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  1. #1
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    Continental Trail King for rear tire. Need help with options?

    I need to replace the rear tire on my my Boulder Starship. The rear triangle of this bike is really designed for a 26x2.1 tire. This last year I have been riding a Schwalbe Racing Ralph 26x2.25 on there. It fit but it had about 1 mm of tire clearance. Needless to say I found the rear tire side wall a bit wrecked over my winter refurbishing so it is time for something new.

    I've been searching for front range tire recommendations (what happened to the Best Front Range Tire thread by the way - it seems to have disappeared) and I am interested in trying the Continental Trail King 26 x 2.2 for a rear. I have some questions though?

    My rims are Mavic 317 which are only 17mm wide. I have a Stans tubeless kit and I wish to run tubeless. With the kit should I get (and does it fit) the UST version of this tire or can I stick with the regular non-tubeless version? The regular version is considerably lighter so has anyone experience with this? Is the 2.2 true to size?

    Many people on this site have been recommending these tires but does it climb well. I'm not interested in something that is only good going downhill on 5+ inch travel bikes, My bike has 2.5 inch of rear suspension is is built mainly for XC. I need a skinnish tire that climbs well (I'm crap at climbing) while being able to handle the rocks with have around here.

    Am I safe with the Trail King?

    Finally, I plan to keep my Racing Ralph on the front for now. But if I got two of the Trail Kings, are they also good for a front tire or are there better options out there? My forks may not handle the 2.4 though as with the 2.25 Racing Ralph I can hit the fork crown when I bottom out (top out?) the fork. Again my forks come from an era when a 26x2.1 was considered a large tire (and I used to ride 26x1.95 for cross county )

    Thanks.
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 02-27-2012 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Okay I found something that said the standard folding trail kings tend to be a disaster with Stans. Many come with tons of pin holes in the sidewall that cause them not to seal up easily, Others are fine.

    Seems the recommendation is to get the UST version, which is a shame as it's $20 more and considerably heavier..

  3. #3
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    I got impatient

    After some more reading, I don't want the UST version. I ordered the regular black chili. I'll try the tubeless kit and if it works great! If not I'll stick a tube in there...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    I got impatient

    After some more reading, I don't want the UST version. I ordered the regular black chili. I'll try the tubeless kit and if it works great! If not I'll stick a tube in there...
    Report back, plz!

  5. #5
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    The 2.2 has thin sidewalls, not sure it'll work out unless you are easy on tires. It's a good tire, but not as long lasting as the 2.4.

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    Here's my $.02. I have both the UST and non-UST versions. The UST's seat up and work great tubeless. The non-UST I am able to get to work fine in the garage, but as soon as you get them on a trail they lose air. I talked with the Conti rep before I got the non-UST version and he said they would not work and I would likely have this experience. So, I would recommend changing your order to the UST version if you really want tubeless. The standard are not reliable tubeless, in my experience. Otherwise, the non-UST version works fine with tubes.

  7. #7
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    I was unable to change my order so I'll probably end up riding with a tube.

    My rational was this:
    - High chance of the UST tires burping air on narrow non UST rims
    - Weight. The non UST weighs 660g. Add 160g for tube and the total is 820g. The UST is 800g but then I still need to add about 120+g for rim strip and sealant, so tubeless would add a 1/3 lb to the rotational weight.

    I know there are other benefits to going tubeless (cough cough goatheads) but the risk of burping was a major consideration.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    I was unable to change my order so I'll probably end up riding with a tube.

    My rational was this:
    - High chance of the UST tires burping air on narrow non UST rims
    - Weight. The non UST weighs 660g. Add 160g for tube and the total is 820g. The UST is 800g but then I still need to add about 120+g for rim strip and sealant, so tubeless would add a 1/3 lb to the rotational weight.

    I know there are other benefits to going tubeless (cough cough goatheads) but the risk of burping was a major consideration.
    With this sort of gram-counting you may want to reconsider mountain biking. It may not be for you.

  9. #9
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    I only weigh 160lbs and I am not the strongest rider so every gram counts!

    I just put my Boulder with 90mm travel front, 70mm travel rear (gasp! ) on the scales and it weighs 25.1lbs. I know weight is not everything but with my old tech I really feel it when it puts on the pounds. Still The bike is surprisingly capable for a aged weight weenie

  10. #10
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    Oops! Boy is that a big tire for a 2.2. It fits but only if I ride in dry dusty conditions Mud (not that I would) or snow - forget it.

    So I guess I have two options. Use it as a front tire or send it back and get something in the 2.1 range.

    How is the trail king as a front tire? Any other options for a 26x2.1 or 26x2.0 tire that is good for the rocky terrain here?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Continental Trail King for rear tire.  Need help with options?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1329885691.481491.jpg  

    Continental Trail King for rear tire.  Need help with options?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1329885709.748241.jpg  


  11. #11
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    Oh there is part of me that is tempted to say what the hell and ride it as is. It is actually skinnier than the Schwalbe Racing Ralph but they are taller making then actually look fatter.

  12. #12
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    I have only run the 2.4 up front, it is awesome. Very versatile, durable and wears well.

    I hate how expensive Maxxis and Schwalbe have become, but the Crossmark UST 2.1 might work for you as a rear tire. It has thicker sidewalls than the std version, so its better to spend the extra cash if you're going to run tubeless.

    Universal Cycles -- Maxxis CrossMark UST Tire

  13. #13
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    I just saw this; sorry about the late comment. I run the 2.2 Conti TK protection w/bc with tubes on the front of my 5 inch bike. I really like it as a front tire! I think it tracks really well and rarely loses traction.

    AND, I run the 2.2 Conti Mountain King 2 protection w/bc on the rear with tubes. It is also a great tire and the 2.2 MK 2 is smaller than the TK 2.2. It might not be the fastest combination but I think it is a great combination for Colorado trail riding.

  14. #14
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    Just use your non-UST w/ the goo. Add one additional scoop and lay the wheel sideway...say on top of a bucket, for a couple of hours, then flip it over to the other side. I did this for a 2.4 and ran it successfully at Trestle on a Nomad hitting everything on the jump line at 35/38 psi, frt/rr respectively. The rim was a Halo Freedom, so not exactly a wide rim for a 2.4. If you're 160#s and XCing these tires, I very seriously doubt you can do much to pop a bead, unless you're running stoopid-low tire pressures.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the replies. I've ordered the Conti MK II 2.2 Protection for the rear and I'm going to give this a try.

    I rode this weekend with the Trail King on the rear and with some mud I did get the odd stone stuck between the frame and the tire so yes it's too tight. At the mo I am running it with a tube. When I get the MK I'll swap it to the front and will then try tubeless.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I've ordered the Conti MK II 2.2 Protection for the rear and I'm going to give this a try.

    I rode this weekend with the Trail King on the rear and with some mud I did get the odd stone stuck between the frame and the tire so yes it's too tight. At the mo I am running it with a tube. When I get the MK I'll swap it to the front and will then try tubeless.
    I think you will really like this combination. Let me know how the MK 2 works tubeless.

  17. #17
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    An update. I started the conversion of my wheels to tubeless today. So far I have cleaned up the old wheels by removing the old velo tape and degunking the tape residue and 12 years of dirt.

    I install the new rim tape that came with the Stans kit and the rim strip. I must say the rim strip was a little tricky to get seated right as the rim is so narrow but with patience it did fit.

    Then I tried the test run on the rear with the Mountain King 2.2 ProTection. A bit of soap and water and a quick blast with my air compressor and it seated and sealed immediately!

    I am hugely impressed. No sealant yet not a single leak. Several hours later and the tire is still rock solid. I would say that the MK 2 Protection makes for a good tubeless tire.

    Later tonight I take the valve core out and add the sealant to complete the process.

    Next the more difficult front tire....

  18. #18
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    Well the Mountain King sealed up nicely.

    The Trail King is proving to be a much greater challenge. This is one porous tire (at least in the standard version I have). My tire looks like it has snowed on it
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Continental Trail King for rear tire.  Need help with options?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1330837964.464911.jpg  


  19. #19
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    I just put a non-UST Trail King 2.2 on the rear of my Tracer, running Stan's tubeless. It's mounted on a DS-28 rim with two layers of yellow tape. It was impossible to seat with a floor pump, but inflated instantly with a compressor. Noticed a few small sidewall leaks, but nothing crazy like that last picture. And the bead seal was nearly perfect. After about 15 minutes on each side at 40 PSI and some shaking in between, the sidewalls sealed up and there wasn't a leak to be found. They're holding pressure fine.

    This weekend will be their first trail test, and I don't plan on going easy. Will start at 30 PSI and see how they do. I really want to like this tire, the tread pattern looks great for a rear tire and the 2.2 is perfect width, but if it gives me any troubles on the trail (burping, sidewall breakdown) then I'll keep looking.

    I'll let you know how it goes..

  20. #20
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    I gave up on my Trail King and put a tube in it. After a week and a bit I got to the point where it would hold air for a couple of days but that was it.

    I'm sensing that there are two versions of this tire floating around. Ones like mine that have super thin porous side walls and the other which does seal up.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    I gave up on my Trail King and put a tube in it. After a week and a bit I got to the point where it would hold air for a couple of days but that was it.

    I'm sensing that there are two versions of this tire floating around. Ones like mine that have super thin porous side walls and the other which does seal up.
    Yep. For tubeless, you'll want the UST version of this tire.

    Conti Rubber Queen/Trail King

  22. #22
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    From looking at that website it seems like they have a 180 TPI black chili and an 84 TPI standard version, both with folding beads. Maybe the 84 thread version has the thin sidewalls? Just a guess..

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    I gave up on my Trail King and put a tube in it. After a week and a bit I got to the point where it would hold air for a couple of days but that was it.

    I'm sensing that there are two versions of this tire floating around. Ones like mine that have super thin porous side walls and the other which does seal up.
    What do you think of the MK II as a rear tire? I have really enjoyed it on my bike.

  24. #24
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    Managed to get a good number of miles in on the Trail King tire today with pretty good results. The tread design is phenomenal, first of all. Leaves and sand are getting bad and the trails sometimes feel like ice in the turns but these tires held their ground and when really pushed, give you a good feeling as to their absolute limit, without abruptly throwing you to the ground. I could tell they roll a little slower than my small block eights but about on par with a nevegal of this size. I couldn't believe how easily they found grip, even in soft sandy leaf covered ground, I was able to make climbs I hadn't done since last fall.

    Now being my first day out on tubeless, I can't speak with as much authority on that aspect. I started off a bit eager with much lower pressure, around 28/30 F/R, I usually run 35/38 with tubes. I came down a little sideways off a small lip and managed to burp the tire against the chainstay. I added a few pounds on both ends and had no further problems at 30/32 PSI. I imagine a tube at that low a pressure would have done the exact same thing in that situation, so I can't really fault the tubeless setup for that. No trace of sealant coming out after the run however, and it seems to be holding air as well as any tube setup. So far so good.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by creyc View Post
    From looking at that website it seems like they have a 180 TPI black chili and an 84 TPI standard version, both with folding beads. Maybe the 84 thread version has the thin sidewalls? Just a guess..
    Mine is the black chilli and it doesn't hold air.

    I've read that a trick to seal it is to paint the sidewalks with liquid latex first. I might try that at some point.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinone View Post
    What do you think of the MK II as a rear tire? I have really enjoyed it on my bike.
    It is very different from the Kenda Small Block 8 and the schwalbe Racing Ralph I had on before.

    My initial impressions was that it is a bit squirmy compared to my last tires and it can't break worth a damn. The slightest breaking effort and it locks and slides. Still I have only ridden it at Heil so far and that is rocky and loose. On the flip side I was never lacking for traction when I needed it in the loose marbles or on the bigger rocks and that is what I bought it for so I can live with a little squirm.

    For running the MK II Protection tubeless it can't be faulted. It seals super easy and I ended up lowering pressure to about 23 psi in the rear.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    Mine is the black chilli and it doesn't hold air.

    I've read that a trick to seal it is to paint the sidewalks with liquid latex first. I might try that at some point.
    The 2.2 has pretty thin sidewalls. I would use a tube, or if you want to experiment you could use some spray adhesive on the inside of the tire, inflate it on a rim with a tube as usual, then remove the tire and cut the excess tube off that's not glued down to the inside of the tire. This would add ~100g to the tire but should seal the sidewalls while reinforcing them.

    Or, just buy the UST version.

  28. #28
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    In case anyone comes across this thread and wants to try the Continental Mountain King 26x2.2 Protection Black Chilli as a "Front Range tire" my advice is DON'T!

    So I've had these about 6 weeks now and my verdict is in. It is possibly the worse tire i have ever used.

    Here is my review I just posted on the MTBR review site.

    I run a 26x2.2 Mountain King MKII Protection Black Chilli on my rear. This is possibly the worse tire I have ever ridden. In a little over a month, over about a 100 miles of rocky Colorado Front Range terrain the tire is nearly destroyed.

    Many knobs are torn off or severely worn. Its braking performance is non existent. The tire will lock and skid without the slightest hesitation. In addition the tire feels very noodly. While it grips okay when climbing (though it is a very slow feeling tire) on corners I get a rolling sensation that makes me think the tire is going to roll off the rim. It messes with my mojo.

    On hard dirtpack the tire squirms and is very slow. I bought it primarily for rocky terrain though and it does climb but I don't think appreciably better than other tires. In all other aspects its worse than other tires I've had before. In addition its expensive. A $50 tire should last longer than a month.

  29. #29
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    I wonder if there is a significant diff between the 2.2 and the 2.4... 'cause I have the 2.4 as a rear tire and it is light-years better than the Nevegal it replaced. In fact, I find it quite a good rear tire... few pinch flats... good grip. I run it around 30 lbs and haven't experienced any appreciable squirm. It does seem a bit squirmy at too-low pressure, but I don't run it there.

    Oh - no knobs torn off, either...

  30. #30
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    Been a few months on mine now, no broken knobs or any significant wear to speak of. They seem to be holding up well, though my terrain is more roots and small rocks so maybe thats easier on the tire.

    I still very much like this tire on the back, in a 2.2. It does leak a good bit of air during the week, but I've never had a tire that would maintain the exact same pressure from weekend to weekend, and I think most people are in the habit of checking their pressure before they ride anyway. So no sweat here really.

  31. #31
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    Interesting. I run a MKII Protection 2.2 with Black Chili as the rear tire on my bike. My experience, while not a glowing endorsement, is mostly positive. I have been running the tire since last year August with tubes. While it is certainly showing use and I just had one of the outside knobs tear off, I think it has handled the wear and tear of my riding about as well as any other tire I have had on the rear of my bike. That is probably what frustrates me most; today's expensive tires just don't seem to last very long.

    I do remember reading somewhere on the mtbr.com forum that Conti did have a bad production run of the MKII tires. I wonder if you got one of those tires?

    I have experienced great traction while climbing, good traction turning, and great traction braking. The sidewalls have done a great job of protection considering my lack of technique. I have never felt the tire squirm and I am running 30 lbs psi with a riding weight of about 190 lbs. I do think they roll well for a tire that has so much traction but they are not fast. I am thinking about replacing them with something a little faster rolling like the X-King or a Slant 6 but I don't know if I am willing to give up the MKII's traction.

  32. #32
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    Perhaps I was unlucky with a bad batch. But Still.

    I figured out where I have ridden it since it was on. Rabbit Mountain, Heil Ranch (twice), Walker Ranch and the Marshal Mesa/Flatirons Visa/Springbrook area a few times. That's it.

    I planned to ride this evening and I had noticed my tire had deflated. Last night I added more sealant and it lost pressure over night. I examined the tire more closely this morning and was horrified at the damage. I was already disappointed in the performance of the tire but discovering several knobs totally torn off (showing the carcass webbing) and many other knobs down to only a 1/2 or 1/3 of their original "structure" is very poor for a tire with such limited trail time.

    Now the terrain on Heil and Walker is pretty severe and is not friendly to tires but my other tires have lasted much much longer.

    Some of my squirm issues may be because my rims (Mavic X217) are only 17mm wide. I suspect that a lot of 26" tires are designed for wider rims these days.

    I'll reach out to Continental to seek support but I suspect they won't care and it'll be the last Continental that I buy. I'll update accordingly.
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 05-09-2012 at 12:05 PM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    Perhaps I was unlucky with a bad batch. But Still.

    I figured out where I have ridden it since it was on. Rabbit Mountain, Heil Ranch (twice), Walker Ranch and the Marshal Mesa/Flatirons Visa/Springbrook area a few times. That's it.

    I planned to ride this evening and I had noticed my tire had deflated. Last night I added more sealant and it lost pressure over night. I examined the tire more closely this morning and was horrified at the damage. I was already disappointed in the performance of the tire but discovering several knobs totally torn off (showing the carcass webbing) and many other knobs down to only a 1/2 or 1/3 of their original "structure" is very poor for a tire with such limited trail time.

    Now the terrain on Heil and Walker is pretty severe and is not friendly to tires but my other tires have lasted much much longer.

    Some of my squirm issues may be because my rims (Mavic X217) are only 17mm wide. I suspect that a lot of 26" tires are designed for wider rims these days.

    I'll reach out to Continental to seek support but I suspect they won't care and it'll be the last Continental that I buy. I'll update accordingly.
    That's why I'm curious about the possibility of a difference - I've not ridden my Rubber Queen (original name for the TK) a ton, but I have beat the ever-living $hit out of it on Canyon Creek, Agate Creek, Cataract Ridge, and Moab twice - and the Moab trips were high-speed technical festivals. So maybe the newer ones aren't built as solidly? I guess running tubeless may have something to do with it along with the narrow rims?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    That's why I'm curious about the possibility of a difference - I've not ridden my Rubber Queen (original name for the TK) a ton, but I have beat the ever-living $hit out of it on Canyon Creek, Agate Creek, Cataract Ridge, and Moab twice - and the Moab trips were high-speed technical festivals. So maybe the newer ones aren't built as solidly? I guess running tubeless may have something to do with it along with the narrow rims?
    I should clarify that my back is the Mountain King. I have the Trail King on the front. Now of course the front doesn't get the same abuse as the back but off hand I would say that the Trail King is a better tire than the Mountain King. Unfortunately the 26x2.2 TK doesn't fit on the back of my bike - it's too large.

  35. #35
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    I picked up a Vertical Protection 2.3 for a deal online, and so far am pretty happy with it. Traction is good, aired up easily running ghetto tubeless, and wear seems to be negligible thus far with a handful of rides on it. Comparable tread pattern and traction to the Maxxis Ignitor 2.35 it replaced, altho it is a big narrower (so true to size, I suppose), but I can tell already it's going to last longer.
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    A RQ/TK 2.4 UST is 1110 g
    A MK2 2.4 UST is 880 g
    Can anyone see why maybe a MK is blowing up while the RQ/TK isn't?
    Go big, suffer the weight gain and put on the RQ/TK and be done w/ it.

    Edit: sorry K...missed you saying even a 2.2 TK won't fit. Maybe time for an upgrade?
    I'm clearing out my fleet to get a Tallboy LTc...got a deal for you on either a Nomad or Blur LTc....
    Last edited by Pau11y; 05-09-2012 at 02:21 PM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    A RQ/TK 2.4 UST is 1110 g
    A MK2 2.4 UST is 880 g
    Can anyone see why maybe a MK is blowing up while the RQ/TK isn't?
    Go big, suffer the weight gain and put on the RQ/TK and be done w/ it.
    Yep. Please disregard my ramblings... the RQ, which I have, is incarnated currently as the Trail King. I have no experience with the Mountain King.

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    Trouble is apart from the tires my bike works pretty well. If I were to do an upgrade now it'll be for an Intense Tracer 27.5. I have a thing for the tweener size wheelset

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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    Trouble is apart from the tires my bike works pretty well. If I were to do an upgrade now it'll be for an Intense Tracer 27.5. I have a thing for the tweener size wheelset
    27.5 = 650B...the taint of mtb tires (per another K)

    The 650B fits in the Blur LTc...

    Edit: if I can find some of those cheap Chinese carbon rims and good tires, I'd have a go at the 650B.

    Edit edit: nevermind K. I'm gonna go and 650b my Blur LTc
    Last edited by Pau11y; 05-09-2012 at 04:31 PM.

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    Hi kerryn, I'm facing a similar dilemma as your original post in that I'm considering going tubeless on an old Ti XC frame I have. The X139 rim specs call for a max tire width of 2.1; similar to your 317s. I have been considering the Racing Ralph in a 2.1 Double Defense, but am unsure how this tire will handle the trails around Lake Pueblo and Colorado Springs. May I ask how you liked the Racing Ralph and why you opted to try a larger tire (2.2) instead of something a bit smaller? I don't like the price of the Schwables, but like that they area tire that runs more true to size than some others.

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    Why did I get a 2.25 Racing Ralph? Because I got a deal on it at the time Then I found out they were a bit big for my frame but I made them work as I don't have to deal with mud here.

    My bike is really designed for a 2.1 up front with a 1.95 out back - in fact I used to ride a 1.75!. I used to ride smooth mid west dirt. Here I am trying to get a little more volume to help with the rocks.

    I don't think the Racing Ralph is good in rocks. My Contis have much better grip climbing the loose stuff but the Racing Ralph is better rolling and a much faster tire for more cross country pursuits. It is a great tire for hard pack surfaces.

    I didn't think the 2.25 was great as a front tire. But you got me thinking that it may have just been too wide for my rim. That tire I also felt squirm in corners and occasionally felt like it would roll of the rim. It never did though. The tire improved its stability at higher pressure. I tend to run about 30lbs for a smoother ride but I think the tire works better at about 38lb for lateral stability.

    For smoother trails I really liked the Kenda Small Block 8 as a rear. I would think that a 2.1 Racing Ralph would be comparable.

    I've yet to find my ideal front tire....


    Actually my favorite tire of all time was the original IRC Mythos XC. Different terrain and a different era.....

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