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  1. #1
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    Endurance tire choice (29er)?

    Hi guys,
    Looking for favorite all around tire choice and size for your endurance racing? I realize that course conditions are going to be the primary factor in tire choice but just would like to hear some opinions.

    Right now I'm riding Specialized Captain 2.0's on my Carve.
    thanks,
    Zach

  2. #2
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    Totally depends on the course. That being said, I like tires that are mid-weight and have some volume. Of course, I ride a singlespeed and mostly ride rigid.

    Joe
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  3. #3
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    I'm a fan of schwalbe Racing Ralphs on both my 26er and 29er.
    I'd like to try the 2.25 NN for muddy days to see how it clears, RR seem to hold the mud more than I want.
    I've ran mountain kings 2.4's they are heavy but grip and ability to shed mud are great.

  4. #4
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    Racing Ralph Snakeskin in back, Bontrager 29-3 in front, both set up tubelesss.

    I always like a bit more bite in front, and don't think a little more aggressive tire up there matters as much for rolling resistance as it does out back.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  5. #5
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    I've got Captains on my hardtail and RR's on my fully - RRs, hands down. Bigger tire, great on the corners, and light. The Captains are nice too, but I much prefer the feel of the RRs in the corners. I might try a Captain on the rear tire and a RR on the front next summer as I think that the Captains have more traction on the straights than the RRs.

  6. #6
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    Ikon Exo, 29"

  7. #7
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    Deja vu Gonna have to try some of those Maxxis Ikon EXOs myself.

  8. #8
    AZ
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    Bonty FR-3 Team Issue, decent volume, rolls well, hooks up well, reasonable weight and is not fragile.

  9. #9
    LW Coaching
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    +1 for Maxxis Ikon EXOs

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyndaW View Post
    +1 for Maxxis Ikon EXOs
    I have an Ikon in the back and a Racing Ralph in the front.

  11. #11
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    All year long on a set of 29'er Ikon EXO's until I finally wore them out in Oct. Mounted up on my singlespeed hardtail they saw 3 x 24 Solo's and 1 x 100km, plus a whole pile of trg and fun riding.

    Great endurance tire.

  12. #12
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    Ikons aren't too great in anything but dry conditions from what I have heard. Is that your experience too?
    I make maps and seek out adventure using a Salsa El Mariachi with a 29+ front end. Read more here:

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  13. #13
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    Rocket Rons are worth a look... very happy with them.

  14. #14
    Dirty South Underdog
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    Maxxis Ignitor front & Ikon rear. Might switch to Beavers for the muddy races if they seem tough enough on training rides this winter.
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  15. #15
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    I have yet to have any problems with any kenda tires i have used. No flats, rips, or anything of the sort.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by forgiven_nick View Post
    Ikons aren't too great in anything but dry conditions from what I have heard. Is that your experience too?
    That's not been my experience, I think they are a great all-rounder tire. I've raced them in mud, rocks, dust, roots, hardpack, gravel, sand, loam, etc. Guaranteed they aren't a dedicated mud tire but they do surprisingly well in the mud.

  17. #17
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    You want something bigger than a 2.0. 2.2 is good, for traction, comfort and lower OFF ROAD rolling resistance (narrow is faster on tarmac).

    Also a shallow tread, again for less rolling resistance, you're not going to be exploring the boundaries of traction, drifting round in every corner in a solo24 but you do want too pedal efficiently for an awful long time

    Both of these requirements make the maxxis ikon a great tyre for 24solo, but there are several similar, like the schwalbe racing ralph or kenda karma

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    That's not been my experience, I think they are a great all-rounder tire. I've raced them in mud, rocks, dust, roots, hardpack, gravel, sand, loam, etc. Guaranteed they aren't a dedicated mud tire but they do surprisingly well in the mud.
    You are finding that they hook up well in mud, even on climbs on your singlespeed?
    If so I have got to get a couple!
    I make maps and seek out adventure using a Salsa El Mariachi with a 29+ front end. Read more here:

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  19. #19
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    I've been running a WTB Weirwolf 2.55 LT up front and a Geax Suagaro 2.2 in the rear all year. I have been very pleased with their performance in all conditions (even in the mud) and the only weakness with the Suagaro seems to be hooking up on wet slippery rock while climbing (riding SS doesn't help with that either). Tire wear has been decent on both and I haven't torn a sidewall even with all of the rocky, baby head infested trails around here. Rolling resistance is spectacular on both tires!

    BTW, I can't believe how expensive tires are these days! It blows my mind how you can buy decent car tire for about the same price!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by forgiven_nick View Post
    You are finding that they hook up well in mud, even on climbs on your singlespeed?
    If so I have got to get a couple!
    They do pretty well in mud based on their ability to shed. Having said that, they aren't all-powerful and can't defeat gumbo mud and it's variants.

    As long as I manage my RPM's and keep it reasonably steady-state my SS with Ikon's will get up and through nearly any mud scenario.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssjohn View Post
    BTW, I can't believe how expensive tires are these days! It blows my mind how you can buy decent car tire for about the same price!
    I've had a pair of 29'er Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro's mounted up for the last couple of weeks. Now that's expensive.

  22. #22
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    Conti Race King 29er seem to be doing fine for me.

  23. #23
    Daniel the Dog
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    My Maxxis Icon tires bubbled in the rear due to the use of Stan's gunk. I like them a lot but don't need a bubble in a race. I wonder if Maxxis makes a Stan's friendly tire outside of a full on UST 29er tire?

  24. #24
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    Ikons or Aspens in the back. I generally have the front at an ardent or wtb bronson depending on conditions.

  25. #25
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    I have run everything from Conti Race king F/R, Race king rear MTN king fnt, Race king rear, X king front, etc... but for all around i have really been liking my snake skin Racing Ralphs. 2.25 f/r with squish and 2.4 rigid.

  26. #26
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    I used a Ikon/Aspen combo this past season. Nice set-up for most conditions, sketchy as hell in fast loose corners or mud though ( I never got to ride them in deep mud but doubt they would be good for that).
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  27. #27
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    I rode Ikon/Ikon in the SM100 this year. Not the best choice given that the trails were all mud. That's a polite way of saying they sucked and I shouldn't have shelled out the $90/. But if the trails would have been hardpack they would have been fast and predictable.

  28. #28
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    Another vote for Maxxis IKONs.

  29. #29
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    Fast Trak 2.2 in front 2.0 in back, both setup tubeless. Vary pressure to accommodate conditions.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach75 View Post
    Hi guys,
    Looking for favorite all around tire choice and size for your endurance racing? I realize that course conditions are going to be the primary factor in tire choice but just would like to hear some opinions.

    Right now I'm riding Specialized Captain 2.0's on my Carve.
    thanks,
    Zach
    I LOVE my Racing Ralphs. Running the EVO 2.25 tubeless. Low rolling resistance and gives me confidence when cornering. Schwalbe rocks!! I use them on all my builds.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    That's not been my experience, I think they are a great all-rounder tire. I've raced them in mud, rocks, dust, roots, hardpack, gravel, sand, loam, etc. Guaranteed they aren't a dedicated mud tire but they do surprisingly well in the mud.
    Keep in mind that an experienced rider will adjust well to their tires. One of the best riders I know rides his SS (all his bikes I think) with a RR 2.25 up front and a Kenda Small Block 8 in the rear, year round. His ability on the bike lets him ride that SB8 up and over anything better than riders with Nevegals etc. He just knows how the tire will react and knows how to pick his lines, use momentum and position his body for maximum traction.
    My point is that staylor is likely an advanced (or at least, very experienced) rider and therefore can turn a lightweight race tire into a solid all around tire. Take tires like Nevegals and Velociraptors, for instance. These tires will grip well over wet stuff, but then their is a large resistance and weight penalty...think of them as 'Traction for Dummies' (no offense to those that love heavy grippy tires). For XC or endurance events, you don't need a tire like that unless the course/conditions seriously call for it.
    FWIW I also had the Ikon EXO's on my SS for several months (until the bubble issue and then tearing a sidewall) and they really can be an excellent all around tire, but they are not the grippers and not the best in greasy conditions, but you can compensate. I currently have been using a 2.35 RR up front (~18-19psi) and a 2.25 (tubeless) on the back(~23psi). I have ridden these many miles over rough, rocky, and muddy terrain with success. Tomorrow I will be testing out the new Michelin Wild Grip'R2 tubeless ready tires. Seem to have a nice pattern for grip and rolling and not obnoxiously heavy at ~720g. Sure, it is the heaviest tire I have ever used on my lightweight 29er SS, but might make a good winter/training tire...or tires for the wife's bike if I absolutely don't like them.
    Good Luck.
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  32. #32
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.O.B. View Post
    Keep in mind that an experienced rider will adjust well to their tires. One of the best riders I know rides his SS (all his bikes I think) with a RR 2.25 up front and a Kenda Small Block 8 in the rear, year round. His ability on the bike lets him ride that SB8 up and over anything better than riders with Nevegals etc. He just knows how the tire will react and knows how to pick his lines, use momentum and position his body for maximum traction.
    My point is that staylor is likely an advanced (or at least, very experienced) rider and therefore can turn a lightweight race tire into a solid all around tire.
    Good Luck.
    This guy is spot on. An experienced rider can work with their tires, especially the rear. I showed up to a race and it turned out to be a mudbog with a python on the rear. I ended up getting third there. The python isn't know, at all, for being a mud tire, but luckily I had a much grippier front tire or it would've been a very different outcome. Experienced/good riders can predict how their tires will handle, when they're going to break free, and manage with what they've brought.

    P.S. I can't stand a small block 8, but the rider he mentions rides them year round. They're not for me.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  33. #33
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    Another vote for Schwalbe racing ralphs. great weight, durable (in the snakeskin), mounts well tubeless (floor pump for me on Crests), (relatively) long lasting tread, good pattern for most spring thru fall conditions. No issues with traction for ss.

    I've also had great luck with the Aspen in the rear for drier fast conditions.

  34. #34
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    I agree with the SB8 recommendation. I race them year round in all conditions and they are awesome. You need to know what to expect though. Of course they will be more slick in the mud but they perform well if you know how they handle.

  35. #35
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    No votes for Stan's Raven / Crow OR Furious Fred?

    I've been running Icon or Spec Sworks Fast Trak front and SB rear with good luck. However, I'm doing mostly 100mi and 12hr events this year and looking to save some weight. Like other posts, I can make just about anything work as I don't change tires much except for fall / winter and when they're worn.

    I'm a Kenda fan and considering maybe their new 24Seven front with Happy Medium rear. I liked the HM on my gravel racing bike in a 700x40.
    Tallboy
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  36. #36
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    Anyone wtb nano 2.1's?
    With Stan's?
    Looking to run these for the Bogg's 8hr, seems like a light weight, low rolling resistance
    tire.
    Thanks

  37. #37
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    I've run and liked the Nanos with Stans and NP. That being said, they are heavy at 650g.
    Tallboy
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  38. #38
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    ^thanks!^

  39. #39
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    I love me some Small Block 8's.

    They are light, predictable, wide tread, set-up easily tubeless.

    - from a tire snob

  40. #40
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    I'm a BIG fan of the SB8 but still too heavy. I want <600g
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  41. #41
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    I really like my RaRa 2.25's with the snakeskin. Setup tubeless quickly with no failure this summer. Many of the fast guys local to me like the Rocket Ron as an all around light fast tire as well.

  42. #42
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    Used to use the Ikon EXO's in PA, and they were great. Super on the typical hardpack, so-so in mud, and nice volume. But they weren't great after I moved to Utah. Not so good on loose stuff. Switched to Conti X-kings, 2.4 rear, and 2.2 front on my hardtail, and get much better traction on loose dirt.

  43. #43
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    Racing Ralph 29x2.25 Snakeskin.

    Reasonable weight, no weaknesses really.

    Tried the Ikon, but it didn't have enough volume for rough courses, I had to run more pressure than I care to.

  44. #44
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    I really like the Bontrager 29-1s. But I am using the non tubeless ones so the side walls cut easy. I really like the Icon EXO's too. I would pick them if I had to wary about sidewall cuts.

  45. #45
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    Geax Saguaros are a great choice. Fairly light, fast rolling, but still have enough shoulder tread to keep you upright. Nice big volume in the 2.2 so you can stay comfy and in control when you get tired!

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