• 01-06-2013
    29er Front Tire Recommendartion for Cross Country????
    I have a Tallboy 29er and like a fast rolling tire. I currently have a Schwalbe Racing Ralph and have used an Ikon in recently too. I like both of them in dry conditions and like the way that they roll fast. But when things get a little slick they are not so great on the front end of my bike and I find that my front tire sliding around a lot.

    What tire would you recommend for me to try in the front that will still be nice light and fast rolling but give a little more lateral traction?

    I run them tubeless on Stans Rims by the way.


  • 01-06-2013
    Maybe a Nobby Nick? Or Specialized Captian? I'm running a Mountain King on the front for the winter - great traction, but not exactly fast
  • 01-06-2013
    ...I agree the Icon is nice in the dry but not so good for me when it gets wet or slippery. I much prefer a Captain Control.

    Bill J.
  • 01-07-2013
    yeah....the Captain is actually the tire I was thinking of myself. I will see what other recommendations, but that is what I am leaning towards. Seems to have good traction while appearing to still be fairly fast rolling.

    I do like a fast rolling tire, but I have had to go pretty slow here on trails lately in order to avoid wiping.
  • 01-07-2013

    Originally Posted by bowler1 View Post
    What tire would you recommend for me to try in the front that will still be nice light and fast rolling but give a little more lateral traction?

    Matt, I'd say you are not going to find all 3 in one package as the weight is going to have to go up to satisfy the third bolded requirement.

    IRD FireXCPro (sheds mud very well, plenty of lateral traction and not too bad at 750-760g) It's probably the most overlooked tire available for 29"ers. Big favorite in Europe though. Works great up front.

    Nobby Nic 2.25 or 2.35 (rolls super fast as the center knobs are a harder rubber compound, and the side knobs provide excellent traction as they are softer rubber and really dig in.)

    RocketRon (more open tread than the Ralph, so wont' pack up and may provide better traction - I said may)

    Maxxis Ignitor
    Maxxis Ardent
  • 01-07-2013
    I went from a Captain to a Ground Control; in theory the GC has less - according to Specialized - rolling resistance and I certainly wouldn't dispute that. The center tread is like a beefier Ralph while the transition is more linear than a Captain.

    Ralphs have sparse transition knobs and rather foldy edge knobs so they are kinda fussy on pressure and cornering technique; GCs seem to like a higher pressure and a forceful, weight on the front, cornering style. They also make great all around rear tire so if you don't bond with one as a front tire you can always use it up out back.

    I have great respect for the Ralph but they made a tradeoff between weight and lateral loading. Ralph musta weighed about 135. I can live with that as a rear tire - running the remains of one off now - but had serial washouts as a front; decided to give up and go back to a Captain or a GC.

    Captains have a 'feel' to them; you have a definite centre, transition and edge, whereas the GCs are linear. And despite the current wider and more volume trend, the 2.1 GC works just fine as long as you keep enough air in it. As a rear the GC beats the Captain on most counts, which makes a convenient way to keep your front tire fresh.

    Although I'm no authority on mud tires as this is cactus country, we had a wet November and the GC seemed to work just fine in mud. It's also uncannily good in deep sand according to reviews and I'll vouch for that; sand we got.

    OTOH, in Virginia the 'edgier' Captain might be a better choice for the wet roots and rocks type terrain.
  • 01-08-2013
    I went from Ralphs to Rons and couldn't be happier :)