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  1. #1
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    Best Tire for Questionable Trail Conditions

    I'm in Kansas City and our soil conditions require that you wait a few days after a rain to let the trails dry. I'm also a local trail steward that checks conditions a lot to let eveyone else know when they are "open". I do most of this checking on my fat bike which right now I'm riding Big Fat Larrys on 80mm rims. The small knobs limit tread damage when I'm out riding around checking conditions. I've been contemplating what tire would be even lower impact to a wet trail and could I ride even earlier without damaging things. I've contemplated getting Vee XXL or Bud/Lou and cutting the knobs way down, more volume and less bite. Spraying tires with pam or some other slippery stuff to keep mud from sticking to them? Does anyone else spend their spare time thinking of weird stuff like this or have you tried anything out?

  2. #2
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    Ride what you have until you hit a wet spot in the trail. Then turn around. Come back again after a sunny day or two. Works for me.
    Also, if you are the trail steward, have you done the trail work necessary to drain the trails of standing water? Such as an outsloped bench, nicks, drains, and turnpikes where necessary, grade reversals in the trail, etc?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo_alley View Post
    Ride what you have until you hit a wet spot in the trail. Then turn around. Come back again after a sunny day or two. Works for me.
    Also, if you are the trail steward, have you done the trail work necessary to drain the trails of standing water? Such as an outsloped bench, nicks, drains, and turnpikes where necessary, grade reversals in the trail, etc?
    That's usually the real problem, some of the trail is fine, and some spots are not. All too often someone goes out before the entire trail is ready and they figure "since they are out there" they may as well just ride it.

  4. #4
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    I suggest you look at schwalbe jumbo Jims. 4.8. For me they hook up well, but don't seem to leave much print behind. Also wide knob spacing should shed mud well.
    RAM speed: UP, UP, and away....!

  5. #5
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    I second the JJ route, the Bud/Lou combo gives you probably better traction with the inherent deeper imprint...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mschafer View Post
    I second the JJ route, the Bud/Lou combo gives you probably better traction with the inherent deeper imprint...
    Yeah, do NOT use Bud/Lou on soft clay trail tread. I'm a builder on my local trail similar to yours and have two fatbikes with B/Ls. You will absolutely churn up the trail with them.

    Weirdly, I have a Knard on the rear of the one bike for summer and it hasn't packed much mud at all and leaves almost no print. From what I read, not a good front tire.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo_alley View Post
    Ride what you have until you hit a wet spot in the trail. Then turn around. Come back again after a sunny day or two. Works for me.
    Also, if you are the trail steward, have you done the trail work necessary to drain the trails of standing water? Such as an outsloped bench, nicks, drains, and turnpikes where necessary, grade reversals in the trail, etc?
    Not an amateur here, we do a lot of maintenance work and rerouting of old trails to get stuff to drain as well as we can.

  8. #8
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    Wish the BFL was a true 5" tire, would be perfect if it had some more volume. Might keep an eye out for some used/old 2XL's or Bud/Lous that I can cut the tread down and experiment with.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch1413 View Post
    Does anyone else spend their spare time thinking of weird stuff like this or have you tried anything out?
    More than you would think of.
    Behold the ultimate no trail pickup tire: https://www.veetireco.com/listings/f...e-fatty-slick/

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch1413 View Post
    I'm in Kansas City and our soil conditions require that you wait a few days after a rain to let the trails dry. I'm also a local trail steward that checks conditions a lot to let eveyone else know when they are "open". I do most of this checking on my fat bike which right now I'm riding Big Fat Larrys on 80mm rims. The small knobs limit tread damage when I'm out riding around checking conditions. I've been contemplating what tire would be even lower impact to a wet trail and could I ride even earlier without damaging things. I've contemplated getting Vee XXL or Bud/Lou and cutting the knobs way down, more volume and less bite. Spraying tires with pam or some other slippery stuff to keep mud from sticking to them? Does anyone else spend their spare time thinking of weird stuff like this or have you tried anything out?
    My fatty came with Vee Snowshoes. They are only 4" wide, but at ~5psi they actually do pretty well in mud and are fairly low-impact. I use them the same way that you do, and often roll the ruts smooth with them. The JJ's are probably the best bet. We have had this discussion several times - while the fat tires can be super low-impact, once beyond a certain threshold, they can do some serious damage. Probably any worn out 4.8+ tire would work if it had any sidewall left.

    -F
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