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  1. #1
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    Deciding on a new "all-round" 26x4.0 trail tire

    So in a week, I'll be moving from Indiana to Asheville, NC.

    Up here in Indiana, I've made good use from 45Nrth Husker Dus for summer duty and Surly Nates for late fall/winter/spring duty. The Nates are a little draggy for summer hardpack. My HuDus are getting pretty worn, and I don't imagine that they'll last all that much longer with as much granite as there is in Western NC. I'll run 'em until they die, though.

    I probably won't replace them with a similar small knobby, either. On the occasions I've used the Nates in chunkier terrain, I've been mostly happy with them, except I'd rather have something else up front. I really like them as a rear tire, though. I have been running the front "backwards" and it's only okay that way. My Nates have pretty little wear (even though I've been using them for a few years, that's mostly been in softer conditions).

    So one tire I'm considering for the purpose is the Vanhelga. It's really the only tire in this class that I've actually been able to put my hands on, so I'm reaching out to the fatbike crew to see who else uses this tire or a similar tire in front.

    The older Husker Dus I'm running don't have very good cornering traction, and that's something I really want out of a front tire.

    Anyone compared it to the Minion FBF?
    Anything else I should be looking at? So far not a fan of most Vee tires so unless it really outperforms some of the other options, I'm not especially interested.

  2. #2
    Rippin da fAt
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    The VH's are actually very nice in terms of rolling, traction and float for a 4" tire.
    If only WTB would offer the Timberwolf in a 4.0 and 4.8 option. :/

    Have a safe and easy move...
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  3. #3
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    Thanks. I don't really anticipate prioritizing float down in NC, though certainly there's the possibility that I'll get to ride in some legit snowfalls. Shoot, even up here in Indiana, I haven't needed to care about float for a few years.

  4. #4
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    I think spec makes the ground control in a 4.0 and seems to be a good all around tire.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Thanks. I don't really anticipate prioritizing float down in NC, though certainly there's the possibility that I'll get to ride in some legit snowfalls. Shoot, even up here in Indiana, I haven't needed to care about float for a few years.
    That makes sense. The traditional dirt bike knobby has been around for decades for a reason, they work.

    When I ride my friends fatty with VH's on it, they just seem confidence inspiring since they are indeed predictable and have been very reliable as well
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  6. #6
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    I found the VH a little vague on hardpack trails, the knobs seem to squirm. Great on wet roots and softer trails. I still think JJ are the best all around tire, roll fast and ton of traction when leaned over

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Fat View Post
    I found the VH a little vague on hardpack trails, the knobs seem to squirm. Great on wet roots and softer trails. I still think JJ are the best all around tire, roll fast and ton of traction when leaned over
    Wow. I took off my front JJ because I feel there is basically no traction when leaned over.

  8. #8
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    VH, hand's down. Great tire.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by letitsnow View Post
    Wow. I took off my front JJ because I feel there is basically no traction when leaned over.
    2nd this. Great rear tire, but I did not like it for the front. 4.8 or 4.0 it just doesn't hold in the corners.
    RICOH for LIFE
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  10. #10
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    Terrene Wazias

    I ran them studded this winter and was impressed. Switched to non-studded early this spring, and found them to be great all-round tire.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighguy29 View Post
    I think spec makes the ground control in a 4.0 and seems to be a good all around tire.


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    My experience was the opposite. They have good forward/brake bite but they have very small sideknobs that don't grip well when the bike is leaned over or when you're trying to sidehill. They make a decent rear tire.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    So in a week, I'll be moving from Indiana to Asheville, NC.

    Up here in Indiana, I've made good use from 45Nrth Husker Dus for summer duty and Surly Nates for late fall/winter/spring duty. The Nates are a little draggy for summer hardpack. My HuDus are getting pretty worn, and I don't imagine that they'll last all that much longer with as much granite as there is in Western NC. I'll run 'em until they die, though.

    I probably won't replace them with a similar small knobby, either. On the occasions I've used the Nates in chunkier terrain, I've been mostly happy with them, except I'd rather have something else up front. I really like them as a rear tire, though. I have been running the front "backwards" and it's only okay that way. My Nates have pretty little wear (even though I've been using them for a few years, that's mostly been in softer conditions).

    So one tire I'm considering for the purpose is the Vanhelga. It's really the only tire in this class that I've actually been able to put my hands on, so I'm reaching out to the fatbike crew to see who else uses this tire or a similar tire in front.

    The older Husker Dus I'm running don't have very good cornering traction, and that's something I really want out of a front tire.

    Anyone compared it to the Minion FBF?
    Anything else I should be looking at? So far not a fan of most Vee tires so unless it really outperforms some of the other options, I'm not especially interested.
    Cool town, I spent many days there, lived in Blacksburg and Knoxville for twenty years until heading West in 2013. Great boating if you want to run whitewater.

    You will very rarely ride snow, not enough for a snow specific fat wheelset, and with the soils in the Smokey's being clay and often wet, very rooty, I'd get a set of Minions or better yet build a 27.5 wheelset and get some 27.5 x 3.8 Minions.

    So what kind of work are you doing?

    I told my wife that if we ever move back to the East Coast; gawd forbid, I'd only live in Asheville or maybe Hendersonville.

  13. #13
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    I just ordered a Jumbo Jim in the new addix compound which is supposed to improve grip and durability substantially (35/60%). 35% extra grip would be nice to help steer the bike a little faster.

  14. #14
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    No real input other than I'm in agreement with your thought process.
    I've run Nate Nate combo for 4 seasons and 2k+ miles in MD. They are on my do-it-all bike. Other tires of interest for me are VanHelga and Minion 4.0 if I were to search for greener grass. Suspect I'd try the Maxxis 1st.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcracer2 View Post
    I just ordered a Jumbo Jim in the new addix compound which is supposed to improve grip and durability substantially (35/60%). 35% extra grip would be nice to help steer the bike a little faster.
    Looks like it will roll slightly slower, but still won't roll as slow as the VH

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Cool town, I spent many days there, lived in Blacksburg and Knoxville for twenty years until heading West in 2013. Great boating if you want to run whitewater.

    You will very rarely ride snow, not enough for a snow specific fat wheelset, and with the soils in the Smokey's being clay and often wet, very rooty, I'd get a set of Minions or better yet build a 27.5 wheelset and get some 27.5 x 3.8 Minions.

    So what kind of work are you doing?

    I told my wife that if we ever move back to the East Coast; gawd forbid, I'd only live in Asheville or maybe Hendersonville.
    Hell, winters in Indiana don't warrant a 2nd snow wheelset. I might put a plus wheelset on eventually, but I am more likely to get a 2nd bike before that, I think.

    The trails I will be riding most will have a couple different characters, I think. DuPont type stuff with more hardpack, a little rock, and fewer roots. And then Pisgah chunk. Yes, many roots, yes to wet, but also very rocky.

    I don't have a job there yet. But the wife's gig is enough to get us there and get established.

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  17. #17
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    Really enjoying the Minions on the Bucksaw. Just as much grip as the Nate and a little faster rolling. The rear feels a little slow compared to a Fat b Nimble, but speedier than a Nate. Tubeless setup was easy as well. Definitely worth a look.

  18. #18
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    The second bike thing would be a good choice, but the BS is a perfectly fine bike with a plus wheelset. Are you running the Mastodon or a Wren?

    The riding in town is fast and flowing, but there's always good rooty/rocky stuff to ride. Out by the lake (Bent Creek) is always good, esp if you head up onto the ridge. Dupont is getting better. The key is finding placed that are rideable and not slimy when it rains.

    If you get the chance, take a drive to Knoxville and Chattanooga, great riding choices.

    I have a plus FS and a rigid fat/bikepacker, building up a new Fatillac this weekend. My problem with having two FS bikes is I generally only ride one, so the other sits; I hate having good bikes sitting idle. I really enjoy riding the Hendrix, but want more travel, so the Hendrix will be sold.

    Horse Thief?

    [QUOTE=Harold;13281010]Hell, winters in Indiana don't warrant a 2nd snow wheelset. I might put a plus wheelset on eventually, but I am more likely to get a 2nd bike before that, I think.

    The trails I will be riding most will have a couple different characters, I think. DuPont type stuff with more hardpack, a little rock, and fewer roots. And then Pisgah chunk. Yes, many roots, yes to wet, but also very rocky.

    I don't have a job there yet. But the wife's gig is enough to get us there and get established.

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  19. #19
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    Not sure exactly where I'll go with the new bike. Have been thinking about an AM hardtail for awhile (prior to this move) and have a couple builds specced out. But, now I'm considering whether I want a longer travel FS for burlier Pisgah rides. It will have to wait a bit. For one, I need a job down there. Second, we're barely going to be able to fit 2 bikes in our temporary apartment, so our others are going to have to go to storage for awhile. So we'll have to get out of the apartment and into a house.

    I have a Wren on my Bucksaw, which I bought because Pisgah ate Bluto for breakfast (burped air out of it coming down upper/middle Black). I haven't ridden with the Wren out there yet. On my last trip, I rented a SC 5010, which was a fun bike.

    I've been to Chattanooga before - rode Raccoon Mtn. I haven't ridden in Knoxville, though. I have some friends there and the scene looks pretty awesome.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianick View Post
    Really enjoying the Minions on the Bucksaw. Just as much grip as the Nate and a little faster rolling. The rear feels a little slow compared to a Fat b Nimble, but speedier than a Nate. Tubeless setup was easy as well. Definitely worth a look.
    That's good to hear. Since I have 2 entirely good Nates, I'm only going to be buying a front tire, though. Fatbike rubber being as expensive as it is and all.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianick View Post
    Really enjoying the Minions on the Bucksaw.
    Are they the 120 or 60 tpi?

    Where did you get your Minions?
    Looks like shop.fatbackbikes.com has the best prices.

  22. #22
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    After a couple of years on Du's , I'm trying Nate back and JJ 4,4 front for summer duties.
    I'll report when I'll have more time on them
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  23. #23
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    This makes for an interesting read at the least:
    Fat Bike Tires Rolling Resistance Reviews
    Food for thought if the OP is still undecided.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Not sure exactly where I'll go with the new bike. Have been thinking about an AM hardtail for awhile (prior to this move) and have a couple builds specced out. But, now I'm considering whether I want a longer travel FS for burlier Pisgah rides. It will have to wait a bit. For one, I need a job down there. Second, we're barely going to be able to fit 2 bikes in our temporary apartment, so our others are going to have to go to storage for awhile. So we'll have to get out of the apartment and into a house.

    I have a Wren on my Bucksaw, which I bought because Pisgah ate Bluto for breakfast (burped air out of it coming down upper/middle Black). I haven't ridden with the Wren out there yet. On my last trip, I rented a SC 5010, which was a fun bike.

    I've been to Chattanooga before - rode Raccoon Mtn. I haven't ridden in Knoxville, though. I have some friends there and the scene looks pretty awesome.
    When I lived in Knoxville, I rode muni, SS, and hard tail. FS might not be needed, esp if you want a playful, lightweight, bike.

    A used Honzo? Maybe a Wozo and mix/match wheels between the two?

    Knoxville in the fall is killer. Fall fest is coming up, good times, go over and ride Brian's property. Check out Haw Ridge (my old home mtn).

  25. #25
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    "all-round" tire

    Quote Originally Posted by hectorlandaeta View Post
    Yep, the Jumbo Jims seem to be the best rolling, likely due to the supple carcass and moderate knobs. We've been happy the liteskin JJs on our Bucksaws. They seem to work well on all types of surfaces, mtns, deserts, canyons, though no snow for us yet. Pretty close to an "all-arounder":

    dirt -

    Deciding on a new "all-round" 26x4.0 trail tire-dirt.jpg


    sand -

    Deciding on a new "all-round" 26x4.0 trail tire-sand.jpg


    wood -

    Deciding on a new "all-round" 26x4.0 trail tire-wood.jpg


    slickrock -

    Deciding on a new "all-round" 26x4.0 trail tire-slickrock.jpg

  26. #26
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    Snakeskins are the OEM's tubeless "execution", though. Get's them on the 100's or $20 something higher with the new addix compound out just last month. Wonder if they're worth it.

  27. #27
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    Origin8 Supercell Wire Bead Fat Bike Tires, 26 x 4.0"

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by hectorlandaeta View Post
    This makes for an interesting read at the least:
    Fat Bike Tires Rolling Resistance Reviews
    Food for thought if the OP is still undecided.
    I'm not sure that I am 100% on the validity of those tests, running on checker plate or whatever as compared to real world trails.
    I'm new to fatbikes and have Mammoths on my 1st fatty, most real world reviews and my own (admittedly limited experience- a buddies bikes with bigger Ground Controls or Bulldozers) tend to suggest it's a pretty good rolling tire. But they get washed in the rolling resistance tests.
    Having said that for largely sandy trails I'm keen to try Rougarous or Fast Track Fats, for a bit less weight and what sounds like an even better rolling tire.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MozFat View Post
    I'm not sure that I am 100% on the validity of those tests, running on checker plate or whatever as compared to real world trails.
    I'm new to fatbikes and have Mammoths on my 1st fatty, most real world reviews and my own (admittedly limited experience- a buddies bikes with bigger Ground Controls or Bulldozers) tend to suggest it's a pretty good rolling tire. But they get washed in the rolling resistance tests.
    Having said that for largely sandy trails I'm keen to try Rougarous or Fast Track Fats, for a bit less weight and what sounds like an even better rolling tire.
    I have used several of the tires on the list and the results matches my real world experience

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by hectorlandaeta View Post
    This makes for an interesting read at the least:
    Fat Bike Tires Rolling Resistance Reviews
    Food for thought if the OP is still undecided.
    I wish they'd do those tests with the tires setup tubeless.
    Because, if its a fat tire and you're really that concerned about rolling performance, its a given that you'd ride them that way.

    Imagine if, the drop in rolling resistance in tubeless mode is so drastic that the difference between tires in the current chart suddenly become trivial background noise? some of the tradeoffs between tires might be worth reevaluating then...

    Speculation of course, there's not a single tubeless test on there to establish baseline....

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    I wish they'd do those tests with the tires setup tubeless.
    Because, if its a fat tire and you're really that concerned about rolling performance, its a given that you'd ride them that way.

    Imagine if, the drop in rolling resistance in tubeless mode is so drastic that the difference between tires in the current chart suddenly become trivial background noise? some of the tradeoffs between tires might be worth reevaluating then...

    Speculation of course, there's not a single tubeless test on there to establish baseline....
    Voilá! http://www.bicyclerollingresistance....eless-vs-tubes

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by levity View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    All that stuff's dry, though! It gets pretty wet at times in WNC.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_manny View Post
    Are they the 120 or 60 tpi?

    Where did you get your Minions?
    Looks like shop.fatbackbikes.com has the best prices.
    They are 120tpi and were ordered through my lbs. Those fatback prices are so good they almost warrant buying another pair.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by hectorlandaeta View Post
    This makes for an interesting read at the least:
    Fat Bike Tires Rolling Resistance Reviews
    Food for thought if the OP is still undecided.
    It's interesting, but I'm not all that interested in rolling resistance. It's WAY down the list on priorities. Things I want the most: 1. Traction. 2. casing durability. The other thing about that site is that it misses a TON of tires.

    Quote Originally Posted by FASTFAT View Post
    Origin8 Supercell Wire Bead Fat Bike Tires, 26 x 4.0"
    What sort of joke is this supposed to be?

    Quote Originally Posted by hectorlandaeta View Post
    Voilá! Fat Bike Tubeless Vs Tubes - Rolling Resistance

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    Yay! Even more limited tire choices!

  35. #35
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    Harold, we're in monsoon season here in Colorado high country. I'll be taking the Mayor out for some rainy day fun with the JJ 4.8's and see how they work in the wet. Had no issue in the spring time with em tho'.

    I'd say, look at the options and when a tire catches your interest, give it a go. Bikes are too subjective, especially in the fat segment.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    It's interesting, but I'm not all that interested in rolling resistance. It's WAY down the list on priorities. Things I want the most: 1. Traction. 2. casing durability. The other thing about that site is that it misses a TON of tires.

    What sort of joke is this supposed to be?

    Yay! Even more limited tire choices!
    If rolling resistance is not a top consideration, then just go with the VH.

    It would be nice to see more tires on the rolling resistance site. If I was planning on trying other tires than the JJ. I would send them to him to get tested, just to see where they fall. For me RR is important

    The bicycle rolling resistance site

  37. #37
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    Originally Posted by Bacon Fat
    If rolling resistance is not a top consideration, then just go with the VH.

    It would be nice to see more tires on the rolling resistance site. If I was planning on trying other tires than the JJ. I would send them to him to get tested, just to see where they fall. For me RR is important

    The bicycle rolling resistance site


    I was interested to see that on the tubed comparisons, VH was pretty close in the RR dept to HuDu. Also curious that he rated HuDu higher on puncture resistance, though. There was no real explanation of that, unfortunately.

    I'm probably leaning a bit more towards the Minion FBF EXO/TR, to be honest.

  38. #38
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    JJ's excel in the dry, sand, rock, but Harold is moving to the Southeast where the only thing wetter than the ground is the air.

    Colorado monsoon season has nothing on the Southeast! They routinely get dumps measured in inches nearly year round, driest months average 4", annual rainfall is 65", add in the clay soils, slimy roots and rocks, and JJ's would be the worst tire he could ride!

    He needs knobbies!

    [QUOTE=levity;13282169]Yep, the Jumbo Jims seem to be the best rolling, likely due to the supple carcass and moderate knobs. We've been happy the liteskin JJs on our Bucksaws. They seem to work well on all types of surfaces, mtns, deserts, canyons, though no snow for us yet. Pretty close to an "all

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Yay! Even more limited tire choices!
    I once read that site front to back (some time ago) and seem to remember the guy disclosing that he personally bought the tires so as to demonstrate how unbiased were his findings or something on that vein. Deep pockets not deep enough?
    Anyway I brought that link in to breathe a bit of oxygen to the quite sterile arguments this kind of thread can get so fast with people swearing for a tire as the best all rounder when it's the only one they've ever tried.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by hectorlandaeta View Post
    I once read that site front to back (some time ago) and seem to remember the guy disclosing that he personally bought the tires so as to demonstrate how unbiased were his findings or something on that vein. Deep pockets not deep enough?
    Anyway I brought that link in to breathe a bit of oxygen to the quite sterile arguments this kind of thread can get so fast with people swearing for a tire as the best all rounder when it's the only one they've ever tried.
    I thought it was some good information. I have minion 4.8, but for the places I go (greasy mud, sticky mud, sloppy mud, and occasional sand) rolling resistance isn't my concern. That's what my road bike is for. I can't speak for the 4.0, but the 4.8 has held up in every condition I've put it through, a lot better than the Vee H-Billie, which didn't seem to be a bad tire, other than getting it off of the rim.


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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by hectorlandaeta View Post
    I once read that site front to back (some time ago) and seem to remember the guy disclosing that he personally bought the tires so as to demonstrate how unbiased were his findings or something on that vein. Deep pockets not deep enough?
    Anyway I brought that link in to breathe a bit of oxygen to the quite sterile arguments this kind of thread can get so fast with people swearing for a tire as the best all rounder when it's the only one they've ever tried.
    It honestly doesn't disclose much that's relevant to this thread. The only serious contender tire on my list that's on there is the Van Helga. The Terrene Wazia, maybe. VH, Minion FBF, and possibly some others right now are up there. The Wazia looks pretty good on paper, but I've not seen it in person. Terrene does look to be a pretty good company, and I've crossed paths with their demo truck before (before they had the Wazias to show off, unfortunately). The things about the VH and Wazia that keep them below the Minion FBF on my list so far are all the features they have to give them better winter performance. Lots of siping on the VH and stud pockets on the Wazia. Seems to me that they've got more of a snow focus than I need.

  42. #42
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    Just ordered a pair of Maxxis 120tpi Minion FBFs.
    Seems like you can't go wrong with theses on the front.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by majack View Post
    VH, hand's down. Great tire.
    ditto. if they only made them in a 27.5...

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