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  1. #1
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    New question here. Tires for Northern Va trails (wakefield, Fountainhead)

    Hi All,

    I am new to mountain biking and purchased a 2012 Cobia at the end of last year. I have heard the tires that come stock are a weak point and looking to change them (29er). I have mainly been doing wakefield but my friends do fountainhead all the time and occasionally Schaeffer Farms. Are there any tires you all would recommend for these trails?

    I found an old post that suggested Maxxis Ardents, Schwalbe Nobby Nic/Hans Dampf for the area.

    **note** I am new to mountain biking so I do not need any fast race type tire as I don't really go fast at all.

  2. #2
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    What are your current tires? Tires are a personal thing so you'll get a dozen different answers. Not to mention, what works well in the summer when things are hardpack won't work well when the leaves fall and things are mushy.

  3. #3
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    I'm a fan of Ardents for general riding in the area. Good combination of reasonable rolling resistance and good traction.

    Racing Ralphs are a good fast, low-rolling-resistance tire at the expense of some traction.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobby_tables View Post
    What are your current tires? Tires are a personal thing so you'll get a dozen different answers. Not to mention, what works well in the summer when things are hardpack won't work well when the leaves fall and things are mushy.
    The tires that came on my bike are:

    Front Tire Bontrager XR3, 29x2.1"
    Rear Tire Bontrager XR3, 29x2.1"

  5. #5
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    Not familiar with those tires, but forget the whole "weak point" nonsense, more important is how do they feel for you? Now that the freeze/thaw cycle is over, how much riding have you done with them on dry dirt? Do they still feel loose, out of control or squirrely in the turns?

    Main thing is, does the tire give you confidence? If not, then a change is in order. If you're just swapping them out due to peer pressure, I'd mull it over a bit first. Quality MTB tires can get $$$.

  6. #6
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    I am also fairly new to mountain biking. I bought a Specialized this spring that has a pretty non-aggressive tread pattern and they worked at Fountainhead today just fine. It seemed to be pretty hard packed and not require much traction since it was nicely dried out.

    My friend that I ride with has a 2012 Cobia and has never complained about lack of traction. Unless you actually feel you are sliding excessively I would take bobby_tables advice and keep riding what you have. Mountain Biking will find plenty of other reasons to get you to spend money.

  7. #7
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    I also use Bontrager XR3's on my fuel ex7, riding FH alot. Sometimes Im not to confident with the traction of these, but have found a pretty happy medium with 35 in the rear, and 25 in the front (6'4" 205 lbs) To be honest with you, the best tires Ive used and liked are the Panaracer Fire XC Pros. However they dont seal up when using tubeless so I went to the XR3s. I know I could but some UST Panaracers, but that hasnt happened yet, and they are super heavy!

  8. #8
    formerly Giantxc
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    Re: Tires for Northern Va trails (wakefield, Fountainhead)

    Max is Icon and/or Ardent

    Sent from my AT100 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
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    Tires for Northern Va trails (wakefield, Fountainhead)

    I love my Geax AKA's and they work perfectly for me at fountainhead. They are very fast while nobby enough for everything.


    Sent from my Nintendo GameBoy Advance SP using Tapatalk from the future. Whatchu know about the future, son?

  10. #10
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    I run Maxxis Ardent up front and Ignitor in the rear. Works great for me at FH, Patapsco, just about everywhere...

  11. #11
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    I've been running a 2.1 Kenda Nevegal DTC on the front, and a 2.25 Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO on the rear, both set up tubeless...best combo of tires I've ridden to date, anywhere.

  12. #12
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    Re: Tires for Northern Va trails (wakefield, Fountainhead)

    Why is your front skinnier that. Your rear?


    I love the Racing Ralph tho. I have a 2.4 front and a 2.25 rear. Both tubeless... Super grippy for such a light and fast tire.

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  13. #13
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    ^^I believe the Nevegal is wider than marked.

    I am with you, I am more than willing to sacrifice a little grip for speed. I am currently on Racing Ralph 2.4 front and rear. I will be trying the Hans Dampf on the front for my new build.

    I've tried Nevegal, Crossmark, Rocket Ron, 2.25 Racing Ralph, Panaracer Fire, and some Bontrager Jones.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nov0798 View Post
    I also use Bontrager XR3's on my fuel ex7, riding FH alot. Sometimes Im not to confident with the traction of these, but have found a pretty happy medium with 35 in the rear, and 25 in the front (6'4" 205 lbs) To be honest with you, the best tires Ive used and liked are the Panaracer Fire XC Pros. However they dont seal up when using tubeless so I went to the XR3s. I know I could but some UST Panaracers, but that hasnt happened yet, and they are super heavy!
    I've sealed Fire XC 29'ers up tubeless on more than one rim. Had to use compressor for initially seating the bead, but then I add more sealant through the stem and don't break the bead and they seat back up with a floor pump. Also use rim strips, not just tape, and a solid three scoops of sealant though.

    As far as the OP, if you aren't having issues just run those tires for a while and upgrade later as they wear down. I'm trying to stick to the old adage of just upgrade when something breaks or wears out rather than upgrading just because people say a certain thing is a weak point.

    I run Fire XC's as a front tire and something skinnier with faster rolling tread in the back personally. You really don't need anything too extreme or specific for NOVA IMO.

  15. #15
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    I run a Conti Mountain King on the front, and a WTB Bronson on the back... Main trails are Wakefield and Fountainhead...

  16. #16
    Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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    Tires for Northern Va trails (wakefield, Fountainhead)

    Quote Originally Posted by Warnerja27 View Post
    Why is your front skinnier that. Your rear?
    Yeah, the Neve is definitely wider than the Ralph...just a hair, but wider.

  17. #17
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    I don't think tire choice matters that much for these local trails. Fountainhead, Wakefield, and Laurel Hill are all hero dirt when they're dry. Stay off them when they're wet and muddy.
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
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