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  1. #1
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    Tire advise?

    I am thinking that my new 29r needs some better tires. it came with Kenda Small block, but they don't seem so great when it's muddy. Not that I plan on riding in pudding, but somethimes there is mud... Any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    My recommendation.

    RACING - Schwalbe Rocket Rons
    TRAIL RIDING - Schwalbe Nobby Nics

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  3. #3
    Ms. Monster
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    I love my Racing Ralphs. Go wide - people who get them narrow aren't as keen on them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl
    I love my Racing Ralphs. Go wide - people who get them narrow aren't as keen on them.
    +1 for Racing Ralphs.
    Although the 'go wide' recommendation might not work. I believe the 2011 version is much narrower then the 2010 version.

  5. #5
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    +1 for Ralphs during the dry summer
    +1 for the Nic's for everything else

    I really prefer the snake skin side wall due to several ripped side walls but that's just me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittyway
    +1 for Ralphs during the dry summer
    +1 for the Nic's for everything else

    I really prefer the snake skin side wall due to several ripped side walls but that's just me.
    +2

    My exact tire combo.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedumbopinion
    +1 for Racing Ralphs.
    Although the 'go wide' recommendation might not work. I believe the 2011 version is much narrower then the 2010 version.

    Rocket Rons are WAY better in the mud then the Ralphs.
    Nic are the bomb for muddy conditions.
    Where did you hear this width rumour?

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  8. #8
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL
    Rocket Rons are WAY better in the mud then the Ralphs.
    Nic are the bomb for muddy conditions.
    Where did you hear this width rumour?
    Size matters.... for sure - when it comes to tires!

    Interesting everybody has recommended schwable's tires, a lesser man might have his faith challenged!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL
    Rocket Rons are WAY better in the mud then the Ralphs.
    Nic are the bomb for muddy conditions.
    Where did you hear this width rumour?
    I compared my Racing Ralph that I bought last year to the new one that are coming on 2011 bike. There is a significant difference in width. The 2011 are narrower.

    I used the Rocket Ron in front and the Racing Ralph in the rear and it's been a good combination. The Kenda SB8 are also great tires at a great price.

  10. #10
    Evil Jr.
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    +eleventy on the Ralphs (although I admit they do pack-up somewhat in medium thick muck)

    We just installed our 2011 Ralphs (2.4 fronts and 2.25 rears) on our bikes and I'll have to check to see if they're any narrower. I'm not big on swapping tires so I consider these to be great all-rounders. Quick in the dry with enough knob to get you solidly through any sketch.

    It is odd how we all picked Schwalbes though (disclosure: I have Schwalbes on each of my race bikes).
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  11. #11
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    Worry less about tires. There is far better gain in simply riding in all conditions. Skills will improve when riding in slop.

  12. #12
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    Watch what kind of tire you might like according to your riding ability and trails. One thing to remember with the 29er you have a larger contact patch then a 26 so you don't really need a 2.35 tire for racing you get lots of traction with a 2.1

    Also there is a difference between a round tread and a square tread round treads like the sb8 or the nevegals are really nice for riders who like to transition smooth through corners. Whereas a more square tread like the noby nics are going to grip and rail a corner if you are really aggressive in the corner and leaning the bike way over, but they will wash or slide a bit in that trassition.

    Check out the conti x kings round spaced out profile light and durable casing to run tubeless. My 2 cents!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil
    Worry less about tires. There is far better gain in simply riding in all conditions. Skills will improve when riding in slop.
    You've obviously never tried to ride SB8s in mud. If a 100lb bike is your idea of a good time, by all means, knock yourself out!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrastories
    with the 29er you have a larger contact patch then a 26
    False.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  15. #15
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    False.
    Uh-oh.

    Hey, who wants to talk about platform pedals? Anyone?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    False.
    Only my experience...

    oh and I have been looking at more pics of the noby nics can anybody tell me if I was correct in saying that they are more of a square profile, they kind of look like it in the pictures, but the best example would be maxxis high rollers.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    Uh-oh.
    I find the topic interesting. It's a case where a physics student might quickly "prove" that the contact area will be the same. However, you can definitely debate whether or not the assumptions that the student would likely make are applicable to a MTB tire.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=501612
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    You've obviously never tried to ride SB8s in mud. If a 100lb bike is your idea of a good time, by all means, knock yourself out!
    This is Ontario the land of clay mud. All tires will clag up.

    And I don't touch weight weenie Steve Larsen type tires.

    Hmmm.... I detect a fall challenge.

  19. #19
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil
    And I don't touch weight weenie Steve Larsen type tires.
    You'd better not be talking crap about Steve Larsen (RIP)!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    False.
    This bothers me.

    Your physics I agree with. I think machine/rider mass and tire pressure more indicative of contact patch size.

    That said, one word replies when one is approaching 10,000 posts seems a bit like statistics padding.

    OK, you're leading, we get it.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    You'd better not be talking crap about Steve Larsen (RIP)!
    When he raced in the Ironman he joined the illustrious company of The Lung. One cannot talk crap about that level of toughness.

  22. #22
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    False.
    Perhaps you should elaborate.... psi and tire volume are prime factors in contact patch, not only a tire's diameter!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    Perhaps you should elaborate.... psi and tire volume are prime factors in contact patch, not only a tire's diameter!
    Click the link in post 17. It provides interesting discussion on the topic.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrastories
    Only my experience...

    oh and I have been looking at more pics of the noby nics can anybody tell me if I was correct in saying that they are more of a square profile, they kind of look like it in the pictures, but the best example would be maxxis high rollers.
    Not really a square profile it is round but they differ from the Kendas in that the side knobs don't wrap as far around to the side wall.

  25. #25
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    I tried three sets of tires last season on two sets of wheels on a 29er hard tail. I used Racing Ralphs 2.25, Maxis Aspen 2.1, and Stans Raven 2.2.

    In dry conditions the Ravens have the best ride and surprising good grip. They work really well on the rocks. The Aspens have the best grip at the front but need more air and ride a little harsher. This tire in 2.2 would be better. The Racing Ralph is ok for grip but needs more air to keep them from squirming. This takes away from the ride quality even though its a big tire.

    My favorite dry tire is the Raven and the Aspen for damp conditions. If it's muddy I stay home.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    +eleventy on the Ralphs (although I admit they do pack-up somewhat in medium thick muck)

    We just installed our 2011 Ralphs (2.4 fronts and 2.25 rears) on our bikes and I'll have to check to see if they're any narrower. I'm not big on swapping tires so I consider these to be great all-rounders. Quick in the dry with enough knob to get you solidly through any sketch.

    It is odd how we all picked Schwalbes though (disclosure: I have Schwalbes on each of my race bikes).
    Great answer. While I'm not entirle opposed to switching tires, I'm somewhat of a newbie and it will be some time before I'm competent to do it comfortably without it beinig a giant pain. I was looking for a good all rounder. Seems like the Ralphs win it.

  27. #27
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    Specialized Renegade tubeless, the best

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by monagas rider
    the best
    At everything?
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck50
    Great answer. While I'm not entirle opposed to switching tires, I'm somewhat of a newbie and it will be some time before I'm competent to do it comfortably without it beinig a giant pain. I was looking for a good all rounder. Seems like the Ralphs win it.
    IMHO...wait let me preface this...

    I've never used SB8's. I probably shouldn't be judging them. However, if you are trail riding I think almost any tire would be an improvement. Riding in sloppy, chunky terrain I think SB8's would make you insecure and sap your confidence.

    I find on technical trails Nevegal's elevate me from a 2/10 to a 5/10 on the rider ability chart. The nobby Nic would probably be similar.

    I think you started riding with an excellent (ly bad) tire choice. A propewr trail tire will elevate your skill level.
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  30. #30
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    A lot depends on the terrain you ride. Rocky everywhere? Don't bother with Schwalbes. Fast smooth Albion style? Something like the Aspens may be great most days. If you're not racing go with something "fully-knobbed" There's really no need to be riding something like a Raven if you're not on a buff race course. Tonnes of handling and durability compromises -- and for what?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie
    However, if you are trail riding I think almost any tire would be an improvement. Riding in sloppy, chunky terrain I think SB8's would make you insecure and sap your confidence.

    I find on technical trails Nevegal's elevate me from a 2/10 to a 5/10 on the rider ability chart. The nobby Nic would probably be similar.
    I run 29x2.2 Nevegal's on another bike because I have them. They feel like monster truck tires mainly in a good way. They hook up great and roll over anything with ease and are not skittish at all. A big confidence booster. They are heavier and roll a little slower but that is not a concern when I'm out on that bike. Different tires can really change the way your bike feels. Good ones can cost quite a bit. Talk to some of your riding buddies I'm sure at least one will have a "box o tires" that they didn't like or no longer use. Test riding some of these tires will give you a taste of what works for you.

  32. #32
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    Well a little of everything. Rooty, rocky, switchy. My regular haunt (and where I will do Wed nights this year ) can be kinda wet and swampy in spots. Peaty and dry in others. Depending of course on the weather. I don't tend to ride when it's really muddy, but the Fall 8 hour was sufficiently wet to make me question the small blocks capabilities.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck50
    Well a little of everything. Rooty, rocky, switchy. My regular haunt (and where I will do Wed nights this year ) can be kinda wet and swampy in spots. Peaty and dry in others. Depending of course on the weather. I don't tend to ride when it's really muddy, but the Fall 8 hour was sufficiently wet to make me question the small blocks capabilities.

    For sure -- the Small Block is not an ideal all rounder. It's a small, fast, racing tire for smooth dry courses.

    ny of the Schwalbes may be fine for the occasional dose of rocks but here in Ottawa/Gatineau it's just too rocky. I have no experience with the reinforced sidewall versions. The Racing Ralph 2.25 is a stellar performer in a lot of situations though. They are fairly large volume and actually pretty knobby and probably would work quite well on the course you describe.

    Unless you see a lot of shredded tires in your area. If you do I would lean more toward something from WTB (the Prowler SL is a good all rounder) or Specialized (the Control casing Captain is a good tire.)

    Either way, get something with some knobs unless you plan on changing tires to suit conditions.

  34. #34
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    Agreed about really rocky not being the best choice with Ralphs. Not because they don't handle well on it (they're still super), but because they do have pretty thin sidewalls, and I'd hate ripping my tire. Having said that, Mr. Monster and I did race with Ralphs (and eggbeaters - also not the best rock choice) in Pennsylvania for 7 days and emerged unscathed. If I rode there routinely, though, I'd consider a different choice.

    I'm all about "run what you brung" and haven't run into any conditions where the RR's are truly bad. They are a bit pricey though.

  35. #35
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl
    Agreed about really rocky not being the best choice with Ralphs. Not because they don't handle well on it (they're still super), but because they do have pretty thin sidewalls, and I'd hate ripping my tire. Having said that, Mr. Monster and I did race with Ralphs (and eggbeaters - also not the best rock choice) in Pennsylvania for 7 days and emerged unscathed. If I rode there routinely, though, I'd consider a different choice.

    I'm all about "run what you brung" and haven't run into any conditions where the RR's are truly bad. They are a bit pricey though.
    Of the sidewalls i've shredded prematurely, schwalbe stands out as having weaker ones... Though they were studded tires, so they do have more flexible(vulnerable?) walls. I have owned a pair of maxis high rollers that hung on forever, even with a duct-tape fix! TPI used to be what everybody talked about, now it's durometer. Go figure.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl
    Agreed about really rocky not being the best choice with Ralphs. Not because they don't handle well on it (they're still super), but because they do have pretty thin sidewalls, and I'd hate ripping my tire.
    Don't forget 'Ralph is available with a more durable "snakeskin" sidewall. (in a 29x2.25 size)
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  37. #37
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    as rkj suggested

    snakeskin is virtually indestructible. Rode them in last two Crank the Shields, all O-Cups including Buckwallow and did not have a single flat last couple of seasons...

    And I am not your typical skinny freak either...

    I find Racing Ralph the BEST tire - if one is to own a SINGLE pair of tires...

    They can be bettered for specific conditions though. I would also consider Rocket Rons with slightly higher rolling resistance but more grip and better performance in wet/muddy conditions - which may suit the skill level at this time Starbucks...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl
    Agreed about really rocky not being the best choice with Ralphs. Not because they don't handle well on it (they're still super), but because they do have pretty thin sidewalls, and I'd hate ripping my tire. Having said that, Mr. Monster and I did race with Ralphs (and eggbeaters - also not the best rock choice) in Pennsylvania for 7 days and emerged unscathed. If I rode there routinely, though, I'd consider a different choice.

    I'm all about "run what you brung" and haven't run into any conditions where the RR's are truly bad. They are a bit pricey though.

  38. #38
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    I prefer the Specialized group;

    Fast Tracks for dry racing...
    Renegades for all condition racing...
    For regular trail riding, all conditions - the Captain on the front, Purgatory on the back.

  39. #39
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    Rocket rons are a great tire. They roll fast and grip really well but they do wear quickly and aren't cheap.

  40. #40
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    I have ridden SB8s, Maxxis Ignitors, and Kenda Nevegals in Ontario's clay and over limestone. However, YMMV from mine: I do not race, and I ride a 26er. My experience is that the Nevegals did stick in all conditions, but they are heavier than SB8s and they have earned their nickname "Never-roll." This may not matter when you are hurtling down a hill in the Don and need to take an off-camber turn on greasy clay. The Nevegals stick and you can ride with confidence.

    The Ignitors rolled well and seemed to be a decent all-rounder tire. I do remember one snowy and muddy day when they seemed to clog up, but generally they shed the mud for me. Mine are UST and quite heavy.

    The SB8s have been junk for me. I am not trying to squeak onto the podium when riding flat, fast courses, so my riding is not in their sweet spot. But it is frustrating to find myself braking before corners and especially unnerving to find them slipping when riding on wooden stunts.

    To be fair, they're great Joyride tires and I'll put them back on next year. But they just don't cut it for the kind of riding I personally enjoy.

  41. #41
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald
    ...

    The SB8s have been junk for me. I am not trying to squeak onto the podium when riding flat, fast courses, so my riding is not in their sweet spot. But it is frustrating to find myself braking before corners and especially unnerving to find them slipping when riding on wooden stunts.

    To be fair, they're great Joyride tires and I'll put them back on next year. But they just don't cut it for the kind of riding I personally enjoy.
    Yes, anything like those are not inspiring on stunts and rocks...(the sickening sound of *Vvvvvwrrrrp* on the edge of a wheelie drop is baaad) having even a little bit larger knob(haha) can help you get a grip on edges. Thankfully there is a new product


  42. #42
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    I'm a big fan of the Conti Race King Supersonics myself.

    DG

  43. #43
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    Mountain King or Nevegal

    I'm a big fan of the Mountain King especially on 29ers but I find it hard to beat the all round performance of the Kenda Nevegal tires.

  44. #44
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    I really have been happy with my race king supersonic the last two years then I run a set of speed kings for the heavy mud they shead really fast. I do want to try some racing Ralph's though but I can get conti's for a great price so that works for me
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrastories
    I really have been happy with my race king supersonic
    I run a set of speed kings for the heavy mud they shead really fast.
    I've found Speed Kings to be scary on hard surfaces. The soft, tall knobs fold over. IMHO, not a good choice if you plan to just run one set of tires for the season.

    And likewise, I would expect the Race King to be relatively poor in the mud.

    Personally, I do like to have more than one set of tires available, for dry and for wet, like you describe.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  46. #46
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    I had the RAcing Ralphs and Rocket Rons on my 26er and for the first part of the season raced with the Ralphs but swapped out for the Rons when it was mucky. Towards the later half of the season just kept the Rons on. They are an awesome all around tire for me. Rode in them all winter too, so great traction in the snow, mud, wet, great grip on rocks too. They are lighter than the Ralphs as well.

    When I was building up my 29er this year, I was going to get a set of both again but decided on just the Rocket Rons. First time going tubeless so don't want to have to swap them back and forth, and again, they are lighter and seeing how it's been a pretty wet spring, I think they will be the better all around tire!

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