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  1. #1
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    X-POST: 2.25 Rear Endorphin Tire--Overthinking

    I posted this over on the AM forum, but it makes more sense to take some input from fellow knolly riders.

    I am having trouble trying to determine a new rear tire for my knolly endorphin. For reference sake, I ride upstate NY technical trails and east coast enduros.

    Here is what I want out of my rear tire:

    2.25 width (to complement my 2.35 up front-bontrager XR4)
    effective sidewall protection for east coast rocks
    Decently fast rolling
    A tire that breaks free while cornering before the side knobs dig in
    Tubeless (on stans flow)
    800g'ish max

    This summer I went with a 2.3 Spec Purgatory, and although a good tire, I feel like I can improve. IMO it offered too much cornering grip for my riding style, I like to drift a bit before the side knobs dig in. Also, the sidewalls were not strong enough to run tubeless...I ended running a DH tube because I hate getting flats (especially Enduro racing).

    Tires I have considered include 2.35 maxxis HR and 2.25 Ardent, not sure if EXO or LUST would be better. A 2.2 bontrager XR4. Michelin Wild Race'r & grip'r.

    I have researched myself into indecisiveness so now I need the internet to tell me what to do!

  2. #2
    MC MasterShake
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    Your not crazy. I'm on the same search. Live in the Boston area and have a tougher Endo build and here is what I've gone through.

    - Ardent 2.25 > Lust sidewall was worthless while EXO worked fine. Fast rolling with descent enough traction. Side knobs wore and tore too easily. It worked OK with tubeless but had to pressure it up to keep it from rolling off the rim.
    - Minion DHF 2.25 > Surprisingly good traction for a non-sticky tire. Not terribly fast roller. Way too squirmy overall. It felt like I had a tube with knobs instead of a tire. Tubeless was OK but had to keep the pressure up.
    - Trail King 2.2 > Very large tire for a 2.2. Sidewalls were strong and tubeless was pretty good. I did have a problem with the sidewall warping during a blowout causing the tire to be ruined. Traction on anything but firm hardpack SUCKS!
    - Race Ralph 2.25 > Use them only for hardpack race type days. Small tire with tiny knobs. Rolls superfast and has descent traction on fast terrain. Week sidewalls but tubelesses up nicely.
    - HRII 2.35 TR > My buddy has these and really likes them but he has them on a bigger bike. I have the 2.4's on my Chilly and they do tubeless really well and most things really well. They are kind of hefty and they are kind of slow rollers and expensive, which has kept me away.

    Currently using a 2.4 Chunky Monkey. It's a good overall compromise. Just over 800, tublesses well, good traction and good speed and cheap! Concerned over the thin sidewalls but so far hasn't been a problem. Bigger than I want for tires on this bike but it's doing the trick until I can figure it out.
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  3. #3
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    Just go ride your bikes ffs.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak View Post

    Currently using a 2.4 Chunky Monkey. It's a good overall compromise. Just over 800, tublesses well, good traction and good speed and cheap! Concerned over the thin sidewalls but so far hasn't been a problem. Bigger than I want for tires on this bike but it's doing the trick until I can figure it out.
    Woodyak,

    Have you tried the Smorgasbord yet? I tried the Speshy Butcher and Captain Control all spring and summer, and they were ok, but I found their sidewalls really flimsy and they didn't hold air tubeless very well. Took them off when the rain started hitting us and put some Hans Dampfs on I had lying around just to finally wear them out, I'm guessing they won't last much beyond winter, then I'll be looking for a other tire options myself.

    If the Smorgasbord is just a smaller version of the CM (I'd need to look at the tread pattern, not sure on this,) it should be great. I love the CM on the back of my Chili.
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  5. #5
    Delirious Tuck
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    I've been happy with HRII on back of the Endo, solid tire, I'll take the grip and sidewall strength at Clyde size.

    Going to go for a speshy LUST Ground Control 2.2 next.

  6. #6
    formerly shabadu
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    Maxxis Crossmark 2.25 LUST. Total sleeper tire. I've been running it on the back of my bikes for the past 3 years(NomadC, Chilcotin, Endorphin). It's a little hefty around 900g, but durability has been great for me riding and racing around CO and UT. Very rocky front range CO trails and plenty of Moab time riding and racing as well.
    Rolls very well, and has good braking traction and ok climbing traction.

  7. #7
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    Flowtron -- that was another tire I was considering but I read a few reviews that were saying it didn't handle wet rocks & roots too well, which makes up a fair bit of my riding.

    I ended up pulling the trigger on 2.3 spec Ground ControlUST. At 890g it still will be lighter than my 685g purgatory with a downhill tube in it.

  8. #8
    MC MasterShake
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowtron View Post
    Maxxis Crossmark 2.25 LUST. Total sleeper tire. I've been running it on the back of my bikes for the past 3 years(NomadC, Chilcotin, Endorphin). It's a little hefty around 900g, but durability has been great for me riding and racing around CO and UT. Very rocky front range CO trails and plenty of Moab time riding and racing as well.
    Rolls very well, and has good braking traction and ok climbing traction.
    Really? I rode those years ago as an XC race tire. I couldn't imagine running them on anything but smooth trails, especially on a Chilly.
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  9. #9
    MC MasterShake
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    Quote Originally Posted by rscecil007 View Post
    Woodyak,

    Have you tried the Smorgasbord yet? I tried the Speshy Butcher and Captain Control all spring and summer, and they were ok, but I found their sidewalls really flimsy and they didn't hold air tubeless very well. Took them off when the rain started hitting us and put some Hans Dampfs on I had lying around just to finally wear them out, I'm guessing they won't last much beyond winter, then I'll be looking for a other tire options myself.

    If the Smorgasbord is just a smaller version of the CM (I'd need to look at the tread pattern, not sure on this,) it should be great. I love the CM on the back of my Chili.
    I have not tried them. The reviews I read were pretty bad.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowtron View Post
    Maxxis Crossmark 2.25 LUST. Total sleeper tire. I've been running it on the back of my bikes for the past 3 years(NomadC, Chilcotin, Endorphin). It's a little hefty around 900g, but durability has been great for me riding and racing around CO and UT. Very rocky front range CO trails and plenty of Moab time riding and racing as well.
    Rolls very well, and has good braking traction and ok climbing traction.
    I wouldn't suggest the crossmark for eastern rocks and roots. I tried them a few yrs back and didn't like them even for XC duty here. (perhaps they've changed them tho?)
    I've been running the Chunky Monkey on back of my endo and continue to be impressed with it, (two nights ago it was incredible in -3 deg frost and wet ice on rock) but it doesn't really seem to jive with the OP's wish list in a tire.

    "2.25 width (to complement my 2.35 up front-bontrager XR4)
    effective sidewall protection for east coast rocks
    Decently fast rolling
    A tire that breaks free while cornering before the side knobs dig in
    Tubeless (on stans flow)
    "

    I'd have suggested the ardent EXO for being a reasonable match for that list but I pulled the ardent off my bike because of how it would abruptly break loose on rock slabs around here.

  11. #11
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    The next tire I am thinking about trying is the Minion DHR2 in 2.30 EXO/TR. It weighs in at 780 grams.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak View Post
    I have not tried them. The reviews I read were pretty bad.

    Ah, interesting. I found a good review by some UK mag a few months ago, but I think Tiss'er said he didn't like them in his area. I'm in the PNW though, so totally different ball of wax than the dirt and dryness of Phoenix.
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  13. #13
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    Looks like Maxxis now has the 26" Ardent 2.25 available in EXO / Tubeless Ready version. I like the 2.25 for it's speed, driftablility, and toughness. Will probably go back to this size when the weather improves.
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  14. #14
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    Here's a silly question, did you try the 2.20" Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLRs? That's what I run in the back of my Endo. To me, they meet all of your criteria. I don't have East Coast rocks or roots however. They are true to size, so about the same as a 2.35 Maxxis.

    I also run the same in front, in a 2.35. I've had the same front tire for two years - and I ride 100 days a year. Replaced the back once in that time.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubba13 View Post
    Looks like Maxxis now has the 26" Ardent 2.25 available in EXO / Tubeless Ready version. I like the 2.25 for it's speed, driftablility, and toughness. Will probably go back to this size when the weather improves.
    My dad is running this on his Chili but doesn't have a lot of miles on it yet.

  16. #16
    formerly shabadu
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Gillespie View Post
    My dad is running this on his Chili but doesn't have a lot of miles on it yet.
    I loved the way that ardent 2.25 rode, but I punched 2 holes in it during the Durango BME weekend of racing. The knobs are pretty short and don't offer much shelter to the big, round bald spots in the transition knob/channel area.
    I will likely try it again, I might just have had some back luck.
    Regarding the crossmark 2.25 lust...the 2.25 is a different beast than the 2.1 that was more popular for XC. It is tall, the casing feels like a mini DH tire and the knobs are way bigger than the 2.1. The round shape makes for really quick side-to-side transitions when railing through quick turns and berms.
    The dhr2 2.3 exo/tr is a great tire as well, but not very fast rolling. Some folks have found that the 60a durometer rolls better, I think mine was a 3c. Still, the knobs are kinda big and spaced out, it doesn't feel fast on mid-summer hardpack/dust trails out west, but for muddy or deeper gravelly trails it probably does alright. I ran it in Ely, NV for the Enduro last spring and it was $$ in the loose, off camber trails that made up a lot of the course.

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