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  1. #1
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    best XC tire with some 'suspension'

    I ride a hardtail fitted with panaracer fire xc pro's 2.1 front and back (with tubes). I love the compliance or 'suspension' feel of them but they have too much rolling resistance. I ride half my time on dry single track hardpack/rocky conditions, and the other half on pavement trails through my local hills for fitness training. I want to find a faster rolling tire that grips well but offers some suspension /compliance too. I tried kendra small block 8's (tubes), and they were great for fast rolling but punctured too often at lower pressures allowing more compliance. What tire (must be tubed) has a good suspension feel, decent grip, and is reasonably fast rolling? And it would be nice if it has a decent puncture resistance too.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    The captain 2.2. Harder center tread you are not as apt to eat up running on pavement.
    Last edited by Fred Smedley; 01-04-2013 at 04:20 AM.

  3. #3
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    I would consider the Racing Ralph 2.25, the Ikon 2.2, and the Race King 2.2 to be the industry benchmarks for high volume XC race tires. I'm partial to the Ikon for obvious reasons, but I've been impressed with the other two also. Although I find the Race King a little lacking in cornering traction in loose conditions.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  4. #4
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    The Conti Race King 2.2 black chili is by far the best tire I've ever used. I love it and so does everyone else. That's a great tire if you're using tubes. The only bad thing I can say about them and Conti tires in general is they have weak sidewalls. It's easy to slice the side open if you ride around rocks.
    The Ralphs and Ikons are also very popular on the forums. I haven't tried those.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I have the Racing Ralph 2.25". Schwalbe's name is somewhere on the back of my jersey, for disclosure. I haven't tried it on the front, but I like it a lot as a rear tire, and it's been a definite improvement over using a 2.1" tire - I can get away with a bit less pressure.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    no trees are safe
    Reputation: Millfox's Avatar
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    Continetnal Race King, Continental X-king, Schwalbe Racing Ralph,Michelin XC Dry 2, Michelin Wild Race'r, Michellin Wild Grip'r 2012, Ritchey Z-max Shield, Maxxis Ikon, Maxxis Ignitor, Maxxis Aspen, WTB Nano, WTB Wolverine, Panaracer Soar.

    These are all fast rolling XC tyres. Some of them Wear out faster than others, but all are made primarily for hardpack XC riding. Just find the one you like the most.

    P.S. Sorry no Spec tyres. I haven't done any research on those... yet.
    P.S. II. I'd keep the Panaracer XC pro in front for better grip in corners.

  7. #7
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    Geax saguaro

  8. #8
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    It's not an obvious choice, but check out the latest Bontrager offerings.

    The 29-3 is available in 2.3", the 29-2 in 2.35". They look really promising if close to true to size. I do not have experience with them, but the Bontrager tire casings are allways really supple. If you search something that floats through rough bits, these might be it.

  9. #9
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    maxxis ikons. great rolling and offer great traction on hardpack. I was very surprised when I put them on.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeroenK View Post
    It's not an obvious choice, but check out the latest Bontrager offerings.

    The 29-3 is available in 2.3", the 29-2 in 2.35". They look really promising if close to true to size. I do not have experience with them, but the Bontrager tire casings are allways really supple. If you search something that floats through rough bits, these might be it.
    +1 - Bontrager's have just redesigned their MTB lineup and while I also haven't had personal experience with the new ones, people seem to really like them at the shop. The TLR casing is fairly abrasion-resistant too.

  11. #11
    I need a new name
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba View Post
    The Conti Race King 2.2 black chili is by far the best tire I've ever used. I love it and so does everyone else. That's a great tire if you're using tubes. The only bad thing I can say about them and Conti tires in general is they have weak sidewalls. It's easy to slice the side open if you ride around rocks.
    The Ralphs and Ikons are also very popular on the forums. I haven't tried those.
    I used Conti Mountain King 2.4s and agree with the weak sidewall statement. However that same weak sidewall does offer a very compliant ride. I never tore a sidewall but had plenty of pinch flats with relatively high pressure. For smoother trails, the Conti may be a good option. If the trails are very rocky, the sidewall can be a liability. FWIW, I'm riding Schwalbe Hans Damph Performance compound now. Great tire but not as cushy as the Conti.
    i ride bikes

  12. #12
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    Thanks all, there's some good options there for me to try.

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