Best tires for Snaux bike
The biggest tire I can fit is a 2.8 Michelin DH32. It actually rubs more on the fork than the frame. However, my DH32 are finally about to buy the farm. I am looking for a snow specific tire. Wondering what y'all recommended in terms of a non-fat standard tire for the snow.
I was thinking Dirty Dan (bigger volume, so more float) or a Wet Scream (more aggressive, but only comes in 2.5, which is 2.3 in reality, since its a old version Maxxis). Conti Mud King looks good.
This would be for all conditions snow. Not ice, and not packed snow. Just your average snow.
Anything else I should consider?
PS: I don't ride enough in the snow to justify a fat bike yet, maybe next year
Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
Washington State, South Africa
Virtually no float at all at those sizes.
As they say there's no substitute for cubic inches, and you've only got teeny weeny ones in those tyres.
The original fatbike tyre was 3.8" and that has over 2 1/2 times more volume than your tyres.
The new generation tyres are 4.8" and they have more than 1 1/2 times more volume than the 3.8" tyres, or well over 4 times the volume of your tyres.
It's the large volume and footprint that allows the low pressures we use, and although 4.8" is as big as a bike will take at the moment, some of us want still more volume, because even with those low pressures we are sometimes exceeding the snow's ability to hold us up.
Skinny tyres can be good if the snow isn't deep because they can cut through to the hard stuff underneath, but any depth of snow and steering becomes very difficult.
Edit: After posting this, I was remembering my own rides in snow before I went fat. Reading this again I'm sorry if my post sounded a bit negative.
I used to ride this in snow - usually with fixed wheel and studs.
I could never make up my mind whether its ability to cut down to the hard stuff made it better than my mtb.
Last edited by Velobike; 10-08-2013 at 03:27 PM.
As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland
Can't tell by your pics, are you using wide trial rims? I went fat in 2007, but before that loved the Specialized Pinnit Pro 2.5 DH for a front tire in snow. Since then I've read some of the Vredestine Black Panther tires worked really nice on Sneaux bikes. The tread on the Black Panther Extreme reminds me of the old Specialized tires I used before that Pinnit Pro that worked even better. If I still had a Sneaux bike I'd most likely be using that tire. For the back I had a variety of tires with mixed results, what went up front seemed to matter most. Sometimes using a narrow 1.7 with aggressive tread works well for traction in snow, but once the snow starts getting deep you'll want flotation that you will only get with say a 44-50MM trials rim with a wider tire. If conditions are icy/snow mix, I found treads with siping worked better than those large-knobbed tires. I've not tried the Dirty Dan, but the siping is in the wrong direction. I doubt that one is any good on ice.
EDIT: Scratch my last comment - mistook the Wet Scream for the Dirty Dan. The Dan has some nice siping in it.
Last edited by Steve Balogh; 10-09-2013 at 06:03 PM.
vredestein bull lock 2.35
Schwalbe Fat Albert 2.4
Schwalbe Big Betty 2.4
Schwalbe Muddy Mary 2.5
Schwalbe Wicked Will 2.5
Kenda Nevegal 2.5 or 2.7
Maxxis Ardent 2.4
Maxxis Minion 2.5
Thanks for the responses.
@velo: no offense. I know a fat bike is the best choice, its just that I have way too many bikes, so I decided I needed to resurrect one from parts I had on hand. So no Fat bike this year.
@Steve: yeah the tires I posted are all 2.5 DH tires, so the middle knobs are designed for braking, and only the cornering knobs are designed for cornering. I will be most interested in going forward as opposed to turning, so the siping is in the correct direction for me. I doubt any non-studded tire will be any good on ice. Since I will not be on roads, ice is less likely to happen.
@bme: ironically, I have the vred Bull Lock. its nice and spikey, but the rubber is way too hard. Also, why would you pick any of those other Schwalbe tires (besides maybe the MM which comes in ETRTO of 64) over the DD? The DD comes in ETRTO of 60 (vs 62 for the BB/FA) and is more aggressive.
thanks again for your thoughts...
Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
Washington State, South Africa
Snow conditions vary so much it's tough to split hairs. First I'd consider the tire with the most volume in the casing. Second price/availability. Third tread pattern/knob height. Weight may be a consideration, or not.
While some days a tall knob with large spacing would be good, other days slightly smaller knobs more closely spaced would be good. Snow can change over the course of a ride too, far more than dirt ever does. Maybe try one of each, swap front/back, see what works where and then order a 2nd of the one you like best.
What rims are you using? My son has 47mm trials rims with 24" Fat Alberts and the tire is pretty square when mounted with almost all the knobs contacting the ground when riding straight.
I became a big fan of siping when I tried using a Michelin tire that had a "paddle tread" with no siping. I hit a small patch of ice and the bike slid incredibly fast, no bite at all. Was a horrible tire for winter use. I replaced it with a WTB Exiwolf that had some close tread forming a siping pattern. I rode a long stretch of ice afterwards with minor slippage. One tire that saved me in an ugly situation was the Maxxis Aspen. I did a race a couple years ago and while descending a long hill opposite the sun, I noticed the ground looked a bit odd - I was riding on ice at almost 20mph downhill. Never fell or slipped. That tire's siping didn't offer much side grip, but enough to do the job thankfully. It was ice that had not yet thawed at 45 degrees F as the sun was not hitting it. Siping is no match for studs, but can seriously save your hide by giving you more control. Not much can be done with glare ice that's really smooth, but a lot of ice on trails often has enough texture that can still offer some grip to a proper tire.
Originally Posted by rdhfreethought
Sorry, I made a mistake looking at your pics - the Wet Scream has siping that doesn't look too good - the Dirty Dan does have some side traction going on in the side knobs - that one looks much better. The two tires almost look the same.
I recently set my bike up with some wet screams. the things are crazy, if you put the effort in, they will chew through. hands down the best (non-fat) tires I have ever used in the snow. We just got 6 inches of very heavy, wet snow, and the wet screams were fairing better than the fat bikes. The super aggressive, narrow tires sliced through the snow like butter while the fat tires were bogging down like a snow plow trying to force their way through.
For deep snow, fat is the way to go. but if there is a base under the snow and flotation isnt as big an issue, you can do fine without the width.
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