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  1. #1
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    Can anyone recommend a good cross country/hardpack dirt tire?

    I live about 2 miles from the trails I like, so I'm on pavement on my way to the cross country trails, which are hard pack dirt and mostly flat with some small inclines/declines. I don't really care about performance on pavement, but I also don't want to chew up the tires because they are strictly for dirt or burn up all my energy getting there because they roll poorly on anything but dirt.

    I currently have Bontrager 29-1 Team Issue, 29x2.20" and I like them but don't really have anything to compare them to and they're starting to wear out. The closest I'm seeing to this tire on the Bontrager website is the XR1. The closest tread pattern I can find at my LBS is the Kenda Small Block 8.

    Should I just get the XR1 or Kenda Small Block 8? Are there better options? Considering going tubeless but that's another discussion.

  2. #2
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    I love the Geax Saguaro. Reasonably priced, rolls fast, good grip on hardpack. You can get it in regular folding, or tube/no tube (which I run tubeless on a standard Mavic rim with just Stan's rim tape and a valve).

  3. #3
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    There's a lot of talk on the 29er forum about the Maxxis Ikon EXO. I got one to try out on my 26 to use instead of a Racing Ralph. Not as much grip, but much better wearing, light and very low rolling resistance. Don't know if it would work for your application.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    There's a lot of talk on the 29er forum about the Maxxis Ikon EXO. I got one to try out on my 26 to use instead of a Racing Ralph. Not as much grip, but much better wearing, light and very low rolling resistance. Don't know if it would work for your application.
    Awesome, thanks. What type of riding do you do?

  5. #5
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    I live up in Park City, Utah. Most of our trails are pretty buff, but with lots of climbing. We have some very rocky and rooty sections that are very hard on tires, though. I'll get to Moab about 10 days a year, which is particularly hard on tires. I'm running tubeless. Maxxis Ardent EXO, 26x2.4 F&R for hard riding and 2.4 Nobby Nic TS front, 2.25 Racing Ralph PS (both Evo TL) rear when my youngest son is in town and I have to try to keep up with him! I think the 2 miles of road would be a deal killer for Racing Ralph's, as they are easy to wear down.

  6. #6
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    I went with Maxxis crossmarks for 50 pavement 50 full trails. They were back ordered so I reluctantly bought a Nano race tire. I just never liked the look of the knob layout. It looked as if it had little offroad capability.
    Let me tell you that after a day at the trails I can say this tire is WAY faster, smoother and gripper than I ever would have given it credit for. It never broke loose the whole route and even my rapid robs would break loose in a few spots. It's hard to believe they market this tire as a "long lasting" With such a strong grip I would have imagined the compound to be more slippery.


    **Edit to add that I have it mounted backwards as par with a few reviews I read while waiting for it to arrive. I have not tried it the other way and likely won't.

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