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  1. #1
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    Recommend me a CX tire - North Carolina Edition

    I was conflicted on where to post this--in the NC/SC forum, the Wheels/Tire forum, or here. I chose here because I figured I'd get the most cross-specific advice here.

    I just did my third CX race. I did it on my Hardtail 29er like I did in my last two races, on 2.1" Specialized Ground Controls set up tubeless. I love these tires for MTB, they roll pretty quick and I can achieve lean angles that make me double check to make sure I'm not on my motorcycle. For CX, they dominate in the twisty and muddy sections, but they just suck terribly on the grass sections of the course. I'm thinking its the width of the tire more than anything that's holding me back. More width=more blades of grass to push down=more rolling resistance. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    With that in mind, I'd like to get a set of CX tires to mount on my 29er rims. They're Rovals with a 19mm internal width, so nothing too narrow. I'm thinking something in the ~32-35mm range, with enough knobs to have traction on slightly muddy courses. Fall in North Carolina means rain, so the likelihood of racing on hard-pack is extremely minimal. I'm also completely sold on tubeless, and I plan to run whatever I get tubeless with sealant. I think that means no skinwalls.

    So what does MTBR recommend?

  2. #2
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    Specialized Captain CX 2BR. I think they are 700x34. They have great side grip and are a piece of cake to set up tubeless.

  3. #3
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    The Clement MXP is a great all-purpose tire. Well-made with a tread pattern that will excel in all but the worst slop. Last year, the courses were hard as bricks until mid-December, but it looks as though we'll have a bit more rain this fall and early winter. The Clement PDX is another good choice - it's a mud tire, but many were using it as an all-conditions tire last fall before the MXPs came out.

  4. #4
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    I only race CX in Georgia, but I second the MXP clincher. Its 33mm size dwarfs the alleged 35mm size of the Kenda Kommando I have in the rear.

  5. #5
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    Recommend me a CX tire - North Carolina Edition

    Nice, I might give the mxp a try. Anyone mounted it up tubeless?

    Also, any thoughts in the michelin mud2? I found them on Amazon of all places for 30 bucks.

  6. #6
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    Mud 2 is another excellent all conditions/mud tire(similar to the clement PDX) most people these days would pick the PDX over the Mud 2 but there is little real difference. Although it is listed as a 30 it is similar in size to the PDX and sets up tubeless very well nice supple sidewall

  7. #7
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    The Mud 2 isn't "tubeless ready". You'll find that you'll suffer issues like burping more readily with that tire than you will with a Specialized 2BR(tubeless ready) or a Vittoria TNT (tubes no tubes).

  8. #8
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    +1 on Clement PDX. Cross riders I know put on PDX's as their only tire when using tubulars. I read in an article that Mud 2's were also a good all around tire.

    I never had a problem with burping tubeless with non "tubeless ready" tires and rims. Depends on air pressure. You will not be able to run low tire pressure like tubular's

    As far as skinwalls: Stan from NoTubes says, “The stiffer the sidewall, the easier it will burp air.” Why? A supple sidewall not only offers a better ride and will absorb smaller bumps (this is why a tubular’s ride is superior) but will avoid transferring a bump’s energy to the bead. The less a bead is impacted, the less chance it has to deform and burp.
    Per this article:
    Going Tubeless in Cyclocross Racing - Avoiding Burps, Recommended Tires : Cyclocross Magazine - CX News, Races, Photos, Videos | Cyclocross Magazine – Cyclocross News, Races, Bikes, Photos, Videos

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    +1 on Clement PDX. Cross riders I know put on PDX's as their only tire when using tubulars. I read in an article that Mud 2's were also a good all around tire.

    I never had a problem with burping tubeless with non "tubeless ready" tires and rims. Depends on air pressure. You will not be able to run low tire pressure like tubular's

    As far as skinwalls: Stan from NoTubes says, “The stiffer the sidewall, the easier it will burp air.” Why? A supple sidewall not only offers a better ride and will absorb smaller bumps (this is why a tubular’s ride is superior) but will avoid transferring a bump’s energy to the bead. The less a bead is impacted, the less chance it has to deform and burp.
    Per this article:
    Going Tubeless in Cyclocross Racing - Avoiding Burps, Recommended Tires : Cyclocross Magazine - CX News, Races, Photos, Videos | Cyclocross Magazine – Cyclocross News, Races, Bikes, Photos, Videos
    Hmm, I think the skinwalls are out because they're too porous to hold the sealant in. If someone buys me a set, I'll try em out, but I don't want to spend 120 bucks to find out that I still need to use tubes.

    I went ahead and bought the Mud2s. They're 700x30s, but I'm hearing that they're more like 34s, and I haven't heard of any complaints about burping them while tubeless. I was almost sold on the captains, but they didn't have any in stock at any of the shops around here. I skipped over the PDXs because the tread looks a bit open with no intermediate knobs. Tires like that need to be slammed on their ear at the start of the turn to grip, and that's just not my cornering style. The MXPs looked good, but I couldn't find them for less than 50 bucks a piece...until I already put the order in for the Mud2s. I'll report back on how they perform.

  10. #10
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    Good luck with the Mud2s. IIRC people have had pretty good luck with those tubeless. The main thing is having a good tight interface with bead and the rim. Too loose usually ends up in burps. I have had decent luck with panaracer crossblasters but they are more of an "all rounder" tire than a mud tire. See you out there. You racing the NCCX series I assume?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    Hmm, I think the skinwalls are out because they're too porous to hold the sealant in. If someone buys me a set, I'll try em out, but I don't want to spend 120 bucks to find out that I still need to use tubes.
    Each their own. I would have thought a Mud2 would be considered a skinwall @ 340gr.

    I never had a problem sealing with Bontrager 29-1's or 0's along with Kenda Small Block 8's on my mtb. All were lightweight tubed type tires ran tubeless(bonty's 400-450 gr). That is all the guys on my team use (I am Trek support sponsored on mtb - sorry, I do not have any cross tires for you to try.)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmancrx View Post
    Good luck with the Mud2s. IIRC people have had pretty good luck with those tubeless. The main thing is having a good tight interface with bead and the rim. Too loose usually ends up in burps. I have had decent luck with panaracer crossblasters but they are more of an "all rounder" tire than a mud tire. See you out there. You racing the NCCX series I assume?
    Thanks, though last night I did battle with the Mud2 for an hour or so and couldn't get it to seat on my roval rim. I don't have a compressor though, so I might make a stop by the gas station or bike shop and wail on it there. My specialized mtb tires mounted up super easy with just a floor pump, I guess I was spoiled.

    And yea, I'm going to give some of the NCCX series races a try. I'm on the fence about Saturday though, the 4/5 race is only 30 minutes and its a 2 hour drive. I'm not sure I want to drive 2 hours to race 30 minutes. I'm definitely going to be at Lion's Park on Sunday though.

  13. #13
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    Im running specialized caption cx pro which is the tubular version. The tubeIess version was mentioned if that's more your thing. Im just poor and havent bought a road wheelset, but I like them a lot. Ive been using them mostly on trails and a few races for the past few years. Grip for a CX tire has never been an issue. They seem to roll well too. Ill see you at Lion's Park on Sunday then. Best of luck!

  14. #14
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    Recommend me a CX tire - North Carolina Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    Thanks, though last night I did battle with the Mud2 for an hour or so and couldn't get it to seat on my roval rim. I don't have a compressor though, so I might make a stop by the gas station or bike shop and wail on it there. My specialized mtb tires mounted up super easy with just a floor pump, I guess I was spoiled.

    And yea, I'm going to give some of the NCCX series races a try. I'm on the fence about Saturday though, the 4/5 race is only 30 minutes and its a 2 hour drive. I'm not sure I want to drive 2 hours to race 30 minutes. I'm definitely going to be at Lion's Park on Sunday though.
    I got the mud2s on! 5 minutes with the shop air compressor and I was good to go. I'm going to ride them around for a bit and see if they hold.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    I got the mud2s on! 5 minutes with the shop air compressor and I was good to go. I'm going to ride them around for a bit and see if they hold.
    At Harbor Freight you can pick up a cheap air compressor for $50. They usually have 20% off coupons all the time as well. I got it just for setting up tubeless tires. Good luck out there.

  16. #16
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    Recommend me a CX tire - North Carolina Edition

    We'll I couldn't get the mud2s to stay inflated with Stan's so I put a tube in the tire before the race. I then proceeded to pinch flat my rear tire in the first lap. Strange thing was though, the Stan's left in the tire sealed the hole and I did the remainder of the race with 15-20 psi. This is my hypothesis anyways, I'm not sure what happened. I did start with 40 psi and ended with under 20.

    What a frustrating experience though, every time I tried to turn hard, the tire tried to roll off the rim. Since I've got a crappy motor and good handling skills, I wasn't able to pass on the straights, and was slow on the turns. I ended up 31/68

    The tires did seem to grip well though. I'd've loved to ride them tubeless. I'm going to give the Specialized captains or Terras with the 2bliss bead a shot to see if I have better luck. Anyone interested in buying the mud2s?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    We'll I couldn't get the mud2s to stay inflated with Stan's so I put a tube in the tire before the race. I then proceeded to pinch flat my rear tire in the first lap. Strange thing was though, the Stan's left in the tire sealed the hole and I did the remainder of the race with 15-20 psi. This is my hypothesis anyways, I'm not sure what happened. I did start with 40 psi and ended with under 20.

    What a frustrating experience though, every time I tried to turn hard, the tire tried to roll off the rim. Since I've got a crappy motor and good handling skills, I wasn't able to pass on the straights, and was slow on the turns. I ended up 31/68

    The tires did seem to grip well though. I'd've loved to ride them tubeless. I'm going to give the Specialized captains or Terras with the 2bliss bead a shot to see if I have better luck. Anyone interested in buying the mud2s?
    Just picked up a wheelset w/ Stan's Alpha 340 rim's (rim brake w/narrow road rim). The owner was selling them because he bought a cross bike w/ disc brake an got a pair of Stan's Iron Cross wheels (cross specific w/slightly wider rim).

    He had no problem with Mud2's on Alpha's ALL last season. He could not keep mud2's on rear of Iron cross's (DNF'd first race) - he said rim on crosses were slightly wider and was guessing that was the reason why he could not keep mud on rim.

    On the Iron Cross rims, him and his buddies are swearing by specialized captains and terra's. No problems in 5 races plus practices

  18. #18
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    im thinking of going iron cross as well. kind of an okay value for what it offers.

  19. #19
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    I had the same issues with the Mud2s. I haven't had any problems with the Captain CX 2BR or the Vittoria TNT tires mounted on the same rims. I know some people claim they can get the Mud2s to work well but it didn't happen for me. Just passing on my experience.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerider View Post
    I had the same issues with the Mud2s. I haven't had any problems with the Captain CX 2BR or the Vittoria TNT tires mounted on the same rims. I know some people claim they can get the Mud2s to work well but it didn't happen for me. Just passing on my experience.
    what rims are you running?

    NOTE: muds are listed as 30 width while tire like captains are 34's

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    what rims are you running?

    NOTE: muds are listed as 30 width while tire like captains are 34's
    The mud2s are a really big 30. I'd say they're as big or bigger than a clement pdx 700x33.

    And BTW, I cannot get the Specialized 2bliss tires to save my life. The Captains are backordered until December, according to my shop, and they've never actually seen a 2bliss Terra in the flesh.

  22. #22
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    Can you add an extra layer or 2 of tape to your wheels? Maybe a tighter fit is needed.

  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=scottz123;10762222]what rims are you running?

    I'm running Hed Belgium rims with 2 layers of Stan's tape.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    The mud2s are a really big 30. I'd say they're as big or bigger than a clement pdx 700x33.

    And BTW, I cannot get the Specialized 2bliss tires to save my life. The Captains are backordered until December, according to my shop, and they've never actually seen a 2bliss Terra in the flesh.
    No Captains here in Chicago area either - they told me end of october...

  25. #25
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    Recommend me a CX tire - North Carolina Edition

    Just an update...finally got the Mud2s to seal! I'm doing the happy dance. I think that having the tube in there for a week helped to mold the tire bead so that it would conform better to the rim.

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