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  1. #1
    eci
    Reputation: snowskilz's Avatar
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    Tire Opinions - 29er, NEPA

    In case you didn't know i have recently moved here from Colorado and got talked in to a 29er. Out west i ran a Minion front/larsen rear combo that worked great. Out here it seems ok. So let me know what your running any why its the best!

    If its a 29 or 26 please denote. If there's any tires you have tried before and love/hate please let me know as well. You guys know this area way better than i so i'd like to get some good info!

    Thanks for you help!!

  2. #2
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
    Reputation: bear's Avatar
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    On my 26er I was running 2.5" blue-groove kenda front and 2.5" minion dhr exo 1ply on the back. Sturdy sidewalls are a must as the rocks will take their toll. Depending on season you'll want more or MORE traction to handle slime rocks or damp trail.

    On my 29er I the weeniest tires I've been okay with were the kenda slant6 2.2" - good winter riding I had with kenda nevegal 2.2 - if it was dry all the time the maxxis ardent 2.4 worked well, but only dry conditions as it filled the frame up so much that any mud would accumulate. My current 29er has maxxis ardent 2.4" front (plenty room in the fork for all season) and geax aka tnt 2.2 on the back (but I'm pretty sure it'll have to change before wet season to something sturdier with better all around knobs, like the kenda nevegal 2.2 or maybe schwalbe hans dampf. Unsure yet.

    Your current tires are probably workable unless it gets really wet though. I'd think the larsen will just not find traction once cluttered up with some mud here.

  3. #3
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    if you like the minion up front i recommend a specialized purgatory 2.4. definitely not a race tire but reasonably light for what it is and has probably the burliest grippiest tread pattern i have ever used.

    in the back for me it is hard to beat an ignitor for all round use. in the summer i'll use something that rolls better though.

  4. #4
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    My favorite out of my experiments thus far is a Spec. Purgatory 2.4 up front (the one with most protection, not the racier variants) and a Spec. Captain 2.2 in the rear. This is on a 29er.

    Ardents work ok too

  5. #5
    Paper Mill Aleworks
    Reputation: JFryauff's Avatar
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    Kenda Small Block 8's in dry conditions, and Nevegals 2.2's in crap conditions on my 29'er.
    Sometimes I'll run a Nevegal up front if we have persistent dampness.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    eci
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    would you guys run a nevegal 2.2 up front and small block rear for summer conditions?

  7. #7
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowskilz View Post
    would you guys run a nevegal 2.2 up front and small block rear for summer conditions?
    For me personally, I think the SB8 side-walls are a bit weak, for the rocks I deal with. Rolling and traction should be good though. If they work for you then run with it. If the SB8 fails you out then try the Slant6, is my free advice.

    disclaimer: I'm a 200#(+) Clyde biker guy who doesn't seem to keep my wheels on the ground all the time.

  8. #8
    Paper Mill Aleworks
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowskilz View Post
    would you guys run a nevegal 2.2 up front and small block rear for summer conditions?
    I have on numerous occasions, and liked the combo.
    As bear mentioned though, the sidewalls are a bit thin...that said though, I've run them on some very rock laden trails (French, Wiss, Moon, Sals, etc.) and never had any issue.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  9. #9
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    My quick thoughts on a bunch of tires I have used:

    Kenda Small Block 8, as rear: good traction, weak lateral grip, no sidewall. It's fast. Would never run this tubeless.

    Geas AKA TNT, as rear: like a Small Block 8, but improves lateral grip. Has side walls, but is not light. Still can be damaged when run tubeless, but solid for most use.

    Schwalbe Racing Ralph '12, tubeless 2.35 front, snakeskin 2.25 rear: The version without the snakeskin protection feels very thin. I love the grip and speed of these in mostly dry conditions so far.

    Geax Saguaro TNT: A bit lacking in the wet. Otherwise good volume, construction seemed solid. Speed was good. Like all Geax tires built solidly instead of under built like many other brands.

    Maxxis Ardent 2.4: Big, not slow, good grip. Solidly built. Can't find too much to complain about them. A safe pick for sure assuming you can fit one.

    WTB Wierwolf LT 2.55 (old style): Good volume, not good in the wet. Fast, not too heavy.

    WTB Stout: A good winter tire. Slow, but safe in wet/snow/anything.

    Kenda Nevegal: A little smaller than the Ardent, but similar in many ways. A bit slower and probably stickier. A safe choice.



    -- Other tire guesswork: --

    Schwalbe Rocket Ron: Looked like a really good tread pattern/weight. I would never even consider these tubeless in rocky areas. The sidewalls looked questionable at best.

    Schwalbe Hans Dampf: Looked like competition for the Ardent. Seemed like more solidly built than the light Schwalbe models.

    Schwalbe Nobby Nick / Kenda Slant 6: The 1/2 way point between Hans Dampf/Nevegal and Racing Ralph/Small Block 8. I think the combo of the knobbier tire up front, and one tire faster in the rear of either of these would work. Maxxis has the Ardent/Ikon but I am not sure what would be the middle model.

    Kenda SB8/Slant6/Nevegal
    Schwalbe RaRa/NoNi/HaDa
    Maxxis Ikon/ /Ardent
    Geax AKA/Gato/Sturdy -- Not sure on this one

    WTB Bronson: seems like a good Nevegal sort of option, with a tubeless casing available.

    If you want a tubeless casing, Schwalbe, WTB, Geax, Specialized, Continental, and Bontrager have the best options from what I can remember. I've seen bad things happen to tubeless rear tires that don't have a sidewall protection layer (Snakeskin, Armadillo, EXO). Geax seems to be the one brand that has enough sidewall in their standard tubeless casing for my rocky area.

    I focused mostly on tires I've used so left out plenty of other options. So after all these words, my suggestion would be to grab some Kendas if you want tubes. They seem to have a good price point. SB8 rear/Slant 6 front for a race style setup. Slant 6/Nevegal for heavier duty use.

    Tubeless: The AKA or Racing Ralph seem good for a faster setup (choose based on how much $/weight you want to spend). Right now I don't have a ton of trust in any of the fast rear tires for heavier duty use. A sub 800 gram mid style tread, but solidly built enough to ride hard in rocks is something I would like to get a suggestion for. The front an Ardent seems to be a fine choice.

  10. #10
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    Murph I'm so glad you didn't spam this thread by saying you can find a great selection of tires at the lowest prices at Valley Cycles next to te Jazz Cafè. Lol
    "yea that's right, I stand up to shift"

  11. #11
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Of course I know Got Bike will be giving a donation to MTBR really soon...

  12. #12
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    I run the Geax AKA 2.2 with TNT casing front and rear on my SS. No issues in any condition. On my FS I run Maxxis Ardents 2.4 Exo front and rear with no issues in any condition.
    "yea that's right, I stand up to shift"

  13. #13
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    I'll tell you what NOT to get. My specialized camber 29r came with specialized ground control (rear) and specialized purgatory control (front). They ARE grippy. no issues up, down, or sideways. What they are NOT, is durable. The sidewalls are not doing well on the rocks, especially the ground control on the rear.

  14. #14
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    FWIW, I punched a hole in the tread of the 2.2" AKA TNT in a place I'd previously railed the Maxxis Ikon w/o issue, with similar PSI. I've had to up the psi in the AKA from 30-35 to 45 to feel like I wasn't going to punch another hole. Tire is predictably more bouncy on the trail, but still has decent traction. Rolling resistance went down a bit maybe, hard to say really. I'm not sure I'd like it on a hard-tail bike.

  15. #15
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    My 2 cents

    Kenda karma rear, 2.2. Panaracer rampage 2.3 up front. Like the karma for the light weight. And the rampage for the side knobs in the turns. Both holding up well. I have tried other rear tires always go back to the karma. Steel hardtail 29r. The only way to roll......and I mean rrrroooooooolllll.

  16. #16
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    Here we go....

    .....Late Fall, Winter, and Spring......

    Front-Kenda Nevegal DTC 29x2.2...Rear-Specialized The Captain Armadillo Elite 29x2.2.
    or
    Front- WTB Bronson 29x2.2.............Rear-Specialized The Captain Armadillo Elite 29x2.2

    .....Summer....

    Front- Specialized The Captain Armadilo Elite 29x2.2...Rear Maxxis Crossmark 29x2.2
    or
    Front & Rear- Specialized The Captain S Works 29x2.2

    Welcome to NEPA...Ride On!
    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

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