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  1. #1
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    New bama rider and tire recommendation

    Have been beating around this place for quite a while now. I actually just posted in the specialized forum about the bike and a couple upgrades I'm getting, but would like a few recommendations from you guys.

    I'm getting a hardrock sport disk in the next week or two. I race motocross and am trying to come back from a leg injury, but starting on the cheaper side to make sure I'm able to stick with it. Goin to upgrade to a new set of bars and pedals, but wanting some tire recommendations.
    I'm from the Birmingham area. About 30 minutes from oak mountain, 20 from Birmingham, hour from the Georgia line on I-20. Hopefully give you guys an idea of riding possibilities. As for tires, I'm not sure. I've read so many different combos but haven't had one stick yet.
    I've heard the fast trak rear and ground control front is a good setup, also a few maxxis setups, but I can't decide. What would you guys recommend??

    Also, what bike shop does everyone use? I've been to a ton lately. Cahaba cycles in Pelham and home wood, bike link, Bbc, bobs bikes, etc
    I've only been really impressed with the Cahaba cycles and bikelink. Bbc was decent but had to ask for service. Super nice guy though. Cahaba cycles is who I use to do business with when I raced BMX as a kid, but not really looking for what they carry. Bike link has been the best service bar none every time I've been in there. Not pushy, very straight forward and act like they know me personally. Awesome guys, but still like other opinions!

  2. #2
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    Anyone home??

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    Nope! Nobody really uses the Southeast forum. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    Im a rider from Tuscaloosa but I have ridden OMSP more times than I can recall.

    Oak Mountain has a little bit of everything which makes it really tough to choose 1 ultimate setup.

    You have fast hardpack on the Lake/family/and the lower half of J+H trail which would benefit from a lower volume, faster tire.

    Then on the other hand, the upper half of J+H, boulder ridge, and west ridge are super rocky and technical, and you would benefit from a high volume tire.

    And to top it off, the west side of the park is pretty stereotypical southeastern trail. I.E. rooty, flowy, short climbs and descents.

    On my everyday wheels, I run an Ardent 2.4 up front and a Mountain king 2.4 in the back. I prefer high volume tires. The grip and volume rock but you pay a weight penalty.

    Tires I have used with good success are Mountain kings(old and new), 2.4 ardent, 2.4 racing ralph, 2.35 nobby nic, 2.2 geax saquro, 2.2 Maxxis Ikon, 2.35 Panaracer rampage.

    These have been my favorite tires for the southeast. Obviously, you will need bigger knobs this time of the season to cut through all the leaves on the trail. (though I would bet BUMP does an awesome job of keeping the trail clean.)

    I have never used specialized tires, so I cant speak on that combo.

    Any thoughts?
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  4. #4
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    Sheepster is right. Mountain kings and racing ralphs are great. Most any hard pack tire will be decent. Don't forget to try out the flow trail at oak mtn and the downhill at coldater is awesome. A downhill/BMX paradise Bikelink and Cahaba both are great. Chuck and Geoff are great at Bikelink and most anyone at cahaba are good. Don't worry too much about changing a bunch of parts out just yet. Go out there and have some fun! See you on the trail!

  5. #5
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    bikelink is definitely my go to so far!!

    do you guys run a combination f/r or stick to one tire f/r??

    the couple tire selections ive been hearing most about is an ardent front with crossmark or ikon rear,
    ground control front with fast trak rear.

    i dont know any local riders to talk to about anything yet though so somewhat difficult to choose!
    how about those mountain king and racing ralphs?? one tire for front and rear or a combo working best??

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zkid09 View Post
    bikelink is definitely my go to so far!!

    do you guys run a combination f/r or stick to one tire f/r??

    the couple tire selections ive been hearing most about is an ardent front with crossmark or ikon rear,
    ground control front with fast trak rear.

    i dont know any local riders to talk to about anything yet though so somewhat difficult to choose!
    how about those mountain king and racing ralphs?? one tire for front and rear or a combo working best??
    I typically mix and match. But running the same is fine as long as you want the same qualities in your f/r tires.

    I typically run a slightly faster rolling(i.e. smaller tread) and slightly lower volume tire on the back, and a bigger, knobbier tire on the front.

    The front tire is where most of your braking and steering traction come from so I like a bigger, knobbier tire. Also, I ride rigid mountain bikes, so some extra cushion up front is always appreciated.


    Im not going to lie, there are hundreds of tires on the market all with different characteristics. You may be best off with just choosing something mid priced and seeing how it works for you. Depending on how it works, you can make a more informed decision come next purchase. No one combo is best for every rider.

    Ill throw out a few good normal combos. Are you on a 26er or 29er?

    Geax saguro 2.2 rear, ardent 2.25 front.(or ardent 2.4 on the front if you wanna get nasty)
    Maybe saguros front and rear when the leaves break down. This is a very nice combo, but mine wore out pretty fast on the rear.

    Ardent 2.25s on both would be a super grippy combo. Ardents havent failed me yet. They have tough casings that ride like crap(not supple), but never tear or puncture. (for me at least)

    A really fast and light setup(dont forget expensive)
    Would be a Maxxis ikon 2.2 on the rear and a Racing Ralph or Nobby Nic on the front.(this is one of my favorite racing combos but each tire can set you back like $75 or so...)
    The Icon is like a high performance Saguro.

    Kenda makes cool tires. Maybe a small block eight as a rear, and slant six on the front (pretty fast rolling combo)

    Or for more grip, try a Slant Six on the rear and a Nevegal on the front.

    Or mix and match options.

    Hopefully I made some sense and was at least 50% helpful!
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  7. #7
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    definitely a ton of help!!
    ive been researching tires for hours lol
    im a 26er hardtail though

    what makes the ardent ride like crap?? have been reading a little bit about using them on the front with a ignitor out back.

    i want a little meatier tire up front for sure and looking to stick around 100$ or so. cheaper never hurts as long as the tire still does well of course

  8. #8
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    When looking at tire specs, check out TPI. That means "threads per inch". Similar to "thread count" when referring to sheets. The higher the TPI or Thread count, the more flexible, softer, more pliable, less "rough" the material is.

    The ardent I am on is 60tpi which is low. It has a stiff casing which doesnt deform very smoothly to roots and rocks. In turn, the tire simply isnt as "supple" as a 120tpi tire. Lower TPI tires are generally more cut and tear resistant though! So keep that in mind.

    Im on Maxxis's website. It looks like the 26x2.25 is available in a few options. One is 120 TPI, but it is "UST" which means its for UST tubeless use. I would not recommend this unless you were running a UST tubeless system.

    The other options for the 2.25 are 60tpi. One is a standard casing, and the other has an "EXO" casing. "EXO" is maxxis lingo for tires that have an extra tear/rip protection layer in the sidewalls.

    You may not need this if you are riding hardpack, or loose rocks slowly. But once you crank up the speed on loose sharp rocks with heavy brakes, sidewall protection is almost mandatory or you will be slicing tires open left and right.

    OMSP does not have a lot of sharp loose rocks, but you never know.
    The EXO only adds 15 grams per tire(basically nothing) but you may pay a small price in suppleness and a few more dollars out of pocket for the tire.

    I have never used an Ignitor as it doesnt come in a volume I would like to try(on my 29er), but I hear people talk about them... Cant recall if its good or bad though!

    I think $100 would get you a sweet set of tires that should perform great. Tires are one thing in which you definitely get what you pay for.

    After some thinking, OMSP is pretty rocky and rooty in sections, so I would lean toward a higher volume. Maybe anything above 2.2in. But again, this is all personal preference.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  9. #9
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    Hi from Arizona. I used to live in Anniston and there's some good stuff around. Cheaha near Anniston has some long single track, but there's plenty close to you. Your LBS can hook you up. Be sure to make a trip to PISGAH thisSpring, tho. Its really really good stuff. I hear there are some nice trail in Chattanooga, too. I ride on FT rear and Captain front, tubeless, 37 psi. Roll tide, and happy trails.

  10. #10
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    Scott, you gotta go back to Anniston and ride Coldwater. Its planned to be an IMBA epic of 60 miles.

    This year they have only finished the first 10 or so, but it is really fun.

    It is the closest thing I have ridden in the southeast to riding in the mountains out west.

    Big climb and a big fast descent.

    If I lived in Anniston, I would have a "coldwater bike". 150mm travel steel hardtail 26er with flat pedals. Thats how fun the downhill is.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  11. #11
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    Coldwater is awesome for anyone with downhill/bmx skills. F/S works great too. Also, two weeks ago they started on the next part of the project.

  12. #12
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    Sounds like I need to check this cold water place out!!! It sounds awesome!

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the Coldwater tip. I'll make the time next trip visiting in-laws in Tuscaloosa and out-laws in 'lanta.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the Coldwater tip. I'll make the time next trip visiting in-laws in Tuscaloosa and out-laws in Atlanta.

  15. #15
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    As far as tires I run and highly recommend Maxxis Ignitors on the front and Maxxis Ikons on the rear. I have been biking since the early 90s and it's the best setup I have ever used.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29er4life View Post
    As far as tires I run and highly recommend Maxxis Ignitors on the front and Maxxis Ikons on the rear. I have been biking since the early 90s and it's the best setup I have ever used.
    I was debating on that setup actually!!
    Have you tried an ardent on the front? Or an ignitor on the back?

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