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  1. #1
    100% italian mtbiker
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    [help] Enduro front tire with grip (fat albert, lobo loco, or?)

    Hi guys, hope I'm not breaking any rules with such a request.

    I need advice for a new front tire for my new specialized enduro sl, I'm now using alberts 2.25 which are great, but I'm looking for something better on the front (then I may move to something more "rollier" on the rear).

    I'm looking for:
    - high grip on both rocks+sandstone and forest (with pine "leaves" over humid terrain).
    - not for high speeds, I prefer a quicker response on tricky spots.
    - asphalt uphill is not a problem, I'm trained
    - weight is not a primary issue
    - something more or less usable on wet conditions (let's say 75% dry, 25% wet)

    I think alberts are great, so if I don't get advices I'm buying a fat albert. High Roller seem to have too low and scaled "design" for high speeds, so I'm not considering them. Geax Deha as well.
    What about the Lobo Loco? Are they noticeably wider than a 2.25 albert? Has anyone tried them?
    What about the Big Betty?

    Or what else?

    Thanks in advance.
    jack.

  2. #2
    The plough
    Reputation: vmajor's Avatar
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    Well my friends that are very good technical riders use Maxxiss Minion DHF 2.7 42a compound in the front and the 2.5 version on the back. They also do not care about the weght. I have yet to see them lose traction on a wet rock. Mind you, it could also be their skill that helps by keeping the bike nice and balanced.

    I use a BB up front and it sticks to wet soil really well. It does not grip slick rocks and roots to any meaningful degree when going slow, so right angles and no off camber shenanigans are your friends. The BB is very responsive and changes direction almost uncannily quickly (it took me a few rides to realise that indeed I can change direction that fast) so picking an appropriate line is often not a problem.

    V

  3. #3
    100% italian mtbiker
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    thanks for your advices. but what tire is a BB exactly? (or do you mean the bottom braket?!?)
    Last edited by mdsjack; 03-19-2008 at 04:11 AM.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsjack
    thanks for your advices. but what tire is a BB exactly? (or do you mean the bottom braket?!?)
    BB= Schwalbe Big Betty

  6. #6
    100% italian mtbiker
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    oh, ok. :P (bottom braket sounded pretty strange in the context)

    the big betty looks more like a minion dhr than a dhf, though. when you say "it doesn't grip..." do you mean is not good on dry/slick terrain or am I misunderstanding?

  7. #7
    Flaccid Member
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    The Big Betty is great for loose over hard pack, decomposed granite/sand on hard pack, good wet in creek canyon bottoms and creek crossings. It works well almost anywhere in California except for maybe around wet muddy mountains around the Bay area near San Francisco in the winter. It's great at Downieville, Tahoe, Mammoth Mtn, and almost all of So Cal like the San Gabriels, Orange County, Riverside and the desert areas, clear over to AZ and St George.

    I've found it to be a very durable long lasting tire in front, grippy in almost all circumstances for the areas I ride in.

  8. #8
    The plough
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    lol, yes it also took me a while to decipher the jargon and the mtbr abbreviations. I am now trying to rename the BB/FA combo into "mtbr special" as this tire combination was first heavily promoted to the public through this board.

    Ok, here it goes, your Bottom Bracket, sorry, I meant the Big Betty is a good choice for almost any condition where you have a chance of enjoying the ride.

    Dry =! Slick

    Dry: grips everything, rocks, roots, dirt, leaves, grass. Control is amazing, braking is unreal - you can really punish that front brake lever and all that will happen is that you will slow down faster, no drama.

    Slick (wet): grips loose terrain well, for example dirt and leaves. It does not do better than any other good tire I have tried so far when it comes to gripping wet roots and rocks. Its not to say that is has no grip at all, but its no more confidence inspiring than any good Maxxis tire in the hard 60a compound. The advantage is that it does indeed grip dirt so well that you cannot notice the difference between dry and wet, thus you still have that magic control and you can pick your line. Or you can just go fast and chances are the bike and you will make it. The huge profile of the BB helps.

    FA (Fat Albert on the rear) and BB (Bottom Bracket) are so tall that they turn your wheels into something similarly sized to 29" wheels with normal tires.

    V.

  9. #9
    100% italian mtbiker
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    ahahah ok, thanks a lot.
    by dry+slick I meant very slippery/smooth rock surfaces.
    so according to you, the "Bottom Bracket" seems to be a good allrounder.

    Thanks Randy for your examples, but I'm from Italy, have been to California once in my life (so far) and didn't ride a mtb.


    ...waiting also for someone who has tried the lobo loco, which are considerably cheaper than a big betty, before making my decision.

  10. #10
    The plough
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    I see, BB will grip any dry surface.

    It is also very good for low pressure use. Together with my bike and gear I weigh 114 kg and today I somewhat overzealously decreased the pressures in my tires.

    I rode to the trail head at 50psi, let out the air and proceeded to have a nice 2 hr ride over rocks, roots, dirt and a 1.5m drop (it turns into a drop if you go fast enough to overshoot the landing). I had a great time!

    When I returned home, I checked the pressures I was using: 21 PSI front, 29 PSI rear! I think this is the new record for BB/FA tubed or tubeless. I run mine tubed on 32mm rims.

    BTW there is some good riding footage from Italy (I think it is Italy) in the latest New World Disorder DVD (NWD 8: Smackdown).

    Cheers,

    V.

  11. #11
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    sorry to tag on to this thread a little,

    what compounds do you all use for the BB (2.4)front and FA (2.3.5)rear?
    also would you recommend it for 6hr rides of slightly more climbs then downs?

    thanks
    check out great video coverage of anything mtb (well almost).

    http://www.mtbcut.tv

  12. #12
    The plough
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    Not sure about everyone else but mine are:

    BB Evolution Triple
    FA Dual

    Shiggy or Eddie Jones, or someone else that knows, recommended the triple compound as they have used the Gooey Gluey as well and found it to wear out rather quickly when used on tarmac. I ride on the road to reach the trails and besides the cost of the tires, changing tires on my rims is a major adventure so I chose a longer lasting triple compound.

    As for the length of the ride, they roll fast, and they are light for their size. I do 2 - 2.5 hours with them maybe 3 times a week and I cannot say they are slowing me down, but I do not do XC riding (no XC trails nearby) so that may not mean much.

    V.

  13. #13
    100% italian mtbiker
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    speaking of compounds, I weight about 65kg, so I guess I should not worry about this issue too much and grab the stickier version, am I right?

  14. #14
    The plough
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    Well you see, your weight is irrelevant. As an example, and completely fictitious, but reflecting my understanding of tire wear as related to tire compounds: Given your weight, if a Gooey Gluey would last 1 year, Evolution Triple would last 2 years.

    Ergo, decide on the compound based on the type of riding you will be doing, your budget and willingness to change tires (for me, that is presently very low so I am hoping I will get at least a year out of mine).

    Gooey Gluey should be a grippier tire, but it will also be a little slower.

    V.

  15. #15
    rust never sleeps
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    I think I am the only guy around that has used the Loco Lobo. I have used them for about 2 years in the AZ desert. They are great on rock, hardpack, sand, pavement. I bought a pair becasue of the reinforced sidewalls (its not super tough like a Conti pro- its just THICK, and I hate sidewall tears) and the knob pattern- its got a lot of knobs, very well spaced from the center transitioning out to the edge.
    For the size, its a fairly fast rolling tire that wears well. The rubber just wears down, it doesn't 'chunk' off.
    And...if you can find them...way cheaper than Schwalbes.

    Good luck!!
    I love you to death, but get on the bus or throw yourself under it.



    ...a peaceful man stands tall...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocityrob
    I think I am the only guy around that has used the Loco Lobo. I have used them for about 2 years in the AZ desert. They are great on rock, hardpack, sand, pavement. I bought a pair becasue of the reinforced sidewalls (its not super tough like a Conti pro- its just THICK, and I hate sidewall tears) and the knob pattern- its got a lot of knobs, very well spaced from the center transitioning out to the edge.
    For the size, its a fairly fast rolling tire that wears well. The rubber just wears down, it doesn't 'chunk' off.
    And...if you can find them...way cheaper than Schwalbes.

    Good luck!!
    Been using Lobo Loco 2.3 TnT front and rear -- I love'em

    In terms of size, they look like a 2.25, and are very good for everything I ride here in Southern California.

    As a point of reference, I was running a Fat Albert UST / Geax Sturdy 2.25 UST combo before I went with the Lobos. The FA/Sturdy *was* the best tire combination I ever ran. The Lobos saved me over half a pound -- 270g or .6lbs to be exact. I couldn't believe how much faster I was after dropping the weight; the Lobos are also a fast rolling tire. There really isn't much downside.

    You're right about the Lobos being priced right, but to be honest I'd pay 2x what they go for...

  17. #17
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    The Lobos do wear down when they start wearing down- FAST. Howver, the Fat Albert is a grippier tire and rolls faster than the Sturdy. My riding buddy used the Lobos and I was using the Alberts at the time. Same bikes though he is 25 lbs lighter. The Albert goes through corners faster and just grips better. We were evenly matched as far as speed goes but I am comparing to the 2.25 Albert; not the FA. He slipped quite a bit more and could not hold as much speed as I could on loose corners and downhills.

    I think the Lobos are good tires in most conditions but the Albert/Albert combo is grippier and rolls as well. I prefer them when things are loose and in the wet as well. Both are UST- around 850 grams or so. The TnT is a fair bit lighter.

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