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  1. #1
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    tire recommendations for santa monica and chino areas?

    As the title suggests I need some recommendations. Im 10+ years out of the sport, I used to ride santa monica every weekend but dont really remember what the ground was like.

    Ive never been to the chino/ pomona trails before


    Gonna ride fullerton loop because its on my way to work. However thats a pretty smooth trail that i believe just about any tire will work on.

    Oh bikes an old hardtail if that matters. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Haven't ridden any trails in your neck of the woods but down here in San Diego area I've had good luck with a crossmark in the rear and ignitor up front. This is on my 26 inch bike tho. When the ground starts to loosen up a bit, Ive been running the ignitor in the rear and a high roller up front. All are non ust tires set up tubeless with sealant....no tubes for me

    Everyone seems to have a particular setup they like to ride and to be honest...your probably gonna want to try several different tires till you find that perfect middle ground between fast rolling and traction.

    I'm always wiling to help out a fellow rider in need...and have a few leftover 26inch tires sitting in my garage I'd be happy to loan you if you cover the shipping. I know it's tough to invest in new tires especially if you immediately dislike it. In your on a 29er then i cant be of much help. PM me if interested.

  3. #3
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    I ride the Santa Monica mtns regularly. I use Schwalbe Nobby Nics on all of my bikes. Expensive tire, but well worth it.
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD (155mm 650B)
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  4. #4
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    I ride mainly the Santa Monica areas, which are mostly very loose and dry.

    I've ridden with Kenda Nevegals before, then switched to Nobby Nics. Nevegals are a "play it safe" tyre that have plenty of grip but can really wear you down with the high rolling resistance. I don't think I'll ever go back to Nevegals again.

    Nobby Nics are a much more lively and playful tyre. The grip is almost as high as the Nevegals (in other words, lots of grip), but you're encouraged to lean the bike more aggressively in order to get the best grip. If you don't take charge and take a turn like you mean it, the tyres can get a little bit squirrelly but never to the point of losing control. With the Nobby Nics, I've also found that the rear tyre likes to drift out a little more. This matches my riding style well, as opposed to the Nevegals which never drifted at the limit until the front end would suddenly wash out.

    Nobby Nics also have a much lower rolling resistance. The difference between Nevegals and Nobby Nics is like riding through 2" thick sand at the beach vs. riding on smooth pavement. Or like riding 1 gear taller at any given speed. The Nobby Nics really do roll that much more easily.

    Nobby Nics are expensive and they wear out fairly quickly. I might try a different tyre next time, just to see if I can find a longer wearing tyre that has almost the same performance.

  5. #5
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    I suffer through the high rolling resistance of new Nevagals, because worn in Nevegals are my favorite. Any new tire will be great, but for me I need a tire that will work well even when I have procrasticating on bike maintainence.

  6. #6
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    That's one good thing I can say about the Nevegals - they last a long time. I had my Nevegals for almost 4 years. I ran them until it was like riding on ice... Except that the high rolling resistance was still there. I still had plenty of tread left, but what was there could no longer grip anything. Not even asphalt.

    My Nobby Nics on the other hand, will probably last 1 year at most. Half a year is probably more reasonable.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTimeCRX View Post
    I ride mainly the Santa Monica areas, which are mostly very loose and dry.

    I've ridden with Kenda Nevegals before, then switched to Nobby Nics. Nevegals are a "play it safe" tyre that have plenty of grip but can really wear you down with the high rolling resistance. I don't think I'll ever go back to Nevegals again.

    Nobby Nics are a much more lively and playful tyre. The grip is almost as high as the Nevegals (in other words, lots of grip), but you're encouraged to lean the bike more aggressively in order to get the best grip. If you don't take charge and take a turn like you mean it, the tyres can get a little bit squirrelly but never to the point of losing control. With the Nobby Nics, I've also found that the rear tyre likes to drift out a little more. This matches my riding style well, as opposed to the Nevegals which never drifted at the limit until the front end would suddenly wash out.

    Nobby Nics also have a much lower rolling resistance. The difference between Nevegals and Nobby Nics is like riding through 2" thick sand at the beach vs. riding on smooth pavement. Or like riding 1 gear taller at any given speed. The Nobby Nics really do roll that much more easily.

    Nobby Nics are expensive and they wear out fairly quickly. I might try a different tyre next time, just to see if I can find a longer wearing tyre that has almost the same performance.
    My thoughts exactly on the Nobby Nics. I have really enjoyed mine for loose over hard Cali riding. Very fun tire. They encourage you to get rowdy but will typically keep you rubber side down.

  8. #8
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    I should add I really loved the Hans Dampf as well, but they were rubbing the paint off my fork. Good alternative to the Nevegal.

  9. #9
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    I like Hans Dampf in front, NN in rear. But like already stated the NN will wear fast.

  10. #10
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    I've had Specialized Ground Control tires mounted for a few months now. I'm pretty impressed with them. They grip at least as well as any other good tire does on loose-over-hard pack climbing. They haven't washed out on me on hard turns, either. Wear seems about medium compared to others I've tried.

  11. #11
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    These will all be suitable for Socal condition. Ridden these tires in the following:SMM, Chino Hills, San Bernardo Mt, San Gab, and Santa Ana mt.

    2.35 Nevegals (front&rear)- Great tire used it for 3yrs but as mentioned rolling resistance blows. For the price can't beat it cheapest tire out of all the tires ive tried.
    2.35 Minion (front&rear)- Even better than Nevs used it for 2yrs and wanted better rolling resistance than Nevs. great control and stays on track just need to be confident when leaning on it as it feels like it will wash out but grabs eventually. I like it as it drifts during that transition. Heavier than Nev. This tire really works for Socal condition even during the short wet season it wasn't bad. Mud shedding was okay.
    2.4 Ardent (front) 2.35 Minion(rear) -Ardent tried it for 1yr wanted something beefier setup front but it never worked for me the only thing I liked about is that it was lighter than both Nev and Minion for the size. Maybe just never gave it a chance after using the Minion I was looking for the same performance up front. Minion rear is good but felt better when combined with the specific front
    2.35 Hans Dampf (front) 2.4 Ardent (rear) - Tried it for 1yr. This to me has the same performance as the Nev almost identical pattern, feel and lighter. Great grip and not as high rolling resistance as Nev. If you are thinking of Nevs give this a try also. Ardent used as rear tire is pretty fast it tend to washout on me a lot.
    2.4 Big Betty (front) 2.4 NobbyNic (rear) - My current setup been using it for 6mos. This is great setup thus far for me BB has so much grip that will increase your confidence on the downhill runs. But it has higher rolling resistance than Minion and Nev. I felt the difference because while waiting for BB to be shipped I had the Hans Dampf up front first. But the gained performance outweighs the deficiency imo. Luckily the NN have low rolling resistance and grips well especially on the techy climbs. I am def staying with this setup for a while. BTW Nobby Nic is almost worn already 6mos in the usage. I don't even ride on asphalt or concrete 99.9% dirt.
    Sorry for the long post.

  12. #12
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    DRZ thanks for the offer, I might just take you up on that.

    Thanx to all of you for such detailed descriptions.

    Im planning on buying a 29er in the next 6 months, sooner depending on cashflow and whatnot. In the mean time this old 26 has sidewall cracks that have me worried (

    So wear probably isnt an issue as I may be getting a new bike soon anyway.

    I have enough trouble walking to my car ( LOL let myself get out of shape) so High rolling resistance isnt gonna fly.

    Im considering myself a noob all over again so I dont know if I want a tire that grips best at high angle cuz i might not reach that point for awhile.

    ill do a lil more research but other then the price and wear the NN sound like a great tire. maybe the hans/NN combo. Hmmmm choices choices lol

  13. #13
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    if you do any singletrack that is more tricky and difficult, butcher front and rear work well

    as for wear I have no idea, all tires I use are trashed within 2 months, so I give up there.

  14. #14
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    I haven't ridden the Santa Monica range in years but I remember it to be typical dry, packed so cal fireroads. Chino Hills is like that, nothing technical. All hardpack fireroads. I use a Specialized 2.3 Ground Control up front and a 2.1 on back. Rolls and climbs fast, corners great. I haven't ridden Nobby Nics but they are a similar tread to the GCs but 2x the price. Others have said ride is similar. I'm on a SC Superlight 26.

  15. #15
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    If you think that the Santa Monicas are only hard packed fireroads, you haven't seen all of it. There are lots of places that are very loose, coarse, and rutted, and if you go into the canyon you can find areas of soft soil and the occasional creek crossing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTimeCRX View Post
    If you think that the Santa Monicas are only hard packed fireroads, you haven't seen all of it. There are lots of places that are very loose, coarse, and rutted, and if you go into the canyon you can find areas of soft soil and the occasional creek crossing.
    Like I said, I haven't been there in years, like 20, and it was limited areas...I'm sure it's getting a lot more use than back then and so it's looser and chuted out in lots of spots. I've only ridden Topanga, Sycamore and somewhere off Mulholland's east end and it was HP at the time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fongster View Post
    Like I said, I haven't been there in years, like 20, and it was limited areas...I'm sure it's getting a lot more use than back then and so it's looser and chuted out in lots of spots. I've only ridden Topanga, Sycamore and somewhere off Mulholland's east end and it was HP at the time.
    You're missing out on a lot of good trails then... It's a good time to revisit the area! I'm sure your Ground Controls would work well here.

  18. #18
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    No sure about Chino, but for Santa Monica I've been using a Nevegal in the front. I have a slant six on the back right now and it seems to be working out pretty well, basically a cross between a Nevegal and Small Block.

  19. #19
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    I'm rolling on a WTB Moto in the front and a Bronson in the rear. Moto was GREAT in Mammoth and I liked it at first down here in SoCal . . . but its' just a bit much. The Bronson I'm quite happy with. I'll be trying some Schwalbe's next (probably a HD and/or NN).
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  20. #20
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    I'm brand new to mountain biking myself (had my bike a little over a month) and haven't really riden any trails yet. I live in Eastvale just north of Corona and don't know any of the trails around me, I've only riden bike paths so far.
    Can you give some info about the Fullerton loop so I know what to expect if I try it out?
    Where to get on it?
    whats the ride like?
    elevation changes?
    etc, etc...

    thanks

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcrscott29 View Post
    I'm brand new to mountain biking myself (had my bike a little over a month) and haven't really riden any trails yet. I live in Eastvale just north of Corona and don't know any of the trails around me, I've only riden bike paths so far.
    Can you give some info about the Fullerton loop so I know what to expect if I try it out?
    Where to get on it?
    whats the ride like?
    elevation changes?
    etc, etc...

    thanks
    Here is a great link for riding areas with good details. You will have to create an account in order to use it but it's free. Have fun!

    Geoladders -- Fullerton Loop

  22. #22
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    If you are running an old hardtail and just wanted to ride, I'd run a Nevegal. It's tried and true and gives you a ton of traction. I'd probably opt for the 1.95 or 2.1 sizes, the velcro feeling isn't so much an issue with the narrow sizes. Perfect tire for somebody getting back into riding. It's super forgiving and super predictable.

    Performance has a tire called the Forte Pisgah you might want to check out. Almost a knockoff of the Kenda tire and you can get it as a folding bead for $25 usually. It's made by Panaracer. A lot of tires in this thread are $60+. I don't think you'll need a 120tpi performance tire if you're just trail riding for the most part.

  23. #23
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    Reviving this thread...

    Looking for a tire with similar rolling resistance to the Panaracer XC Fire Pro, but more modern.

    How is the rolling resistance on the Hans Dampf?

    Anyone tried the Maxxis Crossmark? Maybe not enough tread?

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