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  1. #1
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    Early review of WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4 race

    I picked up a set of these and have some general impressions so far. I ride 10-15 miles every day for fitness and in doing that I am forced to ride a lot of pavement and gravel bike path around my house. I can do some off road riding around home but to get to good off road riding it involves a 30 minute drive each way and isn't practical on a lot of days. At least 70% of my riding is hard surfaces so I wanted a good free rolling tire on hard surfaces without sacrificing too much off road performance. I don't have a lot of tire experience so I spent a couple hours per day for a couple days looking at all the tires available. I finally bought the Mutano. I am running them with supposed super light tubes that weigh 150 grams each but that is another story.

    They roll really nice!! With 32 psi in each end I picked up 2.5 mph average speed over the Panaracers they replaced that had 50 psi in them over an 11.8 mile 90% hard surface loop that I ride a lot. I am pulling another gear everywhere. I didn't lose any weight on the front wheel and only lost 100 grams on the rear wheel with this setup, so I don't think rotating mass has a lot to do with the extra speed. I am going to try 40 and 50 psi in them over the same loop soon also. I don't have a lot of offroad time on them yet but so far but so far so good. They grab roots and rocks better than the Panaracers with comparable air pressure and especially off camber and angled roots or rocks, they aren't quite as good in the mud but not by a large margin. The side knobs are pretty soft letting them grab really well. They are predictable on loose over hard, you can feel them breaking loose cornering and hear them working to hold in a controlled slide. Keep pushing and they will let go but there is plenty of warning. They hold better than the Panaracer. The center rib limits braking power on hard surfaces, even buff singletrack, they will lock a bit easier with the bike vertical but get on the side knobs and they behave very well. Slow steep technical descents are a bit hairy with the reduced braking power. Surprisingly they climb great in loose over hard and buff singletrack. It feels like they slip a tiny bit, grab and hold solid from there. I thought the center rib would cut climbing traction but it doesn't seem to. They climb as well or better than the old tires. They are a world better in sand and soft dirt, but the Panaracers were 2.1 front and 1.95 rear where these are both 2.4. The extra flotation is awesome. I wanted a compromise tire, which these are, and I am quite happy with them so far.

    Hope this helps someone else looking for a compromise tire.

  2. #2
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    I've got a set of these on my new Transition Covert. Haven't particularly noticed the issues you've seen but they are fast and have huge volume casings. They seem to me a good all round trail tyre.

    I've also run High Rollers and Minions on this bike. The Minions (42a) are slow and the HIgh Rollers seem to move sideways on off camber rock gardens. The Mutanoraptors seem a nice compromise. I think they're an underrated tyre.

  3. #3
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    I have been using the Mutano 2.4 for almost 2 years now. I love the tire. They roll well, have great tread life and excellent grip. To give them a bit more bite on the brakes and for climbing, I decided to cut mine. Doesn't make a huge difference, but does give a bit more bite.

    Modding a Mutano Raptor
    Check it out.

    Here is an actual picture of it after cutting. I run an unmodified one in the front.
    Last edited by Glynis27; 09-23-2009 at 08:18 AM.
    '12 Soma Analog SS
    '10 Transition TransAM
    '07 Felt F1X
    '97 Schwinn Mesa SS
    '89 Fuji Saratoga
    '86 Fuji Club

  4. #4
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    Glynis, your linked post is one that I found in my 'research' on what tire to buy. I thought that worst case I would just cut it like you did or even more, like half the center rib knobs, and lose some or most of the free rolling but gain some traction. I have no experience with the non DNA version, mine are the DNA compound and the tactile difference between the center rib and the outer knobs is distinct. Mine do really well in everything but braking it seems, I have 225 + miles on them now with a good hard offroad beating in very technical terrain several times. The only time I have to back off at all is in braking, otherwise they have offered increased confidence and speed, even on wet roots and rocks. Lower pressure helps braking power a lot, but I am too heavy to drop pressures below what I am running now. I am really liking this tire. Maybe the tires I have had before just sucked that bad?

    I am 190 or a bit more geared up, running them at 30-32 psi on a full suspension bike. I've had one rim strike on each end at 30 psi on rocks that I did not expect to knock the rim, so I am trying to ride a little lighter and put 32 in them. Haven't smacked a rim since, knock on wood. I tried them at 42 psi on the road and some off road. No faster and only quieter on hard surfaces but they really lost a lot of grip offroad. The quiet is nice, but they also feel kinda twitchy on hard surfaces. It is hard to describe the way they felt but I aired them down immediately after one ride at 42 psi. They are also wearing really well, better than I had hoped for. The last tires I had were toast in just under 1000 miles, these with a quarter of that show almost no wear at all, I can still see the mold lines on the center ribs and only very light wear on the next knobs outboard.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSMITH
    Glynis, your linked post is one that I found in my 'research' on what tire to buy.
    Oh, very cool!
    I have not really had the braking problems you describe, but I also don't use the brakes too much. Mess around with the PSI like you are doing. Maybe you will find the sweet spot. Doesn't sound like you are too far off. I generally do 24-26front, 26-28rear at 155lbs geared up. I have had them lower though.

    I have both the DNA version and the regular version. Both are holding up well, especially compared to my Stout.
    '12 Soma Analog SS
    '10 Transition TransAM
    '07 Felt F1X
    '97 Schwinn Mesa SS
    '89 Fuji Saratoga
    '86 Fuji Club

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