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Thread: Tires!!

  1. #1
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    Tires!!

    Obviously there is no one "best tire" and it rather all depends on conditions, but what are ya'll using for your all-rounder?

    By "all-rounder" i mean, works decent in a lot of conditions, a bit of extra grip (so as to be forgiving of your mistakes after 6 hours in the saddle) is allowed at the expense of rolling resistance, a bit of extra weight (so as to be durable) is allowed too vs. your super light xc race tire.

    I used to use Racing Ralphs but they are backordered right now and i might try some other things this off season, hence polling the group. Any responses appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Vittoria Mezcal!! Rolls fast, has great traction in all except for wet conditions and lasts a long time.

  3. #3
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    I have run Panaracer DriverPro... XC Race style tire, they are light and fast... but reasonable durable and do not get sketchy in turns.
    I picked up a deal on a pre-2018 Epic, and since the front-end is a little sketchier on that bike... I have gone to Specialized Ground Control tires to compensate with more grip in the turns... I am loving them.
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  4. #4
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    Mezcal 2.25 or 2.35, both are excellent.

  5. #5
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    Maxxis Ikon. I keep buying different tires to try out thinking I'll get a faster/lighter/better tire, but I haven't. I have yet to find a tire that has a better combo of speed/weight/cornering grip/puncture resistance. It's really the best xc tire I've ridden.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    New Ray/Ralph combo

  7. #7
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    I have the Ardent Race front and back right now. I like it.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  8. #8
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    Iíll add another vote for the Mezcalís. I was a RR forever guy. I got discouraged by the wear, price, fragility.

    I gave the Mezcals a try a year or so ago and love them. A little heavy, but roll fast, good traction unless muddy, and bulletproof. A seriously tough tire!

  9. #9
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    Since there are a lot of Mezcal fans here, how does the Mezcal compare to the Barzo as a front tire?

    Also do you guys run the Mezcal with or without the reinforcement?

  10. #10
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    Another recommendation for the Mezcal. The 2.35 is true to size as is the 2.25 though the smaller one is 5g heavier (weigh em and prove me wrong). When it gets wet I don't love em but everywhere else they're great.

    The Barzo has a good bit more grip but is heavier, and the 2.35's are 2.25 (as are the 2.25's). Reinforced Barzos are 750g tires but got me through Oz Trails 50 when everyone with Maxxis EXO were cutting tires all day long (luckily nobody brave enough to try Schwalbes that I saw). Barzo rolls like 95% as good as a Mezcal, so I used Barzo/Barzo as my go to this year when endurance racing in new locations and unfamiliar trails. Good in moondust in Steamboat, Mud in Pisgah, and 50 miles of Arrowheads in Bentonville. Save about 50g by going with the non G+ ones which are pretty study on their own.

    I'm trying some new tires this offseason too, Kenda Saber Pro SCT. Sub 600g in 2.2, measure true to size on skinny 23mm rims, alot more grip than they look like they have and roll as fast or faster than Mezcals.
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  11. #11
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    Mezcals are heavy though. Iím going rocket ron front and rear and that will shave close to 100 grams per tire. 200 grams in rotational weight is significant!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgoods View Post
    Since there are a lot of Mezcal fans here, how does the Mezcal compare to the Barzo as a front tire?

    Also do you guys run the Mezcal with or without the reinforcement?
    Ran Mezcals 2.25 reinforced all past 2018 season (11 races to include a MTB 100). I went with Mezcals based on the online recommendations. They held up to the hype. Durability is really good and Iím a big fan on how they feel. They were even surprising decent/predictable in wet, not muddy, conditions. The downside to the Mezcals is the weight which were 724 and 742 for me. Also they were very difficult to get on my rim (broke a tire lever). So coming from Schwalbe, youíll be adding about 100 grams per tire. Which conversely I was gonna try out Schwalbe for the 2019 season to see if I can shed a little wheel weight.

    I tried a Barzo (2.25 reinforced, weight was 706) up front for the last month of race season (2 races included) wanting to get used to them before I headed out to Utah to ride. Compared to the Mezcal the Barzo had a much rounder profile on 24 ID rims. They seemed a bit slower and I didnít notice really any more cornering traction. I didnít like them and would prefer to do Mezcals 2.35 up front and 2.25 back. I havenít tried the Mezcals black (no reinforcement) but could probably get away with it in Michigan. I have yet to get a flat so I wonder if Iím over protected for my trails.
    2018 Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup | ďIf youíre not first youíre lastĒ

  13. #13
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    Yeah that's the only bummer about the Mezcal/Barzo is the weight. That's why I'm trying the Kenda Sabers this offseason. Can't trust Schwalbes, didn't like the Ikons at all, Kendas good after a few XC races but we'll see how they last...
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  14. #14
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    There is supposed to be a new tanwall Mezcal coming out. Lighter weight. That said, weight is easy to measure, but to finish first, first you have to finish. These tires are fast and really durable.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatso View Post
    There is supposed to be a new tanwall Mezcal coming out. Lighter weight. That said, weight is easy to measure, but to finish first, first you have to finish. These tires are fast and really durable.
    Yep. I picked up probably 20 positions at Oz Trails 50 passing guys with flats. Barzo/Barzo was the heaviest setup I've ever run for sure but it got me to the finish line quicker than alot of other guys....including Jeremiah Bishop...
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLCpowderhound View Post
    Maxxis Ikon. I keep buying different tires to try out thinking I'll get a faster/lighter/better tire, but I haven't. I have yet to find a tire that has a better combo of speed/weight/cornering grip/puncture resistance. It's really the best xc tire I've ridden.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    Have you tried XR2? As a rear tire I think it's got ikon beat. Not head and shoulders, but still a fan.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    I'm going to try the Maxxis Aspen 2.25 EXO/TR as my next rear tire. Most like it on the rear better than the Ikon because it rolls faster but still has good side knobs for hooking up in the corners.

  18. #18
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    I ran Mezcal 2.35 for almost entire season this year. Ive ran about any xc tire you can think of. For me the Mezcal is the overall best. I was also a little concerned about weight at first but i feel that they do everything else so well that they're the fastest despite the weight. I ran lighter tire combos last year but this year i got pr on every course using the Mezcals. Ive learned to stop being as concerned about every gram and just use what works...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    Have you tried XR2? As a rear tire I think it's got ikon beat. Not head and shoulders, but still a fan.

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    I haven't! Certainly willing to give it a shot, though.

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  20. #20
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    I am thinking about giving the Rekon Race a try. I am a BIG fan of the 2.35 Ikon and am thinking I will miss the volume of them going to the 2.25 Rekon especially on a HT.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    I am thinking about giving the Rekon Race a try. I am a BIG fan of the 2.35 Ikon and am thinking I will miss the volume of them going to the 2.25 Rekon especially on a HT.
    You should run the new 2.35 Rekon Race on the rear with the 2.35 Ikon on the front, since you like the Ikon. The big Rekon Race will roll faster than the Ikon. I wish my hardtail had room for a 2.35 tire in the rear.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbrockenchain View Post
    Mezcals are heavy though. Iím going rocket ron front and rear and that will shave close to 100 grams per tire. 200 grams in rotational weight is significant!
    Agree 100%.
    For me I've found nothing faster with the grip they have. Ive run them on slick leaves, frozen dirt, hero dirt, sand, and loose. Never flatted, supple and fast.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerider View Post
    You should run the new 2.35 Rekon Race on the rear with the 2.35 Ikon on the front, since you like the Ikon. The big Rekon Race will roll faster than the Ikon. I wish my hardtail had room for a 2.35 tire in the rear.
    Do you know if the 2.35 Rekon Race is available yet? I am running the 2.25 Rekon Race on the rear and Ikon 2.35 on the front now. Great combination.


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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnyquist View Post
    Do you know if the 2.35 Rekon Race is available yet? I am running the 2.25 Rekon Race on the rear and Ikon 2.35 on the front now. Great combination.


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    It's in the 2019 Maxxis catalog but it isn't listed on the their website yet...so my guess is no.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for all the feedback in here everybody. Super useful stuff. While my usual go-to is on backorder, i'll try a couple of other options and see what i think!

    By the way, I will be coming off of a setup where i paired 2.35 schwalbe hans dampfs with the Schwalbe Procor inner-tire system. I bought it accidentally thinking that it was a tubeless conversion kit, and it most definitely is not. It is a super cool product but after a season of experience with it i can say that it is DEFINITELY not necessary for the riding I do on my XC bike. The weight of the system plus tire plus sealant was probably 1100 to 1200 grams per wheel!

    So basically what i am saying is that no matter what tire I move to it is going to feel light AF ha ha

  26. #26
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    Probably an unpopular opinion here, but I always run heavier more aggressive tires. I like the extra confidence, and the weight trade off for me is totally fine. I'd rather pedal a heavier tire and know that I'm not going to break my groove by having to stop and put a tube into a slashed sidewall.
    The last 50+ I did I ran a Goma 2.4f / Barzo 2.35r. I didn't feel slowed down at all from my normal pace.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    Probably an unpopular opinion here, but I always run heavier more aggressive tires. I like the extra confidence, and the weight trade off for me is totally fine. I'd rather pedal a heavier tire and know that I'm not going to break my groove by having to stop and put a tube into a slashed sidewall.
    The last 50+ I did I ran a Goma 2.4f / Barzo 2.35r. I didn't feel slowed down at all from my normal pace.
    I tend to agree with this, although my race experience is from a different era...dare I say different epoch.

    I would run slightly heavier tires, with heavier slime tubes (I told you I was from a different epoch), at slightly heavier air pressure to avoid pinch flats.


    In my less than glorious career as a racer I never had a tire related mechanical...my buddies, running lighter setups, did...and I can't imagine the somewhat heavier tires I used had a significant impact on my race results.

    If the more stout tire setup saved me just one flat, or one crash, during the course of a race series it was worth the extra weight.

    In my opinion, shaving grams in a tire setup at the expense of handling and an increased likelihood of a flat, is an example of being penny wise and pound foolish.

  28. #28
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    Yeah i like em heavier too. And i like grip / traction, even at the expense of rolling resistance and weight. I'm sure it depends on where you ride (I have lots of mud, roots, rocks and fewer things like wide open fire roads) but I like to hit things hard, "shortest distance between two points is a straight line" etc.

    More tire volume allowing lower pressure is generally the thing that works the best for me.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    Have you tried XR2? As a rear tire I think it's got ikon beat. Not head and shoulders, but still a fan.

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    What you run as a front? I run a 2.35/2.2 xr2 combo on i27mm rims. Its not bad


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    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    What you run as a front? I run a 2.35/2.2 xr2 combo on i27mm rims. Its not bad


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    I am XC/light trail oriented and I don't race, so I like an efficient rear that can hold on but a slightly more aggressive front. I go 2.35 Forekaster. My terrain is hard pack, with loose, rock, and some sand

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  31. #31
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    Mezcals have been good to me too. Ran 2.35 front and rear on i25 wheels during the end of last season. Zero issues with grip or punctures after ~800 miles in north Georgia.

    Before that I ran them in 2.25 front and rear on i23 wheels, and also had zero punctures. Slightly less grip in wet, but no other complaints after thousands of miles on them.

    Going to start this season with a Barzo 2.35 F and Mezcal 2.25 R. So far, really liking the combo on training rides.

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