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  1. #1
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    Tires too wide?

    So, i bought a used dh bike, my first true dh bike and am coming from the xc world of bikes. This thing has a Michelin 2.8 up front and a Kenda Tomac 2.6 rear. I absolutely love how this thing grips, but holy crap does it suck to pedal. Sure, I understand it's a 1x9 but still, it's like trying to pedal a dump truck, and forget any sort of climb at all. Is it practical to maybe drop down to 2.1's or so and pick up a little pedal power? Just curious about peoples thoughts of pro's vs. con's.

  2. #2
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    Not to be mean, but it is a DOWNHILL bike. I would run 2.6 on my rear if it would fit! If you want a burly bike to pedal, buy a different bike. Going down to a 2.5 would still be respectable but if you put 2.1 on that thing don't come back to this forum. Yikes, that was harsh. Ok sorry, pros vs cons. There are no pros. Cons, too many to list but it would be like running 700c on your XC bike. Please don't do it

  3. #3
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    I'm no pro (haha far from it), but here's my experience and take:

    DH bikes are heavy. Plush suspension generally translates to poor pedaling performance (flats and uphill). Beefy meaty tires that survive rocks and have good grip are heavy. Just the nature of a DH bike. For one direction, DH.

    To your question on the 2.1s, that would probably be too much compromise for true DH. Less volume and grip, more likely to pinch flat and will not give you the breaking /cornering grip you might need. This said, if you have them, go ahead and give them a try. Nothing like experimenting to figure out what you prefer.

  4. #4
    I just wanna go fast!
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    Rocking 2.5 maxxis minion dh-f front and rear. 3c compound. It's never going to roll as nice as bike with trail or xc tires on it, but it's not supposed to. That said, I don't think I'd want anything wider than a 2.5 maxxis tire.

    You won't find a 2.1 tire that's durable enough to survive the abuse of an actual DH trail.

  5. #5
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    2.1 is likely going to be too far and away from the intention of what that bike is for. Question though what is the terrain you are riding? Is it all lift service? Shuttle? Do you have to pedal up to go down? When I bought a DH bike, took off the stock tires and threw on DH specific nevegals. 2.7 front, 2.5 rear. Front was a monster. Looked like a Moto tire, felt like one too. Gripped like a summana*****, but heavy and a bit unwieldy in the air. So I can understand wanting to step things down a bit, but a 2.1 I feel will be too small. I have since taken off those tires and put the stock tires back on: 2.3 specialized clutch/chunder combo. I figure it should be a happy medium, and it is what came on the bike. Ymmv.

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    Thanks for the input guys. I WISH we had a shuttle service, lol... I don't expect to be able to pedal uphill, but sometimes our trail flattens out or has a slight incline that you have to pedal a slight bit and that's when I am wanting a little better pedal power. I think i'd regret changing the tires and will just have to man up on those climbs, ha!

  7. #7
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    DH tires start at about 2.35. The majority of the rental fleet at Whistler are 2.35. I run between 2.35 and 2.5 on my bikes. If you are truly using your bike for DH, and want some better pedaling performance, than look for 2.35 DH specific tires - there are some that have tread patterns that are designed for low rolling resistance.
    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it - it'll be broke soon enough !" - ILOJ

  8. #8
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    Good God man, I wouldn't even put 2.1" tyres on my Trail bike, heck, not even on my XC bike, let alone if I owned a DH bike. As said, try dropping down to something in the 2.4-2.5" range (Minion DHF maybe), but make sure they have adequate casings to survive the thrashing they should be getting. Also as said, it's DH bike made to be plush, pedaling performance isn't something that's really numero uno when designing - not sure how you expect a 7-8" travel bike to pedal well

    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter98 View Post
    So, i bought a used dh bike, my first true dh bike and am coming from the xc world of bikes. This thing has a Michelin 2.8 up front and a Kenda Tomac 2.6 rear. I absolutely love how this thing grips, but holy crap does it suck to pedal. Sure, I understand it's a 1x9 but still, it's like trying to pedal a dump truck, and forget any sort of climb at all. Is it practical to maybe drop down to 2.1's or so and pick up a little pedal power? Just curious about peoples thoughts of pro's vs. con's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
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  9. #9
    I just wanna go fast!
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloj View Post
    DH tires start at about 2.35. The majority of the rental fleet at Whistler are 2.35. I run between 2.35 and 2.5 on my bikes. If you are truly using your bike for DH, and want some better pedaling performance, than look for 2.35 DH specific tires - there are some that have tread patterns that are designed for low rolling resistance.
    Dont forget- different mfgs have vastly different ideas of what the actual width of a tire is. ie Spesh and Kenda always seem to run bike, maxxis a little smaller

  10. #10
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    how heavy is your bike?

    you get used to pedaling it.....

    I can ride my 42 lbs DH bike up 2000 feet vertical, some of it over 10 degrees slope, without taking a break.

    when I first tried, at about 300 feet up I almost puked and lay on the ground to recover.

    but each time it got a little easier.

    makes a man out of you, wait till after you been riding a DH bike with 15 lbs gear for a few months, you switch to a 4 to 6 inch AM bike at 30 lbs, with almost no gear. It feels like someone put an electric motor on the bike to boost you uphill.

    5 things make DH bike pedaling very hard

    1) the seat is position in a far from ideal spot to generate pedal power
    2) cranks are shorter than they should be
    3) the tires AND rims are heavy, rotational mass in wheels really sucks - this is the worst of all 5 factors
    4) the slack angle, that front wheel angled way out in front really doesnt help
    5) of course the weight

  11. #11
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    I'll echo the sentiments above - it's a DH bike, it's not going to climb efficiently. The tires are less of an issue than you think. Last year I rode my 6" bike up and down and all over the place with 2-ply DHF 2.7 and 2.5 on the front and rear respectively. It was a bit of a grunt, but I got used to it quickly enough. Jumping on the hardtail with similar tires = massive reduction in effort. So yeah, it's more about the bike.

  12. #12
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    Let me pipe in as someone who rides weenie DH only

    Your trails, your pace, your style being unknown to all of us here, there is a decent possibility that you can get away without a true dual-ply 2.35"+ DH tire. There is a wide variety of riding that different people call DH, but a tendency to see everything through the lens of either one's own riding (lot of really talented, serious riders in this forum), or through the pro racing level that so much media/marketing makes use of.

    But if you are riding slower than Gwin et al. ...

    Try something like a Spec Butcher Control 2.3 (single ply, really light relatively, excellent tire) and find out yourself if it works or if it's not sturdy enough. Rather than just accept the common wisdom. (In this case the common wisdom looks darn good, though). Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter98 View Post
    Thanks for the input guys. I WISH we had a shuttle service, lol... I don't expect to be able to pedal uphill, but sometimes our trail flattens out or has a slight incline that you have to pedal a slight bit and that's when I am wanting a little better pedal power. I think i'd regret changing the tires and will just have to man up on those climbs, ha!
    Comp32s (Michy 2.8) are pretty damn heavy ~1450 grams, and that Kenda is probably in the same range. You could swap out to a Maxxis DHF 2.5 Super Tacky in front at 1200 grams and a DHF 2.3 (actually measures out to 2.1) 60 in the rear at 1080 grams and save almost a pound and a half in rotating weight.

  14. #14
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    I've ridden my beast 16 miles home from my DH area. It was doable because it was paved and almost completely flat. The mere thought of climbing with the thing though makes me break out in a sweat.

    I've basically resigned myself to pushing.... alot. My XC friends can't understand, but my logic is that if it is more work to ride than push, then I'm pushing. Screw them and their aerobic fitness.

    FWIW, I replaced my Minion DHR's (2.5) with Geax Daturas (2.2). The Daturas work great for the conditions I find myself in most (grass, gravel, occasional mud), but they definately don't roll any easier. I left the DHF's on the front.

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    do you guys reckon just plain butcher tires at 2.3 will handle a beating?

    right now I'm riding butcher SX on my DH bike, running tubeless. they are out of tread but have held up well.

    since I am not really hitting any rock gardens for the next few months (mammoth is closed) , just doing normal socal stuff, with some jumps and drops thrown in, you you guys reckon just regular butcher tires will hold up? (i will have to change them every 6 weeks approx as I am pretty hard on tires). just as long as they work for those 6 weeks?

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    i had read an article..The Endo has a square profile on 65mm Large Marge rims [also the only fat rim choice when I built my Pugs]. This gives it a lot of floatation for its size and a tractor like feeling in soft terrain. The low-profile chevron tread rolls easily, but lacks aggressive knobs for traction. To hook up with this tire you need to drop the air pressure so it flattens out as much as possible.

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  17. #17
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    Yeah, you pretty much have dump truck tires on right now. The only place those tires are good are when it is crazy loose deep powder (like in Mammoth where the riding is often compared to riding in kitty litter).

    I run 2.3" specialized tires (the same width as 2.5" Maxxis) and they work great.

  18. #18
    Life Is Short
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    Nothing wrong with a rear 2.1


    I have a 2.3 front and 2.1 rear Kenda Never Rolls. I'm not a big rear tire person, they
    compromise rolling resistance and I do feel squirmy though going over rocks and such
    but meh! Maxxis makes better tires like the High Rollers but I don't want to spend the money.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tires too wide?-p4pb8632301.jpg  


  19. #19
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    The Ibis pro riders used 2.1 tires at the smooth and pedally Sea Otter DH this year, probably to reduce weight and improve the pedalling advantage where a bigger tire wasn't required to survive or better handle the conditions.

  20. #20
    RideDirt
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    Put some 29er wheels on it, should solve all your problems. Seriously tho, when i buy a DH bike i dont think about pedaling EVER. Now , if i think about pedaling then i am thinking about an aggressive all mountain bike. Your prob going to need a bit more then just smaller tires to put that thing on a diet, plus the geo isnt great either. Smallest tires on a DH bike for me would be 2.35 .

    Your best bet would of been a bike that can handle up and downs ... Pretty simple logic when shopping for a bike to think about the trails you ride. Good luck !

  21. #21
    Perpetual Hack
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    Running Dual-Ply's for DH/Lift
    2.5 Muddy Mary front
    2.4 Big Betty Rear.

    For Trail riding / earn your turns
    Single Ply
    2.4 Big Betty
    2.35 Muddy Mary
    2.35 Hans Dampf
    in combos depending upon conditions...

    The DH rubber being heavy dual ply with soft rubber (VertStar) is tough to pedal on anything going up, even on a bike that climbs well for its size (Knolly Delirium).
    Put on the tough single-plys with trail compound (TrailStar) and the damn thing nearly flys in comparison.

    I would agree with the others that you should try a good HD single-ply first. You should be looking at 750-900 grams in range. If these do not prove to be enough tire, then look at going full dual-ply.

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  22. #22
    NWS
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    I run 2.5" Minion DHF/DHRs, and there are 2.35" versions that won't ruin your credibility.

    A couple of non-tire things might also help too...

    If you're not already putting the seat up for climbing, do it. Not all DH bikes have enough seat tube for this to work, but make the most of what you have. Consider a dropper seatpost, if you have room for one. It weighs more but IMO it's totally worth it. If I keep my butt on the seat I really don't feel the suspension slowing me down very much on climbs.

    With 9 cogs in the back you should be running 11t-34t at least. (There are 36t cogs out there but last I checked there were no off-the-shelf 9-cog cassettes with 36s.) If you've got a 12-25 or other similarly narrow-range cassette, going up to 34 will help a ton.

    Consider a smaller chainring too. If you've got a 36, then try going down to 34 or even 32.

    I set my bike up to climb reasonably well since most of my riding is not lift served. (A lift-served area finally opened this summer but naturally I missed the whole season due to a snowboarding injury last spring that I'm still recovering from. But anyway...) My bike weighs somewhere is in the low 40s (honestly I've forgotten) and I am pretty comfortable climbing on it. I have to work a little harder than on my AM bike, but it just forced me to get into better shape. I run a KS dropper post, and 34t up front with an 11-36 (10-cog) cassette. When I built the bike I also bought a 32t ring for the front, just in case, but I haven't felt the need to use it.

    Works for me. Of course maybe my local climbs are easier than yours...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
    Put some 29er wheels on it, should solve all your problems. Seriously tho, when i buy a DH bike i dont think about pedaling EVER. Now , if i think about pedaling then i am thinking about an aggressive all mountain bike. Your prob going to need a bit more then just smaller tires to put that thing on a diet, plus the geo isnt great either. Smallest tires on a DH bike for me would be 2.35 .

    Your best bet would of been a bike that can handle up and downs ... Pretty simple logic when shopping for a bike to think about the trails you ride. Good luck !
    Are all you guys normally this stupid, or do you just not read the threads? My question revolved around a "couple spots" on our trails that have sections you have to climb. I'm not talking about climbing the hill then riding down or pedaling for very long. Geeesh,

  24. #24
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    By the way, I resolved the extreme pedaling problem. the E13 chain guide rollers were actually creating a ton of resistance on the bash guard. I drilled out the pin mounts, moved them about 3mm and now the bike pedals very well. Funny, some peoples immediate response was that I just didn't know what it was like to have a true dh bike, lol...

  25. #25
    NWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter98 View Post
    Are all you guys normally this stupid, or do you just not read the threads? My question revolved around a "couple spots" on our trails that have sections you have to climb. I'm not talking about climbing the hill then riding down or pedaling for very long. Geeesh,
    I hate to say it, but at least 50% of the internet is indeed just that stupid.

    Glad to hear you got your bike dialed in, though!

  26. #26
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    I run 2.5" DH tires on my AM bike.. With tires this beefy it makes pedaling up hills tough, but I like it..

    I've got the Specialized Butcher/Clutch combo.
    Not what you think.

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