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  1. #1
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    Tire rec's for tubeless 29er---racing only

    This is for racing only. I'm interested in 3 things:
    1.Light weight
    2. Avoiding catastrophic blow outs
    3. Not interested in Uber low profile I.E. Kenda small blocks

    I've heard that Schwalbe is good, but that they tend to tear sidewalls.
    Also have been told that Bontrager 29's are a good choice.
    Last edited by grinch; 07-09-2011 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    The Bontrager 29-3 Team Issue 2.25s that I've ridden on customers' bikes, set up tubeless, were excruciatingly slow.

    I tried some Rocket Ron 2.25s (in 26") and found that 1. I burped a tire in two of two races on NoTubes Alpines, and 2. despite the pronounced knobs and using them at lower pressure than I would with tubes, they really didn't impress me with great cornering. I probably would've gotten Racing Ralphs instead if they'd been available at BTI at the time... could be one to consider, and Schwalbe does offer Snakeskin and DoubleDefense models if you want more meat on the casings.

    You may already have seen this, but here's someone's 29er tire-weight spreadsheet since weight is a criterion for your choice: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...nc&hl=en#gid=0

  3. #3
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    I'm trying out maxxis ikon with the protection sidewall.

  4. #4
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    +1 Ikon EXO. I just love these tires.

  5. #5
    Schwizzle
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    i like my rocket rons on my race bike, much faster and lighter than the kenda nevegals i have on my trail bike

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by osu1978 View Post
    +1 Ikon EXO. I just love these tires.
    I've been running this on the back and really like it. Seems to be holding up well.

  7. #7
    Dirty South Underdog
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    I love the Ignitor on the front. I'm still not set on a rear tire, but I just installed an Ikon & first rides seem good.
    Brickhouse Blog (most known unknown)

    Just Riding Along- best internet radio show on Mountain Bike Radio

  8. #8
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    Using Specialized Captain Control 2.2 (720g?) on rear and Specialized S-works Purgatory 2.2 (670g) on front, both tubeless with Stan's sealant on Roval carbon rims. Riding mainly on loose pea gravel over hardpack and soft deep pea gravel. Some rocky stuff also. Use 27 to 30 psi in both. No problems (except for a nail which stans sealed) and good grip - but not fast rolling. Think it mainly depends on the type of terrain you are on and how you ride - see what the favourite tyre is for your area/tracks/events.

  9. #9
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    I've been really impressed with the Specialized Fast Trak 2bliss lately. I don't know the weight but it grips well and feels good under power or braking. I have mine set up tubeless on a Stan's Arch with 25psi in the Arizona desert. Some of my heavier or not so smooth riding friends have complained about durability but mine looks brand new after 200 miles of chunk.

  10. #10
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    For those running the Ikon's how does it compare as an all-around tire? Coming off Schwalbe Racing Ralphs, which imo have very few weaknesses as an everyday tire, but at over 700g they are on the heavy side for racing. '

    Has anyone had enough experience using the Ikon as an everyday tire to comment?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crosstown Stew View Post
    For those running the Ikon's how does it compare as an all-around tire? Coming off Schwalbe Racing Ralphs, which imo have very few weaknesses as an everyday tire, but at over 700g they are on the heavy side for racing. '

    Has anyone had enough experience using the Ikon as an everyday tire to comment?
    My bike isnt even put together yet, but I should know soon. I'm also using racing ralphs as a every day trail/race tire, and think they're real good!

    I originally ordered sworks renegades, but called and switched to the ikon.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by osu1978 View Post
    +1 Ikon EXO. I just love these tires.
    they are just stupid good, light, amazingly durable handle at least as good as the racing ralphs I had on before. Longevity is on the order of 3X more than the schwalbe tires too

    I had over 400 miles on the rear before I felt the need to change it out in race conditions.

  13. #13
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    Thanks Fakie, let me know how they compare. I need a new set of tires for everyday training as my racing ralphs are all but bald down the middle and sidewalls are showing treads pretty bad in the rear. I threw an Ardent on the front and a Crossmark on the rear for a race yesterday and didn't like either, Ardent was okay because 50% of the trail was rock gardens but rolling resistance is horrible, the crossmark is not much of an all around tire imo, good on hardpack but that's about it.

    If this Ikon can handle like the racing ralphs and is durable enough for an everyday tire then I might have to give it a go.

  14. #14
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    Crosstown, I don't have any experience with racing ralphs but I train and race on Ikons. Basically they don't come off my bike no matter what I am riding on. I live in Ohio and ride on a variety of terrain with a lot of roots and some rock gardens. They have also done well on the Northern Michigan sand.

  15. #15
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    Maxxis Ikon for most conditions.
    CyclingCentralVa.org

  16. #16
    Now broadcasting from CO
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    Digging the Ikon EXO's now. Will be testing them out in some burlier situations this weekend.
    Brought to you by rocks.

  17. #17
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    So here's my follow up. I ended up going with the IKONS on the front and Stan's Ravens on the back. I chose the Ikons primarily due to response posts here and the Raven on a friends suggestion.
    I had three races set for this weekend: a time trial, short track and XC.

    TT= Flatted the Stan's less than a mile into the course. Race over.
    XC= Flatted the Stan's again about a mile into the course. This time with a tube in it.
    STXC: No problems. Got second. Missed first by inches, but hey, the whole course was set up like a Cross race and was held on nothing but grass. So I would have been surprised if I had any problems.

    I'm not gonna dog on Stan's here. The tire may do better for someone else. Probably a light or finesse rider. I consider myself more or less a finesse rider, but I RACE like an 800 lbs Gorilla. So, probably a good tire, just not for me.

    Really liked the Ikon a lot. So I have gone out and replaced the Stans with an Ikon on the back.

    Thanks to everyone for the input. Turned out to be very useful. I only wish that I would have listened entirely to the MTBR posters.

  18. #18
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    I consider myself more or less a finesse rider, but I RACE like an 800 lbs Gorilla.
    LOL I hear ya on that... this episode comes to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqEP_...ailpage#t=269s

  19. #19
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    If I had your power, I'd put on tractor tires and just plow through everything. Seriously though, you did the right thing. You have to have confidence in your tires; especially when traveling to races. Let us know how this new set up works for you.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy524 View Post
    If I had your power, I'd put on tractor tires and just plow through everything. Seriously though, you did the right thing. You have to have confidence in your tires; especially when traveling to races. Let us know how this new set up works for you.
    Haha. Thanks Jeremy. You ride with the best of both worlds; finesse AND power. I think that's why those Stan's work well for you and probably Greg too. I think front and back will likely work out.

    I wish I could ride like that.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by grinch View Post
    So here's my follow up. I ended up going with the IKONS on the front and Stan's Ravens on the back. I chose the Ikons primarily due to response posts here and the Raven on a friends suggestion.
    I had three races set for this weekend: a time trial, short track and XC.

    TT= Flatted the Stan's less than a mile into the course. Race over.
    XC= Flatted the Stan's again about a mile into the course. This time with a tube in it.
    STXC: No problems. Got second. Missed first by inches, but hey, the whole course was set up like a Cross race and was held on nothing but grass. So I would have been surprised if I had any problems.

    I'm not gonna dog on Stan's here. The tire may do better for someone else. Probably a light or finesse rider. I consider myself more or less a finesse rider, but I RACE like an 800 lbs Gorilla. So, probably a good tire, just not for me.

    Really liked the Ikon a lot. So I have gone out and replaced the Stans with an Ikon on the back.

    Thanks to everyone for the input. Turned out to be very useful. I only wish that I would have listened entirely to the MTBR posters.
    Surprised you went for a Raven based on your original post of avoiding number 3 in your criteria:

    3. Not interested in Uber low profile I.E. Kenda small blocks

    Was it the 2.2 Raven or the 2.0? I would be curious as to what type of flats they were? Puncture from a thorn? Sidewall tear? Tear between the tread from something sharp? Piece of glass or metal? etc...

    I've had good luck with the Raven 2.2 (on my 2nd set of them now). Sharp rocks haven't bothered them, but I did take a big nail on a gravel section of a fire road that the sealant couldn't handle. I think I was more dumbfounded on what such a big nail was doing out in the middle of the forest on that fire road than I was with the flat. Lots of thorns in my area as well, and the sealant does a pretty good job of keeping the Raven going. But I don't use it all the time. I like the Ikon front with a Raven 2.2 rear, or Ikons front and rear.

    As you might be finding with running tubeless on a 29"er, you can get away with less knobs if running the right low to mid pressure and not lose traction due to small knobs. Other tires worth considering in the category you mention in your original post include the Maxxis Aspen and Continental Race King 2.2 (tall volume).

    If you ride like a Gorilla and can produce the power, but would like a bomb proof rear race tire - the Maxxis Crossmark LUST (tubeless UST tire with super thick sidewalls and the "perceived" weight penalty to boot) will hold up to just about anything and can be run at very low psi's due to the sturdy UST sidewall. And I seriously cannot tell any penalty in performance due to the extra weight of the UST tire. I ran it all season last year on the rear end of a race bike with a Flow rim and no sealant (with an Ardent 2.25 UST up front). My wife now runs the UST Crossmarks front and rear on her Air9 (sealant free of course). I've got the 2.25 Ardent on the rear of another bike this season. You can run a lot lower psi on the Maxxis UST 29"er tires than a tubeless ready tire and get velcro traction in corners and climbs because of it without suffering any tire squirm or rolling resistance hit. The 2 Maxxis UST 29"er tires (Crossmark and Ardent) are unlike their tubeless ready and lighter counterparts with the same name. Many shy away simply from the "perceived" penalty of the weight. But if you are looking for gorilla performance and not having to DNF a race....

    That being said - the Ikons are favorites for many of us.

    BB

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hostilemonk View Post
    Using Specialized Captain Control 2.2 (720g?) on rear and Specialized S-works Purgatory 2.2 (670g) on front, both tubeless with Stan's sealant on Roval carbon rims. Riding mainly on loose pea gravel over hardpack and soft deep pea gravel. Some rocky stuff also. Use 27 to 30 psi in both. No problems (except for a nail which stans sealed) and good grip - but not fast rolling. Think it mainly depends on the type of terrain you are on and how you ride - see what the favourite tyre is for your area/tracks/events.
    I've been using the Specialized "The Captain" (2.0 on rear 35 psi, 2.2 on front 30 psi) and I've been pretty impressed with overall traction and rolling speed. I don't know the exact weight of these tires; however, when compared to others in my local shop, you can simply tell the difference in weight (they're a lot lighter). I've had two flats, from thorns, so if you're someone who ride where the trails aren't properly maintained with a lot of branches down, these might not be the right choice for you since thorns puncture these tires fairly easily.

    My father was running Bontrager 29er tires and he ripped 3 sidewalls!!! I don't know if it was just the way he was riding or what, but since he switched to WTBs he hasn't torn any sidewalls... I have no idea on the performance of those tires though...

  23. #23
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    OK. Second update. Ran both IKONS for two races this weekend. No problems at all. Really loved them. In a perfect world they would have had the supple casing of
    the Stan's, but hey that would be like the Holy Grail.
    No complaints from me.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by grinch View Post
    OK. Second update. Ran both IKONS for two races this weekend. No problems at all. Really loved them. In a perfect world they would have had the supple casing of
    the Stan's, but hey that would be like the Holy Grail.
    No complaints from me.
    Nice! I'm waiting on drive train parts for my single speed, otherwise I'd have an opinion on the ikons in this thread already. I too was a big fan of stans tires. I did get a flat on the rear though. The sidewalls were great! Felt like a 5" travel bike instead of 4". But, you cant have it all like you said.

  25. #25
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    I picket up a Ikon EXO for a deal on craigslist when I finished building my niner early this spring, without knowing what an awesome tire it would be. I have a rocket ron on the front which is nice. Since then I have put out 820 miles of hard racing and training on the tires, most of it in Utah and oregon, and some riding in colorado. My Ikon finally failed me during a STXC race on monday with a flat on the last lap. Well really it is my fault, should have replenished the stans in there as it was a fast leak in the tread.
    A few riding notes about the tire, uphill traction is not the best, but is good enough. you can't get to far forward on your bike without breaking loose. cornering grip seems to be great, it holds it's corners just as well as the rocket ron in the front. the tire also seems to be squishier then schwalbes, running around 26-28 psi it feels like I have a tad bit of travel in the rear.

    Running it tubeless is easy, and didn't have nearly as many micro holes to plug up with stans as the schwalbes do.

    I am going to buy another Ikon for the rear, but will probably throw on the old tire for Moab trips as it still has some life left to it.

    this is what 800 miles looks like on a rear ikon

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