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  1. #1
    Knollician
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    Hans Dampf or Trail King?

    I'm looking for a new pair of shoes for the Chili. I have been a fan of the Specialized tires, specifically the Butcher SX. The Butchers are not the best rolling tire, wear very quickly, but have not let me down. They are good and durable, and don't have transition knobs. I tend to square off corners and compress hard to get the tires to dig. I recently replaced the front tire with a Purgatory Control 2.3 and a Ground Control 2.3 GRID and was blown away by the weight savings and the decreased rolling. I felt like I was on a new bike. However, when we hit Holbert, the front tire (675 grams) did not inspire confidence. I felt like I had to hold up a bit and smash stuff. Not to mention, the 2,3 Specy tires are tiny and my Chili just looks plain strange with XC like tires

    Both the HD and TK seems to get rave reviews. I would go with either the 2.4 UST TK or the HD TSC front, PSC back, EVO, snakeskin, blah blah blah. My main concern with the HD is the weight, something like 785 grams??? I have also seen them come in at 890 grams?? So which is it?

    I have never been a fan of the TK line of tires, but after seeing Rock Dudes bike at Knollfest, the shear massive size of the TK would be nice, and it looks aggressive. Rock Dudes brand new TKs looked brand new at the end of the weekend while RDHs HDs looked like they had a good months worth of riding on them.

    You guys have seen the terrain we ride, what do you think?
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  2. #2
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    I have put another 160 miles on the TK's since the Knollfest and the tires are still in great shape.

    I took a trip to Las Vegas and rode a trail called Kibble and Bits, very sharp rocks with lots of loose sand on top. The tires did great.
    I think there one of best all around tires.

  3. #3
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    I've been running a Hans Dampf front tire for most of the season in Trailstar compound and it has been excellent. The compound is very soft, but as a front tire it should hold up reasonably well. The snakeskin tubeless-ready version is just about 780g if I remember right.

    The Conti TK 2.4 UST is massive and heavy! I have a 2.4 Protection and that's over 1100g. A Maxxis Ardent 2.4 2-ply tire is lighter than that! The Conti TK UST 2.2 is an excellent rear tire. You'll get a bit more drift but plenty of bite and it rolls reasonably well too. I think it weighs just over 800g. The sidewall is thin for UST, comparable to a Protection, EXO, or Snakeskin tire.

    Why no love for Maxxis tires anymore? The HR II EXO is a brilliant rear tire but pretty slow rolling and it weighs around 900g. The Schwalbe HD TSC felt like it rolled a bit better than the HR II but the sidewall is less beefy.

  4. #4
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    I've run the 2.4 non-UST Rubber Queen/TK on the front and it was OK. It mounted tubeless with no issues and had a very thick sidewall, IMO UST on the 2.4 variety mounted to the front would be overkill even on SOMO. The huge volume literally feels like you've added an inch of travel which is nice. It's great smashing through rocks, and cornering in loam and softer trails you'd find at higher elevations. I did not like it in the desert on loose over hardpack. It just never felt great cornering even at low pressure. It's really tall and large volume but isn't very wide and the outer knobs are set more inward so there isn't a nice rail to lock on to.

    I've also run the 2.2 UST Trail King on the front and rear. It's also a very large tire even at 2.2. If I was going to put another RQ/TK on the front it would be the 2.2 UST as it's plenty large. On the rear is where it shines though - it's great and is one of my go to tires when I need UST and don't want to worry about slashing a sidewall. These things like the low pressure for optimal traction. One thing that I don't like about it on the rear is that it's harder to break loose when you want to make a little sliding adjustment in corners. 2.2 UST weight is 845g.

    I currently have a 2.35 Hans Dampf TS on the front and PC on the rear. These are really big tires but don't feel heavy on the bike. They have a roundish profile but still have a nice sharp, wide edge for cornering. So far they're hooking up great on the desert trails and the more I begin to trust them the better they're getting. I took until the end of my first ride to really start feeling them. I was coming off the Butcher Control on the front and used to the gap and outer rail, so leaning hard into corners. I was hesitant to do the same right away with the HD - first half of the ride I didn't like them. The HD is definitely better in the rocks and just running stuff over as I don't have to pay so much attention to dodging sharp looking rocks, instead just mow them down. These things like low pressure too and have the casing to support it. I'm surprised the HD is only 765g. It's got a beefy casing for a non-UST tire and will stand up off the wheel on it own. It actually looks really big on the rear, almost overkill big. Knowing your preference for square tires I'd recommend trying the HD TSC front for sure. It would be a toss up between the 2.2 UST TK and the HD PSC for the rear. The HD is a little lighter but the TK probably rolls better.

  5. #5
    Err
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    I get along with many tires, not one of those "I can only ride X tire" types. That said, I just couldn't get on with the 2.4 UST TK up front. Tried it a few times on a couple different bikes, we just don't see eye to eye. Out back, lovely tire, does everything I need it to and never held back because of it. They are heavy to pedal around tho, as mentioned, right around 1100g.

    The Hans Dampf is just a fantastic tire in both 26 and 29" form. The weights you mention are the respective weights for the two different diameters. The Dampf is still a bit slow rolling but noticeably snappier feeling than the TK. Around here I run a Dampf up front and a 2.4 Nobby Nic out back for trail duty, tubeless of course. I'm a UT boy so are trails are plenty harsh and these tires work well for pinnin over our sharp rocks.

    nybike1971 - I had the HRII's on a set of Enve's that I was reviewing last summer, brilliant tire. Maxxis really nailed the upgrades. That said, I've seen a few too many failures on the EXO setup tubeless (not sure if tubeless is a factor for you or the OP) to work for me. But yeah, the tread pattern rocks.

  6. #6
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    Both great tires. I ran the HD Trailstars for 3-4 months before the rear wore out completely. would definitely try the pacestar in the rear if I were to go with them again. The Trail star in the front was still in pretty good shape when I replaced it after 6-8 months.

    I've got several pretty long test rides/demos on the Trail Kings and like those as well. Maybe a bit less grippy in turns than the HD but I love the way they mold themselves around rocks and stick in chaussy stuff.

    Both are farely rounded profile and are much more gradual in hooking up as you lean in. Less aggressive riders really like them for this. Much more forgiving. They are not like the tires you describe with no transition that you have to really lean over agressively and set the edge.

    I would think they would both work really well in the SoMo granite for climbing and tech. Big volume, low pressure, grippy. I think the Trail Kings in the Black Chili will outlast the HD's by a fair margin though. I think they roll a little faster too.

  7. #7
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    Not that it is a fair test, but Rockdude and I rolled side by side on the road on a downhill section. We weight about the same, I am taller, was wearing armor and a long sleeve jersey so I probably had more air resistance. Rockdude was on Enve + TK (not sure which hubs), I was on TS HD on flows laced to King hubs. I was very noticably faster rolling down the hill (on pavement).

    Having said that, I would look for another tire for the rear for AZ chunk. The HD tires I have will last a long time here in the PNW. The HD up front would be good, but I would recommend the TK, or another tire in back. I also think, in the chunk, its easier to flat the rear on those sharp rocks. So having a heavier/beefier tire with a harder compound is probably the way to go. I like the HR as a rear, have never tried it up front. Maybe something else from Schwalbe Fat Albert or Big Betty?

    Of note, there is also the 2013 Der Kaiser at 1150g. This may be the tire I go to in the rear, after the HD dies. I may actually race DH on it this year.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Err View Post
    nybike1971 - I had the HRII's on a set of Enve's that I was reviewing last summer, brilliant tire. Maxxis really nailed the upgrades. That said, I've seen a few too many failures on the EXO setup tubeless (not sure if tubeless is a factor for you or the OP) to work for me. But yeah, the tread pattern rocks.
    Tell me about it! I was riding up the road on the way to the trailhead with tiSS'er and dirtbag when a brand new HR II EXO exploded off my rim. It was setup tubeless at 30psi on a Flow rim with yellow tape.

    I was hoping it was just a production defect with a tire bead that was slightly too loose but your experience doesn't give me any comfort.

    After we threw a tube in there, the tire held up great for a run down Holbert at reasonable pressure (no flats).

  9. #9
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    Some of the weights i quoted above are slightly off. i just weighed a bunch of tires for reference:

    Conti TK 2.2 UST 740g
    Conti TK 2.4 UST 1210g
    Conti TK 2.4 Prot. 1010g
    Conti Baron 2.3 APEX 760g
    Maxxis HR II EXO 3C/60a 900g/910g
    Maxxis DHF 2.5 EXO 860g
    Maxxis DHF 2.5 2-ply 1350g
    Maxxis Ardent 2.4 2-ply 1170g

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Err View Post
    I get along with many tires, not one of those "I can only ride X tire" types. That said, I just couldn't get on with the 2.4 UST TK up front. Tried it a few times on a couple different bikes, we just don't see eye to eye. Out back, lovely tire, does everything I need it to and never held back because of it. They are heavy to pedal around tho, as mentioned, right around 1100g.
    Quote Originally Posted by LncNuvue View Post
    I did not like it in the desert on loose over hardpack. It just never felt great cornering even at low pressure. It's really tall and large volume but isn't very wide and the outer knobs are set more inward so there isn't a nice rail to lock on to.
    These were my findings, I couldn't have said it better. I like the 2.4 TK out back, but never did get along up front.

    Right now I'm running the Butcher SX Front right now, and if it isn't that, it is a Big Betty. FA rear, but that goes back & forth between that tire, NoNi, TK...depending on conditions.

  11. #11
    Knollician
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    Thanks for all of the info guys. It seems like the best place to start is the HD TSC/PSC combo. My brother is running the HD TSC/TSC on his Chili and loves them here in the valley. He is running 24PSI and I was pretty surprised at how beefy the sidewall felt. Hard for me to believe that they weigh less than 800grams. I normally kill tires that light on SOMO (I've never been accused of being a smooth rider).

    I know for sure I won't run a TSC in the back, but a PSC might be a good compromise. I burn through a Butcher SX on the front in 3-4 months. I do run tubeless, and I believe the EVOs are TL.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  12. #12
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    2.35 HD TS front and 2.4 TK Black Chili rear works well. My front HD is the 650b version.

  13. #13
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    I've been running a Big Betty 2.4 TSC in the front and a HD 2.35 PSC in the back for quite a while. Love that combo and ride all over the southwest with it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    Thanks for all of the info guys. It seems like the best place to start is the HD TSC/PSC combo. My brother is running the HD TSC/TSC on his Chili and loves them here in the valley. He is running 24PSI and I was pretty surprised at how beefy the sidewall felt. Hard for me to believe that they weigh less than 800grams. I normally kill tires that light on SOMO (I've never been accused of being a smooth rider).

    I know for sure I won't run a TSC in the back, but a PSC might be a good compromise. I burn through a Butcher SX on the front in 3-4 months. I do run tubeless, and I believe the EVOs are TL.
    I can confirm the HD TSC/PSC combo is excellent on the Chilcotin. I saved a bunch of money buying directly from Deutschland. Check out bike-discount.de

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    Thanks for all of the info guys. It seems like the best place to start is the HD TSC/PSC combo. My brother is running the HD TSC/TSC on his Chili and loves them here in the valley. He is running 24PSI and I was pretty surprised at how beefy the sidewall felt. Hard for me to believe that they weigh less than 800grams. I normally kill tires that light on SOMO (I've never been accused of being a smooth rider).

    I know for sure I won't run a TSC in the back, but a PSC might be a good compromise. I burn through a Butcher SX on the front in 3-4 months. I do run tubeless, and I believe the EVOs are TL.
    These guys have great prices on tires including the Hans Dampf and usually very quick shipping. Typically it's at your door the next day with ground shipping, in SoCal. Maybe an extra day to AZ.

    Bike Bling

  16. #16
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    guys, this is a great thread. As a Noob i'm second guessing every five minutes what tires I should start out with. TSC, have you put any thought into the Schwable HD Gravity. With all that rock you are exposed too the slight weight penality on the tire might be worth it. I think they come in the three Schwable compounds and they are folding tubeless. Anway food for thought. Also does anyone know if there is any differences between the 2012 and 2013 Hd's. Bike-discounte has the 2012's on sale for a bit cheaper than the 2013's.
    sorry I meant TiSS'er not TSC......

  17. #17
    Knollician
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    Quote Originally Posted by LncNuvue View Post
    These guys have great prices on tires including the Hans Dampf and usually very quick shipping. Typically it's at your door the next day with ground shipping, in SoCal. Maybe an extra day to AZ.

    Bike Bling
    Thanks for the link. Are you worried at all puncturing the tire? just seems so light.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    Thanks for the link. Are you worried at all puncturing the tire? just seems so light.
    I'm not at all worried about a puncture or slash with the HD but I'm used to lighter tires and picking lines, etc. Even with that said the sidewalls seem good (waaaaay tougher than controls) and the knobs are tighter so it's a little more difficult for sharp objects to get down to the casing. I don't think it'll be an issue unless you hit something sharp just the right way. Also, on Flows they mounted tight (I had to pull the valve core to set the bead) so burbing hopefully isn't going to be an issue either. Each ride I'm going lower on the pressure and getting better results

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LncNuvue View Post
    I'm not at all worried about a puncture or slash with the HD but I'm used to lighter tires and picking lines, etc. Even with that said the sidewalls seem good (waaaaay tougher than controls) and the knobs are tighter so it's a little more difficult for sharp objects to get down to the casing. I don't think it'll be an issue unless you hit something sharp just the right way. Also, on Flows they mounted tight (I had to pull the valve core to set the bead) so burbing hopefully isn't going to be an issue either. Each ride I'm going lower on the pressure and getting better results
    What pressures are you running now?
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    What pressures are you running now?
    When I finished my last ride the front was down to 16psi I let a little out along the way, rear was about 20psi. Next ride I'll set them at 18 front and 20 rear and likely settle there unless I'm hitting rim at speed. For SOMO I'd add a couple PSI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBMarkWa View Post
    I've been running a Big Betty 2.4 TSC in the front and a HD 2.35 PSC in the back for quite a while. Love that combo and ride all over the southwest with it.
    Hey MTBMarkWa,

    I was thinking about running the same combo on the Delirium. Are you running this tubeless? And if not can I run the Big Betty tubeless? Thanks

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    Thanks for the link. Are you worried at all puncturing the tire? just seems so light.
    I have ridden mine as a front tire since June all over the Northeast, two weeks in Oregon, one week in Moab (including two runs down the Whole Enchilada and one run down Mag 7 to Blue Dot to Portal), and replaced the day before I met you on South Mountain because I every cornering knob was chewed out and not providing any more support. I have been extremely impressed at how solid the Snakeskin sidewall is for the weight. I was quite skeptical but it has worked out very well. I have only a 4 days of riding in Phoenix and Sedona on the HD as a rear tire and it survived without any trouble but that's hardly a long term test.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyknutsville View Post
    Hey MTBMarkWa,

    I was thinking about running the same combo on the Delirium. Are you running this tubeless? And if not can I run the Big Betty tubeless? Thanks
    Yep.. Running them tubless on Stans Arch-EX rims. No issues at all. Bike is not in front of me, but I'm pretty sure they say 'Tubeless Ready' on the tire. I also ran this combo in my Delirium-T.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBMarkWa View Post
    Yep.. Running them tubless on Stans Arch-EX rims. No issues at all. Bike is not in front of me, but I'm pretty sure they say 'Tubeless Ready' on the tire. I also ran this combo in my Delirium-T.
    Thanks bro.

  25. #25
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    I have been a fan of the Specialized tires, specifically the Butcher SX
    the 2,3 Specy tires are tiny
    Have you thought of just bumping up in size to the Butcher SX 2.5? I run TK2.4 UST and I'm thinking these will be my next tires once/if they ever wear out.

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