'm back home and went to take a look at the tire's PSI. I was really surprised when I saw the PSI ratings on the side wall. Apparently the Min. is 40 and the max is 65!



    I then went and checked what PSI I was running and both front and back were at 51 PSI


    I'm not sure I should be lowering it to 35 PSI. What do you guys think?

  25. #25
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    Also, here are some photos of the clearance to gauge an opinion if I can run a wider tire or not

    Rear


    Front

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