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  1. #1
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    Winter tire choice

    I'm looking to get some new tires this Christmas for the wet months, but have been spending hours looking at threads for any help. I have a few ideas, but I thought it appropriate to ask those that ride the same dirt as I. My trails consist mostly of MAC forest here in Corvallis, but also include the HHT and Gales Creek loop at Brown's camp.

    They would be mounted to the wide profile of my rhino lites. My Pana Fire XCs are a little too "unbeefy." My new XC ride is a Rigid Inbred SS, so I would prefer a high volume, 2.35 or 2.4 front tire, and maybe a 2.2 or 2.1 in the rear. There is the possibility I would also put them on my Freeride bike (MC Rumble) instead of the DMR Moto Diggers that are on there now (decent, but not great for use in the wet) when I take it out.

    I was thinking maybe putting a Maxxis High Roller 2.35 on the front, and a Maxxis Advantage 2.1 on the rear. I like how the Advantage sounds, but I am not hearing such good things about the sidewalls, especially for a rear??? Also, I'm considering a pair of Kenda Nevegal DTCs, 2.35 in front, and 2.1 in the rear.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    love my Simonds 519
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    The dirt I'm familiar with is a good bit north or east of Corvallis, but I use 2.1 Fires as three season tires and have found it generally works best to switch to semislicks for winter riding. Even wide spaced knobbies pack up on me in the wet and semislicks usually do better for me on ice or packed snow (not that Corvallis gets too much of that) but so far of half-dozen knobbies I've tried I've gotten easily the best results with Panaracer's square block tread. IIRC Shiggy likes the 2.35 Rampage as an all round tire, which would meet your front criteria and he's close to your neck of the woods. You might consider the 2.1 Trailraker as wet condition rear.

    I've been eyeing the 2.25 Cinder as beefier alternative to my Fires, though both the Cinder and the 2.4 Fire FR probably don't clean well enough for regular mud riding.

  3. #3
    meatier showers
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    My fav 26" mud tires.

    Front:
    Panaracer Fire FR 2.4"


    Rear:
    Schwalbe Black Shark Mud 2.2".


    FWIW I live in Creswell, Oregon and have been riding off-road year round since 1985. I agree the Panaracer Fire XC tires make lousy mud tires, although given their classic rectangle-block knobby design this fact still confounds me. The look like they should work better than they do. Regardless, and in spite of its design similarities to the Fire XC, the Fire FR 2.4" has worked really well in sloppy, slippery conditions. I'd run these tires front & rear except that I can't fit a 2.4" tire in my frame. No problem, Schwalbe BSM 2.2" to the rescue. It's the cat's PJs if clearance is an issue.

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  4. #4
    mudnthebloodnthebeer
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    I like the Nevegals in wet conditions where clearing mud from the tread isn't a big issue. When it is an issue I'm pretty much sold on the Conti Survival Pro, although I'm pretty sure they're not being produced any longer. I'm also a believer in narrow tires front and rear this time of year, preferring to penetrate the muck in search of traction rather than attempt to stay on top of it.
    Also, the streets are full of horizontal dropouts...

    BSNYC

  5. #5
    Making fat cool since '71
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    I've not had any luck with Nevegals during winter. I love them in dry stuff, but not OR mud/muck.

    For full on OR winters (read: November to March, mostly) I run either a WTB Timberwolf 2.5 front and rear, Panaracer Fire FR 2.4 front/WTB Timberwolf 2.5 rear, or Kenda BlueGroove 2.5 front/WTB Timberwolf 2.5 rear. Those are for my big squish. My rigid sees pretty much the same on front but only a 2.3 Timberwolf in the rear or maybe a Blackshark Mud in 2.25. I'd like a BSM in 2.5, but...

    Brock...

    PS: Quafimodo, I think they still make them (Survival Pro) and I know we have a few 2.1's and 2.3's at the shop; I have one hanging in my garage FWIW.
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by twest820
    I've been eyeing the 2.25 Cinder as beefier alternative to my Fires, though both the Cinder and the 2.4 Fire FR probably don't clean well enough for regular mud riding.
    Hmmm... I looked into the 2.25 cinder. According to the reviews on mbtr, the only problem people have with them are having them wash out in the front. It sounds like they perform well accelerating and braking, and in dry and wet conditions. I think I may try one of these in the rear. Still looking over candidates for a front.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    I'll second the WTB Twolf's as a great slop tire, works great for surfing pumice and some snow and thick mid-summer dust too. The 2.5's are huge though, more like 2.7's, so might not have enough rear clearence. I like the Twolf 2.5 front, 2.3 rear for loose, sloppy conditions. Only thing bad about these tires is that they are slow as tractors in good conditions and on the flats and sidewall lugs flex/squirm with hard cornering and they could kill you on rock and one of my favorite winter riding spots has a lot of rock on it, so I am not running them right now, but if I was just riding winter time slop sk, then those would be one of my first picks. Guys at LBS on the westside (wetside) like the Maxxis Advantage 2.4 front/rear for all conditions including winter/spring slop as well..

  8. #8
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    I like the Advantages too, but they seem like they would be heavy. I does seem that they would roll well in all conditions though. I also don't know if they would stand up under me. I weigh 220-230 with gear ( I know, I'm a fattun ), and i have read a lot about these tires having sidewall problems

  9. #9
    mudnthebloodnthebeer
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaKlyde

    PS: Quafimodo, I think they still make them (Survival Pro) and I know we have a few 2.1's and 2.3's at the shop; I have one hanging in my garage FWIW.
    I haven't seen them online in a while which makes me glad that I too have an unused set on the tire shelf in addition to the pair on my bike. I agree that the Neve's leave a lot to be desired in gooey conditions, but I really like them on wet rocky stuff that drains well. The grip is phenomenal as long as the tread doesn't get clogged.
    Also, the streets are full of horizontal dropouts...

    BSNYC

  10. #10
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    I'm going to try a 2.35 Neve Stick-E in front, ans 2.1 Neve DTC in the back. If it doesn't work, I'll craigslist them or whatever. Future options I may try are Panas Cinder (in the rear) and Conti Vertical Pros (rear too), with High Rollers or Wierwolfs up front if I end up not liking the combination.

    Thanks for the advice,
    Kal

  11. #11
    I got nothin'
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    WTB Motoraptors

    I have had luck with WTB Motoraptors. I run 2.14 front and rear and they seem to penetrate the muck and grab. They also seem to work really well on the tacky stuff. They are ligth weight to boot. Slow though during the dry times.

    That said, I would like to try the mud specific tires. Just a bit expensive for me.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  12. #12
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    Cinders

    I live in the coast range and I use Cinders as my main tires but they do pack up in muddy conditions, so I switch out during the rainy months. I run a cheapo Bontrager Big Kuhuna out back (good open tread pattern with big digging knobs), and a Bontrager Jones XC up front (good directional tread keeps the front running where I point it through muddy holes and switchbacks). Neither are mud specific tires but they seem to work in the coastal mud, both are 2.1s. I'm a mizer so cheap is my first criteria for seasonal tires.

    Happy Trails
    Jolly



    Quote Originally Posted by twest820
    The dirt I'm familiar with is a good bit north or east of Corvallis, but I use 2.1 Fires as three season tires and have found it generally works best to switch to semislicks for winter riding. Even wide spaced knobbies pack up on me in the wet and semislicks usually do better for me on ice or packed snow (not that Corvallis gets too much of that) but so far of half-dozen knobbies I've tried I've gotten easily the best results with Panaracer's square block tread. IIRC Shiggy likes the 2.35 Rampage as an all round tire, which would meet your front criteria and he's close to your neck of the woods. You might consider the 2.1 Trailraker as wet condition rear.

    I've been eyeing the 2.25 Cinder as beefier alternative to my Fires, though both the Cinder and the 2.4 Fire FR probably don't clean well enough for regular mud riding.

  13. #13
    Cheezy Rider
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    I picked up an IRC MudMad 2.2 at Full Cycles, works great on the front in Mac forest, handles well and won't pack up. I don't know if they still carry them, they were selling them uber cheap. I run a skinny Specialized Storm Control in the rear, but it's out of production and this will probably be it's last season, so I guess I'll be shopping before too long.

  14. #14
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    Cinders

    Quote Originally Posted by kalNhobbs
    Hmmm... I looked into the 2.25 cinder. According to the reviews on mbtr, the only problem people have with them are having them wash out in the front. It sounds like they perform well accelerating and braking, and in dry and wet conditions. I think I may try one of these in the rear. Still looking over candidates for a front.
    Cinders do have a tendancy to wash out, especially in wet muddy corners, or it could be just bad riding technique.

    Jolly

  15. #15
    Est. 1971
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    I'd have to second the Fire FR 2.4. I rode them at ACM3 which was a bog fest and was impressed with how they worked (despite the rear being a little worn).
    -Tim B
    Larry of the Swiss Alps

  16. #16
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    Too Many Tires

    So outta curriosity just how often are you guys changing tires? Every ride? Seasonal? Does Whypass have it's own special tires?
    Happy Trails
    Jolly

  17. #17
    Est. 1971
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    I used to ride the Frire FRs ll year round, then I found the Panaracer Ramages and run them on most of my all mountian type rides (big volume but better rolling than the FR), but I plan to run the Fire FRs when I do any freeriding at Black Rock or Post Canyon, and really muddy riding.

    Next year I'm thinking it'll be a 70/30 split between the Rampages and FRs.
    -Tim B
    Larry of the Swiss Alps

  18. #18
    Tree Hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar
    So outta curriosity just how often are you guys changing tires? Every ride? Seasonal? Does Whypass have it's own special tires?

    Winter Whypass riding demands a true mud tire. Rudufus's choice of IRC Mud Mad and Specialized Storm Control was the old favorite combo for Whypass, but both are hard to get now, and there's alot more options for mudders nowadays. I love the Schwalbe Black Shark Mud, in all widths, and still use a Storm Control on the rear, but would use other tires if I didn't have a few Storm Controls still to burn through.

    Real mud tires don't work well in rocky and rooty areas as the knobs are too firm to grip. They bounce off stuff, so you need to adjust your riding style to handle roots and rocks, but since they dig in well, and don't pack up with mud (due to wide spacing between knobs) they really help in the thick, clippery mud.

    My Whypass bike is not going to be used outside of Whypass, so I can get away with heavy duty mud tires, but I would not use those tires for all around winter riding, considering the drier days on trails in Oakridge don't require a ture mud tire. They are more of a liabilty than a help on trails like middle Fork, MRT, or other decent weather winter rides.
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  19. #19
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    29er Mud

    Ok since I plan on bringing my MarySS to ACM this year (can hardly wait), any 29er tire recommendations for the special mud Whypass gives birth to in the rainy season.

    Jolly
    Happy Trails
    Jolly

  20. #20
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    Kenda Klaw's are my favortie 29er wet condition tire.
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  21. #21
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    Panaracer's TrailRakers 1.9 (front and rear) hooked up well last night (whypass) on the fully rigid 26er.

    Caz's $.02

    P.S. of course they sucked on the wet roots.
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazloco
    Panaracer's TrailRakers 1.9 (front and rear) hooked up well last night (whypass) on the fully rigid 26er.
    Agree with that, except I still had on my Ritchey 2.35 (forget the model) tire in the front. It works great in everything except the full-on mud that we have at Whypass. I passed a newby on a climb who was complaining about traction. Those skinny TrailRakers really get to the bottom of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by cazloco
    P.S. of course they sucked on the wet roots.
    Is that why I went flying off the trail at one point last night?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalNhobbs
    I'm going to try a 2.35 Neve Stick-E in front, ans 2.1 Neve DTC in the back. If it doesn't work, I'll craigslist them or whatever. Future options I may try are Panas Cinder (in the rear) and Conti Vertical Pros (rear too), with High Rollers or Wierwolfs up front if I end up not liking the combination.

    Thanks for the advice,
    Kal
    I would not recommend any of those tires. If you want a "bigger" tire the Maxxis Swampthing or WTB Timberwolf are probably your best bets.
    mtbtires.com
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  24. #24
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudflaps
    Agree with that, except I still had on my Ritchey 2.35 (forget the model) tire in the front. It works great in everything except the full-on mud that we have at Whypass. I passed a newby on a climb who was complaining about traction. Those skinny TrailRakers really get to the bottom of things.


    Is that why I went flying off the trail at one point last night?
    It is also technique and experience, 'flaps. I was doing fine on the climbs with the wide-ish, low knob tires I had on last night.

    Then I hit a diagonal root on Fungirl and flew off the trail.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I would not recommend any of those tires. If you want a "bigger" tire the Maxxis Swampthing or WTB Timberwolf are probably your best bets.
    I am interested in why you would not recommend any of them? Most people seem to like them for the rocky and rooty coastal range trails, in either wet or dry conditions.

    I thought about just a pure mud tire or just a big knobby, but I want to have a versatile tire that can be used in other seasons as well. Plus, I like that fact that my bike is sub 25lbs now (versus my 35 lb freeride hardtail), and would like to keep it that way.

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