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  1. #1
    I-S
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    Trailraker - really all that?

    I've stumbled (or rather fallen) upon a slight issue... Panaracer mach SS slicks don't work in the mud and wet. I know, I know, controversial... Mind you, they don't give much away to my old velociraptors!

    Anyway, with winter on its way and lots and lots of mud available around here (UK, peak district) I need a good mud tyre. A little research suggests that Panaracer Trailraker is THE tyre to have.

    But I have a few questions:

    1) Are they really all that?

    2) Are they suitable on the front wheel?

    3) Which size? I use 26 x 1.95 slicks at the moment, and have XC717 front and 121 (soon to be replaced with another XC717) rear rims. I'm thinking 1.95 is the one to go for...

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac Sibson
    I've stumbled (or rather fallen) upon a slight issue... Panaracer mach SS slicks don't work in the mud and wet. I know, I know, controversial... Mind you, they don't give much away to my old velociraptors!

    Anyway, with winter on its way and lots and lots of mud available around here (UK, peak district) I need a good mud tyre. A little research suggests that Panaracer Trailraker is THE tyre to have.

    But I have a few questions:

    1) Are they really all that?

    2) Are they suitable on the front wheel?

    3) Which size? I use 26 x 1.95 slicks at the moment, and have XC717 front and 121 (soon to be replaced with another XC717) rear rims. I'm thinking 1.95 is the one to go for...
    1) Yes. Great mud tire.

    2) Yes. Work front and rear.

    3) Both sizes are good. Your choice. The 1.95 will give you more frame/fork clearance.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  3. #3
    Just give me hardpack
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    Best UK winter tyres

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. 1.9's for mud e.g Peaks; 2.1's for rocks and mud e.g Lakes.

  4. #4
    I-S
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    Hmmm, someone who lives nearby has told me we haven't actually got ENOUGH mud for the trailrakers!

    How do they compare to the Fire XC for weight, grip in the wet/lite mud and rolling resistance?

    Mind you, either way both fire XC and trailraker will be heavier with more RR than the Mach SS, and both will be better in the mud... I take it my old velociraptors are distinctly old hat?

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac Sibson
    Hmmm, someone who lives nearby has told me we haven't actually got ENOUGH mud for the trailrakers!

    How do they compare to the Fire XC for weight, grip in the wet/lite mud and rolling resistance?

    Mind you, either way both fire XC and trailraker will be heavier with more RR than the Mach SS, and both will be better in the mud... I take it my old velociraptors are distinctly old hat?
    You can find the specs on my Tire Site.

    "Low rolling resistance" and "mud tire" do not go together. Low RR does not really matter. Traction and the ability to keep going with reasonable control does.

    I am not fond of Fire XCs in the mud. Pack up badly in my conditions. The WTBs would be better. The TrailRaker 2.1 does pretty well in drier conditions, roots and rocks.

    A few of tires that do well in varied wet/dry conditions are:
    • Nokian NBX 2.1
    • Hutchinson Spider 2.1
    • Schwalbe Little Albert 2.1
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  6. #6
    I-S
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    Ok, I picked up some Trailraker 2.1s from the LBS today. Fitted them up then went for a cold and muddy ride up to standege, along the pennine way and back down packhorse lane, finishing about 8pm (getting pretty dark) and about 40F (~5C).

    So... the trailrakers...

    On the road up the hill... 800ft climb on 10-15% grade roads. Jeeeeeeeez these things are hard work. NOT for riding on the road.

    Then up a VERY muddy unmarked trail that I call "Horny Fly Pass" after a trip up it a few weeks ago, where if you stood still for a moment... well, you can guess. Loads of mud and the first off-road section. You can hear the grass tearing under these tyres, they're that aggressive. Mud was no problem at all. The tyres don't pick up mud at all, it just doesn't stick to them (at least this mud doesn't.... it's quite peaty up there). Grip through the mud pools was incredible. Then braking on loose wet sand they just gripped... easy endo!

    Then the rocky section of the pennine way... they coped pretty well, hooking up on edges and over rocks.

    Then a section which has been "resurfaced" since I last rode it on monday. Hardpack gravel "groomed" trail... they're not so good there. Too much resistance.

    Then onto my favourite trail, packhorse road. The top section is fast, flowing hardpack mud singletrack. And what a revelation these tyres are there. Grip is in massive supply despite the seemingly slippery conditions.

    Then the middle section of phr is what I call "the b@$7@rd section". Deep ruts which you can barely keep the pedals above (sometimes having to tweak one side or other higher to clear something), with long grass growing up to head-tube height, at times overgrowing the trail and hiding the ground from view. Sketchy at the best of times with loose rocks, and today there was a good 300 yards that was flowing with water. But still the trailrakers are in their element and I was going as fast as I do in the dry!

    The final section is a steep (20-25%), loose, technical descent. Brakes on all the way down, keeping the speed to 1-2mph. Grip was just unbelievable... I didn't even need the rear brake!

    So the verdict... it's as the man (shiggy) said. These things are incredible in the wet. They suck on gravel hardpack, but I found that on earth hardpack they're a bit rattly but are great.

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