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  1. #1
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    Your Favorite Tires - Industry Survey

    I'll preface this thread by saying it's totally for me to pull information that will help me in a new job I've taken which will hopefully help an LBS make more money than they are already making. So, if that's crap etiquette, this can be deleted, or derailed, or whatever... However, I can't think of a better place/way to get people's opinions on their preferred riding tires. I also posted this thread in the wheels/tires section, but since we're in MA I thought I'd also get more location specific information here.

    So, I'm our stores new rubber buyer and we have an okay selection of MTB tires, but are missing some key tires IMO. I was going to create a poll, but the maximum number of options is 10, so that won't be robust enough to use you all for your expertise.

    I'll start off.
    I ride in New England with a fair amount of rocks (some sharp and jagged, but not like the west coast) and roots and some occasional jumps and drops. Typically I like long and fast rides where I cover as many miles I can in the amount of time that I'm out riding so I like an efficient pedaling system.
    1) What's your favorite all around tire and what terrain do you ride it on? Any additional info you feel like sharing such as what bike you ride, your weight, riding style, etc. will be helpful if you're really bored.
    Maxxis Ardent - 29.2.25 in the back and 29X2.4 in front. I ride these tires on jagged rocks and buff singletrack. They'll see jumps and drops of a few feet and I run them tubeless at around 20 psi carrying my weight of 150 pounds.

    2) What's your favorite racing tire combination and what terrain do you race on?
    Conti X-king 29x2.2 in the back with a mountain king 2.4 in the front. Courses are usually pretty buff with a few small log hops and fairly manageable rock gardens at times. Terrain is often a bit loose and damp in the northeast so I opt for the heavier and stickier front tire. My goal in races is more to finish respectfully than to win.

    3) What's your favorite downhill/gravity tire?
    I've yet to do lift assisted riding so have very little opinion on this one and am very interested to read the responses.

    4) Honorable Mentions and DJ: You can list any other tires here that you really like.
    I dig the Continental Trail Kings for their aggressive, conquer anything type tread and they are tires that I can put on and keep me sticking to what ever terrain I throw at them.

    If you wish to list what important characteristics you'd like to see out of a large tire department at an LBS, feel free to share your thoughts. Is the ability of the shop to set up the tire tubeless for you important? If so, what's an acceptable turn around time for the work to be done? How important is price matching with internet prices, or is just getting close good enough to give you a happy experience at the shop?

    Thanks for any help and input. I hope this isn't seen as bad form, but I'm simply trying to give the riders more of what they want when they head into our bike shop.

  2. #2
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    Conti RaceKings in the 26x2.2 size. I have them on 2 of my bikes and I am always amazed at how well they roll,grip and wear.
    Only downside is the sidewalls arent terribly robust but given their weight and the other positive attributes, I look past that.
    Most riding is XC oriented with some occasional racing but I dont shy away from techy stuff.
    rise above

  3. #3
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    Racing Ralph 2.25
    Panaracer Cinder 2.25
    Specialized Captain

    Have a set of conti X-kings that I wil try as soon as I wear out the current Racing Ralphs
    During the summer when it's not as wet sometimes, I used to like the Hutchinson python, but I haven't ridden that in quite a while.

  4. #4
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    I like the spec. purgatory 2.4 for an all around New England trail tire. Run them on the velocity P-35 rim. 29er hardtail, at about 28-30 psi, tubeless. Me, I'm 235lbs and ride all kinds of trails. They have good sidewalls and great grip on rocks and the wet too.

  5. #5
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    1) Butcher control is a great tire by Specilaized. Big volume 2.3 and light 730G, mounts great tubeles. Great grip and cornering in dry and wet. Side walls are a bit skinny but I have no issues. It does wear out fast in the back so Butcher SX might be a good alternative for the back. I run them at Lynn woods tubeless on UST XTR trail rims. 25psi. (whole Specialized line of tires looks pretty interesting. I hear they have a former Maxxis guy running it)

    2) Maxxis High roller will be the close second - similar to Butcher but heavier and does not seat on UST rims without 20" tube rim strip. Burps pretty consistently without it on USt adn Stan rims. With the strip - no issues. Hear good things about High roller 2 as well. Will try it next. Maxxis needs to make all their tires tubeless. (LUST stuff they have is not as soft or tacky)

    3) See a lot of Ardents on our trails and run it in the front of my 5.7 somtimes. I run 2.4 so it feels like 27" wheel with that huge volume tire

    4) Downhill - Maxxis DHF 2.5 DH tire front and maxxis High roller 2.35 DH tire back. Great season at highland on those.

    I also hear a lot of good thigs about Hans Dampf - but the compound needs to be right - trail star front, Pacestar back?. They are expensive, so I never end up getting them at $93 a pop.
    Conti trail kings are supposed to be good as well in the Black chilly compound with side wall protection.
    The biggest issue with LBS - is price and availability. They don't have these tires on the shelves and take a week to order at full price. Ordering on line often saves 50% and has 2 day shipping. Price matching would be gret but i would imagine tough to achive with limitd volumes of LBS. Maybe knowlegable mounting with rim strips ( since it is a major pain in the rear) could be a solution here if the compromise is reached between the price of tire including instalation.

  6. #6
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    Thanks a ton for all of your detailed responses so far. I really appreciate it! I know many riders gripe about stores selection and price and that drives them to the Internet and I'm really going to try and battle that. Thanks again for helping an LBS out without even spending money.

  7. #7
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    I really like my WTB Weirwolf 2.55 LTs. They are wide, high volume tires so I can run low pressures (20-25psi) but have low profile knobs so they roll super fast. I'd say they excel in everything except leaves and really muddy turns. They handle the mud just fine on climbs but in corners they are just average. Unfortunately they don't make a 26" version anymore, they only have 29".

    Tires that I've tried in the past with unfavorable results.
    -Blue Groove. I really wanted to like this tire because it is front specific. But it seemed like it could never find traction
    -Conti Mtn King. Average at best performance but was so prone to pinch flatting that I had to pump them up with 40+psi even though they were 2.3+.
    -Specilized 2.3+ all mtn tire. I don't remember the name because the sidewalls gave out on the first ride on some very mild rocks so I returned them. But even before they crapped the bed I couldn't see any area they excelled at.

  8. #8
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    1) What's your favorite all around tire and what terrain do you ride it on?
    Specialized Purgatory 2.4. I run them on rocky terrain that can be slippery and mossy in the wet months then gravelly loose over hard in the dry summer. They perform well in all conditions, but they're chunky and not the easiest rolling. Nice big volume tire for running tubeless over a variety of conditions, so they stay on my bike pretty much all year round.

    2) What's your favorite racing tire combination and what terrain do you race on?
    Specialized Ground Control 2.2 front, Specialized Captain 2.2 rear. These are way too light for an everyday tire over rough terrain, but they are LIGHT. I'll use them on XC races, but not Enduro or Super D type races over rough terrain.

    3) What's your favorite downhill/gravity tire?
    I don't do much in the way of shuttles or lift downhill riding, so I usually just keep the Purgatory's on.

    4) Honorable Mentions and DJ: You can list any other tires here that you really like.
    The WTB Mutano Raptor AM TCS is an excellent tire if you want a fast rolling tire for dry conditions. The relatively small lugs don't do much for muddy conditions, but it's a great large volume AM tire especially for the front. And for urban/DJ use my old standby is the Kenda K-Rad.
    "Got everything you need?"

  9. #9
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    Kenda Nevagals 2.35 Stick E. These things grab like glue. They do wear out fast but man do they work!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilyam3 View Post
    1) Butcher control is a great tire by Specilaized. Big volume 2.3 and light 730G, mounts great tubeles. Great grip and cornering in dry and wet. Side walls are a bit skinny but I have no issues. It does wear out fast in the back so Butcher SX might be a good alternative for the back. I run them at Lynn woods tubeless on UST XTR trail rims. 25psi. (whole Specialized line of tires looks pretty interesting. I hear they have a former Maxxis guy running it)

    2) Maxxis High roller will be the close second - similar to Butcher but heavier and does not seat on UST rims without 20" tube rim strip. Burps pretty consistently without it on USt adn Stan rims. With the strip - no issues. Hear good things about High roller 2 as well. Will try it next. Maxxis needs to make all their tires tubeless. (LUST stuff they have is not as soft or tacky)

    3) See a lot of Ardents on our trails and run it in the front of my 5.7 somtimes. I run 2.4 so it feels like 27" wheel with that huge volume tire

    4) Downhill - Maxxis DHF 2.5 DH tire front and maxxis High roller 2.35 DH tire back. Great season at highland on those.

    I also hear a lot of good thigs about Hans Dampf - but the compound needs to be right - trail star front, Pacestar back?. They are expensive, so I never end up getting them at $93 a pop.
    Conti trail kings are supposed to be good as well in the Black chilly compound with side wall protection.
    The biggest issue with LBS - is price and availability. They don't have these tires on the shelves and take a week to order at full price. Ordering on line often saves 50% and has 2 day shipping. Price matching would be gret but i would imagine tough to achive with limitd volumes of LBS. Maybe knowlegable mounting with rim strips ( since it is a major pain in the rear) could be a solution here if the compromise is reached between the price of tire including instalation.
    Nice run down there. I like a lot of the same tires. Definitely hear you about the price and availability. We have a pretty good selection where I work, and getting better at Wheelworks in Belmont covering Specialized, Maxxis, Conti and Kenda in the store, but of course the price thing is difficult to balance as competing with the online sales where they suck you in for a cheap tire, and then you spend an extra $100 to reach free shipping, etc... Our prices are however decent enough as I try to find a happy balance. The cool thing about the Specialized tires is that if you don't like it for whatever reason, they'll let you return it for a full refund.

    I haven't tried any of the Spec tires yet, but plan to. Currently liking an Ardent 29x2.4 (exo) up front and planning to go back to a Mountain King 2.2 in the rear. I have the 2.25 Ardent back there but it breaks loose climbing steep, wet roots...

  11. #11
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    All 29in tires below...

    All around - Ardent 2.25 front, Ignitor 2.1 rear (This is my combo from when the leaves start to fall until early spring)

    Race- Ignitor 2.1 front, Maxxis Ikon EXC 3C EXO 2.2 rear . For super muddy races I may run Ignitor/Ignitor but to be honest the Ikon is the best rear tire I've ever ridden for nearly all conditions.

    Downhill - Not enough experience in the genre to comment

    Honorable mentions - Specialized Captain Control 2.0/2.25. These tires hook up great in all conditions, roll decently well, last forever and air up tubeless with ease. Since the shop/team I ride for is not a Specialized dealer they don't stock these....otherwise, I'd go back to riding them for "all around".

  12. #12
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    Front 2.4 Maxxis Advantage
    Rear 2.25 Maxxis Ardent
    Love this combo for what and where I ride.
    Lynn Woods
    JRA cycles
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