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  1. #1
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    Two new Bontrager tires out- Rougarou and Gnarwhal

    The announcement of the Gnarwahl was covered previously, but both of these are up on trek's site now with prices:

    Bontrager Rougarou Fat Bike Tire | Bike tires & tubes | Cycling components | Equipment

    Bontrager Gnarwhal Fat Bike Tire | Bike tires & tubes | Cycling components | Equipment

    The Rougarou looks like a nice fast rolling option. If the weight is somewhat close to a JJ, would be a speedy tire for my Bucksaw.

    Not sure WTF Trek is thinking with the pricing on the Gnarwahl- $105 more for 160 studs ($225!)? You could buy enough of the already overpriced 45Nrth concave studs to do up Two tires for that price. Similar price as a D4 studded, but 80 less studs? One benefit is that it would likely setup tubeless easier, but I would have liked to see more studs or a significantly cheaper price. If you buy a Gnarwhal- buy the non studded version and add studs, your wallet will thank you.

    My other Trek WTF is why no 27.5" versions- if you aren't going to support your new standard why would you expect any other manufacturers to?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paochow View Post
    Not sure WTF Trek is thinking with the pricing on the Gnarwahl- $105 more for 160 studs ($225!)? You could buy enough of the 45Nrth concave studs to do up Two tires for that price.
    Yeah, that's absurd. Hell, you can get 300 carbide-tipped aluminum studs for < $50 if you look around.

    At least they have stud pockets, which is the only way I'll go any more.
    I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


  3. #3
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    I'd love to try a 4.7 or 4.8 Rougarou.

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    What is with the 3.8" width? i like the tread pattern but a 3.8 winter tire is not very useful. Maybe they drastically under estimate their tire's width. time will tell

  5. #5
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    They (trek/bontrager) just dont care about high prices. They know they will sell plenty anyway because: "hey, we are Trek and for our customers we are the only one existing".

  6. #6
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    What's your time worth to install those studs? I charge $100 an hour for my consulting work, seems to me having them already to go is worth the extra money.

  7. #7
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    I'd like to see them both in the 27.5 size.

    also these studded tires are TLR that has to be part of the cost!! i'm not sure other pre studded tires are TLR.

  8. #8
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    Also Mikesee has the studded version on sale

    Bontrager Gnarwhal 26 x 3.8" Tubeless Ready (TLR) 120tpi 160 Tungsten carbide studs $200

    Big Wheel Deals

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefflinde View Post
    What is with the 3.8" width? i like the tread pattern but a 3.8 winter tire is not very useful. Maybe they drastically under estimate their tire's width. time will tell
    Must not snow that much in Waterloo.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    What's your time worth to install those studs? I charge $100 an hour for my consulting work, seems to me having them already to go is worth the extra money.
    If it was something that you couldn't multitask while doing, I'd agree, but installing studs is hardly a focused task and is easily done watching a football game or movie.

    Besides if you can install 4-6 studs a minute the savings would work out to close to your consulting wage once you account for income tax and the like....
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadraper View Post

    also these studded tires are TLR that has to be part of the cost!! i'm not sure other pre studded tires are TLR.
    Not really- The non studded version is the same TLR tire sans studs and $105 cheaper. $210 buys a lot of studs. 700 of the expensive 45Nrth studs and a few thousand of the cheaper chinese (amazon) ones.

    The TLR studded Snowshoe XL's I bought this summer were only $118- so just a few dollars more for the tires with studs, granted they use the cheap rounded point carbide studs.
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  12. #12
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    Two new Bontrager tires out- Rougarou and Gnarwhal-004.jpgTwo new Bontrager tires out- Rougarou and Gnarwhal-005.jpg Both are great looking tires
    Marin Bobcat Trail 29er - Trek Farley 8

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefflinde View Post
    What is with the 3.8" width? i like the tread pattern but a 3.8 winter tire is not very useful. Maybe they drastically under estimate their tire's width. time will tell
    A 3.8" *studded* tire makes the most sense for true ice, and hardpack. If you need the float of a 5" tire by all means get it, but know that the studs won't be nearly as effective on that bigger tire with less psi pushing each stud into the ice.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefflinde View Post
    What is with the 3.8" width? i like the tread pattern but a 3.8 winter tire is not very useful.
    As a general statement for the world, this is pretty bold. For you it may be totally true, but there are thousands of people riding around successfully on 3.8s in the winter. Bigger may be better in many cases but 3.8 not useful? The least useful tire I have is a BFL, reasonably big casing but the tread pattern did not work, for me, on the larger casing.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    What's your time worth to install those studs? I charge $100 an hour for my consulting work, seems to me having them already to go is worth the extra money.
    What is your paypal? And thank for your post it should be worth about $1.75 for your consulting.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcriverjunky View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	004.jpg 
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ID:	1033709Click image for larger version. 

Name:	005.jpg 
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ID:	1033710 Both are great looking tires

    Sweet!- What is the weight listed for the Rougaru? 950gr? I can't make it out in the pic?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    What is your paypal? And thank for your post it should be worth about $1.75 for your consulting.
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Co-opski again.
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  18. #18
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    Is it just or or have tire prices gone up instead of down? I though more fat bikes would mean a drop in prices, instead we have more gouging. I wonder what the marketing jargon to justify? Our rubber is molded by the hands of angels(underage Taiwanese kids), and our studs are stamped by the mighty hammer of thor(Automated Press)?

    I don't mind paying for good products but $225 for a piece of rubber with more marketing jargon then R&D is straying into the absurd. The amount of money spent by companies like Trek to market themselves as that dude you shred with, blinds so many people. Its that dude you shred with that will say he'll help you change that trail side flat tire for $50.

  19. #19
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    Yes! It says 950 grams.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffreyjhsu View Post
    Yes! It says 950 grams.
    Awesome! I think that will be my next summer tire.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by l3eaudacious View Post
    Is it just or or have tire prices gone up instead of down? I though more fat bikes would mean a drop in prices, instead we have more gouging. I wonder what the marketing jargon to justify? Our rubber is molded by the hands of angels(underage Taiwanese kids), and our studs are stamped by the mighty hammer of thor(Automated Press)?
    27tpi Nates are still cheap and will do pretty much anything you want. You want super fancy tubeless high end tires, though... they cost money. C'est la vie.

    -Walt

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    27tpi Nates are still cheap and will do pretty much anything you want. You want super fancy tubeless high end tires, though... they cost money. C'est la vie.

    -Walt
    The idea that tubeless ready is high end, fancy, or even complicated to manufacture is silly. The fact that 160 studs costs 105 USD is hilarious. Bike shops in Canada are selling Bulldozers for $190 and Snowshoe XL's(non-studded) for $200, a studded 27tpi Dillinger 4.0 is $240, while 4.8 120tpi is $340. 27tpi Nates are now $110 while 120 tpi's are now $170.

    The funny thing is when Snowshoe XL's were just released I got them from the states at $130 CAD, while my 120 tpi Nates were $110 from a east coast Canadian retailer. So I guess more Fatbikes means higher prices? So low production volume or niche means high prices, and now higher production volumes and less niche means higher prices? More likely prices went up cause people were paying the Fat Tax blindly with a smile.

    What's really fancy is a tire that can support a 2000 pound vehicle at 70 miles an hour, have built in flat sealing technology, have rubber soft enough for winter, yet durable, and cost $100. But who am I kidding that super technical knob R&D on a Fat Bike tire costs millions to develop. Be nice to know where all that R&D went when they simple took a regular 26 hub made it wider, then were surprised why they all started to blow up.

    Next thing I know people will be justifying SRAM Butter, and how awesomely MTB specific it is. Or how Rockshox fork oil isn't re-branded Moto oil at x10 the markup.

  23. #23
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    Yeah, bicycle tires have always been a "bad deal" compared to car tires. Cry me a river. I've aired up a Hodag tubeless on the trail with a minipump. Worth a few extra bucks to me? You betcha.

    Jenson has Nates for $70 a pop, along with any number of other places. They'll last you at least a couple seasons. Have fun!

    -Watl

  24. #24
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    I wish that Bontrager would list tpi for their tires. I really like my Hodag, but at 60tpi, it is definitely less compliant than I would like for the price.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by l3eaudacious View Post
    The idea that tubeless ready is high end, fancy, or even complicated to manufacture is silly. The fact that 160 studs costs 105 USD is hilarious. Bike shops in Canada are selling Bulldozers for $190 and Snowshoe XL's(non-studded) for $200, a studded 27tpi Dillinger 4.0 is $240, while 4.8 120tpi is $340. 27tpi Nates are now $110 while 120 tpi's are now $170.

    The funny thing is when Snowshoe XL's were just released I got them from the states at $130 CAD, while my 120 tpi Nates were $110 from a east coast Canadian retailer. So I guess more Fatbikes means higher prices? So low production volume or niche means high prices, and now higher production volumes and less niche means higher prices? More likely prices went up cause people were paying the Fat Tax blindly with a smile.

    What's really fancy is a tire that can support a 2000 pound vehicle at 70 miles an hour, have built in flat sealing technology, have rubber soft enough for winter, yet durable, and cost $100. But who am I kidding that super technical knob R&D on a Fat Bike tire costs millions to develop. Be nice to know where all that R&D went when they simple took a regular 26 hub made it wider, then were surprised why they all started to blow up.

    Next thing I know people will be justifying SRAM Butter, and how awesomely MTB specific it is. Or how Rockshox fork oil isn't re-branded Moto oil at x10 the markup.
    This!!

    I can get a full set of winter AND a full set of summer tires mounted for my winter beater Saturn (yes I mean 8 tires) OR I can get 2 Dillinger 5's 120 tpi studded tires. Same price...
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  26. #26
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    Sounds like there are some folks here who need to get into the tire business!

    -Walt

  27. #27
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    I might try a set of the light ones this summer on my Watchman. Funny thing though the Brontrager (Hodag specifically) where suppose to be a tubeless ready casing and it was the only tire I had that would not stop bleeding Stans??

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryten View Post
    This!!

    I can get a full set of winter AND a full set of summer tires mounted for my winter beater Saturn (yes I mean 8 tires) OR I can get 2 Dillinger 5's 120 tpi studded tires. Same price...
    Hmmm...how many vehicles on the road, worldwide, do you think run that same tire as your Saturn?

    Now how many fat bikes do you think are running D-5's?

    Economies of scale.

    And if you want to save money, stud your own D-5s.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    Hmmm...how many vehicles on the road, worldwide, do you think run that same tire as your Saturn?

    Now how many fat bikes do you think are running D-5's?

    Economies of scale.

    And if you want to save money, stud your own D-5s.
    I knew that was coming...

    And I just studded D-4's with carbide studs.
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  30. #30
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    The Gnarwal studded actually looks pretty good as an ice tire. I'm gonna get a set and throw them on the Fatboy. You don't need a wide tire for ice.
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  31. #31
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    Anyone try these yet?

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    Yea love them fast and light

  33. #33
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    Two new Bontrager tires out- Rougarou and Gnarwhal-image.jpeg

  34. #34
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    Nice. Do you like them better than the Barbegazis? Do they handle much different?

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    Yes I do like them a lot more for normal trail riding. There is less self steer and don't weigh quite as much. The barbegazis handle the snow a lot better though.

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    How do they corner? Do they have enough bite. What about them only being 60TPI? Thinks no of getting a set. Or maybe a Rougarou rear, with a Hodag front? Just wondering your thoughts. Need a non snow hardpack set.

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    Corner fine.did feel them slip in one section today in a greasy spot but it wasn't that bad. They are not as supple as the barbies because of the lower tpi but I don't really notice it too much.

  38. #38
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    Just ordered a pair as they're on sale right now at Trek. 😎

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    Just ordered a set of Rougarou's on sale for 89 bucks apiece. Excited to give them a try for my summer tire on the BG2.

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    Good to know that they corner well. Might have to order a set.

  41. #41
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    Mine just came in. I like the Barbegazis but they might be just a bit "overkill" for the stuff I ride.....no snow here in Florida.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Sounds like there are some folks here who need to get into the tire business!

    -Walt
    Tell em about your experience contracting a tire with Vee Ribber, that might provide some enlightenment.

  43. #43
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    I got a gnarwhal on the back of my 6 and a snowshoe xl front. Gnarwhal is narrower than the hodag. It works great tho, claws and claws, i wanted a nate or a valhelga to climb better but this came out and the studs are a plus. Now im not sure about getting a second for the front and ditch the snowshoe xl. I just put 45nrth studs in it as the stock pointeds sucked. Seems good, the 2 less psi make it almost like a suspension fork. Maybe ill leave it....
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  44. #44
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    I just put on a set of Rougarou's but its raining out Hopefully tomorrow I can get out and try them out as my summer tire. The Dillinger 4's are hung up until next winter.

  45. #45
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    I got out for a gravel ride with just a touch of pavement on my new Rougarou's and was impressed on how well they rolled for my ride. I am coming off a set of Dillinger 4's that I had on for winter riding so I was pretty sure the Rougarou's would be quite a step up in less rolling resistance.
    Hopefully the single track trails will dry out enough this week to give them a whirl there as well. So far more then happy with my purchase.

  46. #46
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    ArronV any other updates on Rougarou and overall impression after a week?

  47. #47
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    So far I have around 30 miles of single track on them and went for a 30 mile limestone trail ride today. I do really love the way they roll. On the single track they seem to have more then enough cornering grip and have clocked some of my fastest Strava times so far. I dont know if that is just the tires, all the winter riding I did or me just stronger off the bat this summer. Probably a little of it all. For a 60tpi tire I would recommend it. There was also a very good rider in our club that told me it was a fast, good summer tire.

  48. #48
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    Thx for the feedback ArronV

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    First ride with a Rougarou rear yesterday, Vanhelga front. To be honest I nearly didn't mount it and was about to send it back, as the knobs just looked too puny. Glad I did though, really surprised how well it coped with wet hardpack and muddy singletrack here on the UK. Remarkable traction for such a weedy tyre. Kind of reminded me of a Kenda small block in the dry, loads of tiny knobs in contact all the time. These are more aggressive in shape though and you can feel it when things get a bit sloppy. May try one on the front, probably not though the Vanhelgas give so much confidence.

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    So I did try one on the front ( Rougarou ), wish I hadn't, totally waste of time. Felt too stiff over 9 psi and had very bad self steer any lower. Will keep it as a spare for the back where it does just fine it terms of weight, rolling resistance and suprising amounts of grip. Running it on a Bucksaw so the stiffness isn't such a problem, but on a hardtail I wouldn't go near it.

  51. #51
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    I'm running a Rougarou out back and a Barbegazi up front, both set up tubless. This is my summer setup... So far, they've been great! Very little self steer, and predictable breakaway rear traction.

    The Barbegazi is higher TPI and noticeably more supple (and much larger) that the Rougarou... But, as a rear tire, it's not that noticeable...




  52. #52
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    I now have an identical set up, just bought the Rougarou today and got mounted up.

    Pissed off, Rougarou has a horrible wobble. Yeap, checked everything, the Nate it replaced was fine too.


    Cost the same as a barbagazi, smaller, and poor QC. Rather annoyed. Hoping the wobble mellows out after more riding

    That said, outside of the wobble the tire is rather nice. Much faster than my Nate too the point I may have to bump up a chainring size.



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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I now have an identical set up, just bought the Rougarou today and got mounted up.

    Pissed off, Rougarou has a horrible wobble. Yeap, checked everything, the Nate it replaced was fine too.


    Cost the same as a barbagazi, smaller, and poor QC. Rather annoyed. Hoping the wobble mellows out after more riding



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    Mine mounted up just fine and no wobble... I'd see if they'd swap it out for a new one...

  54. #54
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    I am still happy with the set of Rougarou's I put on. I am running 7.5psi front and 8.5psi back for riding single track and still posting some of my fastest Strava times. When I go out for a gravel ride I up the pressure 1lb front and back and seems fine to me. I did notice when I got below 7psi on the front I started to feel a little self steer.
    One poster mentioned wobble. I wonder if the tire was fully seated?? When I put mine on it took a bit to get the bead to pop in properly. Just a thought or maybe they just had a bad tire??

  55. #55
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    also got a rougarou with a wobble

    I have the same problem with a rougarou, my rear tire got a 5-8mm wobble, quite anoying when riding on the asfalt.
    My bikeshop talked to a representative(salesmen?, got no idea how you call the shop to shop going trek employee trying to sell them more trek stuff) from trek and he rejected it as a warranty item. I then contacted bontrager directly via twitter and a customer service employee in the netherlands send me a replacement.
    It definitely was not a bad seating, running tubeless and did a front to back change and the wobble also existed on the front rim.

  56. #56
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    Couldn't they have come up with better product names? Rougaro sounds like a babies babble and Gnarwhal might as well have a hashtag in front of it.

  57. #57
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    Their names after animals. I actually took the time to look up the names and I find it much more creative than others. IMO it's nice to see they put effort into the names instead of some random, boring designation thought up at the bar after work.

    Could be like schwalbe, have names that sound like cartoon characters for early morning Disney junior (yeap I have kids )

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  58. #58
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    Bought a set of Rougarou's for my 65MM Nexties last week. Have done a few rides on them, finding them to be more compliant than the Hodags I used most of last year. Yesterday I took them out on one of the more difficult trails near me where there's several steep descents off of rocks and roots in sandy soil and I was not beat up like the Hodags used to. What really impressed me was the grip on off-camber roots, plus we have had little rain here in SE Michigan so most trails are rock hard with a slippery dust/dirt layer on top. The tread penetrates the thin dirt layers nicely. One tire I'm using on the rear has a slight wobble I can see in a bike stand, but I do not feel it while riding. Easiest tire I've ever installed tubeless. Both aired up with no leaks.

    I really wish the manufacturers would stop zip-tying their tires real tight when they put them in the packaging. That practice puts a crease in the tire and makes initial inflation a bit tricky. I have Bontrager flash pump - but I could tell that if the crease wasn't there, these would have aired up without charging the pump.

    Real happy with these, plus they are labeled a 3.8 tire which tells me they should be a good match on a 65MM rim, similar to what I used in the past like Endomorphs, Husker Du's, Knard's, etc. Someone local just got a good deal on a lightly used set of Specialized Fast Traks from me because that tire had too round of a profile for a few trails I ride. Really like the tread and build quality of that tire, but wasn't ideal for my 65MM rim. He's using it on a Fatboy and is real happy with it. I'm Measuring about 3.6-3.7" on these Rougarou's which is similar to other 26X4.0 tires I'm used to, but never actually reach the 4.0.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    A 3.8" *studded* tire makes the most sense for true ice, and hardpack. If you need the float of a 5" tire by all means get it, but know that the studs won't be nearly as effective on that bigger tire with less psi pushing each stud into the ice.
    What? This is hogwash. Come on Mike.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    What? This is hogwash. Come on Mike.
    Tell me why I'm wrong, for the conditions I've described. Be specific.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    What? This is hogwash. Come on Mike.

    Quite true, Mike is absolutely correct. I was told this over thirty years ago: Ever drive a car on seriously icy roads and notice a VW Beetle move along fine and a pickup with big wide beefy tires ends up in a ditch? Pure physics. Less contact patch means more PSI on those treads. When i bought my Dillingers the salesman suggested I go wide, but I insisted on the 4.0 in order to get the most bite out of the studs. Every factory-built bike tire I've owned the studs do not have a lot of height to them. On thin layers of snow they just float over the ice, and if the snow breaks free, the bike slides unless it can make direct contact with the ice.

    In contrast, my DIY studded Endomorphs using Ward's method of sheet metal screws works better. However nowadays I use carbon rims and DIY studded is illegal in winter races here in Michigan. The only way I would go with a bigger fat bike tire factory studded is if someone makes taller studs, which I have yet to see.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraspontane View Post
    Couldn't they have come up with better product names? Rougaro sounds like a babies babble and Gnarwhal might as well have a hashtag in front of it.
    The plus and fat bike tyres are mostly named after demons or legendary creatures from around the world, I think it's a good naming scheme particularly with the demon/creature branding on the tyre - the Hodags have a red eye for the 'O'

    How do the Rougarou's and the Hodags compare? I've been reading through comparisons but only finding thoughts between the new tyres so I'm not sure if the Rougarou is a faster rolling tyre or a replacement for the Hodag? I've a 2015 Farley 6 with Hodags and the rear tyre doesn't seem to have the traction it should so I'm considering replacing it.

    John
    2014 Trek Fuel Ex 8
    2015 Trek Farley 6
    2016 Trek Stache 7

  63. #63
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    Rougarou isn't going to fix a traction issue. Going to make is worse. I run a rougarou in the rear is a summer tire. It doesn't like mud and such. It's meant for packed snow etc. Not sure how much traction you need. You might want to try adjusting your air pressure. Air pressure is literally the key to everything on far bike tires.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

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    The bike is primarily for mud, it's a couple of years old and already running very low pressure but the knobs are looking quite worn (the dip in the middle of the knobs isn't much of a dip any more), sounds like another Hodag is the way to go.

    John
    2014 Trek Fuel Ex 8
    2015 Trek Farley 6
    2016 Trek Stache 7

  65. #65
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    If you want more traction there is tons of other brands out there. Surly Nate is great in mud and such, some others out there too but Nate's, a barbegazi and rougarou (what's currently mounted) is all I have used so far.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  66. #66
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    The Hodag seems a good general purpose tyre, it's not so much I want more traction but more I want the traction back.

    John
    2014 Trek Fuel Ex 8
    2015 Trek Farley 6
    2016 Trek Stache 7

  67. #67
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    The rougarous are not as light as predicted.......no where near 950 grams.....or near 1100 as the fatbike article quoted. Mine are 1250.

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