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  1. #1
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    Front tire and rear tire size comparison question help?

    Hi guys,


    Newbie here And have a quick question on Front tire and rear tire size comparison.


    I ride a 09 stumpy sworks. Currently tire size setup:


    Front: 2.0
    Rear: 2.2


    I noticed most people have the front tire size larger than the rear. Should I swipe them? What's the advantage and dis advantage on the size? Pls educated me.


    I tried 2.0 front and 2.0 rear but i was losing traction in the rear. After switching to the 2.2 rear, bike feels so much better. What's if I tried 2.2 front and 2.0 rear? Will it feel better?


    Pls help. Might be a stupid question but I'm still learning. Thx!

  2. #2
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    Depends upon the terrian and type of bike you are riding. For XC rides in smooth single track, to rough terrain, most people ride a 1.95 to 2.2 rear and a 2.0 to 2.3 front. All mountain rougn riding, down hill, and racing would all look at different considerations.

    For smooth single pack, hard pack with loose over, to moderately rocky terrain, you are generally best suited with 2.0 rear and 2.2 front. However not all tires run true to sizing widths. In addition, you have to keep in mind the reason why people generally run these widths in the first place. For a rear tire, we generally want traction and reasonable wieght in order to allow for better acceleration. A 2.2 tire on the rear has it's pros and cons. Wider tires will give you a larger contact patch and better traction, but will wiegh more than a 2.0 tire, which reduces acceleration. So depending upon the terrian, bike and riding style, you can determine what is best. Also, all 2.2 tires are not the same. different treads, side wall protection and therefore wieght as well. I ride a 2.2 Maxxis Ikon on the rear of my hard tail 29er and a 2.2 Specialized S Works Fast track on the front.

    The Ikon is a great compromise tire. good flat protection and reasonable wieght for local racing; as well as great traction control for the loose over hardpack of central tx where I ride.
    For front tire selections, you want a tire width and tread design that also allow you to lean
    into the turns. The Fast track tire I have is great for hard pack, but can slip in really loose terrain. Three of my favorite front tires are the WTB Wolverine 2.2, The Geax Saguro 2.2, and the Maxxis Ignitor. The Wolverine and the Ignitor are reasonable wieght, fast rolling tread design and bite well when you lean in the turns. The Saguro is a great rough terrain tire, but heavy too race. Serious race tires for smooth to moderate terrain wiegh between 450- 540 grams. They spin up and roll fast, but are not durable. most people dont ride them for recreational riding. If you ride smooth hard pack, continental supersonic race kings, swalbe racing ralphs,..ect...thats the ticket. Tubeless is also the way to go. Thats another topic for another day. Experiment. spend some money on tires and have fun. just keep in mind your riding style and the terrain.

  3. #3
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    What jincardona said, and also think about this- when riding a bike generally there is more weight bias to the rear, therefore, naturally more traction for motive force, but you also have to think about traction in regards to neutral handling.

    If you are flowing fast near the limits of traction down a trail, which tire position do you want to "break-away" first, the front or back? Most would prefer both to slide predictably together, or the rear ahead of the front- losing the front, washing out in a turn, sucks. So most people will run a slightly bigger, more agressive tire in the front for balanced handling.

  4. #4
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    Wow, I did not realize that. Makes great sense and will keep that in mind with future tire selections.

  5. #5
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    the tread design/compound can affect traction as much as the size of the tire, so your specific tire models may be mismatched for front/rear use.

  6. #6
    Helmetless Crasher
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    What they said.

    I run a 2.35f/2.15r set-up.

    Most folks run a smaller rear tire to limit the rotational mass of the drive wheel. Makes for quicker/easier acceleration/climbing. The big front tire is great for traction and bashing through and/or floating over rocky/rooty/muddy terrain.
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  7. #7
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    go 2.2 front and 2.2 rear.

  8. #8
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09StumpySworks View Post
    go 2.2 front and 2.2 rear.
    aaand, when the rear wears out, move the front to the rear, and put a new tire on front.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    aaand, when the rear wears out, move the front to the rear, and put a new tire on front.
    This is exactly what I've been doing.
    Experienced Crasher

  10. #10
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    on cars front tires bigger than rear creates more oversteer,

    rear tires bigger than front creates more understeer. this all compare to stock sizing

    i assume this method works on bikes too, because is laws of physics. when front has more grip than the rear car tends to have more oversteer. sometimes oversteering can be real bad , that why most cars are factory tuned understeer.

  11. #11
    XC Hack
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    Realize that a mfr.-stated size like 2.2 will vary in actual, measured size from brand to brand and even model to model from the same mfr. Example: I just put a Spec Ground Control 2.1 on back and a Captain 2.0 on front. The latter is wider by an obvious amount even though the mfr. of both said it's bigger. To get the best comparison, you need to use a veneer caliper to measure the true width on a tire that is inflated.

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