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  1. #1
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    What PSI are you running?

    I am just curious as to what tire pressure others are running in the COS area. I have only been here a short while and have only ridden at CMSP and Palmer but I already know I am going to probably need to reduce tire pressure to get some more traction out of my hardtail.

    I am betting that there are different pressure you all run at each trail, I guess I am just wondering if there is a sweet spot or what you run at each. I am also wondering how often you all are catching flats and what the main causes of them are. Seems like there are a lot of cactus thorns out there and I heard those cause some issues.

    I am considering doing the "Ghetto Tubeless" mod but I have had maybe one flat in the 200+ miles I have ridden, but then again, I wasn't on the gnarly terrain that CO has.

    Anyway, any input is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    depends.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    I am just curious as to what tire pressure others are running in the COS area. I have only been here a short while and have only ridden at CMSP and Palmer but I already know I am going to probably need to reduce tire pressure to get some more traction out of my hardtail.

    I am betting that there are different pressure you all run at each trail, I guess I am just wondering if there is a sweet spot or what you run at each. I am also wondering how often you all are catching flats and what the main causes of them are. Seems like there are a lot of cactus thorns out there and I heard those cause some issues.

    I am considering doing the "Ghetto Tubeless" mod but I have had maybe one flat in the 200+ miles I have ridden, but then again, I wasn't on the gnarly terrain that CO has.

    Anyway, any input is appreciated.
    As is almost always the answer: Depends... (not the diapers)

    How much do you weigh, how big a casing is your tire, what's your preference for how it feels...

    I'm about 200 lbs (need to drop the 20 I picked up in the last couple years of desk work), my bike is a full-suspension 29er that weighs around 30. I usually ride with a pack, throw another 10 at it...

    I run tubeless. With a fat tire like a Specialized Eskar I will go low 20's front, high 20's rear. Narrower tire requires a little more pressure to keep from bottoming out on the rim.

    In my experience, some tires require some tuning and have a relatively narrow range of pressure where they feel right. When I was running the older Conti tires with the triangular knobs (mountain king?) I found that they skittered on too high a pressure and bottomed out when the traction started feeling right. On those tires, I actually couldn't find an application where they worked because of that, other than snow.

    A bunch of it is what you really want it to feel like. Some people like higher pressure, they find that cornering on a lower pressure tire feels sluggish and like the tire is deflecting too much, and in a straight line they want it to roll faster. Others like it mushier.

    You should probably take your pressure down to where it starts feeling wrong then adding back a little until if feels right. Then if you bottom out or pinch flat, add 2 or 3 psi at a time until you're where you want to be.

    The granite gravel in the springs is a tough deal for cornering traction. I remember when I lived there and rode Capn Jacks alot, it was like surfing.
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    Welcome to colorado springs cornering traction sucks here, I am still trying to learn to drift these corners and ride fast but wow are they sketchy feeling. I run right around 25-30 on front tires and 30-35 on rear. anything less and they feel strange to me.

  4. #4
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    If you are rarely flatting on tubes on a HT you probably have way too much pressure. As Tom P mentioned your weight is going to be the biggest deciding factor and tire selection. Tubeless is the only way to go if you are riding techy stuff on a HT

  5. #5
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    I switched to ghetto tubeless on my hardtail back in September and I'm still flirting with how low I can go. With it at 30psi in a 2.1" tire, I haven't had any issues so I'm going to try 25psi and see how that feels. When I was running tubes still, I had flats every couple of rides at 30psi in the 2.2" tires I was running then so tubeless has been a huge improvement. I'm definitely a fan of tubeless, althoguh I haven't used them in sub freezing temps yet.

    The ghetto setup was pretty easy, althoguh the XC 2.1" tires I have on my hardtail were a lot more futzy than the 2.35" that I have on my other bike. It really helps (read: was only possible) with the use of an air compressor for the skinny tires.

    The trails in COS are in the sandiest shape I've ever seen, and I've been riding here for almost 20 years now. We need moisture SO BADLY! You're probably not going to be able to get away with running the same tires you were using in the past here. The only reason I went as narrow as a 2.1" was for the 24 hour race last September--otherwise XC tires are always 2.2"+ with aggressive tread for me. If you're going to do ghetto, I'd suggest using brand new tires so order something wide with widely spaced knobbies. There might be a couple of threads here on the front range forum dedicated to tire selection--it's kind of a hot topic around here....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    How much do you weigh, how big a casing is your tire, what's your preference for how it feels...
    I weigh 165, I don't wear any gear other than a small camelbak. I want to feel as stable in the corners as possible without it being too mushy or losing too much roll. I know I want my cake and eat it too,

    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    You should probably take your pressure down to where it starts feeling wrong then adding back a little until if feels right. Then if you bottom out or pinch flat, add 2 or 3 psi at a time until you're where you want to be.

    The granite gravel in the springs is a tough deal for cornering traction. I remember when I lived there and rode Capn Jacks alot, it was like surfing.
    This is probably going to be my plan of attack, lowering the PSI until I find the sweet spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by kristian View Post
    I switched to ghetto tubeless on my hardtail back in September and I'm still flirting with how low I can go. With it at 30psi in a 2.1" tire, I haven't had any issues so I'm going to try 25psi and see how that feels. When I was running tubes still, I had flats every couple of rides at 30psi in the 2.2" tires I was running then so tubeless has been a huge improvement. I'm definitely a fan of tubeless, althoguh I haven't used them in sub freezing temps yet.

    The ghetto setup was pretty easy, althoguh the XC 2.1" tires I have on my hardtail were a lot more futzy than the 2.35" that I have on my other bike. It really helps (read: was only possible) with the use of an air compressor for the skinny tires.

    The trails in COS are in the sandiest shape I've ever seen, and I've been riding here for almost 20 years now. We need moisture SO BADLY! You're probably not going to be able to get away with running the same tires you were using in the past here. The only reason I went as narrow as a 2.1" was for the 24 hour race last September--otherwise XC tires are always 2.2"+ with aggressive tread for me. If you're going to do ghetto, I'd suggest using brand new tires so order something wide with widely spaced knobbies. There might be a couple of threads here on the front range forum dedicated to tire selection--it's kind of a hot topic around here....
    I am currently running 2.2" (I believe, have to double check) Kenda Nevegal's. The rear tire is brand new as I punctured the old one in TN with a nail. However, since I don't tend to put too much pressure on the front, I moved that tire up and put the new one on the back since I was running a narrower less nobby tire up front before.

    I think right now I am going to hold off on ghetto tubeless and see how long these tubes will last me....after they puncture I will give the tubeless route a chance. I was just curious being tubeless allowed for lower pressures without pinching or breaking the bead.

  7. #7
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    Golden

    Not in COS, but I run near 30psi around Golden area trails both on the FS and HT (29 x 2.35). I'm around 155 to 160 lbs. I can usually feel the tire start to roll a bit when cornering if I get a little too low on the pressure.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    I am currently running 2.2" (I believe, have to double check) Kenda Nevegal's. The rear tire is brand new as I punctured the old one in TN with a nail. However, since I don't tend to put too much pressure on the front, I moved that tire up and put the new one on the back since I was running a narrower less nobby tire up front before.

    I think right now I am going to hold off on ghetto tubeless and see how long these tubes will last me....after they puncture I will give the tubeless route a chance. I was just curious being tubeless allowed for lower pressures without pinching or breaking the bead.
    Yeah, those Nevegals are the 2.2" tires I use as XC tires. I've been quite happy with them in our loose conditions.

    Theoretically, you can run lower pressure when you do ghetto, but I'm a little more paranoid to explore the boundries whith ghetto than regular tubes. If you pinch a tube, worst case, you can patch that tube. If you're running ghetto and you screw up both tires (with one spare tube), there's not much you can do other than test your shoe rubber...

    I think I'd be fine at 25 pounds on my 2.35 Rampages (which are narrower than the 2.2 Nevegal) on tubeless and I don't know I would want to go much lower than that--otherwise I'm going to start damaging rims and having "tire wander" on hardpack corners.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    ...I am currently running 2.2" (I believe, have to double check) Kenda Nevegal's. The rear tire is brand new as I punctured the old one in TN with a nail. However, since I don't tend to put too much pressure on the front, I moved that tire up and put the new one on the back since I was running a narrower less nobby tire up front before...
    A little advice I'd offer, from my own experience. Three rules:

    1) Always run the new tire up front.
    2) Always run the new tire up front.
    3) Always run the new tire up front.

    Lose cornering traction in the rear, the rear end slides a little wide. Lose cornering traction on the front, down you go.

    I let my REAR tires get totally beat before replacing them. But my fronts are fresh and crisp. Always. I'll always remember my shoulder dislocation, and it started with a front wheel washout with a beat front tire.

    If I wear down a front tire much at all, even just the side knobs getting chewed, I move it to the back and use it up; and then I carefully select and buy a new one for the front.

    I always run a fatter, more aggressive tire up front too, unless they are both the same.

    Just my $.02

    Take it, or leave it in the little tray by the cash register.
    Last edited by TomP; 11-27-2012 at 03:35 PM.
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    I will be purchasing new tires after Santa has done all his shopping and I will put the freshest tire up front. I know better than to overlook advice, especially when my shoulder and/or face are at steak...they are my meal ticket afterall.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post

    1) Always run the new tire up front.
    2) Always run the new tire up front.
    3) Always run the new tire up front.
    word.

    I run about 27 front and rear. 2.4" tubeless for both, weigh 210.

    Another word of advice, is check your pump. One of my last big wrecks, the pump I was using measured 27psi, but was actually 40 psi. I went to drift a corner that I knew well. Ate sh*t and picked myself up. Got up and said wtf, that's exactly the same way I rode the corner last time. Pushed on my front tire and realized it was rock hard. These days I pump up and then give a squeeze. My hand squeeze is accurate within 5 psi
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by claystrick View Post
    Not in COS, but I run near 30psi around Golden area trails both on the FS and HT (29 x 2.35). I'm around 155 to 160 lbs. I can usually feel the tire start to roll a bit when cornering if I get a little too low on the pressure.

    So true! I'm usually running high 20's in the front and low 30's in the back on 2.35 Nobby Nics and I'm 225 lbs.

  13. #13
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    For what it's worth, up here in the Northern Front Range which is also generally loose, I am running sub-25 PSI on a tubeless tire in the rear, and about 27 PSI on a tubed tire in the front. Just waiting to wear out that tire then I will replace it with a tubeless.

    I weigh about 150-155 with a full Camelbak. With tubes, I wouldn't run less than 35 in the rear or suffer pinch flats. I have a full suspension, which helps with absorbing impacts but also leads to higher speeds through chunky rock.

    I just built up a steel hardtail and currently am running 40 PSI in the rear on a tube, and again about 27 PSI up front. I noticed on one ride I had good traction even at 40 PSI, must be the difference in wheelbase so that I am equally weighted over the front and rear better than my FS. I'll be learning I guess.

  14. #14
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    I do the squeeze technique and then roll out.

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    Yeah, experiment went horribly wrong HAHA. I went 27 in the rear and about 25 up front and ended up pinching BOTH LOL

    I think the next time I am not going to go less than 35 on either.

  16. #16
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    tubes.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    Yeah, experiment went horribly wrong HAHA. I went 27 in the rear and about 25 up front and ended up pinching BOTH LOL

    I think the next time I am not going to go less than 35 on either.
    Tubes require more pressure. When I said I was running in the 20s, it was tubeless. I would never run under 30 with tubes.
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    Well, lesson learned LOL

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    I love the sensation of drifting in the corners on singletrack made of Pikes Peak granite.

  19. #19
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    Pikes Peak Batholith

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    I love the sensation of drifting in the corners on singletrack made of Pikes Peak granite.
    Ah yes, the decayed granite gravel of the Pikes Peak batholith

    Surf's up!
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  20. #20
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    Captain jack = Surfs up..... I was told that if you learn how to corner on the crap we have here you can corner on pretty much anything. Not sure if it is true or not but I sure get happy when I travel a bit and find that ones stuff........ Ah yes dirt, thats it.

  21. #21
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    Unless you have ridden the Pikes Peak gravel you haven't been given a lesson in traction humility. I am around 155 (add 10 with gear) and I ride anywhere from 18-22 psi, depending on tire width. The fatter the better for tires down here in the Springs, and tubeless is the only way to ride. If you ride the gnar at Palmer or down in Pueblo you'll get tons of pinch flats. Tubeless rules!

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    I am currently in the process of fitting my wheels with the ghetto tubeless mod. I have the rear wheel all set up just have to add the Stans and then fill it with air and see if it works. Wish me luck.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    I am currently in the process of fitting my wheels with the ghetto tubeless mod. I have the rear wheel all set up just have to add the Stans and then fill it with air and see if it works. Wish me luck.
    You might get lucky with a floor pump, but hopefully you're using an air compressor. Either way, apply plenty of soapy water!

  24. #24
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    I am just going to bring it to a gas station or something and use the compressor.

  25. #25
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    My first few attempts at setting up tires tubeless were extremely frustrating. I hope you're a patient dude!

    Once you get the hang of it (and buy and an inexpensive air compressor) it's a pretty straight forward process. It's definitely worth the initial time investment given the time you'll save fixing flats, not to mention better overall performance.
    Last edited by jradin; 11-29-2012 at 08:43 PM.

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    I was pretty thorough yesterday when taping up the inside of the rim...I even used an exacto knife to make sure no tape overlapped the ridge where the bead sits. Hopefully my attention to detail pays off.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jradin View Post
    My first few attempts at setting up tires tubeless was extremely frustrating. I hope you're a patient dude!

    Once you get the hang of it (and buy and an inexpensive air compressor) it's a pretty straight forward process. It's definitely worth the initial time investment given the time you'll save from fixing flats, not to mention better overall performance.
    It is really good to have your own compressor. Lots of times you have to make multiple attempts. It worked really well for me right out of the gate, but once I tried a non Specialized tire, I had some troubles. The Specialized 2Bliss tires seem to really go easy for me, both on my ghetto setup (Mavic TN-719 rims with yellow stans tape and stems that came with the DT Wheels that were on my 2010 StumpJumper) and my Bontrager Duster tubeless rims with their factory tubeless rimstrips and stems. But I've had to fuss with the Conti Tire I got last summer.

    One thing I do on my ghetto setup, use silicon caulk around the base of the stem. I caulk it and tighten down the stem nut to within about a full turn of tight and let the caulk dry overnight. Then tighten down the nut the rest of the way before mounting up the tire.

    And then it's best to go ride as soon as the air is in there. If you air it up and then leave it until the next chance you have to ride, you'll often find that it's gone flat on you. You can slosh the stans around in there, but it's not as effective at getting it into the voids between tire bead and rim as riding.

    I didn't really see a difference in the number of flats I got, but I was using sealant tubes. But the performance difference is dramatic, especially since I was using sealant tubes (they weigh a ton). I actually got a flat on my tubeless just by scratching a sidewall. It wasn't a cut, just enough of a scratch to make it so the casing wouldn't hold air. It wouldn't have been a blip for a tube setup.

    Do realize too, you can pinch flat a tire without a tube. It takes a much harder hit to have the rim cut through the tire casing than it does to cut snake-eyes in the tube, but it can be done.
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  28. #28
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    If the tubeless tire gives you trouble setting the bead mount it first with a tube and only break the bead on one side to remove the tube then hit it with a compressor blasting up to the max PSI the tire can handle.

    FWIW- I run just above 20 PSI F and around 30 PSI R tubeless. Nothing less than 2.35 on F for floating through the gravel & sand.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleken View Post
    If the tubeless tire gives you trouble setting the bead mount it first with a tube and only break the bead on one side to remove the tube then hit it with a compressor blasting up to the max PSI the tire can handle...
    With the Conti tire I've had to futz with, getting the bead to snap in place wasn't hard. I usually roll on my newly mounted tires at high pressure, like maybe 35 or 40 initially, like during the climb. Then adjust down the pressure to where I want when it's time to corner.

    With that Conti tire, it will hold perfect when it's rock hard, but when I let out pressure and start cornering it goes soft. Air it back up to 35 and it will hold. But as soon as it's supple enough to deflect in the corners it seems to lose air on me again. It's like the bead isn't the right shape or something...
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  30. #30
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    I've had great success and utter failures will many rim/tire combos over the years. One combo has never failed me though: Maxxis tires on Mavic UST rims.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  31. #31
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    By ghetto are you doing the tube cut over the rim to seal or the gorilla tape to make a stans style wheel? There are some tricks with the first that will help out a ton with the floor pump.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleken View Post
    If the tubeless tire gives you trouble setting the bead mount it first with a tube and only break the bead on one side to remove the tube
    This.

    This fall I got an SKS Aircon 6.0 oversized, MTB/fat tire only bike pump. Works great with 2.35/2.4 high volume tires. I think SKS now calls it the AirKompressor 12. REI sells one by Topeak called the "JoeBlow Mountain". Both pumps have large, oversized barrels and move a considerable amount of air with each pump.

    SKS: AirCon 6.0 reviews
    SKS Aircon 6.0 and Airbase Pro Floor Pump | Mountain Bike Review
    Product Test: SKS Aircon 6.0 Floor Pump | News | mountain-bike-action

    REI: Topeak JoeBlow mountain
    JoeBlow Mountain Floor Pump - Free Shipping at REI.com

    They're about $40-50 and are a good option for people living in apartments, or those without access to air compressors, or if you want to carry one with you on weekend bike trips. (I'll throw it in the Jeep if I'm heading to Moab/Fruita for a weekend. Good piece of mind that you can re-set a tubeless tire from camp.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    By ghetto are you doing the tube cut over the rim to seal or the gorilla tape to make a stans style wheel? There are some tricks with the first that will help out a ton with the floor pump.
    No, I went with the gorilla duct tape method...I found some that is 1" so it seemed perfect.

    One thing I guess I wasn't clear on from the get go is....can I run my Kenda Nevegals with the ghetto set up or do I need to buy tubeless tires?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    No, I went with the gorilla duct tape method...I found some that is 1" so it seemed perfect.

    One thing I guess I wasn't clear on from the get go is....can I run my Kenda Nevegals with the ghetto set up or do I need to buy tubeless tires?
    I don't have a lot of experience with this, but I will give you mine...

    I was using standard (tubed) tires on my Stan's tubeless wheels, since I read a number of times that was recommended. It is a considerable weight savings. BUT, I shredded a sidewall on a near new Maxxis tire so I gave up and bought a tubeless tire.

    The sidewalls are night and day different on the tubed vs. tubeless tire. They are not equivalent brands but I am guessing this is typical.

    I did run one tubed tire til I wore out the tread (in 3 months, never buying a Kenda Slant Six again), so it is possible. Just be prepared for frustration if you choose that route.

    Good luck.

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    Hrmmm, well depending on how well Santa treats me, I might be able to invest in some parts, tires will be the first thing I get. Nothing more frustrating than humping your bike out of the trails! (Which happened to me yesterday!)

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    Hrmmm, well depending on how well Santa treats me, I might be able to invest in some parts, tires will be the first thing I get. Nothing more frustrating than humping your bike out of the trails! (Which happened to me yesterday!)
    Sidewall tear?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    No, I went with the gorilla duct tape method...I found some that is 1" so it seemed perfect.

    One thing I guess I wasn't clear on from the get go is....can I run my Kenda Nevegals with the ghetto set up or do I need to buy tubeless tires?
    Do yourself a favor and get rid of these useless tires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Sidewall tear?
    No, pinch flats because I was running very low PSI.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Do yourself a favor and get rid of these useless tires.
    What?! I like these tires!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    No, pinch flats because I was running very low PSI.


    What?! I like these tires!
    Heh.

    I'll let you in on a secret. Nevegals suck donkey nuts. If you run a low enough pressure that they grip well they pinch flat like crazy.

    If you pump them up to a pressure that you *don't* get pinch flats they suck in the grip department.

    And they wear out fast.

    Do yourself a favor and ditch the Crapegals.

  40. #40
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    Mind = Blown. What tires do you suggest then?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    Mind = Blown. What tires do you suggest then?
    Tires are for wimps. I ride on bare rims.

  42. #42
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    Uh oh.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    Mind = Blown. What tires do you suggest then?
    Oh my dear God, is this going to degrade into another "which tire for the Front Range" thread?

    Please, give me strength.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Oh my dear God, is this going to degrade into another "which tire for the Front Range" thread?

    Please, give me strength.
    You shut your WHORE mouth, TP.

  44. #44
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    The nevegals are fine for a front tire for out here. They are a "ok" rear tire just slow and draggy and prown to pinch flats. Nevegal front with a ignitor rear is a pretty good all around tire set up in the 29er flavor.

  45. #45
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    They definitely make for a better front than rear tire out here. I suspect that is mainly because you can run the front at 25lbs without pinch-flatting every 250 yards.

  46. #46
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    I run tubes between 27-33psi and tires with stiff sidewalls and large volumes. Avoiding pinch flats is more technique than tire pressure. Slightly unweighting the rear end when it contacts acute edges when climbing, and "floating" (staying light on the bike, absorbing hits with the bike's suspension and legs/arms) over those edges on descents. Also, bunny-hopping is rather valuable in avoiding pinch flats.

    For practice, use a curb or small set of stairs and ride perpendicular to the step, clear the front wheel and lift the rear wheel over the step. Start slowly and work the speed up to build confidence.

    Tires I'm running on a hardtail:

    Front - Maxxis Minion dhf with exo 26x2.5
    Rear - Maxxis Ardent, with exo 26x2.25

    I run my 700x40c monster-cross tires at 35-40 psi on some FR trails and I have yet to pinch flat those. Knock on wood.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    They definitely make for a better front than rear tire out here. I suspect that is mainly because you can run the front at 25lbs without pinch-flatting every 250 yards.
    Very true, I like them even more when you cut every other transition knob off and you make a tire that does not give you kenda surprise and lets those side knobs eat. Dare I say almost " mini mary" ish (muddy mary ish)


  48. #48
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    40 psi for the climb, 30 ish on the downhill, conti diesel 2.5's, on 717's with tubes...
    been on the same fsr expert frame since new in 99. Ride because you love it, not to be a trendy a$$hole.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    Very true, I like them even more when you cut every other transition knob off and you make a tire that does not give you kenda surprise and lets those side knobs eat. Dare I say almost " mini mary" ish (muddy mary ish)

    Jeezus. That's a lot of effort for making a $hitty tire tolerable.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Jeezus. That's a lot of effort for making a $hitty tire tolerable.
    this
    been on the same fsr expert frame since new in 99. Ride because you love it, not to be a trendy a$$hole.

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