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  1. #1
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    Which AM/XC rear tire to replace X-King 2.4

    Currently running front Mountain King 2.4 and rear X-King 2.4 that is starting to wear out. I also need more traction in the rear for winter. This is in NorCal where most trails have wet soil in the winter, but not deep mud.

    I was thinking about Mountain King 2.2 or Rocket Ron. A couple of things I don't like about the MK. It has center and side knobs, and a gap in between, so it sometimes slides in corners until it gets traction again. When it rolls it bounces on every knob, unlike the smooth and quiet X-king. I imagine this contributes to rolling resistance. Other than that it's a fine tire.

    X-King was fine so far except premature wear (partly my fault) and little low on forward traction, wouldn't work well for winter. I also don't really need a 2.4 in the back anymore, 2.2 should be fine.

    Any experience with those tires in the back? How is rolling resistance and forward/side traction? Good grip on wet rocks?

    Open to more suggestions as well!

  2. #2
    Grand Master Jedi
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    Trail King 2.2 UST has worked well for me in New England. I also have a Baron 2.3 UST on order as well. That is supposed to be a rain/mud tire, but we'll see.

  3. #3
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    Put the MK 2.4 in the back today with Nevegal front. Awesome traction, but felt slow on climbs.
    Wasn't wet even after a week of rain.
    Last edited by CrozCountry; 11-24-2012 at 12:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sure it isn't the Nev that is slowing you down.Unfortunately everything is slow compared to a xking 2.4 racesport. I think the MK2 2.4 racesport is not a slow tire at all.Quicker than most. Much better under braking than the xking as well.
    If you think the X king is wearing quickly then watch the Ro Ro wear before your very eyes. Great front tire but wears very quickly especially on the rear.
    Are you using black chilli Xkings or the cheap plastic ones?
    If your riding 26", stick to the 2.4's the 2.2's are too small unless your running a 29er.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Are you using black chilli Xkings or the cheap plastic ones?
    If your riding 26", stick to the 2.4's the 2.2's are too small unless your running a 29er.
    Black Chili. Getting a continental tire without black chili seems to defeat the purpose for me. No plastic here

    Bike is BLTc, 26" with enough travel that I don't need the tire to act as suspension. That's why I am thinking about MK 2.2, should have more traction than the X-King, and hopefully less rolling resistance than the MK 2.4.

    I also wonder how the protection casing adds to rolling resistance. The MK comes in racesport.

    The XKing started wearing quickly when I rotated it on the back. Got little better traction for a few rides, and then it started wearing and traction was worse than before. The sidewalls of the racesport X-King also started disintegrating, but that may be a manufacturing defect. When they started falling apart the tire could not be run tubeless anymore.

  6. #6
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    I've had the 2.2 MK2 on the front of a 29er. I'm not sure if they would wear ant better than the X king. It's worth a try as they are at least on par with a No Ni in every respect. I'm not sure the 2.2 would offer much difference in Rolling resistance over the 2.4. I don't think I notice any difference between the two sizes in the x king. The 2.4 height and 2.3 width of the x king and MK2 give good speed and rollover. The extra cush, rollover and speed over rough terrian keeps me on 2.4's in 26". My fave are either xking or MK2 on the rear and Ro Ro 2.4 or Hans Dampf in Pacestar on the front, depending on conditions.The extra width of the Schwalbe tires gives an edge over conti's in loose conditions. Although I like the MK2 on the front on hard pack.

    I've found quite a step up in speed from a racing ralph 2.4 to an xking 2.4 on the rear so it shows how hard it is going to be for you to find anything comparable in speed without some compromise.

  7. #7
    Poacher
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    I love GEAX GATO 2.3 TNT

    Nevegal awesome, Ignitor good, Toro 2.35 tubeless ready awesome ($), Mt king 2.4 awesome, But I keep going back to Geax Gato for winter in NORCAL and summer at Downieville. Light weight and ALL mountain carcass with UST bead in TNT 2.3 version. They mount to XTR wheels w/ sealant no tools and pump up w/floor pump. Gato side knobs have a base plate for cornering stability. I have not tried Nobbie Nic 2.35 but they look really good too (for twice the price I will never buy them ). One note, I was using friends bike in Seattle and he had 2.35 Nevegal and I was reminded how great those tires are as all around. But Kenda can bite me until they say sealant o.k.

  8. #8
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    I currently run 2.2 MK2 Protections on the front & back of my bike, I had the 2.2 X-king RaceSports earlier this year but got rid of them. For rolling resistance I honestly can't tell any difference, both of them are slower than my Race Kings but compared to each other they're pretty much the same unless I'm riding on pavement. Traction is a huge difference though, the MK2 has a lot more drive and braking grip, and if I commit to the corners and lean the bike over hard it's a lot better there as well. The X-king is better in that it doesn't have that dead spot between upright and leaned over where the MK2 can get a bit loose, but once I got comfortable and learned how to use the tire it didn't bother me. I'd say my issues with the X-king is that it felt too close to the Race King and didn't have enough grip, I expect the Race King to be compromised in grip since it's a race tire that's made for rolling fast, but I expected more from the X-king.

    In terms of personal recommendations, I'd say Trail King 2.2. It has more grip than the MK2 and there's not as much of a gap between the centre and side knobs so you don't have to commit to a full lean to get them to grip when cornering. Drive & braking traction seem to be about the same as I usually run out of legs or brakes before I break the tires loose, but the Trail Kings seem to be more forgiving on wet leaves and tree roots. On the other hand they do have more rolling resistance than the MK2, but it's nowhere near as bad as a Nevegal. Seems to be about even with my old Tioga Factory XC on most trails and better on hardpack or pavement.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the info. I see many put the Gato in the front, how is it on the rear? Is it true to size?

  10. #10
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    More so than conti. They have a 2.2 casing and 2.3 tread. Saguaro is quicker with same size casing. Not a wet weather tire like the gato though.Barro Mountain will do both but not true to size. Only a 2.2.

  11. #11
    Save Jesus
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    specialized Ground control is a very good wet weather skeggs rear tire. Rolls fast on Sierra Morena and gordon mill, yet has just enough traction to plow thru wet leaf uphills down near Virginia Mill. BUT the braking and lateral traction is only average. Crawling down the steeper sections of blue blossom in the wet, the tire will slide sideways a little bit under braking. Put a fat grippy tire on front and u should be ok.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    Got another round with the Nevegal/Mountain King 2 combo on my standard loop. Uphill took little bit longer, downhill faster comparing to MK2/X-King. Surprised to see how accurate the effect of tires is on time. The Nevegal / MK2 has sick traction, only place tires skipped is leaning on wet rocks, even then not significantly. Huge confidence in every condition. In a few places where I tried to slide the rear around a corner it just hooked, and using more rear brake just slowed the bike down more. With the X-King rear I would slide. Got to get used to that.

    Getting back to the Gato, how is it as a rear? Everything I read about it is front and how great sideways traction is. How is it for driving forward?

    Whats the next step up in traction after the Ground Control in the Specialized lineup?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrozCountry View Post
    Got another round with the Nevegal/Mountain King 2 combo on my standard loop. Uphill took little bit longer, downhill faster comparing to MK2/X-King. Surprised to see how accurate the effect of tires is on time. The Nevegal / MK2 has sick traction, only place tires skipped is leaning on wet rocks, even then not significantly. Huge confidence in every condition. In a few places where I tried to slide the rear around a corner it just hooked, and using more rear brake just slowed the bike down more. With the X-King rear I would slide. Got to get used to that.
    Throw the Nevegal away and replace it with a Pacestar Hans Dampf[ faster than a Nev] and you'll split your times.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrozCountry View Post

    Whats the next step up in traction after the Ground Control in the Specialized lineup?
    Specialized Purgatory 2.3 new version
    The Captain, like Ned, is pretty much retired by now.

  15. #15
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    Back to square one

    After reading lots of reviews and advice here went with Gato TNT 2.3. Opened the box, 810 grams comparing to claimed weigh of 6 something. I don't expect tires to be spot on, my MK2 is 10% above claimed weight, but this seems too much. Its not a downhill bike. Tire goes back to the box and back to searching.

  16. #16
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    Bontrager XR4

    This Bontrager in 2.35 size blows away the Navagal 2.3 as a front tire. It grips great with awesome control on all trail surface I have been riding in So California. It has been raining here and the tire grips very well on wet rocks or slippery surface . Didn't care for it as a rear tire, gripped great but rolled slow. Still looking for a rear tire also.
    Ed

  17. #17
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    I have 2.4 wtb mutano raptor race, light 590 grms and low rolling resistance

  18. #18
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    Looking at the Specialized tires, did you guys try the latest 2013 models? They did some changes to the tread claiming big reduction in rolling resistance.

    How about s-works? Are they too brittle? The conditions here are not too rocky, but rocky enough to grind the X-King racesport sidewalls way faster than the tread.

  19. #19
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    Update: Got Nobby Nic 2.25
    I tried it with the MK2 front and then switched them. Riding in deep mud (for this area) and pools of water.
    I like it both front and back. Unlike the MK2 it does not have a significant gap between the center and side knobs and is less sensitive to lean angle.

    Not good: Wear. ~40 mile and I already see wear on the side knobs, where there is softer rubber. The MK2 on the other hand has way more miles and has almost no wear. MK2 = more bang for buck.

    Having said that, awesome tire and I got my winter fix. I would probably get another NN when the MK2 wears (if that ever happens )

  20. #20
    I'm with stupid
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    I have a wheel set up of the new Specialized Purgatory 2.3 front and rear for wetter more mucky days and wet snow on the trail. In the grip/feel department they are head and shoulders above the 2.2 model. The change in the sipes on the side knobs gives you a much better feel on where the edge of traction is. grip well for climbing and brake well. The rolling resistance is pretty low, they are faster then the Hans Dampf that they replace when I need a bit more room for mud and gunk in the rear triangle.

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