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  1. #1
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    Hope Front tire and rear tire size comparison question help?

    Hi guys,


    Newbie here And have a quick question on Front tire and rear tire size comparison.


    I ride a 09 stumpy sworks. Currently tire size setup:


    Front: 2.0
    Rear: 2.2


    I noticed most people have the front tire size larger than the rear. Should I swipe them? What's the advantage and dis advantage on the size? Pls educated me.


    I tried 2.0 front and 2.0 rear but i was losing traction in the rear. After switching to the 2.2 rear, bike feels so much better. What's if I tried 2.2 front and 2.0 rear? Will it feel better?


    Pls help. Might be a stupid question but I'm still learning. Thx!

  2. #2
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    weight distribution has a lot to do with this. If your riding your Sworks in an S-works type position your weight is going to be much more evenly split front to rear so it would make sense to have tire widths that were the same or pretty close. If your running a more upright position your loading the rear tire more and can get away with a narrower tire and maintain comparable grip. But to compensate you would need a wider tire up front to balance things out.

    Sense you already had problems with traction in the rear and solved them by swapping to a wider tire I would think you could upsize the front as well.

    All of this comes down to personal preference in the end though. What bike you ride and soil conditions, weight distribution all have a lot to do with this topic. But tires are cheap in the grand scheme of a bike like yours so try some out. Might be worth asking your LBS what kinds of tread patterns they like and starting there.

  3. #3
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    Customfab is on the money.

    The front does all the steering and is what will bring you undone through a lack of traction and grip - so a larger, more agressive tyre up front is a good idea and won't add much rolling resistance.

    Some folks like to run a less agressive tyre out the back for easier pedaling, bearing in mind your weight would normally be over the rear tyre adding to its grip while climbing.

    Losing traction on a climb can sometimes be a matter of technique and weight distribution. It also pays to fool around with tyre pressure. Softer tyres will conform to terrain more and grip better.

    There are many variables in tyre selection - it can help sometimes if you ask at the LBS what trail riders in your area are having good luck with.

    Even then - expect a few different answers....
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  4. #4
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    Years back I tried using the skinny tires (1.9), now on my trek I have a 2.2 up front & a 2.0 rear, seems to work well.
    If you are happy with the traction, leave the 2.2 on the back, and put a 2.2 up front.
    Riding.....

  5. #5
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    You have more weight over the rear so you want less rolling resistance for the rear tire (skinnier and maybe not as much tread)

    You need the grip to go where you want it so a wider gripper tire makes sense.

  6. #6
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    My full suspension has 2.5 front, 2.25 rear. Hard tail has 2.25 front, 2.1 rear.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by laherna View Post
    My full suspension has 2.5 front, 2.25 rear. Hard tail has 2.25 front, 2.1 rear.
    Wow 2.5 is huge. Do you notice a reduction in speed much?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swolern View Post
    Wow 2.5 is huge. Do you notice a reduction in speed much?

    Not if he's running a WWLT 2.55. That's what I have on the front of my full squish. My SS has 2.2 Ravens.

  9. #9
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    Type of riding is certainly a variable as well...

    But I run 2.4 front 2.24 rear on my FS and prefer it that way.

  10. #10
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    This discussion might be incomplete without repeating the caveat that there is quite a bit of "fudge factor" in tire width specs. When discussing the relative merits of a 2.0 versus a 2.2 tire, one might in fact be talking about two tires of identical width (unless you've verified the measurements yourself), especially if they're of different brands and/or models.

    Just sayin'...
    Looking for local rides? You'll find plenty on my website: Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swolern View Post
    Wow 2.5 is huge. Do you notice a reduction in speed much?
    Don't notice much if any speed reduction. Really shines going down!

  12. #12
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    try 2.2 front and leave the rear alone.

  13. #13
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    My front tire is 2.4 on my rigid. 2.1 out back. The front size is dictated by the impact force on the wheel. The front tread is, I guess, suggested by the terrain/soil. The rear is dictated more by traction requirements, but influenced a bit by rolling resistance.

    Sure, it's possible to run a smaller tire up front, but the rim feels more pain that way. Mine is not really a race set-up, but there are 2.4" race tires that don't weight a ton. Of course, they cost more.

    -F

  14. #14
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    Let's stick to the facts. The tire footprint area at any given tire pressure is identical, irrespective of whether the tire is 1.5" or 3.5" The limiting factor is if you go too low on a narrow tire, you will be riding on the rim. Also if everything is the same, (same pressure and same tire type but different sizes) the larger tire will generate less rolling resistance. I therefore always use the biggest tire I can fit into my frame, allowing for clearance. If you use a bigger tire you can then use lower pressure to increase the rear footprint area and increase traction. The reason people use bigger front tires is that they can fit a bigger tire into the fork than into the frame.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    Also if everything is the same, (same pressure and same tire type but different sizes) the larger tire will generate less rolling resistance.
    That sounds counterintuitive. I do realize you're adding the conditions of pressure and tire type (compound?) being the same, but it still goes against all the examples of hyper-efficient cars invariably using the skinniest tires, not to mention the skinny tires on all road bikes...
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  16. #16
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    Before you buy new tires I would try playing around with tire pressure first. Its free and every tire handles different at different pressures. With different brand/model tires I run different pressures for the same bike on the same trails. Maybe you just need to drop the pressure alittle bit in the front to get more traction.

  17. #17
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    Wider does not necessarily mean more traction. There is a line you can't cross to where you wind up losing traction. Think wide tires on a car and ....snow.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by erginguney View Post
    That sounds counterintuitive. I do realize you're adding the conditions of pressure and tire type (compound?) being the same, but it still goes against all the examples of hyper-efficient cars invariably using the skinniest tires, not to mention the skinny tires on all road bikes...
    Don't believe me. here is a link to an explanation on the Schwalbe website:

    Why do wide tires roll better than narrow ones?
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  19. #19
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    don't be afraid to try different combinations.

    I have settled on a 2.4" mountain king front and 2.2" rear for my main ride.

    on my local trails, I was having cornering traction problems in the sand (the trails are ALL sand), and so needed more surface area to float on top of the sand and grip it without digging in and washing out. The rear is fine. I don't need a bigger tire there, so I use a smaller tire there to keep weight down, not because I have less clearance there. I'm pretty sure clearance for me is about the same front and rear.

  20. #20
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    I run a 2.0 front and 2.25 rear on my hardtail (Rockhopper). It works for me. The 2.25 is a thicker walled tire than the 2.0, so I get less flat tires on the rear. The wider rear tire does give me better traction on the trail, significantly less on the road. Try both configurations and pick the one that works for you. I would think that a larger rear tire would have the same benefits on a FS as it would on a HT.

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