Front Tires (29", NM Desert Use) to pair with Geax Saguaro 2.2's
I'm trying to sort out what my next set of tires is going to be, and I've figured out that for my riding venues and style the Saguaro is simply unbeatable up front - has enough rolling resistance and durability for everything I need, and the rare occasions where it drops traction are already well past my riding envelope for the conditions anyway - they're great, and I love them.
I wasn't quite as in love with the 2.2 Saguaro up front, so I'm looking to see if a different front tire makes more sense - so far I'm thinking of the Goma 2.4, maybe Ardent 2.4... I'd prefer higher volume, and mud is a rarity here so the Conti Trail/Mountain Kings in that volume aren't as attractive to me.
I realize that our peculiar mix of decomposed granite ball bearings over concrete-like hardpack doesn't really let any tire get much purchase, but some areas I'd like to have a bit more forward bite available (since I tend to ride mostly off the back of the bike anyway), but without a massive rolling resistance penalty if possible, so I'm open to lots of suggestions.
im looking as well. currently run continental mountain king up front and not crazy about it. Fear of wash out constantly, may be cause its a hard tire. Be curious to see what everyone has to say.
Get a 2.3 DHF. Not really that heavy or slow in the front. At least try it once so you know what good traction is like and buy a lighter tire later if it bugs you.
So are you looking for something that bites like the Saguaro but just larger? Or are you looking for something that is going to pierce more?
Check out the Maxxis IKON in the 2.35" for something that is similar tread pattern and then is larger to boot.
I am currently running the Goma 2.25" in the back with my Gato 2.3" up front and love the combo for my area (high desert, Lake Tahoe loom) but seems like you would want something that is a little different from what I need.
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I'm looking for something with a slightly larger carcass, and ideally taller more aggressive tread (but ramped, and with trail use rolling resistance). The Saguaro it's such a great all around tire that is like a front that is comparably versatile but has the ability to brake and turn in on slightly gnarlier terrain. I see fantastic reviews fir tires like hr2's and minions, but the better trails I ride require earning every downhill segment, so the heavy, chunky tires that fit the enduro/freeride/downhill pattern tires don't seem worth it, and a lot of the trail-enduro spectrum tires (2.4 MKII's, 2.35 Hans Dampf, 2.4 Ardent) I tend to think off most all seem to have issues, especially considering my intended use.
Originally Posted by gregnash
I run a DHR2 2.3up front and it's great, I've used a DHF as well, Maxxis makes the best tires for gravel over hard IMO. You might feel a very slight increase in rolling resistance, but it's negligible up front and well worth the traction trade off. I think you feel it most in the rear.
Right now I'm leaning towards the Gomas up front w/ Saguaro rears, as those reviews seem to point towards fairly low rolling resistance for the grip level/casing size, and the biggest stated drawbacks are the comparably low grip (to tires like the Minion DHF, HR2, Nevegal) and mostly the overall tire weight (I'll take that as a bonus, since it seems to be running a casing which is needlessly thick, unless it's somebody like me that has a tendency to get in fights with cacti and rock ledges.
From what I gather about the Tahoe trails, the Gato can shine up there (or even the MkII's), our versions of high desert trails aren't sandy so much as ~4mm granite grit over impenetrable hardpack, and the other trails I enjoy are all next to Gypsum or Travertine mines which each present different challenges on tires.
I'm just trying to work out the logic of running a narrower but taller treaded tire (2.3 Minion) - usually when I'm having a 'lack of front traction' moment, I tend to be digging in up front (arroyo bottoms, sides of creek beds), not so much losing ability to transfer lateral load as much as losing ability to create any lateral or braking load because the surface underneath is giving way - would the taller tread be of more benefit there, or is that a case where a bigger casing is going to be worth more? That to me is basically the determining factor between trying out a 2.3 DHF, or just going with a 2.4 Goma.
It sounds like you are having problems washing out in deep sand, but IDK what you mean by digging into sides of creek beds, so tell me if I am wrong.
I like big knobs in sand because they slow your drifting front wheel down while they slide. Shallow knobs tend to slide sideways faster in sand. A big volume tire won't knife in as deep and get submerged like a skinny tire.
I don't think a 2.3 minion in 29" is skinny. It is about the same size as a 2.4 ardent in 29" and probably very close to the 2.4 goma. I think the predictable side knobs are the best thing it has going for it. You can really lean on them and they don't fold over or lose traction all of a sudden.
I think the goma is the same weight as the 2.3dhf and the knobs aren't going to roll much faster so I would stick with the proven dhf traction. But it's only a tire. If you ever try both tell us which is better.
I appreciate all the responses - looks like for my particular application, I need to look and compare between the 2.3 DHF Minion and the 2.4 GOMA. They're really close in terms of size/weight performance, so you're spot on about that gilarider; I might be dumb and just let price decide (if I can snag a DHF/Ardent Race pair, or if my LBS has another Geax closeout where I can pick up the Saguaro AND Goma for less than the price of a single Minion.
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