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  1. #1
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    Have we had a tire thread lately?

    I don't claim to know much about bikes, but I claim to know even less about tires.

    Historically I have been a 'run whatcha brung' kinda guy. My 'race' tire for the past 4-5 years were Specialized Fast Tracks, only cause I got them for $15 a pop at a bike show one year, then stumbled onto another set with a back up bike i acquired. I rode one set practically bald. I like it squirrely I guess.

    Besides that, the tires I normally ride are what I find cheapest or happen to come on the bike.

    This year I am actually going to try to pre-ride stuff, use appropriate tires, you know, get all serious and stuff.

    I bought a new race bike which came with Rocket Rons set up tubeless on an okay set of DT Swiss stock wheels. I figure this combo will be good for day to day operations or more adverse race conditions.

    I had a set of Crest 29ers wheels built up that are stinky light. I want to set them up as my race set.

    What say you MTBR folk, what set of tires should I put on there for 'good' race conditions that compliment the other wheelset I already have?

  2. #2
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    My race tires of choice are the Fast Traks. Have tried Renegades, and Small Block Eights, but prefer the Fast Traks. They are light, low roll resistance, and hook up nicely in a wide range of conditions. Will sometimes throw a Captain on the front if conditions are very muddy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiotMTB View Post
    My race tires of choice are the Fast Traks. Have tried Renegades, and Small Block Eights, but prefer the Fast Traks. They are light, low roll resistance, and hook up nicely in a wide range of conditions. Will sometimes throw a Captain on the front if conditions are very muddy.
    I do like the fast traks and are very used to them. Especially in hard pack conditions (though I find they blow in greasy). All else failing, I will return to them.

  4. #4
    No. Just No.
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    With tires there's no magic bullet for the various compromises. I know I'm preaching to the choir here 'cause you know this stuff, but you have to make your own decisions about where to slide the scale in the various areas such as;

    - tread pattern, optimized for rolling resistance vs. traction?
    - tread pattern, optimized for cornering, or straight ahead traction under braking and pedaling?
    - tread compound, optimized for durability or performance?
    - tread compound, optimized for grip on rocks and roots, or hardpack
    - light weight vs. reliability (resistance to sidewall cuts and tread punctures)
    - light weight vs. volume
    - price!

    This isn't a complete list above, but it's a start. Usually people's favourite tires and those that are well-regarded trend toward tires that achieve in one or more of these areas while giving away only minimal cons relative to their benefits e.g. "this tire is light for it's volume" or "this tire has amazing grip for something that still rolls pretty well". It's easy to find a tire that excels in any one of these criteria, but finding one that checks off as many of your needs as possible while minimizing downsides is a bit more of a trick.

    I'm pretty conservative myself. I have run Racing Ralph 2.25 Evo casing, set up ghetto tubeless, front & rear for as long as I can remember, whether it's been in Ontario or B.C. They have their compromises (successive revisions over the years have improved them) but they are a good blend for what I need. I find some comfort/predictability in the familiarity of running the same tires 99.9% of the time.

  5. #5
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    I would go Rocket Ron 2.1 front and Ralph 2.1 rear for most races as the Ron all year round is not going to slow you down and has great cornering traction too. I know a good place to buy too Jeff if you want the hookup!
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day doing anything else...

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  6. #6
    Lemmy Rules!
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    I have tried a bunch of things but always end up coming back to the Racing Ralph Evolutions. A good all-round tire, especially in dry conditions. And they work really well with the Stans No-Tube system.

    I use Continental x-Kings with Black CHili compound, which are a lot like Rocket Rons, for my bad-weather/mud tire. They shed mud well.

    That's all I got...
    Strava made me do it....

  7. #7
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    I use a fastrak LK on the rear, I am amazed at how well it does. Ra Ra on the front feels good. The fasteak on the front didnt feel right to me for some reason. I found the wider racing ralph to be a much better front tire.

    But in all honesty I have only used those 2 tires and the stock rapid robs that came with the bike.

  8. #8
    cyberbully
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    i'm also partial to the schwalbe line, used racing ralphs over the last 6-7 years and never went back (tried a spec fast trak someone gave in that time, pretty good tire) and last year I got a pair of 2.4 furious freds which blew me away, running a tad higher on the pressures is a must imo on both of those because of the thinner sidewalls...i gotta say the FF's are the ultimate hardpack tire that i've tried, grip & cornering are unreal for so little tread.
    ...a truly skeptical position would be a very uncertain one.
    -Rupert Sheldrake

  9. #9
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkidVicious View Post
    i'm also partial to the schwalbe line, used racing ralphs over the last 6-7 years and never went back (tried a spec fast trak someone gave in that time, pretty good tire) and last year I got a pair of 2.4 furious freds which blew me away, running a tad higher on the pressures is a must imo on both of those because of the thinner sidewalls...i gotta say the FF's are the ultimate hardpack tire that i've tried, grip & cornering are unreal for so little tread.
    In the past I tried both the FF 2.0 and what was then the larger volume FF 2.35. First I should start off by saying that the 2.0 was a joke on the front, but I my experience was similar that the larger volume model at reasonably low pressures just wrapped itself around everything on the trail. Felt remarkably "connected" rather than being perched on knobs. Although some knob designs are relatively well-supported and stable, it's still nothing like the direct feeling of the entire FF tread being right on the trail. Since I'm in B.C. now and ride wet conditions much of the year I haven't even looked at the FF in many years, but it was a very cool trail tire in the bigger format. Sidewalls are thin though, as you say. No FF for any trails that see a lot of sidewall tears.

  10. #10
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    I am not racing, but I typically run Rocket Rons. My Tallboy came with the Crossmark tires and I found them quite a bit faster than the RR's and excellent in many conditions. I bought a set of RR's for the bike intending to change them immediately, but got lazy and took the bike out with the stock tires and ended up riding them all summer.

  11. #11
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    I ride mostly in Durham which sheds water unbelievably fast, so there is no need for an aggressive tire even immediately after (or at times during) a heavy rainfall. For me the Racing Ralph 2.4 (run tubless on UST wheels) has been amazing. I love love love that tire. Hard to picture running anything else really. Well, I will be forced to run the 2.35 now that the 2.4 is done, but they're apparently the same size (no way were those 2.4s actually 2.4 anyway).

    Even though I'm on a full squish 29er, I still really like the added comfort, traction and security that a large volume tire gives me. Could I be "faster" in the lighter narrower 2.25? maybe, but my confidence would suffer, so for me, I don't think that I would in fact actually be faster.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    I have tried a bunch of things but always end up coming back to the Racing Ralph Evolutions. A good all-round tire, especially in dry conditions. And they work really well with the Stans No-Tube system.
    That's all I got...
    x2.

  13. #13
    cyberbully
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewake View Post
    I ride mostly in Durham which sheds water unbelievably fast, so there is no need for an aggressive tire even immediately after (or at times during) a heavy rainfall. For me the Racing Ralph 2.4 (run tubless on UST wheels) has been amazing. I love love love that tire. Hard to picture running anything else really. Well, I will be forced to run the 2.35 now that the 2.4 is done, but they're apparently the same size (no way were those 2.4s actually 2.4 anyway).

    Even though I'm on a full squish 29er, I still really like the added comfort, traction and security that a large volume tire gives me. Could I be "faster" in the lighter narrower 2.25? maybe, but my confidence would suffer, so for me, I don't think that I would in fact actually be faster.
    Wider tires are faster.
    ...a truly skeptical position would be a very uncertain one.
    -Rupert Sheldrake

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkidVicious View Post
    Wider tires are faster.
    Therefore, fatbikes will be the next secret weapon for winning races.

  15. #15
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    if your end up looking at Racing Ralph 2.4 Ev, let me know

    cause I have a new one in a box and you can have it free, all you gotta do is send a
    donation for 40 bucks to either City Kidz or Hamilton Food Bank.
    Honest.

  16. #16
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    If it's s 29er, I'll take that deal.


    Quote Originally Posted by ol-crank View Post
    cause I have a new one in a box and you can have it free, all you gotta do is send a
    donation for 40 bucks to either City Kidz or Hamilton Food Bank.
    Honest.

  17. #17
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    it is 29 šnd pm me and we can make arrangements

    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    If it's s 29er, I'll take that deal.
    anytime. I am in Hamilton near Queen and Aberdeen.

  18. #18
    Rep'n the 905
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    I ride in Durham too, I'm talking durham forest of course.

    Whats the tire of choice by anyone who rides tubeless there? I just came off riding the spec renegade and I'm not a fan. Never felt confident with em.

    I'm going tubeless for the first time this coming season I was thinking of going a bit of a meaty tire up front with less on the rear or is that over kill for Durham?

    I do hear a lot of riders +1 for the RR's

  19. #19
    cyberbully
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Therefore, fatbikes will be the next secret weapon for winning races.
    there is an optimum width,wind resistance would have an effect, and acceleration would suffer. the fatter is faster has been known among fatter tires oficionados for a while, i remember comparing notes on this with others years ago, things like keeping more speed through corners, more rotating mass thru tech sections, and of course the smaller contact patch...howard zinn did a write up on it last year
    ...a truly skeptical position would be a very uncertain one.
    -Rupert Sheldrake

  20. #20
    Lemmy Rules!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGK View Post
    I ride in Durham too, I'm talking durham forest of course.

    Whats the tire of choice by anyone who rides tubeless there? I just came off riding the spec renegade and I'm not a fan. Never felt confident with em.

    I'm going tubeless for the first time this coming season I was thinking of going a bit of a meaty tire up front with less on the rear or is that over kill for Durham?

    I do hear a lot of riders +1 for the RR's
    So does that mean you made a decision on the wheels? Spill...

    My 10c is that you can't 100percent pick a tire for where you ride. You can only pick a tire for the trail conditions on a given day and the kind of riding you are doing on that day.

    Racing Ralph is a good all rounder but when it gets muddy, it doesn't shed mud that well which means you are going to lose out on grip a bit. If you are just out for a fun ride with some buddies the RR won't hold you back but if you are racing or want to push the envelope a bit you wold be better off with a Rocket Ron or conti X-king.

    What I do is have RRs on my tubeless wheelset, and Xkings on the wheelset I had before I got my Stan's. That way if it is damp I can reduce the tire pressure on the RRs and still be mostly ok, or if it is really wet I just throw on my old wheelset with the contis. That gives me the best range of options for the conditions without having multiple sets of blinged out wheels or having to deal with changing over the tires on my Stans depending on whether or not the weatherman is right about the rain scheduled for race day...
    Strava made me do it....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    So does that mean you made a decision on the wheels? Spill...

    My 10c is that you can't 100percent pick a tire for where you ride. You can only pick a tire for the trail conditions on a given day and the kind of riding you are doing on that day.

    Racing Ralph is a good all rounder but when it gets muddy, it doesn't shed mud that well which means you are going to lose out on grip a bit. If you are just out for a fun ride with some buddies the RR won't hold you back but if you are racing or want to push the envelope a bit you wold be better off with a Rocket Ron or conti X-king.

    What I do is have RRs on my tubeless wheelset, and Xkings on the wheelset I had before I got my Stan's. That way if it is damp I can reduce the tire pressure on the RRs and still be mostly ok, or if it is really wet I just throw on my old wheelset with the contis. That gives me the best range of options for the conditions without having multiple sets of blinged out wheels or having to deal with changing over the tires on my Stans depending on whether or not the weatherman is right about the rain scheduled for race day...
    I'm way to indecisive to have fully committed to anything yet. I'm 90% sure on a set. I just keep holding out for a quote or two. So stay tuned....

    Yea I just ride 2-3 times a week with some buddies. I like to think we push pretty hard. For me it is! Hahaha. But I dont race. Not yet.

    I was thinking of a mix and match front and rear. But I do see the RR's up a lot. So I cant help but feel there a great tire. So many choices.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGK View Post
    I'm way to indecisive to have fully committed to anything yet. I'm 90% sure on a set. I just keep holding out for a quote or two. So stay tuned....

    Yea I just ride 2-3 times a week with some buddies. I like to think we push pretty hard. For me it is! Hahaha. But I dont race. Not yet.

    I was thinking of a mix and match front and rear. But I do see the RR's up a lot. So I cant help but feel there a great tire. So many choices.
    Durham is my home base and I use them. For me they have been the best all round tire I have used.

  23. #23
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGK View Post
    I do hear a lot of riders +1 for the RR's
    Add one more from me. +1!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  24. #24
    Rep'n the 905
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Durham is my home base and I use them. For me they have been the best all round tire I have used.
    Which tire was that, RR?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Add one more from me. +1!
    So its the obvious choice it seems.

    What about a beefier front and slicker rear? Anyone got ideas
    Like Ignitors, Ardent, Nobby Nic or Nevegal?

  26. #26
    snowbound
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGK View Post
    Which tire was that, RR?
    Yes the Rocket Rons at Durham - front & rear on my SS.

  27. #27
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    Durham - RoRo's on the SS

    I want to like my Ikons.... I really do....

  28. #28
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    I run a RaRa 29 x 2.25 rear and NoNi 29 x 2.25 front tubeless on the Stan's Arch wheels for everyday riding.

    I like the extra bite of the NoNi on the front to prevent washouts.

    If I were racing, i would throw the RaRa back on.
    Mike
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  29. #29
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    Reading real good things about the NoNi's, I think thats gonna be my f/t.

    What about a rear? RaRa's are good too from what I've read. Other options or just do NoNi f/r?
    Last edited by BigGK; 01-18-2013 at 10:57 PM.

  30. #30
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    Getting back to being mostly serious. I do not race but I have ridden most of the O-cup courses on my own time. For hardpack the Conti Race King 2.2 is my favourite tire, it's fast, it sticks, and it's nice & big so it gives a cushy ride that doesn't beat up my body. It's also shockingly good on rocky trails such as Buckwallow or the Mohawk Agreement Forest, it does a great job of conforming around rocks & roots to keep traction while the short tread blocks give a good feel and don't get damaged or torn off. On the downside, getting the pressure right is quite important or else the tire bounces around like a superball. I'm about 150lbs and keep it in the 25-30psi range. It also sucks in loose corners, the knobs are too dinky to dig in and grip once there's a thicker layer of moondust and loose dirt in the turns.

    For general everyday riding I go with the Conti MKII. Rolls decently, sticks darn well, clears mud nicely and it'll punch through mud, leaves, or whatever else to find traction. Cornering took a bit of getting used to for me since the lack of transition knobs leads to a bit of a dead spot, the tire needs to be leaned over hard to get the most cornering traction out of it. Once I got used to that it was great. Darn things last forever too, I got my set last spring, put over 1200km on it and it barely looks used. I'll definitely stock up on them once I finish my current tire swapping & testing binge.

  31. #31
    sock puppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Yes the Rocket Rons at Durham - front & rear on my SS.
    you'd be faster on RaRas.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    you'd be faster on RaRas.
    Yeah, I think it was on your advise that I setup my geared bike with RaRa on the back and RoRo on the front - I suppose that is a faster combo, but the RoRo/RoRo on the SS just feels more balanced, less twitchy.

    Who is Hutch and why should he be freed?

  33. #33
    sock puppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Yeah, I think it was on your advise that I setup my geared bike with RaRa on the back and RoRo on the front - I suppose that is a faster combo, but the RoRo/RoRo on the SS just feels more balanced, less twitchy.

    Who is Hutch and why should he be freed?
    Hutch is a member that was banned and comrades were supporting him...
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