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  1. #1
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    Tubeless tires for the North Carolina rider?

    Hello MTBR.

    I'm located in the Triangle and I own a Santa Cruz Blur LT 2.2.

    Stans ZTR Arch EX 26" wheels haven't seen tubeless yet, and it's time now.

    I have no idea what to run.. I want some beefer tires than what I have right now for sure (Panaracer Fire XC 2.1). I have been looking at Maxxis Ardent, Kenda Nevegal, WTB Bronson, Specialized Purgatory, etc.

    My bike is a bit "bigger" than a lot of people around here and since I enjoy riding up in the mountains sometimes, I'd like to get some tires to go with it. My primary riding area will still be in the Triangle.

  2. #2
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    I have a set of Nevegals and love them (asheville), BillyGoat claims to sell more Nevegals than any other tire, for what that's worth.

  3. #3
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    Re: Tubeless tires for the North Carolina rider?

    Thought I have never ridden in North Carolina, I can a say with conviction the Purgatory makes for a predictable and capable front tire in a wide variety of terrain. Pared with a Captain or Ground Control rear and you will good in a wide range of conditions.

    Sent from my Android in the great outdoors.

  4. #4
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    I absolutely hate the Specialized Purgatory tire. It's predictable at not hooking up, but that's my experience with it. The Ground Control is an excellent tire, as is the Continental Trail King in Black Chili. The key in the mountains is running a softer compound, at least on the front, since it's wet and slippery on the roots and rocks most of the year. Nevegals are solid, but not spectacular. I would really like to try some Maxxis tires, like the DHF and Ardent, but I'm not in a hurry to attempt to mount them tubeless. What's your riding style? Are you an aggressive rider? You will want a bit of a space between the center knobs and side knobs, like the DHF or Butcher. If you want a more consistent cornering tire, give the Trail King or Ground Control a try.

  5. #5
    IoC
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    I lived in the Triangle area (near Legend) for 5+ years. I ran something beefier up front (Nevegal or Ardent) and faster in back (Nanoraptor, Ikon). That was overkill for the area and I'd switch to SB8's for any of the XC races.

    I live in AVL now and run any common "knobby front, slicker rear" combo. Ardent/Ikon has worked nicely for a long time. After some sidewall tears, I'm now running Specialized's Captain (front) and Fast Trak (rear), both in the 'control' version. For my style, they're gripping as well as the Maxxis and seem to roll better and go tubeless more readily.

    I've also used the Conti Trail King/X-King combo. It was fast and performed well, but always felt "narrow" up front and wore out too quickly for my wallet to handle.

    FWIW, I've also tried a Bronson. Don't.

  6. #6
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    I run Captain Controls front and rear and am very happy with them.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the input! What do you think about the type of tire. Seeing that I have a Stans wheels, should I go for UST? Or something else?

    In terms of my riding style.. I'm ~170 lbs geared up and I like to try everything I see on the trail. I'm definitely not strictly an XC rider.. but I'm also not going huge off freeride jumps or doing a lot of downhill.

    Pretty much all of my riding involves a lot of hill climbing and bumpy descents.

  8. #8
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    I like the Purgatory/Ground control combo for the Pisgah/Nantahala east Tennessee trails. I used to be a big Nevagal guy as they give tons of stick but their a bit heavy and don't roll so well. YMMV.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  9. #9
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    It's recommended that you not go UST with Stan's wheels. I've been running a UST WTB Wolverine on my Flows for a while without issues, however. Great tire when it's dry, by the way. It's my new go-to rear tire, but it sucks when it's slimy out.

    I really don't get the props for the Purgatory tire. I could never get it to hook up. It was always dancing around the trail and never felt "glued" to the trail. It was kinda fun on the back for a while, but it was definitely not the holy grail of traction...

  10. #10
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    The Ardent has proven to be a spectacular tire for me in the front position. It rolls well and stays put in corners. The UST model I use is on a set of Mavic Crosstrails and holds air better than a tube.

    I also have it as a rear tire but I've been a bit lukewarm on it's performance in that position. I'm going to try a Trail King in place of the Ardent. I feel the more paddle-like design of the tread(and some Black Chili) will be more useful in my area. The Ardent has a pretty good gap between the center knob and the cornering knobs and I think this may hurt its performance in rocky sections with the constantly changing angles. On hardpack and soft soil, its a fine tire.

    Isn't tubeless ready stuff basically non-certified UST? The rim profiles look very similar. Tubeless-ready stuff will fit a UST rim. The beads should be similar enough to go either way. But, I'm guessing...

    I'm in the Boone area and have the same bike as you for what it's worth.

    -Lule

  11. #11
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwhatley View Post
    Thanks for all the input! What do you think about the type of tire. Seeing that I have a Stans wheels, should I go for UST? Or something else?
    I'd just use tubeless-ready stuff. UST tends to have a weight penalty. FWIW, the longest lasting Ardent I've ever had wasn't even a "tubeless" model, and it was one of the best sealing, easiest to mount tires I've ever owned...YMMV.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by IoC View Post
    I'd just use tubeless-ready stuff. UST tends to have a weight penalty.
    ...And non-UST has a technology penalty. In the Maxxis tire line, only the UST tires have the high-thread-count casing for a more compliant tread and have the advanced rubber compounds.

    Just to be fair...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by IoC View Post
    I lived in the Triangle area (near Legend) for 5+ years. I ran something beefier up front (Nevegal or Ardent) and faster in back (Nanoraptor, Ikon). That was overkill for the area and I'd switch to SB8's for any of the XC races.

    I live in AVL now and run any common "knobby front, slicker rear" combo. Ardent/Ikon has worked nicely for a long time. After some sidewall tears, I'm now running Specialized's Captain (front) and Fast Trak (rear), both in the 'control' version. For my style, they're gripping as well as the Maxxis and seem to roll better and go tubeless more readily.

    I've also used the Conti Trail King/X-King combo. It was fast and performed well, but always felt "narrow" up front and wore out too quickly for my wallet to handle.

    FWIW, I've also tried a Bronson. Don't.
    I have a 2.4 mountain king on the front and a 2.2 race king on the rear of one of my Single speed bikes. I have Bronsons on another SS and love them. One of the best tires I've ever used.

  14. #14
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    Speshy Ground Controls with 2.3 s-works front and 2.1 control rear.

  15. #15
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    All the above with reinforced sidewalls. Especially the specialized brand. Or just bring a tube and a patch kit.

  16. #16
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lule View Post
    Just to be fair...
    Not just fair, but 100% correct.

  17. #17
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    the Ardent 2.4 has been popular w our group (both tubeless and t00bed).

  18. #18
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    Specialized captains or ground controls are what you need.Can't beat the warranty.

  19. #19
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    Captains for training, Ikons for racing. Tubeless both sets.

  20. #20
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    I just purchased a wheelset with stan ztr rims that are setup tubeless. The front had a one season old x-king and a new racing ralph on the back. Rode at dupont for the first ride and it took at little getting use to the tubeless setup and the fast rolling tires (and better hubs, I was flying). I had a Nevegal and a Michelin both with DH casings setup with tubes on crappy wheels before that (rode more DH than anything, now I have a proper DH bike). So the older x-king was a little sketchy. Still is really even riding around raleigh. I think the pressure was a little low though. Just switched to an ardent up front, will check out once the rain stops. Really starting to like the racing ralph on back, but will probably replace it with something cheaper when it wears out, probably a captain control 2bliss.

  21. #21
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    Just an update for anyone that is interested. Been riding the Ardent 2.4 up front for a few weeks now and loving it. Currently only triangle area trails, but will be headed up to AVL next week. Had a puncture flat (nailed a big quartz block) on the racing ralph, in the tread, that wouldn't seal back up, plus two dings in the rim. Had to throw a tube in and found out how much I now like riding tubeless! Pulled the dings out and used a homebrew recipe that sealed the slit, but found hole right on the bead (I guess from the dings on the rim). So I took the x-king that was originally on the front and moved it to the back. Hated it on the front, love it on the back! Actually like it more than the ralph.

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