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  1. #1
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    Small Block 8 vs Slant 6 vs Happy Medium vs anything else?

    I'm new to being picky about tires (typically ride with stock tires) and have been interested in these three tires in particular.

    Any thoughts on them or other tires that I should be considering? I'm looking for a good all around tire that can corner well, is fast, has excellent control, and is durable. I don't do mud just cause I think that riding in mud will require special mud tires, none of which seem to fit my bill (correct me if I'm mistaken though).

    I commute to school daily (5 mi's both ways, I have some specialized crossroads armadillo for that, could those also work well on trails?) and hit the trails after school (If I'm free from studying) and on the weekends.

    Also, does the tire width really make that much of a difference? If so, what kind? The only sizes I've ridden with are 1.95 and 2.0. I like the look of the 2.3s and up though. I'm thinking about 2.1s to 2.3s for myself though. Is the only difference in width just that thinner tires mean more speed while wider tires means more control? I see road bikes have super thin tires and the "real" mtbs have wide knobbies.

    Sorry for asking so many questions and being such a noob.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Maxxis Ikon
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  3. #3
    LightJunction.com
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    Slant Six or Maxxis Ikon. Go for ~2.1" width. Great all-around tires.
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  4. #4
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    I'm running a Small Block 8 on the rear, not very happy with it right now. ready to move on to something different, something with a bit more bite. Good for hardpacked soils but not so for rocky,wet loss stuff.

  5. #5
    Short-Change-Hero
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    Yeah you will find that most people are not happy with the SB8 unless they are using it on super dry hardpack. If you are not looking for super light but want something that has good rolling resistance and can do well on a variety of trails I agree with the others; Slant Six, Maxxis Ikon, GEAX AKA, GEAX Saguaro (my personal fav).
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  6. #6
    LightJunction.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Yeah you will find that most people are not happy with the SB8 unless they are using it on super dry hardpack. If you are not looking for super light but want something that has good rolling resistance and can do well on a variety of trails I agree with the others; Slant Six, Maxxis Ikon, GEAX AKA, GEAX Saguaro (my personal fav).
    Agreed. The SB8s are great for hardpack with no loose cover. I sell them mostly to the 29er crowd for fire road endurance racing. They're really fast, but they seem to be more along the lines of a glorified commuter tire. They definitely have their place, but if you've got any sandy corners or muddy spots on your trails, you won't be happy with the way the SB8 handles those sections.
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  7. #7
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    It is all about the conditions. I like the SB8 on tacky hardish pack (some would call it hero dirt); but climbing on anything loose is well, too loose. I have a Rampage up front to keep me off the ground - the SB8 can be very scary in the front! My bike came with SB8s and although I'm burning them up in the back, I would not buy them again.

  8. #8
    EVnut
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    It is all about the conditions. I like the SB8 on tacky hardish pack (some would call it hero dirt); but climbing on anything loose is well, too loose. I have a Rampage up front to keep me off the ground - the SB8 can be very scary in the front! My bike came with SB8s and although I'm burning them up in the back, I would not buy them again.
    Bringing this thread back to life for a bit... I keep hearing how these tires do off-road. But I'm looking for that great compromise tire for pavement and off-road. I know there is no tire that'll do both well, but I'm looking for that one that's the 50-50 compromise. I want it to roll well on pavement, and give me more confidence off-road that a slick would provide. Help??
    -= Darell The EVnut

  9. #9
    It ain't easy being Green
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    If you're on a 29er try the Bonty 29-3; those worked well for me at half pavement, half trail races last year.

  10. #10
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    SB8 just wore to fast on-road for my liking. Liked the tire just didnt last long

    edit.. just seen how old this post was lol

  11. #11
    no trees are safe
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    Continental X-King rear, Continental Mountain King II front. Both 2,2. Prefferably with black chilly compound.

    Or perhaps Michelin Wild Grip'r II 2,1 front and Michelin Wild Race'r 2,1 rear.

    Been riding the MKing/X-King combo and I can say it's able to take anything except the muddiest and most technical terrains. And the rolling resistance for tarmac is also very good.

  12. #12
    EVnut
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    So I realize we're in the mtn bike forum here - but I truly am after a tire that rolls the pavement way better than a Mountain King would. And while we can certainly call it a 29'er, it is actually technically a 700c'er. One wonders why we can't all just get along. ;-)

    I'm looking at rides that are 60 miles of pavement to link together 40 miles of fire road and single track climbing and descending.
    -= Darell The EVnut

  13. #13
    no trees are safe
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    I was reffering to original post. You could consider Maxxis Crossmarks or Schwalbe Smart Sams. Both roll great on tarmac and are also capable of some trail riding.

  14. #14
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    Re: Small Block 8 vs Slant 6 vs Happy Medium vs anything else?

    Not going to lie, I love my SB8's. Run them around 50 PSI, and they are fantastic. They will let loose a bit in loose corners but is a fairly predicable loss in traction, and one that can be controlled. Great tires in my opinion.

  15. #15
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    I agree, pump the SB8s to 70 psi for pavement and they will glide like a road tire. Bump then down to 45psi for the trails and you get a decent xc tire....just have a good pump so you can go back and forth

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by darelldd View Post
    So I realize we're in the mtn bike forum here - but I truly am after a tire that rolls the pavement way better than a Mountain King would. And while we can certainly call it a 29'er, it is actually technically a 700c'er. One wonders why we can't all just get along. ;-)

    I'm looking at rides that are 60 miles of pavement to link together 40 miles of fire road and single track climbing and descending.
    Geax AKA hands down. Wears like iron, grips hardpack like velcro.

    RE: Small Block 8 at 50psi... um, wow. That must be like greased pigsh1t unless it is pure hardpack with no loose cover, which is basically pavement.

  17. #17
    No good in rock gardens..
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn View Post
    Maxxis Ikon
    Beat me to it.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  18. #18
    turtles make me hot
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    I don't like SB 8"s at all... I like the Slant Six a lot but it isn't durable and you say you commute.
    The Geax Saguaro is durable, fast and has good traction.
    I like turtles

  19. #19
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    The small block 8, did not work for me for general cross country use. Bad grip, couldn't patch it to use without sealant. Could not wait to wear them out. On quickly reaching the end of their useful useless life they helped. Threads were still ok when the tire developed "bumps" or became untrue. Happy for that nightmare to be over...I would say they are only good for asphalt, or slickrock...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob View Post
    Beat me to it.
    By over a year.

  21. #21
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    He said he needed a dual purpose tire...so the sb8 is a fast rolling tire that will work well for his daily commutes, and its not the worst tire he could have for some trail riding....obviously no tire is good at everything. The sb8 is kind of a jack of all trades, master of none

  22. #22
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    Upgraded from SB8 to X-Kings 2.4F and 2.2R. Great tires with more bite and no noticeable drag increase. I don't ride pavement. I'm a small fella (145lb) and a weak rider stamina-wise....

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