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  1. #1
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    generic knobbies

    im looking forward to some light to medium trail riding. will generic department store knobbies work just as well as high priced name brand tires.

  2. #2
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    I used department store tires for quite a few years of off road riding, and I was mostly happy with them. They are quite a bit heavier than higher end tires, but may still provide acceptable traction.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  3. #3
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    maybe, but probably not.
    Those of us that have built up tire collections over the years can attest to how much of a difference having the right tire for the right riding conditions can make. Dept store tires and those on entry-level bikes tend to be heavy. They usually last a long time and don't flat very often, but they generally don't perform as well as better tires. You'll probably be fine riding them on a trail. It's just that if you've ever ridden a really nice set of tires, you'll notice the difference.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturmruger
    im looking forward to some light to medium trail riding. will generic department store knobbies work just as well as high priced name brand tires.
    It probably depends on what you mean by "light to medium". I said the same thing when I got started, but once I was out on the trail I found myself in a lot of those "yeah, I think I'll go ahead and try that" moments. Too many of those moments lead me to wanting a nicer set of tires and other components. If I would have gotten them up front I probably could have saved some money.

    If you're actually going to stick to light and medium riding, I think you would be fine. Especially if you're just digging for a couple miles on flat or rolling trails. You may want a lighter upgrade if you're doing a lot of switchbacks and digging up hills. That's just my opinion though.

  5. #5
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    are IRC advantange pro any good for light trail riding? they're currently on my bike now.

  6. #6
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    There's a huge difference in flat protection between cheap name-brand tires and good name-brand tires, so you'll see it with the dept store tires, too. The biggest deal with tires is not necessarily the rubber the tread is made of, but rather the inner construction of the tire. The bead (part that keeps the tire on the rim) and the casing (the part that holds the tire itself together under air pressure) are very important. A department store tire will have a wire bead and a minimal casing.

    Wire beads work, but they're heavy. Nowadays I will only buy tires with kevlar bead because they're lighter, more flexible, and easier to install.

    I've noticed an ENORMOUS difference in casing quality over the years. The thread count (threads per inch, tpi) in the casing makes a big difference in puncture protection. I found that ANY tire with 60tpi (or less) thread count in the casing is very prone to punctures. Nearly anything will punch a hole in that tire. I now only buy tires with at least 120tpi and I haven't had a puncture in years (a few pinch flats still). I periodically check my tires and I find bits of thorns stuck in the tire that did not make it all the way through...like they stop immediately at the casing and break off.

    Let's not forget tread patterns, either. Most dept store tires have tread patterns for bikes that will be on pavement most of the time. You will not be able to look for low-profile knobs for hardpack, ramped knobs for traction and low rolling resistance, sticky rubber or dual compound for rocky or wet trails, deep knobbies for snow/mud, high volume tires for traction and cush, or any of that.

    If you must save money on tires, then shop clearance sections and look for coupons at various online retailers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    I found that ANY tire with 60tpi (or less) thread count in the casing is very prone to punctures. Nearly anything will punch a hole in that tire.
    That has not at all been my experience. On the last low quality tire i had, many of the knobs started to rip off of the tire by the end of the season (probably due to rocky terrain) but it did not suffer from punctures.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturmruger
    im looking forward to some light to medium trail riding. will generic department store knobbies work just as well as high priced name brand tires.
    They would be OK though generally not perform as well as a higher end tire.

    Look at the CST tires. They are now offering some good quality, good performing tire for under $15 each (wire bead).
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  9. #9
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    When I used to sell tire (for cars, not bikes) I'd tell people looking for "cheap" tires that the tire is the only part of the vehicle that touches the ground. Do you really wanna be be cheap there? But hey, it's a bike, not a car. Still, it what connects you to the trai.

    You generic tires will get you through a trail ride, but you'll never know if something is better until you try. Then when you do, you're hooked. Ignorance is bliss.

  10. #10
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    Keep in mind, there are a lot of "quality" tires that will perform like crap, if they are used in conditions they are not intended for. Spending more does not automatically give you better performance on your trail.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  11. #11
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    id just spend more and go for some quality tires, like panaracer fire xc pros they work good in 99% of conditions arent too heavy and you can find them on sale for like 20-25 each, you might think its a big huge cost to you but your riding will improve, that hill you get stuck on you might be able to climb...ect

  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    That has not at all been my experience. On the last low quality tire i had, many of the knobs started to rip off of the tire by the end of the season (probably due to rocky terrain) but it did not suffer from punctures.
    I rode in mostly hardpack terrain in the midwest, so I never had the opportunity to rip knobs off (though some were starting to) before I got frustrated with so many punctures. The bane of my existence back then was the honey locust tree. Thorns from that thing are like nails. I was running the bargain basement IRC Mythos XC tires (not the better quality ones) and I had so many locust thorn flats that I tried a tire liner (Slime, I think...it's been awhile). Once I put those in, I STILL had problems with flats. Those thorns would go through the tire, liner, AND still stick out 1/4 inch or so. After that, I dumped low quality tires for good. First was a set of Panaracer Trailblasters and my puncture problem was immediately solved. I've run a series of Specialized tires since (Roll-X, Adrenaline Pro, FastTrack Pro) also without issue.

    In my case, sticking with the higher 120tpi casing made a huge difference.

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