Professional Bad Ass
29er XC race tires with tougher sidewalls
I purchased my first 29er this fall, and it came stock with Racing Ralph Evo tires. I was running them tubeless on Stan's Arch EX rims. I sliced the front sidewall at Betasso on my very first ride, and I sliced the rear sidewall on Voodoo at Lake Pueblo a couple of months later, neither of which are exactly the most technical trails.
Any recommendations on lightweight, fast rolling XC race tires in the 2.1-2.2 size range that have tougher sidewalls? Are the Specialized Fast Traks any good? Does tubeless just not work with lightweight tires (neither of the flats would have happened with tubes)?
I'm planning on racing some of the more technical courses this year like the Whiskey Offroad and Gunnison Growler, and I'm very aggressive on the descents, probably in the top 5% of competitors in the categories I race in.
I had the same problem w/ wtb tires that came stock on my Breezer. Went with Geax Saguaro 29 UST, and never a problem. UST have a thicker sidewall.
Fast traks are lightweight but you should get the Control, walls are tougher than S works
I'd go with a Continental Raceking, better traction than Fast trak and definetely stronger.
Heard great comments of Geax though
Cube LTD PRO
Trek Fuel EX 8
Santa Cruz Highball Carbon
For the most part, light tires don't have tough sidewalls - that's partially how they achieve their light weight. UST tires have the burliest sidewalls but are significanly heavier. Check out Pro Tection sidewalls from Continental or EXO sidewall tires from Maxxis. We've had good luck with both of those.
Most people do not know that popular tire companies offer the same tread pattern now with a couple different sidewall choices.
did those racing ralphs have snakeskin? because I've never been so confident blasting square-edge rocks since getting a set of schwalbe tires with snakeskin sidewalls, those shits have proven indestructible so far. snakeskin/exo/pro-tection, etc. are worth the extra grams IMHO
Agree on the Snakeskin. I have been racing the Ralphs with snakeskin side walls and had great results, the weigh penality is minimal.
The Lake Pueblo Trails may not be very technical, but that loose rock can be quite sharp. When you go tearing through the corners and it sounds like you're riding through broken dinner plates? That stuff can be hell on tires. I've probably suffered more cuts there than any other single place. I once cut through a Specialized Captain in the middle of the tread, not the sidewall!
Originally Posted by dthomp325
That said, I have had very good luck with Control-level Specialized tires. The S-Works-level tires' casings are paper thin.
I've also had the best luck with getting Specialized tires to mount up tubeless and consistently hold air. OK experience with a Racing Ralph. Completely gave up on a Conti X-King Protection. If anybody wants one of those with about 200 miles of front wheel wear, let me know. I will make you a deal!
I've run Maxxis Ikon EXO 29er tires for two seasons (four total tires) on Stans rims and had no flats, I'd recommend 'em. Light, fast rolling, and good tread for the Front Range.