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  1. #1

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    Tires at MEC

    Looking to get a new set of tires and am heading to MEC in the next little while. I see that they have pretty good oricing on most stuff and from what I can remember they had a nice selection of tires there.

    Any suggestions for a good all round XC tire that I might find there or at any other LBS in Toronto?

  2. #2
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    they do have some good stuff ...

    if you want a good all round tire go with the Panaracer Fire XC 2.1, the Python will do a good job if you ride in dry conditions, but the Fire XC is an all weather all purpose tire.

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    yeah...any suggestions on mud tires from MEC?

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    PanaRacer XC Pros 2.1

    I run XC Pros on my "winter" bike and have enjoyed them quite a lot. They do have trouble shedding mud but somehow manage to keep traction even when you blunder into a thick 'n' slick mess hidden under a dusting of snow. However they do fire up a lot of mud onto the frame (a LOT of mud, I cleaned about 3-4 pounds of gunk off of my bike) and components, including rocks that get caught in rear derailleur cages which then tear off at the hanger with your next turn of the crank...

    But yeah, I like my Panaracers. When I need replacement tires on the Stumpy I'll seriously look at them again. Also, I have noticed that the XC Pros available at MEC do tend to be the ones made in Japan, at least here in Calgary.
    If you're ever in Calgary, here are the bike shops I like:
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  5. #5
    I already rode that
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    I used my fire xc pros in an icebreaker race few years ago when it was all muddy and I rode up the hills while others walked er pushed

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    a mud tire...

    http://www.mec.ca/index.html

    they sell the Hutchinson Spider which looks like it would clear mud quite well, but I don' t have experience with this tire.

    One of the nice things about Hutchinson tires is they seem to be larger than their stated size so the tire absorbs bumps really well so if you're riding a hard tail this is usually appreciated.

  7. #7

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    hmm..nice - i went there today - but not too much selection on tires...i did manage to pick up a nice new hand pump and some lube though...probably going to pick up a long sleeve jersey, shell and some more tools next visit though

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenDavidson
    hmm..nice - i went there today - but not too much selection on tires...i did manage to pick up a nice new hand pump and some lube though...probably going to pick up a long sleeve jersey, shell and some more tools next visit though
    Be careful, Ben!

    If you don't watch it, you'll come outta there with half the cycling department in your mitts! It's almost happened to me a few times.
    If you're ever in Calgary, here are the bike shops I like:
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  9. #9
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    Continental explorer protection's

    Roll much faster than the panaracers, and clear mud like a piece of cake. Such an underrated tire. I found the panaracers good, but in the clay stuff i ride here on the escarpment the tires pack up really quick and hurl boulders of clay at your body and frame as soon as you reach mud shedding speed.
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    Conti Explorers vs Fire XCs...

    I have a pair of Explorers, they're a great tire - from what I've read they'll roll faster than Fire XCs, I'm not sure if they are the best mud tire - but they've worked well in the mud the few times I've had to. In general I think Explorers are a better tire but they are more expensive, usually at least $60, where the Fire XCs are around $45.

  11. #11
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    I buy lots of tires at MEC.

    If you can get them, it's really hard to beat the IRC Mythos, kevlar, 2.1" for $22 each. I have the racier set of Mythos with the CAF sidewalls that I also use, but not carried at MEC. These come in 2.1" front and 1.95" rear vs the 2.1s at MEC. I like the MEC version as an all-around tire. They seem to be perfect for Kanata-type terrain, which is very rocky, rooty and tight, technical singletrack. For Hardwood, or other less technical courses, they are over-kill.

    For these types of courses, I use the MEC Hutchinson Pythons, $48 each. They roll incredily well and feel very fast. They are an ideal tire for fast, hard-packed courses, like Hardwood, Albion, etc. But, I've slashed through 2 sidewalls when riding them on my home terrain. So, I always swap back to the IRCs. But, I should also say that I removed my IRC Mythos and replaced them with the Pythons at Day 4 during the TransRockies and found the Pythons to be a near perfect tire, despite the technical trails we raced on. There were more than a few sections where I thought I'd slash through a sidewall, but I never did.

    I tried a set of the IRC Hutchison Spiders and honestly, I hated them. Again, maybe it is just my home terrain, but I found the widely and irregularly spaced knobs to be very unpredictable and found them breaking-away unexpecditely under agressive cornering on rock.

    I also bought a set of the Panaracer FireXCPros 2.1" to use as an off-season tire. But, after a few rides, I went back to my tried-n-true IRC Mythos. I really didn't like the Panaracer and found the tightly packed and numerous knobs really packed easily with mud and leaves...typicaly conditions found in the off-seaon Fall/Winter months. The IRCs don't have this problem.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
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  12. #12
    I wonder why?
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    Continental Vertical Pros = Best all round XC tire - IMO...

    I've run a host of different tires through a variety of XC trails in Southern and Central Ontario. Most of the riding could be best described as a cross between trial riding and XC. I enter one or two 8-hour or 24-hour races a year.

    Favourites trails and/or extensively ridden are - Mansfield Outdoor Center, Mansfield Agreement Forest, Durham Forest, Walkers Woods, Glen Major, 8th Wander, 7th Heaven, North Barr, Bayview/Stouffville, Dagmar, Ravenshoe, Kelso, and Buckwallow.

    Other trails ridden between 2 to 6 times are - Kolapore Uplands, Albion Hills, Pleasure Valley, Hilton Falls, Coulson Hill, Hardwood Hills, Horseshoe Copland Forest, Don Valley, and Dundas Valley.

    Various tires used on my bike are:

    Bontrager Jones AC (2.1) (with tubes only) used on the rear only; they performed moderately well on hard back, but were poor on anything else.

    Continental Explorer Protection (2.1) (performed well both with tubes and Stan's) used both front and back, but prefer as front tire; great race tire, excel on hard pack (rolling resistance, exceptional cornering, and good traction); good in loamy conditions and okay in loose rock; not great in the mud or deep sand; okay for a light person in really rocky terrain, but low volume is not suited to heavier riders in the rocky stuff.

    Continental Traction Pro (2.1) (performed well both with tubes and Stan's) used both front and back, but prefer as rear tire with Explores up front; okay race tire, good on hard pack (rolling resistance and traction), cornering okay but not a s good as Explorers; better than the Explorers in the mud or deep sand, but still limited; good in really rocky and rooty terrain when dry, okay when wet.

    Continental Survival Protection (2.3) (performed well both with tubes and Stan's) used both front and back, but prefer as front tire with Traction Pros in the back in most situations, except in deep and snow where they perform well both front and back; more of a trail tire, okay on hard back (not great rolling resistance, cornering and traction acceptable and predictable); good in soft loamy conditions; these tires excel in the mud, loose rocks, sand, and snow (except ice); they are not the best on wet roots or rock (very slippery) however on dry rock and roots they perform well.

    Continental Vertical Protection (2.3) (have used only with Stan's), I like and use them for both front and back (very well balanced in this regard); more of a trail tire but okay as a race tire for very technically challenging courses (on very smooth hard pack the Explorers would be preferred, but on everything else I'd prefer the Verticals), they are above average on hard back [rolling resistance, cornering, and traction, (very predictable)]; exceptional in loamy and loose rock conditions; they handle mud, sand, and snow very well, however, the Survivals are better in the really deep stuff; they are as good or better than any tire that I have ridden on roots or rock (wet or dry). All an all I would rate them as the best all round tire that I have ridden. Also they are very durable and wear well.

    Hutchinson Mosquito (2.0) (only used tubes) used both front and back, but prefer as front tire; more of a XC than trail tire, okay on hard pack, loamy soil, and loose rock (rolling resistance and traction was acceptable, however, cornering is unpredictable); these tires leave much to be desired in the mud (anything off camber), sand, and snow; they are not the best on wet roots or rock (very slippery) however on dry rock and roots they perform okay. They also wear very quickly, about three times as fast as any other tire that I have ridden.

    Hutchinson Scorpion Airlight (2.0) (used with tubes and with Stans) used both front and back without preference; similar design as the Mosquitos with deeper treads more of a trail than XC tire, okay on hard pack, loamy soil, and loose rock [rolling resistance (acceptable) and good traction, however, cornering is unpredictable (especially off camber)]; above average in the mud and sand; they are not the best on wet roots or rock (very slippery), or snow, however, on dry rock and roots they perform well. They also wear very quickly.

    Nokian Freddie's Revenz (2.3) (used with tubes only) used both front and rear; these studded winter specific ice and snow tires allow you to virtually ride all year round��on all the trails you road in the spring, summer, and fall. On glare ice or hard pack snow these tires are confidence inspiring, off camber cornering, traction, and braking are not issues. Great in new snow, up to six inches deep. Tire clearance in the rear end will be an issue on some bikes.

    Schwalbe Ice Spiker (2.1) (used with tubes only) used both front and rear; another great studded winter specific ice and snow tires. On glare ice or hard pack snow these tires are confidence inspiring, off camber cornering, traction, and braking are not issues. Great, but not quite as good as the Freddie's Revenz in the new snow. Better suited for bikes that have less tire clearance n the rear end.

    WTB Racing Raptors (1.95) (used with tubes only) front and back specific (used both), great race tire, excels on hard back (rolling resistance, cornering, and traction); good in loamy soil and loose rock; not great in the mud or deep sand; okay for a light person in really rocky terrain, but low volume is not suited to heavier riders. As a race tire, I liked these almost as much as the Explorers (the Explores have an edge in hanging on much deeper in the corners).

    WTB Velocirapters (2.1) (used with tubes only) front and back specific (used front only) this is definitely not a race tire (very heavy), just okay on hard back (rolling resistance is not great, however, cornering is acceptable); good in loamy soil, loose rock, mud, sand, and rocky terrain. Okay on dry roots and rock, but sketchy when wet. Very durable tire that wears well.

    Other tires that I have ridden on others bikes are:

    Richey Z-Max Millennium - I would rate these as being similar to the Bontarger Jones AC.

    Specialized Roll X S-Works - I would rate these similar to the Mosquitos.

    Panaracer Fire XC Pro - A pretty good all round tire, however, they don't shed mud all that well. Predictable when cornering but will break away sooner than the Vertical Pros.

    Dukes carries the Continentals and the Nokians.

    Sporting Life carries the Continetals and Hutchinsons (Scorpions).

    MEC carries the Panaracer Fire XC Pros and Schwalbe Ice Spikers.

    Silent Sports carries the Hutchinsons (Scorpions) and WTBs.

    Happy trails.

    i1dry?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo ultrasport
    Looking to get a new set of tires and am heading to MEC in the next little while. I see that they have pretty good oricing on most stuff and from what I can remember they had a nice selection of tires there.

    Any suggestions for a good all round XC tire that I might find there or at any other LBS in Toronto?
    ordered yet another pair of panaracer fire xc pros from MEC last night, have had good experiences, compared to IRC, Specialized, Serfas, Continental. cheap, too: steel bead $25 ea, and free shipping for x-mas!

  14. #14
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    tires

    Ok, lot's of good tire recommendations here. A couple of questions though:

    - assuming you've been to Albion, which is where I do 80% of my xc riding, what type of tire, or more specifically what tire recommended anywhere above, would be best suited for this type of trail (somethings about me if it helps - ride a HT, weigh 185, I take my time and don't ride hard, I don't ususally ride in mud, prefer cornering and "security" over speed, but of course rolling resistance is important)

    - would I be better with the wire or kevlar beed? Is the extra $15 for the Panaracer at MEC worth it?

    Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonievut
    Ok, lot's of good tire recommendations here. A couple of questions though:

    - assuming you've been to Albion, which is where I do 80% of my xc riding, what type of tire, or more specifically what tire recommended anywhere above, would be best suited for this type of trail (somethings about me if it helps - ride a HT, weigh 185, I take my time and don't ride hard, I don't ususally ride in mud, prefer cornering and "security" over speed, but of course rolling resistance is important)

    - would I be better with the wire or kevlar beed? Is the extra $15 for the Panaracer at MEC worth it?

    Thanks.
    I've only done Albion twice....'02 and '03 24 Hrs of Summer Solstice, solo. For Albion, I found the Hutchinson Pythons to be an ideal tire....they just rolled so fast on Albion's hard-packed trail surfaces. There really wasn't much that was technically demanding or any real sharp rocks (I've had 2 sidewall tears on my local trails), so a low-rolling, smooth, predictable, high volume tire like the Python are perfect!

    They worked great for me anyway.

    The night before the race....
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the feedback, I'll look into the Hutchinson Pythons.

    A thought and question prompted by your recommendation:

    I just finished my first year of biking and still struggle with control and balance at times, even at Albion. Would a tire better designed for more technical terrain better suit someone who (thinks) would benefit from extra traction? I know Albion is hardpack and doesn't have jagged rocks, but I still seem to lose control at times, and although I'm sure my lack of skill has something to do with it, I'd prefer control over speed. Lastly, if the more technical tire won't help, please tell me, as I would certainly prefer a fast tire (so long as it doesn't take away from control...cornering specifically).

    Cheers.

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    Good job! Speed versus Traction...

    My advice to Noonievut is to not get the Python especially for this time of the year. And maybe get the Panaracer Fire XC, this tire is popular and sounds like it will give you all the traction you need as long as you don't ride in really muddy conditions. This tire should be good in the snow too.

    Once you've become more confident go for the Python tire for dry mid summer conditions.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ541
    My advice to Noonievut is to not get the Python especially for this time of the year. And maybe get the Panaracer Fire XC, this tire is popular and sounds like it will give you all the traction you need as long as you don't ride in really muddy conditions. This tire should be good in the snow too.

    Once you've become more confident go for the Python tire for dry mid summer conditions.
    Agreed. With the number of slick leaves down on the trails, the Pythons would not be the best tire. I've been using IRC Mythos for a while and they are great for these conditions. I was speaking more so for the Pythons for the summer months when conditions are hard-packed and fast.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

  19. #19
    I wonder why?
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    ... and if we just ... A larger volume tire.......

    Quote Originally Posted by noonievut
    Ok, lot's of good tire recommendations here. A couple of questions though:

    - assuming you've been to Albion, which is where I do 80% of my xc riding, what type of tire, or more specifically what tire recommended anywhere above, would be best suited for this type of trail (somethings about me if it helps - ride a HT, weigh 185, I take my time and don't ride hard, I don't ususally ride in mud, prefer cornering and "security" over speed, but of course rolling resistance is important)

    - would I be better with the wire or kevlar beed? Is the extra $15 for the Panaracer at MEC worth it?

    Thanks.
    Given that your riding a HT and weigh 185, a larger volume tire would suit you better. I think that the Continetal Vertical Pros will provide you with better cornering on both the hard pack and looser stuff over the Fire XC Pro's. The Vertical Pro's are also a bit better in the roling resistance department. In addition, while the Vertical Pro 2.3's are a bit "small" compared to other 2.3's they are slightly larger, volume-wise, compared to the Fire XC Pro 2.1's. The Vertical Pro's are a bit heavier (actual weight-614 gms) compared to the Fire XC Pro's (actual weight-580 gms). The Verticals are also more expensive at $59.00 versus the XC Pro's at $36 (@MEC).

    I would definately reccommend a kevlar bead over wire (lighter rotational weight and easier to install/change). Just my opinion though.

  20. #20
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    hmmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by 1speed_Mike
    I've only done Albion twice....'02 and '03 24 Hrs of Summer Solstice, solo. For Albion, I found the Hutchinson Pythons to be an ideal tire....they just rolled so fast on Albion's hard-packed trail surfaces. There really wasn't much that was technically demanding or any real sharp rocks (I've had 2 sidewall tears on my local trails), so a low-rolling, smooth, predictable, high volume tire like the Python are perfect!

    They worked great for me anyway.

    The night before the race....
    i am surprised tha no one suggested Kenda Nevegals Lite for Albion hills. I was using Hutchinson Python Air light for Sumemr solstice 24 hours race and found them fast but lacking traction seriously, even on dry and hard packed surface.(i am 205# ). Then i switched to Kendas for the Hot August nights 24 hours race and was AMAZED. As fast as Python Air Lights but way more traction and better, predictable cornering...

    these tires are great. I used them at Whistler's 24 hours thinking they will be shreaded to pieces on rocky sections.. but they held up just incredibly and rolled very, very fast...

    Kenda is releasing this tire in 2.1 size this Fall... as far as i am concerned, that will be the trail tire to have, except for winter conditions.

    For winter conditions, i recommend Conti Survival...

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by noonievut
    - would I be better with the wire or kevlar beed? Is the extra $15 for the Panaracer at MEC worth it?
    unless you have slightly oversized rims (diameter), or you plan on carrying them as a spare, i wouldn't bother with the kevlar. it lets you fold the tires and its a bit flexible, so it allows easier installation.

  22. #22
    I already rode that
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    Kevlar bead tires are usually lighter. According to panaracers website the steel beaded ones wiegh 680 and the kevlars at 580.

    All my tires are kevlars but just try getting some of them onto my rims.You need to break out tire levers. Its because my rims dont have a deep enough well inside them.

    I usually ride on the fire xc's too as I find them great. I also use some spec. big hit 2.5's occasionally. Contrary to what the reviews here say about those tires I actually like them better then the Fire XC's save for the rolling resistance.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    Kevlar bead tires are usually lighter. According to panaracers website the steel beaded ones wiegh 680 and the kevlars at 580.
    i was wondering about that...

    Quote Originally Posted by SupeNewb
    I usually ride on the fire xc's too as I find them great. I also use some spec. big hit 2.5's occasionally. Contrary to what the reviews here say about those tires I actually like them better then the Fire XC's save for the rolling resistance.
    my beef with specialized tires was tread wear. i was using their Team Control/Team Master pair and i pretty much wore the tread to a slick in about half a season... but i had a lot of paved/cement use, so whatever... super noisy on pavement, too.

  24. #24
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    Michelin comp s' are also very good tires.Thats what i am currently running, and I like them.

    They dont have near as much bite as the explorers or the panaracers. But they roll very fast and are very versatile. Also, the tire corners predictably. Where some tires have a tendency to abruptly let go, the michelins give fair warning that you have them at their limit.


    Their pricy, but if you're willing to cough up the dough then you'll be happy.
    Some great sets for the trainer:
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