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  1. #1
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    Adjustments to carbonframe 27.5 HT 120mm for trail riding

    I primarily ride 10 miles or so at a time on fast singletrack trails in northern VA, which have lots of ups and downs. I found my FS diamondback atroz comp to be a bit heavy and sluggish and not particularly enjoyable on anything except the downhill portions. So I recently bought a Beiou carbon frame HT, which basically came setup as an XC bike. I swapped the narro handlebar for a 740mm bar and upgraded the shock fork to a rockshox gold tk120mm. The tires are the stock Maxxis Pace tires, 2.1, which have low treads and are very fast. The bike is 26 lbs as currently configured. I can tear down the trails much faster an bike further than before, but I doe lose traction more often than on the beefy old FS bike. Would putting 2.25 tires, or 2.1 tires with bigger treads, or running lower pressure be a good idea? I don't want it to be too sluggish but I want to grip the trail a bit more in the downhill turns. I experimented with a shorter stock (current one is about 90mm but the bars angle back 20mm or so) but I didn't really like the short 30mm stock I tried.

  2. #2
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    Tires can be a game changer. I would definitely be looking at going to a wider tire.
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  3. #3
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    Tires make a huge difference. Out of curiosity, what were you using on your Diamondback?

    The Maxxis Pace tires are extremely low-profile and can be hard to manage outside of smooth dry hardpack. If you're washing out, especially in corners, it probably makes sense for you to move up to a slightly burlier (but still fast-rolling) tire. The Maxxis Ikon is a good choice, or perhaps a Maxxis Forekaster front and Ikon rear.

    The width of the tire will have an impact, but less so than the general size and pattern of the tread. Going from a 2.1 to a 2.25 in the same tire probably won't be a very noticeable change, especially with how bald the Pace is.

    You should absolutely experiment with tire pressure. What's right for you will depend on the tires, wheels, your weight, how you ride, etc, but most folks find their sweet spot in the high 20's to low 30's PSI.

    Consider going tubeless if you aren't already. You save rotating weight, gain puncture protection, can potentially run lower pressures, and get a more supple tire with less rolling resistance.

  4. #4
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    Thanks! The diamondback has Kendatire Nevegal Lite, 2.35s. I will check out the Maxxis Ikons. I've also seen that Maxxis makes some tires that are almost slick/bald in the middle of the tread but then have lines of big treads on the edges for cornering. Do these work or are they gimmicky?

  5. #5
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    If you mean the Minion SS, they aren't a gimmick and work extremely well as a rear tire, in dry-ish conditions. The very similar Specialized Slaughter is one of my very favorite rear tires. You would pair it with something that has similar cornering knobs but more substantial center tread, like an Aggressor or Minion DHF. Problem is in your case that's likely more tire than you need and would roll slower, but if you really want confidence in the downhills that would do it.

    That's one of the constant compromises with tires - trying to find the right balance between traction and rolling resistance. The good news is, there's a big universe of tires that roll faster than Nevegals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    If you mean the Minion SS, they aren't a gimmick and work extremely well as a rear tire, in dry-ish conditions. The very similar Specialized Slaughter is one of my very favorite rear tires. You would pair it with something that has similar cornering knobs but more substantial center tread, like an Aggressor or Minion DHF. Problem is in your case that's likely more tire than you need and would roll slower, but if you really want confidence in the downhills that would do it.

    That's one of the constant compromises with tires - trying to find the right balance between traction and rolling resistance. The good news is, there's a big universe of tires that roll faster than Nevegals.
    Ok cool. So it sounds like I should try dropping the pressure on my maxxis pace tires then, as a next step, try the ikons. One more question if you don't mindó is a dropper post worth checking out? Or is it something I wouldn't get use out of unless I'm doing more hardcore types of riding, and therefore too much added weight without any benefit?

  7. #7
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    Bah, dropper. Good question, I should have mentioned. If you're riding trails, and think you can tolerate an extra pound of weight, a dropper is a really big deal. Especially on undulating terrain with lots of ups and downs.

    A dropper lets you set your max seatpost height for optimal climbing, drop it way out of the way for steep or technical things, and (maybe most importantly) drop it just a little bit when maneuvering the bike, cornering, etc. I honestly think I adjust my dropper just slightly less than I shift.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    Bah, dropper. Good question, I should have mentioned. If you're riding trails, and think you can tolerate an extra pound of weight, a dropper is a really big deal. Especially on undulating terrain with lots of ups and downs.

    A dropper lets you set your max seatpost height for optimal climbing, drop it way out of the way for steep or technical things, and (maybe most importantly) drop it just a little bit when maneuvering the bike, cornering, etc. I honestly think I adjust my dropper just slightly less than I shift.
    Thanks! I wil look into this after the tires.

  9. #9
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    This is an easy one...

    Change your tires. Go to a 2.3 to a 2.4. They might feel sluggish at first but a lot of that is just a perception as you will have a smoother ride.

    Any proper mtb tire will likely be more aggressive than that Pace.

    Going too far with a grippier, larger tire might feel like too much a jump so don't over do it.

    I'd recommend something from Maxxis like an Ardent 2.4 both ends or a Spec Ground Control 2.3 (control casing) both ends.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    This is an easy one...

    Change your tires. Go to a 2.3 to a 2.4. They might feel sluggish at first but a lot of that is just a perception as you will have a smoother ride.

    Any proper mtb tire will likely be more aggressive than that Pace.

    Going too far with a grippier, larger tire might feel like too much a jump so don't over do it.

    I'd recommend something from Maxxis like an Ardent 2.4 both ends or a Spec Ground Control 2.3 (control casing) both ends.
    I'm thinking Maxxis Ikons 2.2. Think that'll be good?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by clodiuspulcher View Post
    I'm thinking Maxxis Ikons 2.2. Think that'll be good?
    Very XC-ish. A tire I never ran but I hear good things about them. 2.2 is quite skinny.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Very XC-ish. A tire I never ran but I hear good things about them. 2.2 is quite skinny.
    They have a 2.35 version too but I don't want it to be too much or a pain in the ass to pedal around...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by clodiuspulcher View Post
    They have a 2.35 version too but I don't want it to be too much or a pain in the ass to pedal around...
    Well...there you go. That's the one thing I just failed to think about...

    When the OP said "I want to grip the trail a bit more in the downhill turns." I wasn't thinkin' about his concerns that a bigger tire would be "a pain in the ass to pedal around."
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  14. #14
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    I lived in NOVA for a bit and road Fountain Head, Wakotink, Maryland. I liked a 2.3 or bigger up front like an HRII, DHF and 2.2 like Ardent in the rear. I'd like to try the new 2.6 standard as well but need a bigger internal width front rim.

    For wet roots riding I like the On One chunky monkey/smorgasbord with their soft rubber. Everything I set up tubeless.

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