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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 Many are outdated, some are for different types of conditions that I don't ride, but I came away with still no clear choice for a lighter-weight summer tire for all mountain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 06:55 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.
    我的镀铬光泽的冰柱一样,我骑在镇附近在我的低骑手自行车

  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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    Skyno: I didn't like the Purgatory in the rear. It had unpredictable times when it broke loose.

    I'm currently running a Specialized Butcher SX 2.3 front and an Ardent 2.25 UST in the rear. Really love the Ardent in the rear, but I remember the 2.4 in the front have a weird point where it broke traction if you didn't corner it just right and felt sketch on the front.

    The Ardent feels slow to you? Odd, feels fast to me and it has good braking and traction for a rear tire. If you want a fast rolling rear tire, go with the Crossmark. Wicked fast tire with great cornering.

    I still like a DHF front and rear for tire combos (2.35s are small and measure like 2.1s and the 2.5s measure more like 2.35s). Might go back to that for the summer, not sure, or just change out the front to the 2.5 once the Butcher wears out.

    Not the lightest ride around, so far it's working for me. Haven't decided if I want to try another combo or stick with this, but I like the DH traction over climbing right now. The Butcher has really great traction to it and doesn't break at all in corners, where the Ardent is a pretty good rear tire for me.

  14. #14
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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

  15. #15
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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.

  16. #16
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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.

  17. #17
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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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  18. #18
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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.

  19. #19
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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.
    And don't do the burrito jump... Francois

  20. #20
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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 02:07 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    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
    My bike weighs 34 lbs. Not I'd really notice the tires, but like you I'm still looking for the Perfect Tire

    Do you run the Ardent tubeless? If not, you could always do one of their lighter casing tires (not sure which ones you're running). Someone else mentioned you may want to keep it on the front as it gets dustier here. I would agree with that statement. It's going to be loose over hardpack for a while now.

    If it weren't for my desire to run lower PSI, I would be running the lighter casing Ardents and DHFs instead of what I'm running now.

    Anyway, let us know what you try. The Bay Area is so hard to find the right tire because there are so many different ecosystems we ride through here. Right now, I'm fan of DH traction, so I'll take the weight penalty.

  22. #22
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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.

  23. #23
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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 08:54 PM.

  24. #24
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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
    Eat, ride, eat, rest, repeat.

  25. #25
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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...

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