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  1. #1
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    Lighter, All-Mountain Summer Tire Recommendation

    I've been reading quite a few threads \ reviews about tires and they are somewhat all over the map. Many are outdated, some are for different types of conditions that I don't ride, but I came away with still no clear choice for a lighter-weight summer tire for all mountain riding in Norther Cal.

    Right now I run converted tubeless 26" Maxxis Ardents - Front 2.4 & Rear 2.25 - on an Ibis Mojo HD with Stan's Flow rims. Love the Ardents, but I feel that they may be slowing me down a bit in drier conditions with their weight and rolling resistance. I ride the most at Skeggs and also at Tamarancho, Waterdog, JMP, and an occassional trip down to Santa Cruz. I ride fairly aggressively and obviously spend a lot of time climbing fire roads at Skeggs.

    I ride fairly aggressively so I'm looking for a nice compromise between lighter / less resistance, but still maintaining traction, good corenering and some durability - and it has to convert well to tubeless (I know - I want it all!) - don't mind paying a premium for a quality tire. I was thinking I would probably run 2.3 front and 2.1 rear, but am open to suggestions and combionations.

    Just to give a a starting point, here are some potential contenders I found in my initial research:

    Specialized Purgatory or Fast Track
    WTB Bronson or Wolverine (race version)

    Thanks in advanced!
    Last edited by skyno; 06-08-2012 at 07:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Tires are a very personal choice. I like a front tire with strong traction and the rear to have a predictable drift. When I run my Mojo HD @ 160mm I use a a 2.3 Hansdampf trailstar front and 2.3 wtb bronson tcs rear. Very good traction, but not the lightest tires. When I run the HD @ 140mm I use the 2.3 Bronson tcs in front and a 2.2 mutano tcs in the rear. Still very good traction with less rolling resistance. Near perfect setup for me.
    I would stay away from wtb race tires if you ride rocks, they have really thin sidewalls.

  3. #3
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    Been running the WTB Bronson TCS for the past month front and back. Great traction and a huge improvement with resistance over the Nevegals that came stock

  4. #4
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    Nobby Nic front Racing ralph rear for fire road climb rides or tamarancho riding- all you really need for tamarancho is a racing ralph.

    Rocky gnarly decents- WTB Bronson Front Wierwolf Rear. Get TCS!

    I'm personally not a fan of the wtb bronson as a rear tire, i think it looses traction in corners when leaned and not in a good way.

  5. #5
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    Also flat resistance is key. I have been running WTB Prowlers with Inner Peace sidewall protection.

    Those tires are so overkill for the Bay Area, but I can rely on them in Downieville.

  6. #6
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    I like the Hans Dampf 2.3 in the front and Specialized Captain on the back wheel. Captain is light and good grip. The Hans Dampf grabs really well.
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

  7. #7
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    Will go out on a limb here

    Michelin Wild Grip R 2 Advanced 2.25 (actually about a 2.3) I used to run your combo and changed to these, about 600 grams a tire and are tubeless ready.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Lighter, All-Mountain Summer Tire Recommendation-p1020762.jpg  

    Lighter, All-Mountain Summer Tire Recommendation-p1020764.jpg  


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    Michelin Wild Grip R 2 Advanced 2.25 (actually about a 2.3) I used to run your combo and changed to these, about 600 grams a tire and are tubeless ready.
    I'll be carrying a 600 gram tire as a spare tomorrow! I hope they hold up for you.

  9. #9
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    They are holding up really well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    I'll be carrying a 600 gram tire as a spare tomorrow! I hope they hold up for you.
    Much better then some other heavier tires I have used recently.

  10. #10
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    Ardent 2.25 front, Crossmark 2.1 rear. That seems to be a popular, fast summer combo for Bay Area trails. More XC/Trail than AM though.

  11. #11
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    I ride a lot of the same trails, and for everything but UC campus trails you can get away with a lighter/narrower tire. Even at skeggs you can use a Maxxis ICON or Larsen in the back which will role fast and be great on those awful climbs out. You could run a narrower tire on the front too, but I would stay with the Ardent since as summer progresses so does the amount of loose dirt on the trails. You can also look at some of the Bontrager tires, XR4/XR1 combos, or Schalbe setups...which usually are pretty light for their size. This is in response to your question about a lighter set-up.

    I for one have always run as much tire as I can, since when I do hit Demo, campus or Pacifica I know my tires can hold up. I used to run 2.35 highrollers front and rear, but now I run Bontrager FR4/FR3 combo and absolutely love it. The FR4 is a large volume, high grip tire and the FR3 is a large volume fast rolling tire, both of which have aggressive side knobs for turning. I run them tubeless. Sure, I can run a lighter set-up, but I like the traction and downhill confidence and can sacrifice my uphill speed.

  12. #12
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    went from TCS 2.3weir front / bronson 2.1 andor wolverine 2.2 rear, to a nobby nic / ikon setup and shed almost two pounds of tire weight.

    I think the bronson is a great rear tire. It's sorta light, has great sidewalls, but its fairly low volume. The side knobs seem to tear and rip off halfway, which makes a slightly used one feel loose in turns.

    The ikon is pretty impressive. It's been able to do it all for me, and I really like the high volume. It can't be leaned over super aggressively, but for xc/amish it seems to be alot better than crossmark/larsen.

    maybe move the ardent 2.25 up front, and toss an ikon in the rear? And then when you're heading to more aggressive trails (like a downieville weekend or something), toss the current 2.4/2.25 combo on

  13. #13
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    Thanks!

    Thanks for all the great recommendations - they're very helpful for narrowing my search.
    The Ikon sounds intriguing and is pretty light.

    Stripes: It is not that the Ardent feels slow - I love the tire and you are right that it rolls pretty well for such a strong traction tire - I am just wondering if I am paying an unnecessary weight penalty in dry conditions and maybe could find something that is even faster in the dry conditions and would maybe lighten up my climbs a bit

  14. #14
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    Currently on 2.35 Nevegal front, and 2.1 Slant Six rear. Good combo but my skills are lacking and I feel unsettled with the rear looser, so giving a 2.3 bronson a try this weekend. If I was more confident I would do a 2.1 Nev front, and 2.1 Slant Six rear.

  15. #15
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    I like the Ground Control for all-conditions rear tire at skeggs. It rolls fast, and has enough traction grip to even make it up loose and muddy inclines. My main warning is that the braking grip and cornering grip are not the best.

    No strong opinion on the front tire, but I use a Bontrager XR4 or X King.

  16. #16
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    Craigstr

    I just installed a Michelin Wild racer 2.1 on front 29er HT on a tip from a endurance racer friend of mine. Was using the WTB Prowler up front and was happy with it's performance.
    The Wild Racer is a bit more volume and ran @ 25 psi (tubless) they are working great! Fast rolling yet great cornering when leaned over at speed! Very happy with this tire.
    I have been running a Hutchinson Python 2.1 on the rear and it hooks up well too but today I am going to switch that out to a Maxxis Ikon 2.2 exc. I have heard good things about this tire and can't wait to give it a try. Totally happy with the Python but I am going to put it on my SS!
    Get out and ride my friends!
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  17. #17
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    I ride a lot of uc and demo and have been running a dhf 2.5 in the front and it is a great tire. I tried a purgatory in the back and was happy with it until I went to demo, with a lot of loose over hardpack right now, and it was all over the place. I have gone back to a high roller 2.35 in the rear (ust) and its heavy but I really missed how well and playful this tire is and how much you can lean the bike and it hooks up. This is on my nomad which is more setup toward down than up with a coil/coil setup. On my 29 hardtail I have a front purgatory and rear cross mark and they work surprisingly well for how fast they roll and relatively light weight.

  18. #18
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    My $0.02

    Schwalbe Rocket Rons. In the high 4 hundred gram range. 485 or something like that. Plenty of traction. Not a long lasting time, but fast light fast light fast light.
    Poaching Demo...that's why we can't have nice things...

  19. #19
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    Sounds like you would like the tried n trued mutano 2.4 front and rear. Even the race version doesnt flat much, super light and fast with plenty of predictable traction. If you don't mind the extra weight the TCS version has a much beefier casing, eliminating some wallow and pinched sidewalls. Either version is good when using it for intended uses.
    Last edited by Yody; 06-10-2012 at 03:07 PM.

  20. #20
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    I just tried some Hans Dampfs with performance compound today and they were not good. On dry rocks they were barely gripping and a little water made them slide like ice. Total waste of money.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    I just tried some Hans Dampfs with performance compound today and they were not good. On dry rocks they were barely gripping and a little water made them slide like ice. Total waste of money.
    How much pressure you running? I'm 190lbs riding weight and run my front hansdampf at 26lb and the rear at 27lbs. I think they almost grip to much. I'm using a trailstar front and pacestar rear. I haven't tried the performance compound like you have. The back had so much grip I changed it out for a tire that drifts easier.
    Last edited by fuenstock; 06-09-2012 at 09:54 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    I've been reading quite a few threads \ reviews about tires and they are somewhat all over the map...I came away with still no clear choice for a lighter-weight summer tire for all mountain riding in Norther Cal.
    Some things will never change around here
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mt. Tam Haze View Post
    Nobby Nic front Racing ralph rear for fire road climb rides or tamarancho riding- all you really need for tamarancho is a racing ralph.

    Rocky gnarly decents- WTB Bronson Front Wierwolf Rear. Get TCS!

    I'm personally not a fan of the wtb bronson as a rear tire, i think it looses traction in corners when leaned and not in a good way.
    Agree with Mt. Tam Haze!
    OEM on my 2012 Yeti AS R5c
    2.25 Nobby Nic on the front is one of the best tires I have ever used. 2.25 Racing Ralph on rear. Unfortunately Ralph got sliced within the first 500 feet of singletrack on it's first day and a replacement was not available. But if Ralph works as good on the back as well as the Nic on the front...good call! Pricey, but great tires...

  24. #24
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    Nobbby Nic

    I think I may have to give the Nobby Nic another try as they keep coming up over & over. I had these cause they came stock on my old Yeti ASR5 - loved them in dry until I hit a patch of mud - they became totally clogged and seemed like they wouldn't shed so I lost all my traction for quite a while - at places like Skeggs, you will often hit a small patch of mud even in dry conditions because of the creeks.

    They weren't tubeless and I don't recall the PSI was running them at. For anyone who uses them: tubeless? do you know your approx. PSI?

    Also, I always thought that Nobby Nic was the world's worst porn name.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    How much pressure you running? I'm 190lbs riding weight and run my front hansdampf at 26lb and the rear at 27lbs. I think they almost grip to much. I'm using a trailstar front and pacestar rear. I haven't tried the performance compound like you have. The back had so much grip I changed it out for a tire that drifts easier.
    I run low pressure like you do. I've been using Nevegals and they work pretty well but need stronger sidewalls.

  26. #26
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    204lbs (winter fat) Nobby Nic Tubeless on front 28-30psi for me.
    Loving that thing! But I'm mostly dry decomposed granite. But ran it all winter in snow and mud and had no issues...

    One more thought: Going Tubeless made all the diference for me

  27. #27
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    Weirwolf front and wolverine rear works great for me here.

  28. #28
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    Nobby Nics lasted me three weeks riding Pine Mt. All the side knobs sheared off.

    Best light tires for summer I've tried so far that are durable: WTB Mutano 2.4 race.

    Weirwolfs are not a light tire.

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  29. #29
    I just wanna go fast!
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    2.35 highrollers. bang zoom done.

  30. #30
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    Mutanos

    Seems like there are several people who are fond of the Mutanos - is there a difference between the Mutanos and the Mutano Raptors? Are they a cheaper version? The tread looks similar from what I can see in pics. Here is an example that is a price that seems to good to be true:

    WTB Mutano Raptor Comp 2.4 - Wheel World Bike Shops - Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Bicycle Parts and Accessories. Parts & Bike Closeouts!

    Thanks!

  31. #31
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    On the 29'er xc bike I have the Ikon 2.25 in back, and a Schwalbe racing ralph evo 2.4 in the front, and both are super light (tubeless - low pressure). I used them at Boggs and lake sonoma (talk about dry, loose conditions) and loved the traction, too. I wouldn't bomb down rocky ridge or butchers with them, but they are fine for redwood duff and smooth hardpack.

    Also, using the Bronson's on the Ibis Mojo, (2.1/2.3 - tubeless) and think they are great for slightly more all-mountain riding. Great at Downieville. I found that they are a little slippery in the beginning, but they wear in nicely after a few rides.
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  32. #32
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    I do silly things on a hardtail and currently like the WTB stout front (2.3) and spesh Eskar in the rear (2.3).
    I'm gonna give the purgatory a try next.

  33. #33
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    The Specialized Purgatory Control 2.4 is great up front. Large volume, great grip, and 2.4 only weighs 715g, 2.2 is 670g. I have ridden these tires front and rear for about 6 months now and the only complaint I have is that due to the large lugs, they do roll slower than some tires I've used. They lack a center line or ramped center knobs like a lot of new tires, but I put up with that because they perform well on just about any surface.

    I also really like the WTB Mutano 2.4 for the front, or the Weirwolf 2.3 (actually closer to a 2.2). Both are great tires, are faster rolling, but are a bit heavier than the Purgatory. I've run the "AM TCS" version of the WTB's which has some kevlar insert in the sidewall which contributes to the extra weight.
    "Got everything you need?"

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdamschen View Post
    2.35 highrollers. bang zoom done.
    Greatest summmer tires for sure: Single ply 2.35 DhF/Highroller - done deal
    Ground Steeze. @iggy_strbac

  35. #35
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    Update

    Following some suggestions that I got here, I mounted up a Nobby Nic rear tire (tubeless) that I already had laying around and moved the 2.25 Ardent to the front to replace the 2.4 - estimate that I dropped about a pound of weight. After a couple rides, the NN definitely performed better tubeless at a lower PSI (around 28) than with a tube as before, but I honestly didn't really feel a big difference in rolling resistance or in that pound of weight dropped, but I did notice that I gave away a bit of climbing traction. The NN climbs well as a rear tire, but the Ardent seemed better. I'm going to give it a few more rides to see if it just takes some adjustment to get used to.

    Also, I had a 2.1 Panaracer Trailblaster laying around that is very light - I threw that one on as a rear tire with a tube while I was changing things around and did a few laps - I was pretty impressed with the climbing traction - only problem was that I couldn't get any drift out of it - maybe after it wears in a bit. I may give that one a try for a while as well. Not sure about the toughness, durability, or how easy it would be to mount tubeless though - it has a very interesting tread pattern - anyone ever tried one of these? Anyone ever mounted it tubeless? Thanks

  36. #36
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    On my full sus I ride 2.5 Minion DHF and 2.35 High Rollers. Good combo, but that Minion is 865 grams I think and the 2.35 Minion is embarrassingly thin.

    I've cycled through a huge stack of tires on my hard tail over the last year. I recently put on 2.3 eskars and have been loving these tires in dry conditions (put them on 2-3 weeks ago.) 700 grams with great climbing and cornering grip. Mount up tubeless in 30 seconds. Unfortunately specialized just discontinued these because I'd put them on my full suspension too. If you can find them they're highly recommended over Fat Alberts, Bronsons, Wolverines, 2.35 Minions and Nevegals.

    -slide

  37. #37
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    Switched to Bronson 2.3s this winter/spring and overall they have been very good. Relatively light and good for most conditions.

    Not great in dry or loose terrain though (i.e. summer conditions) so going to switch, probably to Minions.

  38. #38
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    Switched out a purgatory in the front the other day to Continental MK ii tubeless. Weighs 880 grams but ridiculously sticky at demo and on dusty trails. Running it at 28psi front.

    I also use a Ikon in the back, it's plenty of traction for climbing and very predictable for drift. I don't think I'm going to take it to downieville, but for everything around here it's great.

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