Paging shiggy©®™: Tire Question
Tiremaster, I'm running a set of Ritchey SpeedMax 2.1's on my SS and for hardpack and road riding works pretty well. Now I would like your recommendation for a good all around trail tire. I've noticed that most of the riders use 2.2 or 2.4's on their rides, any special reason for riding wider tires?
I'm not Shiggy, but I like fatties, and here's why:
low pressures/fewer flats-- the larger volume spreads around more, and sharp creases in the casing are less of a problem, making pinch flats obsolete. I've been using Stan's for a bit now, and thorn-type flats are a thing of the past, too. The lower pressure pretty much begets my other reasons...
comfort-- lower pressures makes for more squish, which means a softer ride for my bony bum. I like that. SSers only get hardtails, so we make do with what we can (comfort can't come from squishy suspension): that might explain why most SSers ride big tires, too.
grip-- bigger tires with less air in them go pretty far when it comes to rocks. They don't bounce at all, and instead just roll over pretty much everything. I get far better grip in all situations (except where none inherently exists, like deep, deep mud and ice), partly due to a larger contact patch (product of wider tread and lower pressures), partly due to better bump absorbancy (pressure-dependent).
So, it's all pretty connected, but adds up to a good whole. I need higher pressures when I know I'm going to see more road time, and less (down to, oh, say 20 psi in a 2.4) when I know I'm going to see lots of rocks. The big drawback is lots of rolling resistance (on pavement) compared to skinny tires. There are a few that are pretty good at combatting this and still providing good grip off road, but none that work well in mud as well as rocks. Ritchey's 2.4 Modovader is probably one of them (though I haven't ridden it, the tread looks like a fast-roller), and I like Geax's 2.25 Sedona and WTB's 2.4 Mutano as far as easy-rolling goes. If Hutchinson made a 2.5 Python, with a thicker casing, I think it would be the perfect rock and hardpack tire.
Oops. I kind of rambled, but you get the idea--it's like Spinal Tap says..."the bigger the cushion, the better the pushin'" ...OK, so it's an over-used analogy, but it's rarely applied to bikes, eh?
"I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."
-The Good Doctor
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