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  1. #1
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    Tire choices for rocky, rooty New England

    Hey guys just wanted to start a discussion on folks' favorite tires for rocky and rooty (esp when damp) trails like Lowell and Lynn. Having just moved up from the Atlanta area, the Larsens and SB8s that worked well in the hardpack clay are just not cutting it here. Right now I've got my old Motoraptors on which have been great in the snow, and will probably work well but they weigh a ton and are slow. Fine for now since my on-snow biking is more of a stroll than a sprint, but I want to liven it up. What light(er) XC tires do you find work well for when spring comes and the pace quickens again?

    Thanks!

    Sent from my XT897 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    I have the Schwalbe Nobby Nic's on my Rocky Mtn. Altitude. at first glance they appear pretty aggressive but they still roll remarkably well. I have the 2.35s but they may make them a bit narrower.

    I am not sure how they stack up weight-wise. but they work great for me at Lynn, Lowell, and HP

  3. #3
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    I personally run Maxis Ardents on my Rocky. On my Singlespeed I have a racing ralph on the rear and a nobby nic on the front. Sidewall protection is your friend up here. I would say that about 50% of the riders in our group, 100 or so riders, run Ardents. They roll fast enough and grip just about all the different terrain types you will encounter up here.
    If you are in Lowell, do yourself a favor and get to Harold Parker.

  4. #4
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    I had some Ardents on my Trek Remedy... i loved how they rode.
    Ihad a set with the "reinforced" sidewall, and it worked very well. I had a set of single ply Ardents that got a little cut up too

  5. #5
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    I like spec. butcher up front and the purgatory in back,( 2.3's) not that light but beefy and grippy for the wet, rocks and logs.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I like spec. butcher up front and the purgatory in back,( 2.3's) not that light but beefy and grippy for the wet, rocks and logs.
    I've heard others say this, so maybe mine were a bad set. My Purg's were the absolute suck on anything wet. Not just raining wet, but even high humidity in August when rocks/roots get a little clammy. My well worn Ikons were better.

    I've had good luck with 29" Ardents as well. This year I'm going with High Roller 3C/Minion DHR for the spring slime. In mid-summer I'll typically move to Ikons once things get dusty.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely look into Ardents my next time picking up new rubber. At minimum it gives me an idea of what kind of tread to look for that works well, because looking at the thread patterns on the Ardent, Butcher, Purgatory, and Nobby, they all have a certain similarity (as opposed to the Larsens and SB8s). I'll also dig into my collection and see what I can find that would be better suited and play around. I know I have a couple WTB Motos, a Hutch Python, and a couple Bontragers (Jones AC and XC I think).

  8. #8
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    Kenda Nevegal front and back in a 2.5 Stick-E kills it in Lynn

  9. #9
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    Look at the bontrager tires as the hook up really well. But go for the bigger knobs.
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
    Thank your local Sierra Club.

  10. #10
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    Yea I'll look at the Nevegals too. Just checked and they're under 700g. I thought they were heavier than that. That's my biggest issue with the WTBs.

    Sent from my XT897 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    I'll cast another vote for Ardents. I run a 2.4 front, 2.25 rear.

    My bike had SB8s on it when I got it. I was shocked at how much easier mtb was around here when I took them off.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubaner View Post
    Kenda Nevegal front and back in a 2.5 Stick-E kills it in Lynn
    Agree. Probably the best tires made for NE riding IMO. I wish they lasted longer though.

  13. #13
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    I use the Nobby Nics with Snakeskin sidewalls and run tubeless... works great for me
    Last edited by TJmackie; 01-09-2014 at 12:09 PM. Reason: spelling

  14. #14
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    I like my Ardents and I also like my Continental Mountain Kings. I do similar sizes for both (2.4 front, 2.2(5) rear). Definitely get whatever you can in sidewall protection.
    That creep can roll, man.

  15. #15
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    So what I'm hearing about sidewalls is that the 500g racing xc tires that made the bike so nimble down in GA on hardpack clay just aren't gonna cut it, and I might as well suck it up and use heavy tires that will hold up around here lol.

    Sent from my XT897 using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    I also use ardents. 2.4 front and 2.25 rear on my slayer. 2.5 nevegals are complete rubbish for climbing.

  17. #17
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    I've had an Ardent 29x2.25 front and back, and it was OK, but when it was wet, I stopped trusting it. Continental Mountain Kings performed much stronger I thought in a range of conditions.

    The Nobby Nics are fantastic, but they wear much faster in my experience.

  18. #18
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    If by "rubbish" you mean the balls, then yeah, nevegals are rubbish.
    Their only fault is that they won't last an entire season without losing some of their sidewall integrity. But $35 twice a year is not bad for good rubber.
    For wet, off camber, rooty grip you can't beat them.

  19. #19
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    I love the SB8 and Slant6 as rear tires. Definitely want something knobbier up front though. Racing Ralph, X-King, or Nevegal when it gets slick. I ordered up a Honey Badger to try out as I'm still trying to find a tire that has the front bite I want, but doesn't weigh a ton and has a durable sidewall. I haven't had a tire yet that was as durable as a Kenda tire and the new HB and Nevegal X Pro might finally fill the gap in front end grip for me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubaner View Post
    For wet, off camber, rooty grip you can't beat them.
    Butcher Control/Clutch control combo beats them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    Nevegal X Pro might finally fill the gap in front end grip for me.

    The new x pro's use their dtc compound.

    Kenda dtc tires blow on rocky and/or rooty trails. Especially when it's wet. Their stick-e compound was the only thing they had going for them. Nevegals loose nobs and have a shitty thin sidewall that tears way too easy. ymmv.

  22. #22
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    This was also asked here not long ago, see
    Best tire for NE trails?
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on NEW DATE Saturday May 10, 2014

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubaner View Post
    If by "rubbish" you mean the balls, then yeah, nevegals are rubbish.
    Their only fault is that they won't last an entire season without losing some of their sidewall integrity. But $35 twice a year is not bad for good rubber.
    For wet, off camber, rooty grip you can't beat them.
    Kenda Nevegal X Pro Tire ? Reviews, Comparisons, Specs ? Mountain Bike Tires - Vital MTB

    Idk... nevegals have and will always suck IMO... HR2 and ardent both absolutely destroy nevegals in all conditions

  24. #24
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    Love my setup. 2.4 Ardent up front with 2.2 Ignitor in the rear.
    Wish the Ignitor had better sidewalls like the Ardent but makes up for it on grip.

  25. #25
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    When I'm going economically I'll put a mtn king protection 2.2 in the back and a 2.4 in front. When I want the fastest and nicest rolling I put a 2.25 nobby nic in the back and a 2.4 ardent in the front. For race day I'll put a 2.35 Ikon on the front and if the conditions are really buff I'll roll a Racing Ralph in the back but usually just stick with the nobby nic for hooking up on technical climbs.

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