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  1. #1
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    Tire recommendation for dry and powdery Nor Cal summer

    Hi All:

    I'm running 29x2.25 Racing Ralphs (on a Giant Anthem X4 29er) and primarily ride in the East Bay at Black Diamond Mines, Los Vaqueros, Round Valley, occasionally at Pleasanton Ridge, etc. It's really dry out there now and there's lots of loose over hardpack. Traction has been hard to come by in some places. I've been running between 24 and 30 psi front and rear.

    I've been playing with tire pressure, but a friend of mine suggested maybe switching to tires with bigger knobs.

    Is this a reasonable approach or should I just man up and learn to ride my bike better?

    Thanks,
    Bob

  2. #2
    Team Chilidog!
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    Do you keep sliding out, or it is something else?

    You could try something with bigger knobs, but be aware that you're going down a black hole of looking for the perfect tire. I've been clawing out of this black hole for a while now.
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  3. #3
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    All right! Another tire thread! It is a poor rider that blames his tools, but I love blaming my tires when I wash out on the really loose stuff!

    I am totally convinced that tires & pressure really can make a big difference & choosing the right ones for the right conditions can be night and day - just makes sense since this is the only part that is in actual contact with the ground.

    I have never used RRs, but just the fact that "Racing" is in the name makes me think that they are going to be very fast and slippery, and probably not very durable - so I think your friend is right - although 2.25 is probably plenty big but I'll bet some larger knobs would help. My favorite loose condition tire for the front is a different Schwalbe tire - the Hans Dampf run tubeless at low pressure - hooks up very nicely and my washouts have decreased - still looking for the ideal rear tire - something that strikes a nice balance between traction in loose conditions, weight, durability, and resistance - right now I'm running a Conti Mtn. King and it is good but not stellar.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, guys. It's a combination of rear tire spin on steep climbs and the front of the bike washing out on fast descents. With lower rear tire pressure and shifting weight back, the rear tire spin has been manageable. The front washing out is is the bigger problem. There's been a few places where both tires wash out and I feel like I'm in a drift competition.

    Didn't have this problem earlier in the year with this setup, but the trails weren't so "baked" like they are now. Of course, back then I was b*tching about how the cows had destroyed a lot of the trails and how it would be better during summer.

    Bob

  5. #5
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    Running tubeless? Try lowering the pressure a bit.

    I've got nobby nics front and back, pumped them up a bit too much this last week (rode UCSC and DeLa). was sliding on things I normally wouldn't. Backing off the PSI for later this week.

  6. #6
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Black, with knobs!
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  7. #7
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    I've been running 2.35 Maxxis Highrollers tubeless and they have been great. I wish they would make a tubeless 2.35 Mobster as that's my favorite tread pattern I've come across so far.

  8. #8
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    This works well for me

    Tire recommendation for dry and powdery Nor Cal summer-p1011558b.jpg

  9. #9
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    what do you weigh? I run 26er 2.3" hans dampf front, 2.2" RR back. around 18psi. 144lb rider.

    You could put beef on, but you'll be adding a ton of weight. I say practice technique. RR have good performance/weight ratio. Depends on what kind or riding you do.
    Last edited by bob13bob; 07-09-2013 at 06:25 PM.

  10. #10
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    Lots of bobs in this thread!

    bob13bob: 18psi? Wow...that's low.

    I weigh 160. Probably closer to 170 with my 100 oz Camelbak loaded down with water and tools. I'm running the stock Giant wheels (with tubes) with the older compound (ORC) Racing Ralphs that came with the bike.

    I have a set of the newer style Racing Ralphs (Pacestar compound) that are tubeless ready. I'm hoping to get a set of Stan's ZTR/Crest wheels by the end of the month, but will have to make do with what I've got until then.

    Bob

  11. #11
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    I'm running Schwalbe HDs front and rear tubeless in many of the same places you listed. Mid-20s for PSI at 160 lbs plus gear. Decreased my washing out dramatically from the prior rubber I had on my bike. YMMV.

  12. #12
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Maxxis Minion DHFs.

    Forever.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  13. #13
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    Racing Ralphs

    IMO the Racing Ralph might be the worst tire ever. Never mind that after 3 rides the sidewalls were already starting to come apart. Traction and overall tire performance in any conditions was cr@p no matter what psi I ran them at...tubeless or not. They came on my Anthem as stock tires. I think when you switch them out to just about anything else you will notice a big difference.

    I love the weirwolf LT 2.5 up front and I use a continental trail king in the rear. The trail king is a bit on the heavier side but it is a wonderful rear tire.

    I understand that over all Schwalbe makes really good tires but the Racing Ralphs are not one of them.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboulder View Post
    I love the weirwolf LT 2.5 up front and I use a continental trail king in the rear. The trail king is a bit on the heavier side but it is a wonderful rear tire.
    I couldn't agree more concerning the weirwolf LT. Unfortunately, they no longer make this tire. If you find a secret stash, buy them up. I hate it when companies discontinue your favorite stuff.

  15. #15
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    Combo Maxxis Ignitor front/Crossmark rear has worked really well for me in dry summer conditions.

  16. #16
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    i ride nor cal - pleasanton ridge, shell ridge, etc..I run Hans Dam trailstar up front and Nobby Nic pacestar out back both tubeless and no complaints... plenty of traction and good rolling

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Maxxis Minion DHFs.

    Forever.
    +1 - Best front Ive run yet..

  18. #18
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    Tire recommendation for dry and powdery Nor Cal summer

    Panaracer Rampage 2.35 front.

  19. #19
    JHH
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    Aside from tires your suspension can also be a culprit. Try softening up compression and slowing down your rebound in loose conditions. If your suspension is bouncing around while your cornering your losing grip. A small 5psi adjustment can make all the difference.

    I wouldn't suggest to big of knobs on your tread. 29" tires are heavy by default. You will roll slower therefore you'll have more grip.......

    I've been riding Maxxis Crossmarks both tubed and now the the LUST tubeless I like these tires a lot.

  20. #20
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    Bigger is better. I've been slowly progressing to more aggressive tires--after trying to make Small Block Eights work for a few years in Socal. Almost all of the guys leaving me in the dust at Demo or Santa Cruz are running really beefy tires.

    I'm not familiar with this 29er you speak of, but I've really been liking the Purgatory up front with a Captain or Nevegal in the rear. But aggressive tires will only help you if you're leaning them into the turns (I work on that every time out!).
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobonker View Post
    Hi All:

    I'm running 29x2.25 Racing Ralphs (on a Giant Anthem X4 29er) and primarily ride in the East Bay at Black Diamond Mines, Los Vaqueros, Round Valley, occasionally at Pleasanton Ridge, etc. It's really dry out there now and there's lots of loose over hardpack. Traction has been hard to come by in some places. I've been running between 24 and 30 psi front and rear.

    I've been playing with tire pressure, but a friend of mine suggested maybe switching to tires with bigger knobs.

    Is this a reasonable approach or should I just man up and learn to ride my bike better?

    Thanks,
    Bob
    If you're descending fast, I'd recommend a different tire. There's not much tread on those Racing Ralphs. I'd recommend trying DHFs, they're considered the measuring stick for dry high speed treads. Since it sounds like you're doing a lot of XC/trail type stuff, I'd try the 2.3 single ply versions first, they actually measure out closer to a 2.1/2.2. How much pressure you need depends on your weight, suspension setup and riding style (how much force you put on the tires when cornering and how you approach rock gardens); really the only way to quantify this is to do your own testing.

  22. #22
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    Tire recommendation for dry and powdery Nor Cal summer

    I'm going to throw in a tire that isn't spoken about. The Michelin Wildgrip'r 2 advanced in 2.25. They roll well, have excellent side knobs, are durable, and are reasonably light. I put a set on my sons bike and they have been working amazingly well, including no washouts in three days at Northstar. My only grip is the casing is a bit small at 52mm, but the non advanced version runs larger.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  23. #23
    J-Flo
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    I have tried many different tires and am currently running Conti Mountain King Protection 29x2.2 in front and X-King 29x2.2 in rear with good results. I sometimes spin out in the rear on technical climbs but only when leaning too far forward, and this seems to offer an excellent combination of traction and low weight/rolling resistance, which is what I am looking for. This does well on everything from Tilden fire roads to some of the more aggressive up or downhills in Marin or Annadel.

    I will switch to a Nobby Nic or Hans Dampf for more traction if and when needed but the rolling resistance on those tires is much worse, and I need all the help I can get on the climbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by AK47 View Post
    Combo Maxxis Ignitor front/Crossmark rear has worked really well for me in dry summer conditions.
    I ran this combination previously, using the Ignitor 29x2.1 EXO and Crossmark 29x2.0. I was pretty satisfied with the Ignitor but wanted something with a little more volume. As for the Crossmark, that is a terrific tire, unless you need to stop or turn on dirt. It is possibly the worst tire, traction-wise, that I have used. It unhooked and washed out on descents constantly, if I even thought about touching the rear brake. I replaced it with a Specialized Fast Track Control 29x2.1 -- dramatic improvement. Decided to switch to Contis because the Fast Track began to feel a little light on the traction side as trails got baked and looser.

  24. #24
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    Currently I have a WTB Wolverine race 2.2 on the rear and a WTB mutano 2.4 up front. I am really liking the combo and for me the mutano hooks up nicely up front (didn't like it as much on the rear wheel). Both have a bit more volume and when ran tubeless they come alive and perform well at lower psi.

  25. #25
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    Tire recommendation for dry and powdery Nor Cal summer

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Panaracer Rampage 2.35 front.
    Works well for me, the Gato is also working on another bike.

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