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  1. #1
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    Proper NorCal winter tires - what are you rolling on?

    I've been running Minnion DHRs 2.4 front and rear on my SC hightower, which are nothing short of amazing in most conditions. However, I recently mounted an Aggressor on the rear, and holy shit is traction sketch now that the rain and mud has arrived.

    I'm curious what people run for more aggressive trail riding in wet/muddy conditions. I should note, I'm in Marin riding mostly unofficial social trails ~ -- lots of mud, roots, and serpentine round these parts, so something with decent grip would be ideal.

    Here's what I'm considering right now:
    Schwalbe Hans Dampf: 2.6 Fr, 2.35 rear
    Conti Barons: 2.4 Fr and rear (These seem to be great for digging in moist soil and shedding mud).

  2. #2
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    if it's actually muddy, there is no replacement for a shorty. they are available in different spike heights and compounds to let you dial in for your needs. when UCSC is a slopfest, it's the only answer.

  3. #3
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    I had Maxxis Forekaster on last winter and felt they did really well in the wet. Still have the Minion DHF on right now and they seem to be good too.

  4. #4
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    Name:  Magic Mary 29x2point6.jpg
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    Schwalbe Magic Mary 29x2.6" Addix soft compound.
    Warning: not light, simply awesome.
    =sParty

    Disclaimer: I'm not in norcal. I'm in Oregon's Willamette Valley aka The Mud Zone.
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  5. #5
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    I have a 2.35 supergravity soft Magic Mary on the front, and so far Iím liking it less than a DHF. Have only tried it at the slipperiest dirt in NorCal though.

    I would be down to try a wtb judge, as it just looks like a dhf with beefier knobs. My friend was running them recently and they looked cool.

  6. #6
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    that looks like a little too tight of a tread pattern for mud. it's a little counterintuitive, but you want less knobs not more, for muddy conditions.

  7. #7
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    Ikon 2.2's.

    Live dangerously.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by conoat View Post
    that looks like a little too tight of a tread pattern for mud. it's a little counterintuitive, but you want less knobs not more, for muddy conditions.
    Depends on what type of trails you are riding. Every try riding really rocky trails on a mud spike style tire?

  9. #9
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    Michelin Wild Enduro Gum-X

    CRC (edit - still has these) in 27.5" x 2.4" - got 2 sets F/R versions at about 47 US$ free shipping a tire. They should arrive today. Haven't run Bibendums since the 2000s (edit - rarely order from overseas and do feel a bit guilty about the carbon burned to get them here).

    Been running Magic Mary Addix orange - love MMs.

    Proper NorCal winter tires - what are you rolling on?-gummy.jpeg
    Last edited by DH40; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:11 PM.

  10. #10
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    Front- 29 x 2.5 WTB Vigilante light/high grip
    Rear - 29 x 2.5 Maxxis Minion DHF II

    No complaints whatsoever with this setup.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    Depends on what type of trails you are riding. Every try riding really rocky trails on a mud spike style tire?
    no, because I have never encountered a really muddy AND rocky trail. those two are rarely seen together, since rocks don't turn to mud when wet.

  12. #12
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    +1 on the WTB Vigilante
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  13. #13
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    Vigilante 2.3 Team Issue front and rear...year round.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by conoat View Post
    no, because I have never encountered a really muddy AND rocky trail. those two are rarely seen together, since rocks don't turn to mud when wet.
    The thread asked for winter tires... and rocks usually get wet in the winter.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    (edit - rarely order from overseas and do feel a bit guilty about the carbon burned to get them here).
    I wouldn't lose much sleep over it, the boat was probably coming across regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Been running Magic Mary Addix orange - love MMs.
    My fav wet conditions tire so far and it's not bad in dry conditions, either. Please post a report on the Michelins once you've got a few miles on them. Thanks.
    =sParty
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  16. #16
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    I don't ride when its really sloppy out so I never go for full on mud tires, and 90% of my riding is at ucsc. 2.5 DHF or 2.35 Magic Mary upfront with a 2.4 Der Kaiser rear usually.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbtsc View Post
    I had Maxxis Forekaster on last winter and felt they did really well in the wet. Still have the Minion DHF on right now and they seem to be good too.
    I just pulled my 2.5 Aggressor off and switch over to a 2.35 Forekaster. I have been really happy with it. It grips well in dry / sandy / loose and does probably as good as can be asked in wet / muddy. They are releasing a 29x2.6 Forekaster.

  18. #18
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    I am so glad I've reached a level of maturity that allows me to read things without going all Beavis....heh heh

    I just pulled my 2.5 Aggressor off

  19. #19
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    Lightweight tire: Maxxis Forekaster
    More aggressive tire: DHR2
    East Bay Parks AKA East Bay Cattle Ranches

  20. #20
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    Running dual Maxxí DHF 2.5 WT.

  21. #21
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    WTB Vigilante 2.3 up, or a Maxxis 2.3 DHF up front. I only have a Maxxis 2.3 DHR for the rear...still looking myself.

  22. #22
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    Ardent Race 2.2 in the front with a leaky sidewall Race King 2.2 in the rear.

  23. #23
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    Ran a DHF 2.5 WT up front most of last winter (Shorty when it was stupid wet) and an e thirteen TRS out back. This year Iím going to stick with the DHF as long as possible because it is the most predictable tire I know on wet rocks and probably a better choice than the Shorty for 90% of the winter rides I do. Iím about to swap out my Aggressor for the Vitoria Gato out back. The Gato has lots of small lugs and siping all over the place - my hope is that the small lugs will bite into soft terrain while the sipes will help them deform and grip on rocks and roots.

    I love experimenting with tires and will report back.


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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by conoat View Post
    no, because I have never encountered a really muddy AND rocky trail. those two are rarely seen together, since rocks don't turn to mud when wet.
    Annadel has mud between the rocks. Then more rocks, then more mud. Then more rocks. ..

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  25. #25
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    2.35 MM front, 2.35 HD rear on my bike right now. The MM is unreal, HD not so much in the mud. I like a 2.3-2.4 in true mud rather than a 2.6 because the knobs seem to dig in more. MBR had a good review of mud tires
    https://www.mbr.co.uk/buyers_guide/m...d-tyres-332535

  26. #26
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    I have a 2.35 supergravity soft Magic Mary on the front, and so far Iím liking it less than a DHF. Have only tried it at the slipperiest dirt in NorCal though.

    I would be down to try a wtb judge, as it just looks like a dhf with beefier knobs. My friend was running them recently and they looked cool.

    I have this tire and it's very good.

    However, it is small and heavy. Around a 2.2 really and 1100 grams??
    IPA will save America

  27. #27
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrkrft69 View Post
    Annadel has mud between the rocks. Then more rocks, then more mud. Then more rocks. ..

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    True dat! Annadel is very unique indeed here for this area.

    Peninsula, we don't have much rocks. There's Pacifica with all rock and then soft dirt.

    Santa Teresa has rocks but I hear is unrideable after rain due to the sticky soil in the area.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    I have this tire and it's very good.

    However, it is small and heavy. Around a 2.2 really and 1100 grams??
    Come on Fc, I think you are getting your tires mixed up...

    Unlike Maxxis tires, the Magic Mary 2.35 is actually very true to size. Visually it looks almost identical in width to a Maxxis 2.5

    Also, Iím almost positive they are comparatively lighter than a DHF.

  29. #29
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    Come on Fc, I think you are getting your tires mixed up...

    Unlike Maxxis tires, the Magic Mary 2.35 is actually very true to size. Visually it looks almost identical in width to a Maxxis 2.5

    Also, Iím almost positive they are comparatively lighter than a DHF.
    Sorry, I was talking about the WTB Judge.

    The Magic Mary with new Addix is an amazing tire!!!!
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Sorry, I was talking about the WTB Judge.

    The Magic Mary with new Addix is an amazing tire!!!!
    Ah, gotcha.
    Yeah, I agree about the Judge.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    I have this tire and it's very good.

    However, it is small and heavy. Around a 2.2 really and 1100 grams??
    I wish WTB would come up with a nice medium casing. I donít trust their light casing and the heavy casing is really... heavy.


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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by inonjoey View Post
    I wish WTB would come up with a nice medium casing. I donít trust their light casing and the heavy casing is really... heavy.


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    Pretty much why I stopped using WTB tires. Light casing would weep sealant from the sidewalls like they were made of mesh. And then the Heavy casing is over 1kg for every tire. Even 26"!

    My EXO casing Maxxis are lighter and seem just as durable.
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  33. #33
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    anyone have any time on the WTB Warden or WTB Convict? Will be spending a majority of my winter in the Santa Cruz/ Monterey Area and weekends in Marin.

  34. #34
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    I rode a Butcher/Purgatory 29er combination in a rain storm in Arizona on an almost all-rock trail with various soft muddy patches a few weeks ago. Traction was great. Although the rear wheel slipped in soft stuff on climbs a few times, I think any tire would have done the same as those sections were really greasy and saturated. Coming back down the same trail I felt a surprising degree of sure-footedness even when the trail became a stream.

    I have Minion DHF 2.5 27.5 front and rear on my trail bike and donít see much reason to change for local riding. I will ride somewhere else rather than go where itís sloppy. And I usually ride an XC bike at places like Annadel because thatís the best bike for most trails there.

    Last night I rode some muddy upper Tilden trails on my new-to-me XC bike, a 29er that came with 2.2 Ikon rear and a new XR2 in the front. It was fine and I was particularly happy with the Ikon, until I was heading home and hit some of the sticky mud that these parts are known for, at which point the front tire gummed up. I was pretty careful as Iíve never ridden the XR2 before, so no verdict yet but I think Iím going to swap it out for a Ground Control 2.3 (which is actually not that wide). Any thoughts on how Bontrager rubber handles wet rocks and mud?

  35. #35
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    After todayís ride I took off the XR2 and am going to try a Forecaster 29x2.2 that I found in the garage. It looks similar to a Ground Control / Nobby Nic but has wider spacing on the knobs. We shall see.


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  36. #36
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    Magic Marys. Haven't tried Shortys, but I expect they'd do well.

  37. #37
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    I've only used the Butcher/Purgatory combination (2nd set) but they seem good year round.

    I wanted to try the DHF when I sliced a tire earlier in the year but the Buy 1, get on 50% off Specialized deal was too good to pass up. So I replaced the pair.

    I'm not the best tire person though. I can probably tell you if a tire performs worse but probably can't tell a difference between which of 2 are better in the same condition, if they are both good.

    I had some squishy areas yesterday that I did my best to avoid as crashing didn't look fun since there were so many rocks it looks like a dry riverbed. Just a few spots that didn't shed the water as good as the rest of the areas. But the rocks were really wet, trail was sticky except for those few spots that were squishy wet.

  38. #38
    NRP
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    I just mounted a 2.5 DHF WT front and a 2.4 DHRII WT rear on a set of I9 305 Enduro wheels.

    Haven't ridden them yet. It feels like forces are conspiring against me riding today.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Proper NorCal winter tires - what are you rolling on?-20181209_104710.jpg  

    Last edited by NRP; 4 Days Ago at 11:59 AM.

  39. #39
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    I'm still rocking the 2.35 x 27.5 DHF front and 2.25 Nobby Nic rear. Haven't ridden the trail bike since it really started raining, though I suspect I will be wanting more rear traction if there is much moisture on the trail. I will probably just leave it though, since I will be gone for about 6 weeks after New Year, and I split my riding between JMP and Lime Ridge/Shell Ridge/Briones/Crockett. This combo works well enough for 99% of my rides, but I will probably go with an Aggressor or DHR when the NN wears out.

    Was very happy a few days ago on my 42mm WTB Resolutes on my adventure bike though. Very capable tire in sticky East Bay mud and slick rocks/roots - much more so than I thought it would be. I kinda wish WTB would make these or bring back the Bee Line in like a 2.3/2.4-ish size, would make a good 3/4 year tire for around here.

  40. #40
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    I've gotta get my DHR's back on. I'm addicted to the rolling resistance of my Vittoria XCish tires, but I ended up in the weeds today on a slippery turn.

  41. #41
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    I had a 2.5 Aggressor with Cushcore over the summer. Honestly wasn't super impressed with it. It felt "fine."

    For Tahoe / around here when shit gets blown out the Forecaster cuts through it all and grips. And, it's doing really well in the sorta muddy conditions right now.

    So far been really happy with it.

  42. #42
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    Anyone tried the Eliminator? Iím pretty much DHF WT 2.5/DHRII WT 2.4 year round. Tried butcher/butcher, butcher/slaughter, hans dampf/hans dampf, magic mary/hans dampf - always go back to DHF/DHRII


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  43. #43
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    Winter/wet tires have always been a tough sell for me as I generally don't ride in the rain. While we might get a week of wet weather, it will often be followed by a long dry spell that would bring me right back to my rest-of-the-year tires. Granted, I've only been riding around here for about five years and most of those were unusually dry.

  44. #44
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    Proper NorCal winter tires - what are you rolling on?

    Eliminator - very good in the dry. Got packed up quick in east bay peanut butter. Back to Magic Maryís front and rear till spring for me.

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