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  1. #1
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    Light-ish Tires to Replace Rocket Rons?

    My 17 year old daughter is running 2.25 Rocket Rons tubeless on her 2015 Kona Process 134SE (likely not "tubeless" tires per se). I got the LBS to replace the beefier Maxxis tires when I bought her bike, in an effort to reduce rolling weight. The RRs proved to be fine for her, riding in the Calgary Alberta and surrounding areas (Western Cdn Rockies - Kananaskis, Canmore, Banff, Fernie, Revy, Golden). I need to replace them, and probably should have done so last year. They are on WTB KOM i23 TCS rims.

    Is there a tire of choice that comes to mind? I am wondering whether I should maybe get something a little beefier on there for her, now that she is a much stronger rider. I would say she is a cautious, intermediate rider skills-wise, but on her way up fairly quickly. She is light on her bike, and in the mountains a minimum of twice a week from April to November.

    I am not adverse to sticking with a new set of RRs either. I am just checking to see what options exist. She is small and light and rolling weight is still an overriding concern. That said, I wouldn't mind getting a true "tubeless" tire for her, even if a bit heavier.

    FWIW, I am running a 2.5 DHF and a 2.3 DHR II on older Enve rims on my 2015 Range, which are great tires for the local terrain. I fear these might be too heavy for her though.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks. Much appreciated.
    Last edited by mtnbkrmike; 02-25-2018 at 01:16 PM.

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    Vittoria Barzo 2.25 G+ TNT

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Vittoria Barzo 2.25 G+ TNT
    Thank you Sir

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    I ride in the same locations as you guys. I think your tires would be over kill for her. Conti Race King 2.2 with black chilly compound is very comparable to the 2.25 RR in dry conditions and has better traction on wet roots/rocks. It is also a similar weight to the RR.
    I only like both of those tires as a rear tire though, they are not great fronts.
    For a front I suggest a 2.35 Forkaster or a 2.6 RR EVO Liteskin ( actual wide on wide rims is 2.5"). The 2.6 RR has slightly better traction than the Forkaster and is also lighter. Some crazy light ones have been coming out of Bow Cycle.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Light-ish Tires to Replace Rocket Rons?-img_9481_1.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by xc71 View Post
    I ride in the same locations as you guys. I think your tires would be over kill for her. Conti Race King 2.2 with black chilly compound is very comparable to the 2.25 RR in dry conditions and has better traction on wet roots/rocks. It is also a similar weight to the RR.
    I only like both of those tires as a rear tire though, they are not great fronts.
    For a front I suggest a 2.35 Forkaster or a 2.6 RR EVO Liteskin ( actual wide on wide rims is 2.5"). The 2.6 RR has slightly better traction than the Forkaster and is also lighter. Some crazy light ones have been coming out of Bow Cycle.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to type all that. Very much appreciated. Great to hear from a local rider, and fellow Bow customer.

    As a matter of fact, I dropped off our bikes this afternoon with Lance (upstairs at Bow) for him to work his usual pre-season magic. That guy is an awesome mechanic, and an incredibly good dude. I will pass on your tire suggestions to him.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    I am a smaller rider and love the light skin rocket Ronís set up tubeless. They are great tires for lighter weight riders. For the past year I have been running nobby nic front rocket Ron rear.


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  7. #7
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    I'm a heavier rider (probably weighing in at about 2 mtbrmike daughters) so I really feel the rolling resistance, particularly on the rear tyre. For dry conditions I like the Conti Race King 2.2" on the rear - it's difficult to beat this tyre for good rolling resistance, though it doesn't have aggressive sideknobs so it can get a bit drifty in the loose stuff. I run the ProTection flavour because I'm heavy. The RaceSport flavour is a bit lighter and has better rolling resistance, but the sidewalls are thin and porous so are easily damaged and aren't recommended for tubeless.

    Alternatively, the Schwalbe Racing Ralph is similar to the Conti Race King, and their new Addix compound is pretty damn good.

    I'd be happy with a Rocket Ron up front. For dry conditions I normally go for a Conti X King RaceSport, but they've changed the spec for the 2018 range - and renamed it Cross King - and the new sideknobs are bigger and squarer so it's lost the nice round profile that I prefer. I've been using the Rocket Ron Snakeskin Addix Speed up front on Winter Bike and I'm quite happy with its performance on those rare dry days so that might become the standard front fitment for Summer Bike too.

    If the Race King or Racing Ralph don't have the desired side knobbage, then how about a Schwalbe Rock Razor? They've got low profile knobs in the centre section for low rolling resistance in a straight line, and chunky sideknobs to dig in while cornering.

    If you're going for Schwalbe tyres then the Liteskin sidewalls will have the lowest rolling resistance, though they can be a pain to set up tubeless because of the porosity (this seems to vary from batch to batch, so it's a bit of a gamble). Snakeskin sidewalls would be a safer bet. Alternatively, Conti RaceSport or Schwalbe Liteskin tyres run with latex tubes will work out about the same weight (or even lighter) than tubeless, and will have about the same rolling resistance. Latex tubes are much more pinch-flat and thorn resistant than butyl tubes, but they do bleed air slowly so need inflating before a ride.

    Conti RaceSport and ProTection tyres both use the excellent Black Chilli compound. Schwalbe's Addix compound comes in four flavours (in order of hard to soft): Speed, Speedgrip, Soft, and Ultra-Soft. The harder compounds will have less rolling resistance, but the hardest Speed flavour is still a bit softer than Conti's Black Chilli. Schwalbe recommend using a harder compound on the rear and a softer compound on the front.

    IME both Conti and Schwalbe kevlar-beaded tyres mount beautifully on WTB KOM and Frequency rims. The rim hooks are close to the rim edge so the tyre profile gets to round out nicely, and they can be fitted and removed without recourse to tyre levers.
    Hose me down till the water runs clear.

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    I think for the rear an ikon, or XR2 would fit the bill. But, there is a 2018 xc race tire thread you may want to check out. It'll have some info for you too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grassington View Post
    I'm a heavier rider (probably weighing in at about 2 mtbrmike daughters) so I really feel the rolling resistance, particularly on the rear tyre. For dry conditions I like the Conti Race King 2.2" on the rear - it's difficult to beat this tyre for good rolling resistance, though it doesn't have aggressive sideknobs so it can get a bit drifty in the loose stuff. I run the ProTection flavour because I'm heavy. The RaceSport flavour is a bit lighter and has better rolling resistance, but the sidewalls are thin and porous so are easily damaged and aren't recommended for tubeless.

    Alternatively, the Schwalbe Racing Ralph is similar to the Conti Race King, and their new Addix compound is pretty damn good.

    I'd be happy with a Rocket Ron up front. For dry conditions I normally go for a Conti X King RaceSport, but they've changed the spec for the 2018 range - and renamed it Cross King - and the new sideknobs are bigger and squarer so it's lost the nice round profile that I prefer. I've been using the Rocket Ron Snakeskin Addix Speed up front on Winter Bike and I'm quite happy with its performance on those rare dry days so that might become the standard front fitment for Summer Bike too.

    If the Race King or Racing Ralph don't have the desired side knobbage, then how about a Schwalbe Rock Razor? They've got low profile knobs in the centre section for low rolling resistance in a straight line, and chunky sideknobs to dig in while cornering.

    If you're going for Schwalbe tyres then the Liteskin sidewalls will have the lowest rolling resistance, though they can be a pain to set up tubeless because of the porosity (this seems to vary from batch to batch, so it's a bit of a gamble). Snakeskin sidewalls would be a safer bet. Alternatively, Conti RaceSport or Schwalbe Liteskin tyres run with latex tubes will work out about the same weight (or even lighter) than tubeless, and will have about the same rolling resistance. Latex tubes are much more pinch-flat and thorn resistant than butyl tubes, but they do bleed air slowly so need inflating before a ride.

    Conti RaceSport and ProTection tyres both use the excellent Black Chilli compound. Schwalbe's Addix compound comes in four flavours (in order of hard to soft): Speed, Speedgrip, Soft, and Ultra-Soft. The harder compounds will have less rolling resistance, but the hardest Speed flavour is still a bit softer than Conti's Black Chilli. Schwalbe recommend using a harder compound on the rear and a softer compound on the front.

    IME both Conti and Schwalbe kevlar-beaded tyres mount beautifully on WTB KOM and Frequency rims. The rim hooks are close to the rim edge so the tyre profile gets to round out nicely, and they can be fitted and removed without recourse to tyre levers.
    Thank you so much. Wow. That is a wealth of info you provided. Canít tell you how much I appreciate it.

    [PS - I have since been wheelin around in the Schwalbe site and canít seem to find some of the same rubber hardness designations you mentioned. Given that my daughter is a creature of habit, and the fact that they are readily available at my LBS, I am leaning towards some kind of Schwalbe combo, in snakeskin, and whatever my LBS buddy recommends for level of hardness. Maybe a NN/RR combo, or even stick with the tried and true RR/RR matching, but perhaps with a bigger front tire.]

    To all of you - except xc71 who is already here - if any of you are ever in the Calgary/Canmore/Banff area, let me know. I would be happy to give you my take on the best riding in the area. Those mountains have been my second home for well over 20 years now.

    Thanks everyone.
    Last edited by mtnbkrmike; 02-27-2018 at 09:59 AM.

  10. #10
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    Shit. Just found out that he mounted Onza Canis 2.25 tires on my daughter's bike. I was expecting him to check with me first. He said he would pull them off no problem and put whatever I wanted on, but thought those tires would be good for the intended purpose (light, reasonably decent grip). Leave on? Rip off? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Shit. Just found out that he mounted Onza Canis 2.25 tires on my daughter's bike. I was expecting him to check with me first. He said he would pull them off no problem and put whatever I wanted on, but thought those tires would be good for the intended purpose (light, reasonably decent grip). Leave on? Rip off? Thanks.
    I have not ran those but for the same weight I would rather have 2.6" Rocket Rons.
    There are 3 different models of those Canis 2.25, the only one would leave on for her is the 120 tpi model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xc71 View Post
    I have not ran those but for the same weight I would rather have 2.6" Rocket Rons.
    There are 3 different models of those Canis 2.25, the only one would leave on for her is the 120 tpi model.
    Does Schwalbe not publish their tire weights on their website??? I can't find the weight of the 2.6 RR, or any other Schwalbe tire for that matter (although i do note xc71's weight above).

  13. #13
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    ^ Schwalbe do publish their tyre weights, it's just buried in the confusopoly of spec options. If you go to https://www.schwalbe.com/en/offroad.html and click on the tyre model, then scroll down a bit and click on the casing option (choose "EVOLUTION LINE/FOLDING TIRE" for LiteSkin and SnakeSkin; else choose "PERFORMANCE LINE/FOLDING TIRE" for the cheaper Performance models). Find your tyre in the list of models and click on the little triangle on the right and the spec sheet will open up. The Rocket Ron 27.5 x 2.6 SnakeSkin comes in at 735 g.

    One thing I forgot to mention in the ramblings of my previous post is the relationship between rolling resistance and comfort. As a general rule, the lower the rolling resistance of a tyre setup, the less comfortable it will be. If you want comfort go for a heavy, soft compound tyre with thick butyl tubes run at low pressure. If you want efficiency, go for a light, hard compound tyre with tubeless or latex tubes run at a high pressure. It's one of those inviolable laws of the universe that states that You Can't Have Everything. In this case the comfort is afforded by the damping coefficient of the tyre, which is essentially the energy lost as the tyre flexes. On the face of it, damping in tyres sounds undesirable but it does keep the tyre from bouncing around with every little hit. A bit of tyre damping is necessary for grip, control and braking, and for mountain biking where there are so many factors to consider it can be tricky finding the sweet spot that's the best compromise for a particular scenario.
    Hose me down till the water runs clear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xc71 View Post
    ...the only one would leave on for her is the 120 tpi model.
    Thanks. Please pardon my ignorance, but why do you say that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grassington View Post
    ^ Schwalbe do publish their tyre weights, it's just buried in the confusopoly of spec options. If you go to https://www.schwalbe.com/en/offroad.html and click on the tyre model, then scroll down a bit and click on the casing option (choose "EVOLUTION LINE/FOLDING TIRE" for LiteSkin and SnakeSkin; else choose "PERFORMANCE LINE/FOLDING TIRE" for the cheaper Performance models). Find your tyre in the list of models and click on the little triangle on the right and the spec sheet will open up. The Rocket Ron 27.5 x 2.6 SnakeSkin comes in at 735 g.

    One thing I forgot to mention in the ramblings of my previous post is the relationship between rolling resistance and comfort. As a general rule, the lower the rolling resistance of a tyre setup, the less comfortable it will be. If you want comfort go for a heavy, soft compound tyre with thick butyl tubes run at low pressure. If you want efficiency, go for a light, hard compound tyre with tubeless or latex tubes run at a high pressure. It's one of those inviolable laws of the universe that states that You Can't Have Everything. In this case the comfort is afforded by the damping coefficient of the tyre, which is essentially the energy lost as the tyre flexes. On the face of it, damping in tyres sounds undesirable but it does keep the tyre from bouncing around with every little hit. A bit of tyre damping is necessary for grip, control and braking, and for mountain biking where there are so many factors to consider it can be tricky finding the sweet spot that's the best compromise for a particular scenario.
    Grassington - thanks for the further info. Much appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xc71 View Post
    I ride in the same locations as you guys. I think your tires would be over kill for her. Conti Race King 2.2 with black chilly compound is very comparable to the 2.25 RR in dry conditions and has better traction on wet roots/rocks. It is also a similar weight to the RR.
    I only like both of those tires as a rear tire though, they are not great fronts.
    For a front I suggest a 2.35 Forkaster or a 2.6 RR EVO Liteskin ( actual wide on wide rims is 2.5"). The 2.6 RR has slightly better traction than the Forkaster and is also lighter. Some crazy light ones have been coming out of Bow Cycle.
    Are you running the 2.6 RR Liteskins tubeless? Her 2.2 RR Liteskins were a PITA to set up tubeless and continually bled lots of air until the bitter end, when a tube had to be added to her rear tire trailside. I donít know if I want to go through all that again running the Liteskins tubeless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xc71 View Post

    I ride in the same locations as you guys. I think your tires would be over kill for her. Conti Race King 2.2 with black chilly compound is very comparable to the 2.25 RR in dry conditions and has better traction on wet roots/rocks. It is also a similar weight to the RR.
    I only like both of those tires as a rear tire though, they are not great fronts.
    For a front I suggest a 2.35 Forkaster or a 2.6 RR EVO Liteskin ( actual wide on wide rims is 2.5"). The 2.6 RR has slightly better traction than the Forkaster and is also lighter. Some crazy light ones have been coming out of Bow Cycle.
    Are you running the 2.6 RR Liteskins tubeless? Her 2.2 RR Liteskins were a PITA to set up tubeless and continually bled lots of air until the bitter end, when a tube had to be added to her rear tire trailside. I donít know if I want to go through all that again running the Liteskins tubeless. Are you running the 2.6 RR Liteskins tubeless? Her 2.2 RR Liteskins were a PITA to set up tubeless and continually bled lots of air until the bitter end, when a tube had to be added to her rear tire trailside. I donít know if I want to go through all that again running the Liteskins tubeless.
    General comment about xc71's recommendations and your own tire selection that I would think would benefit your daughter too is running a larger front tire. A little extra weight and/or a more aggressive tread pattern is hardly noticeable as far as pedaling effort for the front tire but can provide far more traction and rider confidence. Even on the fairly flat crushed granite desert trails I mostly ride it's definitely a worthwhile trade off IMO.
    Mole

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    I am so messed up on Schwalbeís site that I canít even find a 27.5 Liteskin 2.6 RoRo. All I can find is a Snakeskin Speedgrip version at 735g. Her current 2.25 Liteskin RoRos are 490g each so that is greater than a half pound increase. Whatever. I am thinking about the 2.6 on the front and a 2.25 Snakeskin RoRo Speedgrip on the rear, at 570g. Sheís young and strong...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I am so messed up on Schwalbeís site that I canít even find a 27.5 Liteskin 2.6 RoRo. All I can find is a Snakeskin Speedgrip version at 735g. Her current 2.25 Liteskin RoRos are 490g each so that is greater than a half pound increase. Whatever. I am thinking about the 2.6 on the front and a 2.25 Snakeskin RoRo Speedgrip on the rear, at 570g. Sheís young and strong...
    FYI I'm not sure what the liteskin 2.6's weigh but the I'm currently running RoRo liteskin 2.8's on my plus bike and they weighed in at approx. 680 grams when new. One thing to remember with really light super porous tires is it takes more sealant to initially seal the tires so running weight may not be as light as you think. I've had 29er RaRa Schwallbe's that weighed 490 grams when new but running weight was actually greater than a similar 550 gram when new tire because the sealant buildup was greater. The lighter ones were also harder to seat and required more maintenance throughout their life.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Thanks. Please pardon my ignorance, but why do you say that?
    At her weight I would go for the lighter weight and more compliant 120tpi. The other two models are 60 tpi.
    Claimed weight for 2.6 RR EVO LS is 650 grams. The 2.8 RR EVO LS is 680 grams, so MRMOLE's is right on the money.
    There are 3 of us running these 2.6 RR EVO LS tubliss with Stan's and they sealed up great. Also never had an issue with the 2.4 LS. I have had a couple of the 2.25 LS as well as a couple of Conti Supersonic black chilly they were a pain to set up tubliss. What I have found that works well for those is 2 scoops of Stans and add some glitter. This also gives you a little better puncture sealing.
    As soon as the new Finishline sealant is available in Canada I am going to give it a go.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by xc71 View Post
    At her weight I would go for the lighter weight and more compliant 120tpi. The other two models are 60 tpi.
    Claimed weight for 2.6 RR EVO LS is 650 grams. The 2.8 RR EVO LS is 680 grams, so MRMOLE's is right on the money.
    There are 3 of us running these 2.6 RR EVO LS tubliss with Stan's and they sealed up great. Also never had an issue with the 2.4 LS. I have had a couple of the 2.25 LS as well as a couple of Conti Supersonic black chilly they were a pain to set up tubliss. What I have found that works well for those is 2 scoops of Stans and add some glitter. This also gives you a little better puncture sealing.
    As soon as the new Finishline sealant is available in Canada I am going to give it a go.
    Thanks tons xc71.

    Yeah, I have spent days now trying to become at least a little educated about tires. Definitely 120 tpi if I go with those Onzas (now that I know the difference between 120 and 60 tpi). At 600g for a 2.25 "tubeless easy" tire, with a beefier tread pattern than the RoRo, those Onzas might be fine. Apparently other guys at Bow are running them and love them.

    That said, I am tempted to just stick with 2.25 RoRos for her, since she loved the last set. This time though, I may go with the Snakeskins so I don't have to deal with the same issues I had with her Liteskin RoRos last time around. 570g vs 490g is not much of a bump, and like Mole said, I know they had to use a shit load more sealant with the Liteskins than they would have for the Snakeskins, thereby negating some or all of the weight difference (and even with the massive amount of sealant that they used, there were still issues).

    As for size, I am a little concerned about throwing a 2.6 RoRo on an id23 rim. I take it that that is not much of an issue for you guys? I would go that route if I don't have to change her rim(s).

    I would even go for a Snakeskin 2.6 at 735g if I had to. I can't find 2.6 Liteskins at Schwalbe's site, and wonder if they are even available right now (as opposed to the Snakeskins). I also can't find any 2.4s, which you mention above.

    Anyway, thanks to all of you for all your patience with me. I am going to re-read (again) all of your responses top to bottom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Thanks tons xc71.

    Yeah, I have spent days now trying to become at least a little educated about tires. Definitely 120 tpi if I go with those Onzas (now that I know the difference between 120 and 60 tpi). At 600g for a 2.25 "tubeless easy" tire, with a beefier tread pattern than the RoRo, those Onzas might be fine. Apparently other guys at Bow are running them and love them.

    That said, I am tempted to just stick with 2.25 RoRos for her, since she loved the last set. This time though, I may go with the Snakeskins so I don't have to deal with the same issues I had with her Liteskin RoRos last time around. 570g vs 490g is not much of a bump, and like Mole said, I know they had to use a shit load more sealant with the Liteskins than they would have for the Snakeskins, thereby negating some or all of the weight difference (and even with the massive amount of sealant that they used, there were still issues).

    As for size, I am a little concerned about throwing a 2.6 RoRo on an id23 rim. I take it that that is not much of an issue for you guys? I would go that route if I don't have to change her rim(s).

    I would even go for a Snakeskin 2.6 at 735g if I had to. I can't find 2.6 Liteskins at Schwalbe's site, and wonder if they are even available right now (as opposed to the Snakeskins). I also can't find any 2.4s, which you mention above.

    Anyway, thanks to all of you for all your patience with me. I am going to re-read (again) all of your responses top to bottom.
    Cheers Mike, they do not make the 2.4 anymore. The 2.6 may not show up due to Schwalbe moving everything to their new Addix compounds. I am willing to bet the Canadian distributor still has some 2.6 EVO LS. If you are considering this as a front tire, keep in mind they only measure 2.5" on wide rims. We are running one as front on 23id LB rims and it still works better than the 2.35 Forkaster for traction.
    Bow could find out availability quickly. Of the 4 or 5 I know of Bow ordered in, all were under 630 grams. Almost seems like the Canadian distributor got a batch of lite ones.

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    Thanks so much everyone. Super appreciated.

    If I can ask one more thing...

    What are your thoughts on a 2.35 NN (720g) on the front, and a 2.25 SS speedgrip RoRo on the rear (570g)? This combo was suggested earlier by JillRide45 (although it may have been the LS RoRo she was referring to).

    My buddy at Bow is not all that keen about running any LS tubeless, or throwing a 2.6 on an id23 rim. I have concerns as well (given the BS the last go around with her LS RoRos). I would say though that I am currently running a 2.5WT DHF on my id24 Enve AM rims and am happy with that tire/rim combo, even though it may not be optimal in Maxxis' eyes. The above NN/RoRo combo would at least be consistent with my LBS buddy's thoughts. That said, I hear you guys loud and clear on the 2.6 LS RoRo on the front. I just wanted to consider this one final option.

    Thanks!!!!!

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