Perfect tire? Is there one?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Perfect tire? Is there one?

    I'm expecting my new Salsa in the next week or so. I'm looking for a 29er tire than will roll like a slick (or close) and have enough traction on steep fire roads, which include a little sand, a little dust, a little hard pack and granite and some rocky sections, for the second set of wheels. (The primary set will be more MTB specific.) I know it's probably a ridiculous request. I'm planning on having these as my 'road' tires, but I want something I can ride on the roads, but with enough traction to turn onto the trails without much trouble.

    While you're at it, I'm looking for reasonable 29er wheels for the job. Something that is inexpensive and durable enough for this job. Are XT hubs durable enough? I keep reading stories here about the pawls breaking. Any suggestions?

    Dick

  2. #2
    conjoinicorned
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    Actually...the WTB nano raptor is a stellar tire for what you describe. I built a monstercross around their use I love them so much for road/gravel/dirt style riding. Plus they are durable as iron and roll shockingly well. I cannot recommend a tire more highly for mixed terrain riding.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  3. #3
    247
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    Racing Ralphs (they are NOT cheap) but you have to shop around (found mine for about 40% off MSRP) and they have the EVO SnakeSkin sidewalls (which you will be glad to have on fire roads.)

    I ride a lot of (road) at times with them and they are great (and nothing better on most trails.)

    Durable (and Inexpensive wheelset)--get a take off' set of WTB Laser Discs (the one's with the WTB lite Hubs)--they are sufficiently light for a 32 spoke wheelset (but they are Bomb-Proof.) Especially for heavier riders (by biking standards)...

    --But make sure you get the 'real Laserdisc wheelsets' (with the WTB Lite Hubs)--those hubs are light and Solid!! They also sound 'more masculine' than my old DTSwiss hubs on my old Bontrager Race wheelset... (with the LaserDisc I also took off the emblems)---think they look better without them (like Stans peel off ones also.)
    Last edited by 247; 06-12-2012 at 10:27 PM.

  4. #4
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    No perfect tire, that said, Geax AKA's are fast rolling all arounders with pretty good volume.
    They have been getting a lot of play with front range riders, at least until we caught on fire

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by docfuel View Post
    I'm expecting my new Salsa in the next week or so. I'm looking for a 29er tire than will roll like a slick (or close) and have enough traction on steep fire roads, which include a little sand, a little dust, a little hard pack and granite and some rocky sections, for the second set of wheels. (The primary set will be more MTB specific.) I know it's probably a ridiculous request. I'm planning on having these as my 'road' tires, but I want something I can ride on the roads, but with enough traction to turn onto the trails without much trouble.

    While you're at it, I'm looking for reasonable 29er wheels for the job. Something that is inexpensive and durable enough for this job. Are XT hubs durable enough? I keep reading stories here about the pawls breaking. Any suggestions?

    Dick
    No, there is no one perfect tire. But you know that if you are going to swap to full knobbies for trail rides.

    For my adventure bike that sees mostly pavement and some gravel, handpack and trail, I have been using Vee Rubber "12" 29x1.95. A very low tread semislick. Rode a 127 mile event a few weeks ago with 60% gravel (and some sand/rock). Worked well. Fine on the dirt (except for the usual braking issues), and rolled well and cornered securely on pavement.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday View Post
    Actually...the WTB nano raptor is a stellar tire for what you describe.
    +1

    The folks who race the Tour Divide probably use the nano raptor more often than any other tire, and the conditions you described are what they face.

  7. #7
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    I like the Specialized Renegade for what you describe.
    The Ikon and Fast Trek 2 are good as well if you want a little more aggressive tread than the Renegade

  8. #8
    Rod
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    I like Race Kings for the conditions you describe. Good volume, great grip, very low rolling resistance, durable, and slow wearing for such a low profile tire that grips so well.

  9. #9
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    Tire opinions seem to vary more than any other bicycle component.
    Your own opinion of a certain tire may change significantly over time as you gain experience, adjust air pressure and ride different trails.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, folks. As you can guess, I don't have extensive experience with a wide variety of MTB tires and only then with maximum grip in all conditions.

    If anyone has any other opinions, let me know.
    In particular, it would be nice if the tires have fair resistance to wear on roads, since this set will be used a lot on roads.

    Also, any recs on wheels?

  11. #11
    HOV
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    I'll throw in another vote for WTB Nanos. Really nice all around tire. It has never let me down on the trail, and it doesn't get in the way on the pavement.

    For an affordable, durable wheelset, I'd recommend the Mavic TN719 laced to XT hubs with DT spokes, available from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse for around $270. Great wheels, great value.

  12. #12
    Rod
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    I forgot about the other part of the question. XT hubs will be fine. I used a set in nasty conditions for 4 years and they're still going strong. I had to change the freehub body once (50 bucks) and everything was fine.

  13. #13
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    Thanks, again on the Nanos.
    I had shied away from the XTs but I guess they need a another look.
    $270 sounds like a pretty nice price.

  14. #14
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    If you do get a set of wheels built up with XT hubs, just make sure they use the current version of the rear hub.

    A few years ago I had a set of wheels built up for my wife and the builder used the previous version hub (cheaper probably). By the time it came to find a replacement freehub body it was a major pain in the ass as it was about 3 versions old by that point.

  15. #15
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    I love the Continental Xking tire. Racing Ralph is fast running but tends to slip away on wet surface.

  16. #16
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH View Post
    If you do get a set of wheels built up with XT hubs, just make sure they use the current version of the rear hub.

    A few years ago I had a set of wheels built up for my wife and the builder used the previous version hub (cheaper probably). By the time it came to find a replacement freehub body it was a major pain in the ass as it was about 3 versions old by that point.
    I will not buy another of the latest XT hub because the bearing cones are not available except as part of a complete axle assembly. Was cheaper for me to replace the whole hub (with a different brand).
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  17. #17
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    Another fan of WTB Nano. Rolls well on the road and corners well on both road and dirt.

  18. #18
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    I'm not a fan of Shimano cup & cone style hubs anyway, I'd rather have sealed cartridge bearings.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH View Post
    I'm not a fan of Shimano cup & cone style hubs anyway, I'd rather have sealed cartridge bearings.
    There is some argument that cup and cone is better.
    Bearing Breakdown - Slowtwitch.com

  20. #20
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    The reason I prefer cartridge bearings over cup and cone as that I find the cartridge bearings have better seals and last longer.

    I live in a temperate rain forest so the hubs & BB are wet all the time (okay, 11 months of the year).

  21. #21
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by docfuel View Post
    There is some argument that cup and cone is better.
    Bearing Breakdown - Slowtwitch.com
    None of those matter when a hub feels like it is filled with gravel because a cone is pitted and you can not get a replacement.

    Nearly all the wear parts of a cartridge bearing hub are in the easily replaceable cartridge itself.

    The bit of extra drag is minor in the dirt and real world riding (as opposed to time trialing)
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  22. #22
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    Well these Maxxis Ikon 2.2 Exo's seem to work pretty well on everything except very slippy mud. I've done rides with them as low as 24psi Rear and 22psi Front but you could pump them much firmer for the road.
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  23. #23
    ballbuster
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    Ha...

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    No, there is no one perfect tire. But you know that if you are going to swap to full knobbies for trail rides.

    For my adventure bike that sees mostly pavement and some gravel, handpack and trail, I have been using Vee Rubber "12" 29x1.95. A very low tread semislick. Rode a 127 mile event a few weeks ago with 60% gravel (and some sand/rock). Worked well. Fine on the dirt (except for the usual braking issues), and rolled well and cornered securely on pavement.
    I got a set of those at Sea Otter. They had a special for $30. I got a Race V and one of the other Vs. I got 2.1 for the rear, 2.2 for the front, but they are way narrow for that 'size'.

    They are surprisingly unsketchy. I figured I would be skating all over the trail with those on my SS, but they actually stuck pretty well, considering how low profile the knobs are. They rolled really well.

    Beads are pretty weak for tubeless, tho. I had to put tubes in mine.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    I got a set of those at Sea Otter. They had a special for $30. I got a Race V and one of the other Vs. I got 2.1 for the rear, 2.2 for the front, but they are way narrow for that 'size'.

    They are surprisingly unsketchy. I figured I would be skating all over the trail with those on my SS, but they actually stuck pretty well, considering how low profile the knobs are. They rolled really well.

    Beads are pretty weak for tubeless, tho. I had to put tubes in mine.
    The 1.95 width is in the proper range.

    They do dance a lot when things get wet/slimy.

    They are standard bead/casing. Would never use them without inner tubes.
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