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  1. #1
    Movin' to Montana soon
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    Fast rolling tire for getting to Mansfield/Simcoe County trails.

    I need a fast rolling tire for riding on the road to get to trails in the Mansfield/Simcoe County area.I'm riding up to an hour and a half on road and rolling resistance is a big concern to me.

    Right now I have a Small Block 8 on the front.It's ok for now but it seems to pack up really fast and a Holy Roller on the rear(I didn't put it there)which rolls nicely but I find it to be useless on the trail.

    Since I'm pretty new to this I don't know a lot about what tires work where and would appreciate any suggestions.
    Last edited by Alhazred; 09-28-2011 at 09:58 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
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    Personally, I have yet to find a better all-around tire than Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. I like them so much, I even got a teeny pair for my cyclocross race bike. Great combination of low rolling resistance, toothy grip and mud clearing.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  3. #3
    almost there!
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    I still think Hutchinson Pythons are a great tire for on the road and the trail, you could also try Specialized Fast Traks, they might clear mud better than the Pythons. Fast rolling tires are not always the grippiest tires when you go off road, they take some skill to master and are worth it if speed is more important than grip.

  4. #4
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
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    all good suggestions...

    my taste, out of the three mentioned, are Racing Ralphs.

    good thing is one can go pretty wide with them - 2.25 or 2.4, unlike SB8 or Fast Trak. Racing Ralphs also have more lateral grip, which comes handy off road. Rolling resistance is about the same, give or take, with Racing Ralphs rolling the fastest by slim margin. They also come in snakeskin version, which is virtually indestructible, including sidewalls. Important feature when going out on such a long trip.

    If only Specialized Renegade came in 2.2 - I'd throw my hat on them anytime. Even at 1.95 I was mightily impressed with them this season. They roll the fastest out of this group and have a very decent lateral grip, right behind Racing Ralphs, but it is more predictable than RR. Not to mention really light tires, by far the lightest in this group.

    Another good options is Specialized Captain Control. Nice rolling resistance thanks to the center knobs, with lots of traction overall, way more than any of the tires mentioned so far.

    My ranking for your purpose:

    1. Racing Ralph (probably snakeskin for added durability)
    2. Hutchinson Python
    3. Specialized Captain Control
    4. Specialized Renegade
    5. Specialized Fast Trak

    I tried all these by the way.

    The ones that I didn't try, but will do so next season:

    Maxxis Aspen - very interesting profile, with fast center area and enough side knobs. Seem to be very durable too.
    Maxxis Ikon - lots of racers use them. They are fast, but not sure about lateral traction

    Maxxis Aspen may also be a good contender for you. Though I think you should try Racing Ralphs and call it a day. After a season - you can re-allign after you have some personal experience on them...




    Quote Originally Posted by AJ541 View Post
    I still think Hutchinson Pythons are a great tire for on the road and the trail, you could also try Specialized Fast Traks, they might clear mud better than the Pythons. Fast rolling tires are not always the grippiest tires when you go off road, they take some skill to master and are worth it if speed is more important than grip.
    Last edited by osokolo; 09-29-2011 at 12:38 PM.

  5. #5
    LBS Manager
    Reputation: Johnny Hair Boy's Avatar
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    I personaly have never used a tire that I liked less than the Racing Ralph. I know alot of people love them but I cant get them to stick to anything but perfect soil and everything sticks on perfect soil. The Maxxis Icon and aspen work well for all the guys on our race team but me being a 650 B I cant get them.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    I like the Bontrager XR2 Team Issues for low rolling resistance and all round good trail preformance.

  7. #7
    namagomi
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    Strap a some medium knob square edge folding tire to your backpack. Nothing that works great at dufferin will be good on the road because dufferin(not mansfield - it is closed) is loose sand mostly. Simcoe is even more loose i hear since there is significant moto traffic.

    Some examples of a medium knob are nevegals, high rollers, eskars and wtb prowler mx. It's probably really easy to find a set of folding nevegals for cheap.

    You're welcome to hack it with a semi-slick or micro-knobs, but don't get the soft version of those tires because the road-riding will ruin them.

  8. #8
    No. Just No. Moderator
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    Throw me in as another Racing Ralph afficiando. For most of my rides in the city, I have 1.5-2.0 hours of road riding round trip to get back and forth from my house to trailheads, similar to the OP. 2.25 size for me, relatively low pressure at 24psi at my 145lbs of body weight (PowerTap shows not much difference in power/watts consumed on road comparing 24psi to 32psi for example, so just set to 24psi before leaving home).

    PowerTap also showed that unless you get a real "performance" 26" slick, watts consumed by Ralph are on par with most standard commuter level 26" slicks, which look like they should roll well but have casing materials and construction that eats up a lot of watts.

    Centre tread on the Ralphs isn't such a soft compound so wear is OK. I go through a couple of sets per year doing this. My theory is that with the low pressure on the road I am distributing wear more evenly instead of riding more on the centre tread at higher pressure. Performance/ride/handling characteristics are a personal thing. I like them. All tires have compromises in one way or another.

  9. #9
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    I love my Kenda slant six's as a great all around tire for both riding to the trail head and then on the trail its self. Even on slightly muddy trails these tires are awesome! Hook up in the corners and roll nice and fast. I have had bad luck with the Racing Ralphs, they always seem to loose traction on the climbs for me. Must be my riding style because everyone else I know loves them.

  10. #10
    Movin' to Montana soon
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    Awesome,thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

  11. #11
    bi-winning
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    I've been very happy with Maxxis Crossmarks. I've used them for plenty of riding to the trailhead. I find them quite predictable in the trails as well, though I know not everybody likes them as much as I do. I really like the concept of tires with a continuous tread in the centre, with more spaced out knobs on the sides.

    I also tried Hutchinson Pythons. Pretty good overall as well, but I like the Crossmarks a touch more in loose conditions.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


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  12. #12
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    maybe you are looking for too much

    I have racing ralph 2.4 on the 29er and it's a big tire, lot's of grip and rolls well, but for dry race day, I have continetal twister pros on the 26er.. Small block 8's on my FSR 26er for semi technical general single track but they are neither fast rolling or good for wet conditions. The Renegade is interesting to me, in the 1.9, about 470 grams, sheds mud, and grips pretty well and I think I will pick up a pair for spring. Pythons roll really well and if you aren't dropping on sharp rocks will keep you upright if there isn't a lot of mud, or sand. So in other words, you can have fast rolling on the asphalt, or good wet grippng tires, or really light racing semi slicks, take your pick.

  13. #13
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Strap a some medium knob square edge folding tire to your backpack.
    brilliant... that is completely ingenious... how in the hell have I not thought of that...

    I will bring 3 sets of tires and few tubes when I go riding. While on the road, I will mount semislicks. As soon as I go off road - as long as it is dry - I will mount fast tires with medium knob and if it starts raining, I'll pull out my mudders with big knobs and have the most fun a man can have with his clothes on...

    Many thanks sir. I think I will improve on this idea and find a way to carry at least one set of wheels with tires preinstalled to save some time, especially if it starts to rain without any warning... Pure awesomeness... This is what is called an "unfair advantage". Imagine how much faster I can get next year racing O-Cup. Always racing on the RIGHT tires.



    Nothing that works great at dufferin will be good on the road because dufferin(not mansfield - it is closed) is loose sand mostly. Simcoe is even more loose i hear since there is significant moto traffic.
    Nothing that a couple of pairs of "just in case" tires can not solve. Brilliant!


    Never too old or too smart to learn something new. Thank you SIR!

  14. #14
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    +1 on the Racing Ralphs

    Not much experience with tires,but The RR is an awesome all round tire.
    I swapped my stock Speci Fast Traks with RR more than a year ago and never looked back.

    The biggest difference is the cornering to me.
    I'm relatively lightweight (<150pounds) and running them tubeless,and after more than 1200k the rear tire starting to show some wear.

    I'm planning to give the Aspen a try as a rear tire,but I won't change the front that is 100%.

  15. #15
    Hack Racer
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    Conti Raceking 2.2 supersonic with black chilli compound.

    may wear quickly on the road as the compound is so soft. My personal fav after using Schwalbe Racing ralphs, Rocket Rons, and small block 8s

  16. #16
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheers! View Post
    Conti Raceking 2.2 supersonic with black chilli compound.

    may wear quickly on the road as the compound is so soft.
    Got just under 1/2 tread depth on the back after 3000+km of mixed road and off-road use. But I keep them pretty soft, even on the road, which spreads the wear around a bit.

    FWIW, if I was road riding 90 minutes to get to a trail, I'd be running a semi-slick or a file tread and just tolerating crappier mud traction when I got there.

    That's a lot of road to ride with knobbies of any type.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
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    A tire I like is the WTB Mutano, I ride mostly in Muskoka. The reasons I like it are large volume(2.4's) and a center bead, the reason I was wondering if it might work for you is I find large volume low pressure works well in the loose, and High pressure with a center bead rolls well. So you could inflate them before you leave and let air out when you get there and if you really wanted to re inflate them when you leave.

  18. #18
    Slick Rick
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    I hear that _________ is a great tire; I've used __________ in and around the area and find the traction and mud shedding acceptable; although not as good as __________ and some people will tell you otherwise, and I'm going to let you finish but __________ is the greatest fast rolling tire for the area.
    www.trailburn.ca
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  19. #19
    Over the bars...
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    I have had great luck in all conditions + on road with GEAX Saguaro in both 26 and 29 flavours.... Not 100% in mud tho...

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