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  1. #1
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    Tire time again - traction issues with IRC Mythos on rocks

    Last winter I picked up a set of the IRC Mythos tube tires for my bike, mainly due to price. While they've been good tires for most of my riding, I find that I have no confidence in their traction when I'm on damp hardpack or rocks. Also, I've got UST rims, so I'm thinking of trying tubeless this time around.

    I've had several friends recommend the Kendas with Sticky-E. But nowhere does it state that the Kenda UST tires come in Sticky-E compound or the dual compound...

    So what would you recommend? Do the Mythos-2 have better traction than the original?

    How about the Kenda Kharisma? I hear they grip great but wear out fairly quickly. Is that on par with experiences here?

    I need to keep the rear around 2.1-2.2, for frame clearance I think, but I haven't tried anything bigger than 2.1.

    All this is on a HT bike, rider weight 220#. Riding in the midwest, on mostly hardpack/rocky trails...

    Thanks!
    Dan

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Hutchinson Spider or Nokian NBX
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    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  3. #3
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    Some of what you want may depend on the way that you ride, or what you want out of the ride. Nevegals generally work good out West here in the damp and on rocky trails, but I think that they feel a little slow... I have a friend that rides on the Cortez tires, and likes them. I just went to a set of the IRC Trailbear 2.25" and they seem to roll pretty well, and I think that they may work pretty good in damp, rocks, etc... Not too sure about thick mud, but when it gets really sloppy I tend to stick to the road bike. I don't like to trash the trails or my bike that much. (Riding the wet here is hard on the trails and some of the equestrians use it to argue that we damage the trails... Many of the trails here are closed to bikes and horses when we start to get rain anyway...) I have had good luck with Ritchey Z-Max over the years - work fairly well everywhere, but do not have thick sidewalls if you are hard on that part of the tire. If you post where in the midwest you are, perhaps some people will note it and reply with what they use in your area. What do your buddies ride, and are they happy with the tire? Good luck and have fun testing...

  4. #4
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    One bud is riding on Hutchinson Bulldogs (came on his giant), another is running the Blue Groove/Nevegal combo... I was leaning towards the Kendas, but I'm thinking I might try the Spiders first (tube version can be picked up for fairly cheap).

    I agree on riding mud, we close our trails too... But the issue I've been running into is when its damp out, just enough to kill the dust on the trails, but it makes the rocks slick. Then I'm sliding all over the rocky sections. Maybe that's just something I have to get used to, but I'm hoping that its more tires than anything.

  5. #5
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    Nevagal does NOT come in UST with StickEE or their dual compound. I saw a few online adds for them and checked with Kenda and they assured me they do not make them yet but are looking at it. Ive ridden the UST IRC mythos and the wore really well, better than the nevagal and worked about as well on the slick stuff. my only issue with the IRC is they are a real PAIN to get mounted, took two of us and a broken tire iron to get the rear on, while the negavals go on with just my fingers (mavic 819 rim both times).

  6. #6
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    Spiders work really well in most conditions. If you are like I am, and don't want to be changing tires depending on what day it is, then they are a perfect choice. Just don't ride them on pavement at all. They turn into slicks fast.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnlwthrn
    "...But the issue I've been running into is when its damp out, just enough to kill the dust on the trails, but it makes the rocks slick. Then I'm sliding all over the rocky sections. Maybe that's just something I have to get used to, but I'm hoping that its more tires than anything."
    I had some of the same issue a couple of weeks ago at Annadel - it was a misty, foggy day that did not dry out at all - and on the faster parts of Canyon Trail, descending I could feel my Mutanoraptors skittering on the damp rocks. To some extent, when you have a damp, mixed surface, this can happen, as the tire will grip into moist dirt well, and the rock will likely have less traction so the tire may slide a bit. Softer rubber (i.e. Stick-E or similar) will probably grip better in those conditions, but will also likely wear much faster and feel a little slower too. Then again, big, sticky tires are only made to be fast downhill. Since I am not racing, I don't care about 1 mph or so... The same tires worked great at Bogg's Mtn the day before, so it must be the water! if you like the Mythos, the Trailbear is a beefier version of the same tire design. I have a couple of friends that have migrated to the 2.25 and like it.

  8. #8
    No good in rock gardens..
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    I have 2.0 Spider Airlights on my hardtail.

    To be honest, I'd have thought a big, fat, soft compound tyre would give better climbing traction. They roll beautifully over moderately rough surfaces, absorbing bumps and making it feel like I have a 5 inch fork instead of a 4.

    BUT - I have found they will let go a little suddenly on loose climbs, far more so than I would have expected.

    Also, they lack a square edge, the tread edge being sort of roundish, and I find the front slips a bit on off camber sections, and they will drop into wheel ruts suddenly.

    For the loose rock over hardpack thing, I prefer something with a hard, square edge that can bite into the hard base (if it exists.....) once it's gotten thru the loose pebbly stuff.

    It's all loose rock over hardpack here, with a variety of gravel, pebbles, course sand thru to baby head rocks - sandstone sort of stuff, quartz, and slate. My fave front tyre for all this is the Tioga Extreme XC 2.1 (more like a 2.2) and it also works OK on the back, maybe not rolling as well as a Spider. Nevegals are also popular with a lot of riders here.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Hutchinson Spider or Nokian NBX
    Is the Hutchinson Spider being sold at Performance the latest model you highly recommend? I ask because sometimes they sell the previous model spec that is oftentimes not the model to have, hence the sale: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...srccode=2047##

  10. #10
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    I got a free pair of Nokians and I would not recommend them. I would give the Kendas a try. If you cannot get the StickE rubber in a UST, then go for the standard ones with Stans sealant and save some weight at the same time.

  11. #11
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    I was kind of planning to go along those lines (Kenda standard). However, I could care less about the weight... I can drop more weight than a pair of tubes just riding for an hour!

    Thanks for all the advice. I'll let you know for sure which way I go and how they work.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by minus9
    I got a free pair of Nokians and I would not recommend them. I would give the Kendas a try. If you cannot get the StickE rubber in a UST, then go for the standard ones with Stans sealant and save some weight at the same time.
    Which ones? I hear the Kona OEM Nokians (NBT?) have crappy rubber that wears fast and the casings could be crappy too. My kevlar-bead NBX 2.3 has been excellent in all conditions for two years on the front wheel and it still is hardly worn.

  13. #13
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    I am not one to just bash products. Just because something dosen't work for me dosen't mean it won't work for others imo. When it comes to the IRC mythos though, I feel differently. These have gotta be the worst tires ever. Man oh man. No grip, handle like crap, and the list goes on. Seriously get the 127 tpi version of the panaracer fire xc tire in a 2.1 and you will be a happy camper.
    06 Rocky Mountain ETSX - Full XTR, Fox Shox, Crossmax XL Wheels

  14. #14
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    I'm not a particular endorser of the IRC Mythos - While I do not think there is anything 'wrong' with that tire, I like more volume in a casing. I LIKE the Trailbear 2.25 for most conditions that I have had it in.

    That said, I have 3 friends that have been using the Mythos 2.1 in virtually all conditions, 2 of them are particularly good technical riders, and they love the tires. They seem to grip fine for them, they wear like iron and they are light and pretty fast. At least in Nor Cal they seem to be pretty decent tires. If you're a bigger guy, and riding a hardtail I would think that the Mythos would be a bit small, volume and tread-wise. Have you looked at some of the Specialized tires that have recently come out? People seem to like the Resolution tires and they have a reasonably fat casing for the measured size. Saw a few people in Soquel Demo Forest ripping it up on them last Sunday...

  15. #15
    I Love my Rize
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    Good job! I second that

    I run 2.25 Trailbears and I think they are the BEST ALL AROUND TIRE Period...........
    Tough as nails and great traction in most conditions and VERY LONG WEARING even on the asphalt. I don't think I will use another tire. By the way the price is really really cheap just about anywhere. I can't say enough about how good Trailbears perform. Just give them a try and you decide. They are the best kept secret in mtn bike tires. Not bad in mud either for the tread pattern.

  16. #16
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    danoalb, have you tried a 2.5" Trailbear? I have been thinking that for the later parts of the year when things get rocky and dusty, as well as winter trips to the Phoenix area that it may be a good front tire... I am pretty sure that my Pike fork will handle it - not sure if the back of my Ransom will clear a 2.5 though...

  17. #17
    mini clyde
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    How do Trailbears handle rocks and roots when it's wet? My DTC Nevegals do some serious skating on those when it's damp. (Terrain is Central NC -- mostly sandy or red clay, rocks are spiky/shiny quartz, not grippy like granite or sandstone. The roots that get me have the bark worn off from traffic.)

    Anyone else have a hot tip for wet roots? (Maybe not, they're even hard to walk on . . .)

  18. #18
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    go with a tubeless for sure and I like the High Roller 2.1. Traction on loose dry conditions and durability are what I look for. I used to use the Mythos non UST and the High Roller is worlds apart. Tubes give me pinch flats all the time anyway. Good Luck

  19. #19
    I Love my Rize
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    No better than the Nevegals

    Quote Originally Posted by eedavis
    How do Trailbears handle rocks and roots when it's wet? My DTC Nevegals do some serious skating on those when it's damp. (Terrain is Central NC -- mostly sandy or red clay, rocks are spiky/shiny quartz, not grippy like granite or sandstone. The roots that get me have the bark worn off from traffic.)

    Anyone else have a hot tip for wet roots? (Maybe not, they're even hard to walk on . . .)

    There is NO tire that will handle those type of roots. The bears are MUCH tougher tires not quite as sticky as the nev's with their rubber compound but the have great traction in most conditions. To answer your question Scott no I haven't run the 2.5 as my rear is maxed out with the 2.25 bears . I was thinking of running the big one in front though as I have tons of clearance in my fork but to be honest with you my full 2.25 setup kicks a$$.
    Really no need to run a bigger front at this point plus I like to rotate my front and back tires for balanced wear.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by danoalb
    Really no need to run a bigger front at this point plus I like to rotate my front and back tires for balanced wear.
    Yeah - when I am running same-type/size tires I like to replace my worn-out Rear with the Front tire, and then put a new, sharp-knobbed tire on the front. That way I end up buying one tire at a time, and always have the best cornering and braking traction on the front. I find it's pretty rare that I actually have traction problems in the back - and I do some steep technical climbing. Seems like the last couple of years I have been playing with different tires so much that I have not been in the mode of switching as they wear out... I used to ride Ritchey Z-Max in almost all conditions when I lived in San Diego. They also work in Moab, Crested Butte, Durango, Phoenix, Nor Cal, etc... Sometimes I wonder why I change. So far, I like the Trailbears quite a bit - same sort of feel of the Z-Max - do well in all the conditions I have had them in, even though they may not be the best in certain terrain. That's OK - the one 20 foot section I bailed out on in Soquel Demo Forest last weekend wasn't because of my tires!

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