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  1. #1
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    fat vs skinny front tire

    Hey Homers, long time no questions, so here goes...

    I am using my 5spot for both fun technical assaults and endurance riding, and am about to go on an endurance race soon. After enough playing around, I have a 30lbs setup that I use for everything - fast enough for my training and wicked enough for my technical taste (=not too crazy). Wheel wise, I am using a 2.35 tire upfront and a 2.1 in the rear (both nevegals).

    Question is - For a race, how significant is a smaller tire upfront? In the rear, the answer is obvious, but is it worth the effort to go smaller in the front? Cheers!

  2. #2
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    I'm always in favor of a bigger front tire, and have enjoyed the Nevs myself. Last summer though, when I did a 100-mile race with the Spot, I mounted up a pair of 2.1 Panny Fire XC Pros (new one in front, half-bald in back) and it worked out well. If I do that race next year, I plan to run the new Kenda Small Block 8 in back for very low rolling resistance combined with a good sized casing.
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  3. #3
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    Earlier this year I rode my Foes DHS Mono on a 250 mile XC epic. In order to make the ride more fun I used a 24-spoked pair of wheels with some Hutchinson Python Airlight 2.0 tires and thin latex race tubes. Big difference from the usual 2.7 front and 2.5 rear downhill tires & tubes. I was flying past those racers who were on their little lightweight bikes, especially on the long climbs.

  4. #4
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    Going thinner in the rear is an obvious speed enhancement, and hasn't reduced my technical abilities too much. But going from a 2.35 front to a 2.1 front makes a significant reduction in my technical riding fun. Thing is, I am not sure how much faster I will really become - what have you found out? Negligible? or significant? [lets say for a 6-12 aerobic race]

  5. #5
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    oh my, aint ya funny chanzo!

    tald: unless yer a big dude, id go with kos and run 2.1's yer body will thank you towards the end. the fires are a excellent choice too but those kendas are supposed to be bad ass. tons of good reports commin down the pike in here.
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  6. #6
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    i saw a huge diff in how i felt mid race, the end was really dramatic. its just a matter of re-weightin the bars to make a 2.1 work well. practice 1st and get the speed up before race day.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    practice 1st and get the speed up before race day.
    Agreed. Make sure and ride the tires you choose several times before the race, so that your default "exhausted mode" of riding matches what's on your bike that day, not what was on it a week ago!
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  8. #8
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    When I raced my Spot earlier this year, I put 2.1 Maxxis rubber on it. It makes sense for 2 reasons: 1. Most XC/24 hour courses are much smoother than what you would probably normally ride for fun so less rubber isn't going to affect the performance much. 2. Less weight is good, especially rotating weight at the edge of the wheel. You'll really thank yourself at the end of the race that you're spinning less mass around in circles.

    Also, as CC said, make sure you take it out for at least a short ride (pre-ride the course if you can) to understand the difference in how the bike handles.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tald
    Question is - For a race, how significant is a smaller tire upfront? In the rear, the answer is obvious, but is it worth the effort to go smaller in the front? Cheers!
    I recently finished a 6 hour race and I would definitely consider your tire choice. I won't cover any new ground here but I normally run a Kenda Blue Groove in the front and a Nev in the rear in 2.1 UST. Good trail tires, but not for racing. I didn't buy anything new for the race so I ran what I found in the garage: a WTB MutanoRaptor 2.4 in front and a Mythos XC 2.1 rear--both tires are way skinnier than the BG or Nev. Lighter tires means less static weight, but also less rotating mass so that alone saves you energy. But a tire with low rolling rsistance is good, too. The center blocks on the MutanoRaptor make it a fast rolling tire (the Mythos isn't so fast). Also, if your course has a lot of loose climbing (as mine did) a smaller rear tire (especially in its height) will reduce your gearing some what and reduce the burden on your legs when you get really pooped.

    Good luck.


  10. #10
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    I normally run a 2.3 front and back, and dropped to a 2.0 for racing (Spec RollX Sworks - very light - no problems). Unless the course is very technical, it makes sense to run something skinny with low rolling resistance.

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